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Week 18 Colts’ Opposing QB: An analysis of C.J. Stroud

NFL: Tennessee Titans at Houston Texans Troy Taormina-USA TODAY Sports

Thanks to the nflFastR project and NFL NextGen Stats for the timely sources of data.

For those of you new to this, I will publish key QB stats each week judging how well the upcoming opponent QB has performed. Yes, O-Line, receivers, and play-calling impact these numbers but they are primarily QB measures. I will probably modify the charts throughout the season. Commentary will be brief but feel free to let me know in the comments that stats aren’t everything. (click charts for larger view)


It’s been 16 weeks since the Colts last faced C.J. Stroud. That was his 2nd NFL start and while he had an impressive 8.5 YPA in that game, he was also sacked 6 times, including a fumble turnover. Here’s how he looks with almost a full season under his belt.

opd, edp, arsr, pr%, ttt, adot, ay/c, sck%, scr%, ta%, aa%, aay, cmp%, cpoe, yac, yacoe, ypa, ny/d, 1st%, td%, to%, epa/d, psr
  • He has faced harder than average opponent passing defenses (13th opd)
  • The Texans are pass-heavy on early downs, partially because their run game is horrible (26th edp, 20th arsr).
  • Stroud holds the ball a crazy long time, but isn’t pressured that often (3rd ttt, 19th pr%). According to our resident film guru, Chris Shephard, that is due to “. . . a lot of play action. Their offense does a good job moving him (Stroud) around and keeping DL’s guessing. It’s a Shanahan system.” I’ll trust the master.
  • With all the time in the world to throw, Stroud is attempting and completing long passes (3rd adot, 2nd ay/c).
  • His accuracy is just average (18th cpoe), yet his receivers are getting extraordinary yac (8th yac, 6th yacoe). That is very unusual with such long completions. It makes me wonder if its sustainable.
  • He still has a sack issue (9th sck%), especially in relation to his relatively low scramble rate and throw away rate (19th scr%, 17th ta%). That’s kind of the opposite of what you want from a mobile QB.
  • Still, he has not been pressured a lot, so those abandoned attempts don’t drag his per dropback efficiency down much and he has the 4th highest net yards per dropback.
  • He’s also very good at throwing first downs and TDs (4th 1st%, 12th TD rate) and avoiding turnovers (28th to%).

It’s kind of a head scratcher why his EPA efficiency isn’t much higher. I mean 9th EPA/d is still very good, but I would have guessed it to be closer to his ny/d ranking (4th).

His 15th Passing Success Rate sheds some light onto that as it implies that when he is not executing high EPA events (e.g. explosive passes, first downs/TDs), that he doesn’t do well. I filtered all QB data to remove first down plays and in that view, Stroud ranks only 28th in ny/d and 19th in EPA/d.

So problem solved, keep him from being good and he won’t be any good.


He’s had a lot of extreme highs and lows, but on the whole he has been good. It seems that he has been trending worse recently.


He consistantly throws the ball far.


Nico Collins is the clear #1 threat. With Dell and Brown out and Woods questionable, that receiving corps is looking thin.


He’s had highs and lows but overall, he is basically avearge in accuracy.


He likes to hold the ball and even when adjusting for passing depth, he holds it a long time.


So, I guess the middle of field or deep is where he finds the most success.