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6 hours ago, shasta519 said:

 

Confirms what we already sort of knew. And you are correct about the limitations. We all saw the crazy QB numbers and record team scoring (700 points MORE than the previous high). I could also post recent analytics that show how important passing offense and QB play is to getting to the SB, but I don't want to be a broken record.

 

Offense drives the game, and will continue to do so. The Colts are set up at OL and RB, which is good, but won't really matter without the passing game.

 

Also, if the NFL continues to call holding far less to help boost the passing offense, you would think that would make an elite, disciplined OL less of an advantage. But that remains to be seen.

 

The Colts are a good team though...I just have real concerns about how they are supposedly going to take this huge leap on offense. But it's going to be a fun season either way.

 

 

I really think it will be a tough year, unless Wentz is great.  I am cautiously optimistic for the following year though if the DEs we drafted pan out.

 

I don’t think we have an alpha pass catcher on our roster.  Campbell IMO is the wildcard here.  Broken record.  I would be mildly surprised if he turns into that type of guy but not shocked.   

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10 hours ago, Nickster said:

I really think it will be a tough year, unless Wentz is great.  I am cautiously optimistic for the following year though if the DEs we drafted pan out.

 

I don’t think we have an alpha pass catcher on our roster.  Campbell IMO is the wildcard here.  Broken record.  I would be mildly surprised if he turns into that type of guy but not shocked.   

 

I don't think it will be a tough year, but it could be a bit of a letdown, especially on offense. I lied about not going into the analytics again...so long post coming.

 

Many people seem to have a really strong cognitive dissonance when it comes to Rivers and Wentz because Rivers is an older guy with no mobility and a weak-arm and Wentz is a big-armed, mobile QB heading into his prime. Understandable on the surface level.

 

However, we already know what Rivers did in this offense. So we have data to compare and data to create an expectation of what Wentz needs to do.

 

Rivers had a .231 EPA/play (Expected Points Added/play) in 2020. That was #6 in the NFL (300+ snaps), right behind Tom Brady. He didn't throw deep often or scramble, but because of his cerebral abilities, Rivers' average play was fantastic.

 

And Rivers' 2020 EPA/play largely matched his 2017 and 2018 numbers in LA (so it was more Rivers than Reich):

 

2017: .222 EPA 

2018: .238 EPA

 

EPA/play is important because QB passing efficiency strongly correlates to scoring points. And in the past 8 SBs, only one team (2015 DEN) has been outside the top 9 in pts/drive and only 2 others have been outside the top 5. Scoring a lot of a points is obviously beneficial to the bottom line of winning NFL games, especially now.

 

With Rivers, the Colts offense could score, but had some issues with conversions:

 

3rd down conversion %: #18

RZ scoring % (TD): #21

Pts/drive: 2.47 (10th in the NFL)

 

Wentz should add to the offense in other ways, like scrambling and opening up deeper plays, along with helping on those 3rd down and RZ conversions. So perhaps he doesn't need to be quite as efficient as Rivers.

 

So let's look at Luck then because he also did all of those things for the Colts:

 

Luck's EPA/play: .185

3rd down conversion %: #1

RZ scoring % (TD): #5 

Pts/drive: 2.46 (4th in the NFL)

 

Luck's EPA/play would have likely been higher without the slow start, but as you can see, it was lower than Rivers. However, the Colts offense were much more efficient on 3rd down and in the RZ with Luck. However, even with that, the 2020 Colts and 2018 Colts have nearly identical pts/drive. So you can see that it takes A LOT to make up for less pass efficiency (less EPA/play).

 

We haven't seen Wentz in this offense yet, but we have seen him in PHI...and only ONCE put up a higher EPA/play than Rivers or Luck:

 

2017: .257 EPA 

2018: .133 EPA

2019: .093 EPA 

 

I know people like to use 2018-2019 Wentz as a baseline. But if you take a QB with a high EPA/play and replace it with another QB who puts up a lower EPA/play, you are going to lose efficiency from the QB position, which will impact points scored.

 

So for the Colts offense to be as good as it has been (similar pts/drive and pts overall), we know they need to score around 2.47 pts/drive. And to do that, the IND version of Wentz has to either be as efficient as Rivers OR play like Luck (and be top 5 in conversion %'s). Otherwise, less passing efficiency will equal less points. 

 

So it's just much easier if Wentz has a great season. If he doesn't, it's going to be tougher for this to be better on offense (that can advance far). But that's why they play the games.

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30 minutes ago, shasta519 said:

 

I don't think it will be a tough year, but it could be a bit of a letdown, especially on offense. I lied about not going into the analytics again...so long post coming.

 

Many people seem to have a really strong cognitive dissonance when it comes to Rivers and Wentz because Rivers is an older guy with no mobility and a weak-arm and Wentz is a big-armed, mobile QB heading into his prime. Understandable on the surface level.

 

However, we already know what Rivers did in this offense. So we have data to compare and data to create an expectation of what Wentz needs to do.

 

Rivers had a .231 EPA/play (Expected Points Added/play) in 2020. That was #6 in the NFL (300+ snaps), right behind Tom Brady. He didn't throw deep often or scramble, but because of his cerebral abilities, Rivers' average play was fantastic.

 

And Rivers' 2020 EPA/play largely matched his 2017 and 2018 numbers in LA (so it was more Rivers than Reich):

 

2017: .222 EPA 

2018: .238 EPA

 

EPA/play is important because QB passing efficiency strongly correlates to scoring points. And in the past 8 SBs, only one team (2015 DEN) has been outside the top 9 in pts/drive and only 2 others have been outside the top 5. Scoring a lot of a points is obviously beneficial to the bottom line of winning NFL games, especially now.

 

With Rivers, the Colts offense could score, but had some issues with conversions:

 

3rd down conversion %: #18

RZ scoring % (TD): #21

Pts/drive: 2.47 (10th in the NFL)

 

Wentz should add to the offense in other ways, like scrambling and opening up deeper plays, along with helping on those 3rd down and RZ conversions. So perhaps he doesn't need to be quite as efficient as Rivers.

 

So let's look at Luck then because he also did all of those things for the Colts:

 

Luck's EPA/play: .185

3rd down conversion %: #1

RZ scoring % (TD): #5 

Pts/drive: 2.46 (4th in the NFL)

 

Luck's EPA/play would have likely been higher without the slow start, but as you can see, it was lower than Rivers. However, the Colts offense were much more efficient on 3rd down and in the RZ with Luck. However, even with that, the 2020 Colts and 2018 Colts have nearly identical pts/drive. So you can see that it takes A LOT to make up for less pass efficiency (less EPA/play).

 

We haven't seen Wentz in this offense yet, but we have seen him in PHI...and only ONCE put up a higher EPA/play than Rivers or Luck:

 

2017: .257 EPA 

2018: .133 EPA

2019: .093 EPA 

 

I know people like to use 2018-2019 Wentz as a baseline. But if you take a QB with a high EPA/play and replace it with another QB who puts up a lower EPA/play, you are going to lose efficiency from the QB position, which will impact points scored.

 

So for the Colts offense to be as good as it has been (similar pts/drive and pts overall), we know they need to score around 2.47 pts/drive. And to do that, the IND version of Wentz has to either be as efficient as Rivers OR play like Luck (and be top 5 in conversion %'s). Otherwise, less passing efficiency will equal less points. 

 

So it's just much easier if Wentz has a great season. If he doesn't, it's going to be tougher for this to be better on offense (that can advance far). But that's why they play the games.

This was interesting.  That seems like a huge drop for Wentz from 17 to 18 and then another major drop from 18 to 19. 20 he got benched.  I had pretty high hopes before.  Feeling a little deflated now.

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2 hours ago, Fluke_33 said:

This was interesting.  That seems like a huge drop for Wentz from 17 to 18 and then another major drop from 18 to 19. 20 he got benched.  I had pretty high hopes before.  Feeling a little deflated now.


Haha. I wasn’t trying to be doom and gloom. There is definitely room for optimism. But the numbers do show that Wentz has statistically regressed every year since that 2017 season. However, there were things around him that regressed as well. And that was the last time he had Reich coaching him.

 

My point was to show how efficient/good Rivers and Luck were in their respective seasons…and then compare that to what Wentz has done recently. Just trying to illustrate through advanced stats the level of play that likely will be required to improve this offense and therefore raise the team’s ceiling.

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As for wide receiver voting:

 

Best:   Devonte Adams.  GrB

 

Of Interest:  Julio Jones, ranked 5th.  The comments were glowing with stats to support and one scout giving Jones the highest praise calling him a “unicorn “. 
 

Of Interest:  AJ Brown, ranked 10th.   Titans have two highly ranked WR’s.  So do the Browns,  as both Beckham and Landry were in the Honorable mention. 

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