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Colts’ QB Analysis: Minshew Season review


NFL: Houston Texans at Indianapolis Colts Marc Lebryk-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 Colts passing game 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)


I’m not going to analyze the game. You saw it. It was bad. So, this chart is going to be for Minshew’s season total. This won’t include any Anthony Richardson, just Minshew.

  • On the season, Minshew faced much harder than average passing defenses (9th opd). So, feel free to bump these numbers up a bit to account for that.
  • Overall, the Colts offense was one of the more balanced attacks, passing on 55% of early downs (16th edp) and Minshew’s passing was supported by a 12th ranked rushing offense (arsr).
  • He faced about average pressure throughout the year, but his time to throw was pretty quick (17th pr%, 22nd ttt). Given that TTT, he probably should have been pressured less, so that points to poor protection. According to ESPN’s pass rush win rate, the Colt’s O-line finished the year with a 26th rank.
  • Those quick passes naturally result in short attempts, but his completion depth was pretty close to league average (22nd adot, 20th ay/c).
  • His major flaw all year was accuracy. He finishes 2nd to worst in the league in CPOE, which is reflected in a 25th ranked completion rate that was 3.1% below what it should have been.
  • Bad accuracy is a YAC killer, so I am actually impressed that the Colts’ receivers had average YAC over expected (16th yacoe). Still, the low completion rate killed yardage efficiency (23rd ypa).
  • Minshew handled pressure primarily by throwing the ball away (10th ta%). He didn’t scramble much (18th scr%) and his sack rate was actually below the league average (but above the median, 14th sck%). The end result is that his abandoned play yardage was about average (16th aay), so it didn’t hurt his overall yardage efficiency. He ended up 21st in net yards per dropback.
  • A major flaw in MInshew’s game is his inability to get first downs (24th 1st%). That could be made up for with TDs, but he didn’t throw that many either (26th td%). He also had a higher than average turnover rate (12th to%).
  • That all culminates in the 20th ranked EPA efficiency and 23rd ranked Passing Success rate, which are very similar to his pre-Indy career numbers (shocker).

The narrative hasn’t changed much over the season. Minshew is a capable QB, who is a great back-up, but a below average starter. Had we had an average back-up QB, my guess is this would have been a disaster of a season. Minshew gave us a chance to win games, but he rarely was the main reason for winning them.


He ended the season on a low note.


There was a trend towards longer passes at the end of the season.



That is a significant downward trend in accuracy over the year.


The last 3 weeks saw Minshew hold the ball a lot longer. But relative to his season depth of targets, he was getting rid of it fairly quickly (red dot on right graph is below the trend line).


He was worse over the middle of the field than he was outside the numbers.