Game Overview ::
By hilow >>
- Both teams came out with pace during the first half of their Week 1 games, with each finishing in the top six in the league in the metric.
- The Colts are basically “Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman or bust” as far as guaranteed volume goes, with no other player seeing more than a 77% snap rate in Week 1.
- Trevor Lawrence exhibited the same indecision and inaccuracies that plagued his rookie season in Week 1; the Jacksonville offense is likely to continue to struggle until he adjusts to the speed of the NFL game.
- Indianapolis should control this game through elevated rush rates and a prevent defense, likely allowing Jonathan Taylor to soak another robust workload.
How INDIANAPOLIS Will Try To Win ::
True to form under Frank Reich, the Colts ended Week 1 with the league’s sixth-lowest pass rate over expectation, even in a negative game script that saw the team trail by three scores into the fourth quarter. Indianapolis was able to run 92 offensive plays in an eventual overtime tie, affording Jonathan Taylor 31 rush attempts and seven targets, Matt Ryan 50 pass attempts, and Michael Pittman 13 targets. The big takeaways from that Week 1 contest were the 26% team target market share for Pittman (which is a tick below elite levels – I honestly was expecting that number to be a smidge higher coming into the year), the hefty 76% snap rate and 38 (!!!) running back opportunities from Jonathan Taylor (the team continued to ride him deep into the game, not shifting the focus towards Nyheim Hines in a negative game script), and the confirmation of the assumption we had about this offense behind Taylor and Pittman (in that no other pass-catcher saw more than seven targets and nine total pass-catchers received at least two targets – super spread behind the two primary pieces). What might go missed by the field is the fact that the Colts brought the pace to open the game, finishing the first half with a 25.56 seconds per play mark, ranking 6th in the league in the metric. Summing that up – expect the Colts to play fast with high rush rates, primarily focused on Jonathan Taylor and Michael Pittman.
Jonathan Taylor’s league takeover continues in 2022 as the electric back saw 76% of the offensive snaps, 86% of the team’s rush attempts, a 61% route participation rate (which is far above his career numbers), and a solid-yet-unspectacular 18% targets per route run rate. The one area Taylor did not see much action in was the two-minute offense, where he managed only 47% of the offensive snaps and ceded primary duties to Hines. That said, that is a hefty workload, friends. Taylor also gets the honor of running behind a top 10 offensive line in 2022, which, when combined with his dynamic skillset, allowed him to rush for a solid 5.2 yards per carry on a massive 31 carries in Week 1 (hard to maintain that level of efficiency with so many touches, but Taylor got better as the game went on). Hines should be considered the primary two-minute back and should see a handful of rush attempts per week, soaking up the majority of his value through the passing game. Of note, Hines did equal Taylor’s touches inside the five in Week 1, which was an area of the field that Taylor lapped the field in workload in 2021. The matchup on the ground should be considered middling after the Jaguars held the Commanders to 3.88 running back yards per carry a week ago.
As we touched on above, the pass offense is very much a case of “Michael Pittman and then everyone else.” Pittman played all but two offensive snaps in Week 1, which is a massive number considering that equated to 90 total snaps. No other pass-catcher played more than 77% of the offensive snaps (Parris Campbell), with the third most snaps coming from tight end Kylen Granson (55%). Yeah, behind Pittman, not much in the way of certainty here. What was interesting to me was the fact that the Colts played primarily from 11-personnel after ending the 2021 season below league average. That said, the wide receiver rotation behind Pittman was robust. Not much more to say here other than to highlight the “solid but not elite” 26% team target market share for Pittman and the increased involvement of Jonathan Taylor in the passing game through a bump to route participation rate. Of note, rookie wide receiver Alec Pierce was forced from Week 1 with a concussion, which could tighten up the wide receiver rotation slightly. Should he miss Week 2, expect Ashton Dulin to operate as the de facto WR3.
How jacksonville Will Try To Win ::
By LexMiraglia10 >>
- 2021 IND ranked 17th in def pass DVOA and 8th in overall def DVOA
- IND played W1 without Shaquille Leonard, against a team they won 62-3 combined in 2021, and allowed 240:2:0 to Davis Mills in a 20-20 OT tie
- Lawrence threw for 225+ yds in just 6/17 games in 2021
- Lawrence’s first game with Doug Pederson: 275:1:1 vs WAS
- Lawrence vs 2021 IND: 162:0 // 223:2
- JAC WRs in W1: Kirk (6:117 (12)) // Zay Jones (6:65 (9)) // Marvin Jones (4:38 (6))
- IND allowed the 8th fewest WR yds in 2021, but the 3rd most WR TDs
- HOU WRs vs IND in W1: Cooks (7:82 (12)) // Collins (2:26 (3)) // Moore (3:31 (3))
- Top JAC WRs vs IND in 2021: MJJ (2:35; 7:88:1) // Viska (5:62) // Treadwell (3:24:1)
- Where JAC WRs ran routes on 45 dropbacks in W1: Kirk (39 of 41 slot) // Zay (31 of 41 wide) // MJJ (39 of 39 wide)
- Cooks ran 29 of his 38 routes out wide
- 2021 IND finished 3rd in def rush DVOA
- 2021 IND allowed the 8th fewest RB rush yds & rush TDs, and 5th fewest RB DK pts/g
- HOU RBs vs IND in W1: Burkhead (14:40, 5:30) // Pierce (11:33, 1:6)
- JAC RBs in W1: Robinson (11:66:1, 1:3:1) // Etienne (4:47, 2:18)
- 13 touches for Robinson, 8 touches for Etienne
- IND may still be without stud run defender Shaq (Darius) Leonard
- In 2020, Rivers had just 3 games of 20+ DK pts as IND’s QB (22.3, 22.4, 28.7) after 6 in 2019 with LAC
- In 2021, Ryan had 5 games of 20+ DK pts as ATL’s QB (22.3, 22.4, 24.6, 29, 31.5)
- Ryan scored 20.08 in his first game with IND
- JAC ranked last in defensive pass DVOA in 2021, with 10 QBs scoring 2+ TDs
- Carson Wentz in W1 vs JAC: 313:4:2 (30+ DK pts)
- Wentz threw just 29 & 34 passes vs JAC in 2021
- IND threw the 6th fewest pass att in 2021 with Wentz (13th fewest in 2020 with Rivers)
- Ryan threw 50 pass att in W1, though IND trailed heavily in second half & a full 10-minute OT session was played
- Pittman had just 9 career games of 8+ tg in first 2 seasons (7 in ‘21, 2 in ‘20)
- Pittman saw 13 tg in W1 vs HOU
- IND points when Pittman scores 20+ DK pts: 34 // 24 // 25 // 30 // 31 // 20
- JAC allowed the highest success rate & 4th highest yds/att to WRs in 2021
- WAS WRs vs JAC in W1: McLaurin (2:58:1 (4)) // Samuel (8:55:1 (11)) // Dotson (3:40:2 (5))
- Pittman vs 2021 JAC: 5:71 // 6:64:1
- IND WR tg in W1: Pittman (13) // Dulin (6) // Campbell (4) // Strachan (2) // Pierce (2)
- IND has ranked 8th and 3rd in rush att the past two seasons
- In W1, Taylor had 31 rush att vs HOU
- Taylor had 15+ att in all but two games in 2021
- 2021 RBs with 15+ rush att vs JAC: Ingram (85:1) // Mixon (67:1) // Henry (130:3) // Taylor (116:1 / 77) // Wilson (50) // CPatt (108:2) // Michel (121:1) // Rex (41) // Carter (118) // Stevenson (107:2)
- W1: Gibson went for just 14:58 on the ground vs JAC, but racked up 7:72 through the air
- IND RB receiving in W1: Taylor (4:14 (7)) // Hines (6:50 (6))
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