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By: T. Troy Russell
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)
Two QBs make this twice as hard. So, some housekeeping items first:
- The numbers are the blend of Anthony Richardson’s and Gardener Minshew’s dropbacks.
- Since Richardson’s TDs were scored as designed runs, I have opted to include QB designed runs into dropbacks (as scrambles). I don’t normally do this as runs tend to dilute a QB’s performance but clearly not in this case here.
Minshew’s first pass was the 3rd dropback in the 2nd quarter. Prior to that, Richardson had positive EPA on 6 of 13 plays for a 53.8% Passing Success Rate compared to Minshew’s 48.0%. Combined they had a 50% PSR, which is about league average.
EPA-wise, AR had an outstanding +0.40 EPA per Dropback against Minshew’s also impressive +0.32. Combined, they ended with +0.35 EPA/d, which is probably a top-10 finish (depending on Monday Night).
Comparing this week against the trailing 16 games, shows that this was one of the best passing weeks, the Colts have had in a while.
Short, quick passes was the story. 2.7 average air yards on completions is ridiculously short, but if they are thrown quickly and accurately (they were), then they can allow decent YAC (they did).
The 2022 Colts passing game was about short passes. 2023 is even more so . . . so far.
No one got a lot of yards, but at least they were spread around well.
Anthony Richardson’s accuracy was again poor this week (-11.7% CPOE) but with so few attempts, that really doesn’t mean anything. Minshew was much more accurate (+12.9% CPOE).
This Time to Throw chart only reflects Minshew, who had the 5th-quickest release this week.
I like green.
- Overall, it was a pass-first offense with a great supporting run game (10th edp, 6th arsr).
- Fast throws on short passes helped keep the pressure low (28th TTT, 32nd ADOT, 24th PR%).
- Abandoned plays were scrambles and throw-aways and not sacks (tied 30th SCK%, 8th SCR%, 9th TA%), which is exactly what you want to see and led to the 3rd highest yardage per abandoned play (5.4 AAY).
- Accurate throws helped with YAC, but not enough to force yards per attempt above average (9th YAC, 12th YACOE, 22nd YPA)). However, the excellent abandoned play numbers lifted YPA to the 14th-best overall yardage efficiency (7.0 NY/D).
- Here’s what you like to see: lots of first downs, lots of TDs, no turnovers (13th 1ST%, 4th TD%, tied 27th TO%).
- Add that to the above-average yardage (NY/D) and you get the 9th-best EPA efficiency (so far). However, the success rate was low relative to that mark (16th PSR), suggesting explosive plays were leaned on for the high EPA/d.
Originally posted on Stampede Blue – All Posts