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Colts @ Titans Sunday Night Football Game Thread


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    • The site created their own way of trying to compare the value of a any player, regardless of position.  Over time, they call it the "weighted average value" or "wAV".  I don't know how well it works out, but at least they tried!   If you want to read through their exhaustive methodology, here's the link for it. https://www.sports-reference.com/blog/approximate-value-methodology/  
    • How many players from the Baltimore Colts are in the Ring of Honor?
    • To continue kicking the dead horse of sacks/pressures...   I decided to compile some numbers from PFR, to investigate whether the Colts sack/pressure ratio on defense in 2023 is an outlier, and unsustainable. The Colts were 5th in total sacks, but 24th in pressures. I think that's an anomaly, so let me share the numbers that support my case.   In 2023, the Colts defense had 51 sacks on 127 pressures, converting 40% of their pressures into sacks. (From this point forward, I'll use the term "sack rate" in reference to this ratio.) This is the second highest sack rate in 2023, and the fourth highest sack rate of any team in the last five years (42% twice, 45% once). It's my opinion that this high sack rate is an unsustainable outlier.   From 2019 to 2023, the league-wide sack rate was 27% (6,362 sacks, on 23,204 pressures). In 2019, 28% (1,276 sacks, 4,585 pressures). 2020, 24% (1,135 sacks, 4,739 pressures). (Lowest sack rate and number of sacks) 2021, 25% (1,244 sacks, 5,056 pressures). (Highest total pressures) 2022, 30% (1,297 sacks, 4,325 pressures). (Lowest total pressures) 2023, 31% (1,410 sacks, 4,449 pressures). (Highest sack rate and number of sacks) It's only a five year sample, so I wouldn't say for sure that there's a trend in either direction. It's interesting that the two highest sack total and sack rate years were 2022 and 2023, so maybe there's a trend forming; but I think understanding how many QBs have been injured lately would help to explain the recent increase. In 2019, the lowest sack rate was 20% (Bears), and the highest was 34% (Panthers). 2020, the lowest was 14% (Raiders; this is also the lowest sack rate for all five years), highest was 36% (Rams). 2021, the lowest was 17% (Falcons), highest was 39% (Bears). 2022, the lowest was 21% (Jaguars), highest was 45% (Saints; this is also the highest sack rate for all five years). 2023, the lowest was 22% (Lions), and the highest was 42% (Ravens; Colts were second, at 40%).  And for comparison: The Colts sack rate for the last five years: 31.6% (209 sacks, 661 pressures) 2019, 31% (3 points above league average) 2020, 27% (3 points above league average) 2021, 28% (3 points above league average) 2022, 33% (3 points above league average) 2023, 40% (9 points above league average) So that’s a lot of info. It’s not comprehensive, it’s actually a really small sample. I’m also not analyzing the quality of the defenses, because pass rush is just one element of a successful defense.   The questions I set out to answer were 1) Whether the Colts 40% pressure to sack rate is an outlier, and I think it’s obvious that it is an outlier. Out of 160 results (32 teams x five seasons), it’s the fourth highest sack rate of any team defense since 2019, and it’s 13 points higher than the average sack rate during those five years. Compared to the Colts own performance, the 2023 sack rate is 7 points higher than 2022 (Bradley’s first year), and it’s more than 8 points higher than their five year average. So I think it’s clearly an outlier result.   And 2) Whether that sack rate is sustainable, I think this is less conclusive, but the sample indicates that it’s not sustainable. From 2019 to 2022, the Colts have a history of outperforming the league average sack rate, by 3 points each year. But in 2023, that tripled to 9 points above league average. And it’s by far the highest sack rate the Colts posted in the five year sample. So I think calling it unsustainable is accurate. (It's more likely that the Colts will be closer to 3 points above league average in 2024; with a similar number of total pressures, that would cost the defense about 10 total sacks.)   Just to further support the idea that it’s not sustainable, I looked at the Ravens sack rate over the last five years, simply because they led the league in sack rate in 2023. They went 42%, 38%, 22%, 22%, 26%, and over the five years, they averaged a 29% sack rate. So they've been well above the league average the last two seasons, but below league average the previous three seasons, and only 2 points higher than league average overall.    That’s a lot, so what’s my point? To be clear, I'm not saying that having a high sack rate is a bad thing, or that pressures are more important than sacks.    What I'm saying is a team converting 40% of their pressures into sacks is a statistical outlier, and it would be a mistake for the Colts to rely on converting pressures to sacks at such a high rate moving forward. That's not reliable output, based on recent history and trends. Even converting 30% of pressures to sacks is above typical league average, but at least that seems reasonable for the Colts' defense.   So if the Colts want to reach that 50+ sack threshold again in 2024, 127 total pressures (7.5/game) won't get it done. We need to count on having a sack rate closer to 30% than 40%, and that means we need to be closer to pressuring the QB 170 times total (10/game) next season. 
    • Good. I want to see this offense and Richardson shut up the naysayers. 
    • I get it, for the most part I agree with this post. 
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