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Concerning Stat/3rd Down Conversion Rate (MERGE)


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The one stat that is very concerning after three weeks is our third down conversion rate which is ranked 32nd in the league (That’s right Last) at 30.3%. The next two closest to us is the jets at 32.43 and the Washington Football team at 34.15%

 

Here’s the stats for the first 3 weeks:

Week 1: 33%

Week 2: 27%

Week 3: 30%

 

While I do think we can improve in this area as we shake off the rust. It is a stat that we must improve, if we want a successful season. 

 

 

https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/third-down-conversion-pct

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4 minutes ago, Valpo2004 said:

Was not aware of that, but you are correct.  3rd down conversion % has a high correlation with winning.  

Funny you say that...it's true overall, but not in that sampling. 

 

7 minutes ago, Zoltan said:

Week 1: 33% Loss

Week 2: 27% Win

Week 3: 30% Win

 

Counter-intuitively, our highest % was in our only loss. Hah!

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5 minutes ago, Dogg63 said:

Funny you say that...it's true overall, but not in that sampling. 

 

Counter-intuitively, our highest % was in our only loss. Hah!


Yes but you can’t rely on your defense to have 3 interceptions or 2 pick sixes and a safety week to week

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6 minutes ago, Chucklez said:

our offense is not a problem though...

 

I wonder how our 1st down and 2nd down conversions match up with the rest of the league.

 

3rd down conversion might be awful.... but we rank 12th overall in first downs in the league.

 

https://www.espn.com/nfl/stats/team/_/stat/downs


If we were middle of the pack, I would tend to agree because you can’t focus and judge an offense from any one statistic. 
 

but being last at 3rd down efficiency is concerning even if we are 12th for first downs, because there’s that question of why are we playing so bad on third downs? Is it decision making, or is it 3rd down play calling?

 

edit: I’m not saying it’s a problem as of now but it is important to notice this deficiency, as we move forward and play better teams and defenses 

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It is a bit backwards from when Luck was playing as our efficiency was very efficient from what I remember.

 

Here is a stat I found was very enlightening and somewhat offsets the 3rd down stat:

Philip Rivers only threw the ball 21 times. But when he did throw the ball, Rivers was efficient, averaging more than a first down — 10.3 yards — per attempt. The Colts want yards per attempt to be at least 7.0, and they know they’re humming if they get over 8; pushing it above a first down every time they throw the ball is incredibly efficient."

https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2020/09/27/numbers-colts-bludgeon-jets/5851828002/

 

Essentially, we were skipping 3rd downs and getting chunk plays when we passed.  I'm curious if a lot of those 3rd down conversions were in the red zone where we also have some issues?

 

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I don’t think the argument that “well we get a lot of first downs on 1st and 2nd down” is viable because every team is being judged on the same metric. I do think it is interesting though because you would think a run focused offense would do better.

 

another point is that I would expect it to be better because we haven’t played any great defenses yet either, which Chicago should be a good judgment of where our offense is at

 

I don’t have the stat off hand but does anyone know what our average yards needed are for third down?

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1 hour ago, Zoltan said:


If we were middle of the pack, I would tend to agree because you can’t focus and judge an offense from any one statistic. 
 

but being last at 3rd down efficiency is concerning even if we are 12th for first downs, because there’s that question of why are we playing so bad on third downs? Is it decision making, or is it 3rd down play calling?

 

edit: I’m not saying it’s a problem as of now but it is important to notice this deficiency, as we move forward and play better teams and defenses 

 

We do seem to fail on 3rd and short way more often than we should.  I mean over the last few games, how many 3rd or 4ths and 3 or less have we failed to convert?  

 

I would say it's play calling.  On 3rd and short we are constantly running it up the middle.  Seems like in that situation we are pretty situationally predictable.  

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1 hour ago, stitches said:

I'm not too worried right now. Samples are really small and few plays have big effect on the %s. Lets see how we do by the second half of the season. 


you are right, that it is small sample size, and I do think we will improve but We have been consistently around 30 so far

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29 minutes ago, Valpo2004 said:

 

We do seem to fail on 3rd and short way more often than we should.  I mean over the last few games, how many 3rd or 4ths and 3 or less have we failed to convert?  

 

I would say it's play calling.  On 3rd and short we are constantly running it up the middle.  Seems like in that situation we are pretty situationally predictable.  

I'm just wondering if Reich is keeping it simple for JT.  Run some vanilla stuff up the middle and let him focus on just running upfield.  Yeah, the stats for rushing don't look great, but JT is gaining confidence (looks like he's really focused on holding onto the ball) and we're winning with (possibly) a somewhat vanilla running game.  As we get into better defenses (Chicago) we may see some more complex plays run more often.

I dunno, just a thought....

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You could find a million worrying trends or stats for each team. As long as we're winning I don't care honestly.

 

We aren't super bowl favorites or anything so let's see what happens.

 

I can say one thing with 100% certainty, we at least have a QB who knows what he's doing and won't panic if we're down in a game. 

 

I think we'll get better at it, it's only 3 games in.

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Our run blocking hasn't been up to par imo. Watching the game in slo-mo, there wasn't a lot of holes in this last game. Also JT is definitely not Marlon Mack yet. Maybe he's anxious, but he seems like he just wants to get what he can, put his head down and not fumble. That's not bad necessarily, but I don't sense he can really break one or if he's looking to try. 

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1 hour ago, MB-ColtsFan said:

I'm just wondering if Reich is keeping it simple for JT.  Run some vanilla stuff up the middle and let him focus on just running upfield.  Yeah, the stats for rushing don't look great, but JT is gaining confidence (looks like he's really focused on holding onto the ball) and we're winning with (possibly) a somewhat vanilla running game.  As we get into better defenses (Chicago) we may see some more complex plays run more often.

I dunno, just a thought....

 

Interesting thought. 

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Lots of conservative plays, like a short pass on 3rd and 10. When you’re up by 3 scores, probably smart. Too early to judge given our competition. Few offenses look  good when they are protecting big leads. 
 

Wilkins YPC is impressive given that defense selling out to stop run in those situations. 

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8 minutes ago, Zoltan said:

@EastStreet What do you think of our third down conversion rate?

Hey Z.

IMO, and off the cuff....  it's bad, and is a product of bad play calling and personnel choice.

It's an area I've wanted to dig into. Might do some digging Wednesday evening.

 

Overall, I've been pretty unimpressed with Reich. I hope it's just a case of not wanting to show too much, but my gut is saying that's not the case.

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21 minutes ago, funktacious2 said:

It's super weird that we went into week 3 as having the worst 3rd down conversion rate in the league but also the only team who had not had a 3 and out yet.

Yep, strange but true. The last 2 games we've had a ton of 4, 5, and 6 play drives.

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11 hours ago, MB-ColtsFan said:

It is a bit backwards from when Luck was playing as our efficiency was very efficient from what I remember.

 

Here is a stat I found was very enlightening and somewhat offsets the 3rd down stat:

Philip Rivers only threw the ball 21 times. But when he did throw the ball, Rivers was efficient, averaging more than a first down — 10.3 yards — per attempt. The Colts want yards per attempt to be at least 7.0, and they know they’re humming if they get over 8; pushing it above a first down every time they throw the ball is incredibly efficient."

https://www.indystar.com/story/sports/nfl/colts/2020/09/27/numbers-colts-bludgeon-jets/5851828002/

 

Essentially, we were skipping 3rd downs and getting chunk plays when we passed.  I'm curious if a lot of those 3rd down conversions were in the red zone where we also have some issues?

 

Yup. Just watching the games, it feels like we don't even get to third down until we get in FG range and that's when we fail. Rather than improving third down efficiency, the emphasis should go to red zone efficiency. If we improve there, our third down % will naturally go up.

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15 hours ago, EastStreet said:

Hey Z.

IMO, and off the cuff....  it's bad, and is a product of bad play calling and personnel choice.

It's an area I've wanted to dig into. Might do some digging Wednesday evening.

 

Overall, I've been pretty unimpressed with Reich. I hope it's just a case of not wanting to show too much, but my gut is saying that's not the case.

I think you might be overestimating the talent on the field if you are unimpressed with Reich.  There are some head scratchers he calls sometimes especially Hines in short yardage, but I don't think the talent we have on the field right now is going to be the type of squad putting up gaudy offensive numbers.  Another thing, I don't understand is limiting MACs snaps.  He mauls people in the running game and is huge, athletic and had good hands.  I'm guessing his route running is a weakness, but come on.  The dude needs to play a lot.


Mack's departure has really hurt this team offensivley IMO. 

 

I have a hard time beleiving that the OLine is not creating opportunities to run the ball more effectively, but I have not watched tape to confirm my belief.

 

Reich had been a really good offensive coach IMO with all he's had to try to deal with quite a few unexpected issues.

 

Our personnell choices are pretty limited right now in general.  

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23 hours ago, Zoltan said:

The one stat that is very concerning after three weeks is our third down conversion rate which is ranked 32nd in the league (That’s right Last) at 30.3%. The next two closest to us is the jets at 32.43 and the Washington Football team at 34.15%

 

Here’s the stats for the first 3 weeks:

Week 1: 33%

Week 2: 27%

Week 3: 30%

 

While I do think we can improve in this area as we shake off the rust. It is a stat that we must improve, if we want a successful season. 

 

 

https://www.teamrankings.com/nfl/stat/third-down-conversion-pct

Good post Zoltan and it is concerning, anything below 40% is concerning but below 35% is a major concern.  The Colts are fortunate they have played two really bad offenses in a row.

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12 minutes ago, Nickster said:

I think you might be overestimating the talent on the field if you are unimpressed with Reich.  There are some head scratchers he calls sometimes especially Hines in short yardage, but I don't think the talent we have on the field right now is going to be the type of squad putting up gaudy offensive numbers. 

I strongly disagree. We have plenty of talent on O. Game plan, play calling, and personnel choice in situational downs have been highly questionable. The pass/run mix game 1 was heavy pass, and just didn't make sense vs Jax, and especially in game 1 after no preseason with the RBs we had to start the year. The heavy run in G2 was an overreaction to G1. The heavy run in G3 was just silly given it's the Jet's strength.

 

Reich has a history of not attacking a teams weakness while going heavy against their strengths (see Miami last year). Play calling in general, has been predictable and conservative. I'll cut him a break there since perhaps he doesn't want to show much this early, but if he doesn't open things up soon, I'll have to scratch my head on that too. Maybe it's partly covid, but other teams look far more dynamic. We had WRs and TEs open all game Sunday, and needed to get some of the young WRs experience. It was a lost opportunity.

 

And IMO, even JB regressed with Reich from 2017 to 2019. The stats were very similar, but JB in 2019 had a heck of a lot better OL, and was sacked half the amount he was in 2017. 

 

I really like Frank as a person, but it's not like his track record can't be questioned. In his two years in Phily as OC, Pederson called the plays so not much to glean from. In his two years as OC in LA, he had horrible balance both years, and was fired after being last in the league rushing and a 4-12 record. He's not all the much better than Pagano thus far, and has a much better roster. 

 

Not saying at all we need to fire Frank, or anything like that. I am saying though he's not done anything extraordinary thus far though. He's got no excuses this year.

 

12 minutes ago, Nickster said:

Another thing, I don't understand is limiting MACs snaps.  He mauls people in the running game and is huge, athletic and had good hands.  I'm guessing his route running is a weakness, but come on.  The dude needs to play a lot.

I agree. I can understand him not playing early last year when we had Doyle and Ebron both, but we should absolutely see him get a good snap share this year.

12 minutes ago, Nickster said:

Mack's departure has really hurt this team offensivley IMO. 

Maybe short term a little, but honestly I'm not worried. We did fine when he was out last year. Williams had two 100 games in a row when Mack was out. Taylor will be fine with our OL. Having Taylor and Mack was an embarrassment of riches, but we're just fine with Taylor/Wilkins/Hines.

 

12 minutes ago, Nickster said:

I have a hard time beleiving that the OLine is not creating opportunities to run the ball more effectively, but I have not watched tape to confirm my belief.

Again, IMO, goes back to game plan. We didn't run the ball a bunch against a team (Jax) that was 5th worst in the league vs the run last year. Then, we ran the ball a lot vs MN (better than they appear vs the run) and NYJ (who were 2nd best vs the run last year). Sorry, that just doesn't make sense.

 

Then add in things like using Hines between the tackles in goal line situations.

12 minutes ago, Nickster said:

Reich had been a really good offensive coach IMO with all he's had to try to deal with quite a few unexpected issues.

Luck leaving was the only truly big issue. Pagano had to deal with Luck being gone a year too, and gimpy a few other years. Pagano did better (record wise) his first 3 years with a healthy Luck, then Reich did with a healthy Luck in 2018, and had a better roster on both sides, especially OL. 

12 minutes ago, Nickster said:

Our personnell choices are pretty limited right now in general.  

Not really. Rivers did great using a ton of different pass catchers this week, when allowed to throw. And we had guys wide open all game. Mo did fine in Doyle's place. Both Hines and Taylor are catching the ball well and are 22/23 on targets. TY looked better this week. Pascal is still there. Fountain got his feet wet. Taylor's AVG was good running. Our OL has been balling out and Rivers only sacked twice (on track for only 11 total this year).

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27 minutes ago, EastStreet said:

I strongly disagree. We have plenty of talent on O. Game plan, play calling, and personnel choice in situational downs have been highly questionable. The pass/run mix game 1 was heavy pass, and just didn't make sense vs Jax, and especially in game 1 after no preseason with the RBs we had to start the year. The heavy run in G2 was an overreaction to G1. The heavy run in G3 was just silly given it's the Jet's strength.

 

Reich has a history of not attacking a teams weakness while going heavy against their strengths (see Miami last year). Play calling in general, has been predictable and conservative. I'll cut him a break there since perhaps he doesn't want to show much this early, but if he doesn't open things up soon, I'll have to scratch my head on that too. Maybe it's partly covid, but other teams look far more dynamic. We had WRs and TEs open all game Sunday, and needed to get some of the young WRs experience. It was a lost opportunity.

 

And IMO, even JB regressed with Reich from 2017 to 2019. The stats were very similar, but JB in 2019 had a heck of a lot better OL, and was sacked half the amount he was in 2017. 

 

I really like Frank as a person, but it's not like his track record can't be questioned. In his two years in Phily as OC, Pederson called the plays so not much to glean from. In his two years as OC in LA, he had horrible balance both years, and was fired after being last in the league rushing and a 4-12 record. He's not all the much better than Pagano thus far, and has a much better roster. 

 

Not saying at all we need to fire Frank, or anything like that. I am saying though he's not done anything extraordinary thus far though. He's got no excuses this year.

 

I agree. I can understand him not playing early last year when we had Doyle and Ebron both, but we should absolutely see him get a good snap share this year.

Maybe short term a little, but honestly I'm not worried. We did fine when he was out last year. Williams had two 100 games in a row when Mack was out. Taylor will be fine with our OL. Having Taylor and Mack was an embarrassment of riches, but we're just fine with Taylor/Wilkins/Hines.

 

Again, IMO, goes back to game plan. We didn't run the ball a bunch against a team (Jax) that was 5th worst in the league vs the run last year. Then, we ran the ball a lot vs MN (better than they appear vs the run) and NYJ (who were 2nd best vs the run last year). Sorry, that just doesn't make sense.

 

Then add in things like using Hines between the tackles in goal line situations.

Luck leaving was the only truly big issue. Pagano had to deal with Luck being gone a year too, and gimpy a few other years. Pagano did better (record wise) his first 3 years with a healthy Luck, then Reich did with a healthy Luck in 2018, and had a better roster on both sides, especially OL. 

Not really. Rivers did great using a ton of different pass catchers this week, when allowed to throw. And we had guys wide open all game. Mo did fine in Doyle's place. Both Hines and Taylor are catching the ball well and are 22/23 on targets. TY looked better this week. Pascal is still there. Fountain got his feet wet. Taylor's AVG was good running. Our OL has been balling out and Rivers only sacked twice (on track for only 11 total this year).

 

There has been quite a bit more than Luck leaving East.  

 

So last year he lost the Bully slot he coveted in the first half of the first game after Luck's sudden retirement.  He was without solid, two time ProBowl TE whom he expected to have.  His #1 WR was out much of the year and hurt most of the year.  He had a non-starter material QB.   They were still top halp in PPG last year.

 

This year he lose a promising WR candidate and IMO underrated RB at the very beginning of the year.  He hasn't had the TE they bought available.  I agree on the comp being questionable and the 2 tds on D last week will bring it down a couple points but they are averaging over 28 ppg this year.

 

The one thing that has been consistent with the O is the line, but that is it.  You seem to be a pretty sharp football guy and I think if you will watch you will see how limited the Offensive playbook is right now with Taylor in the backfield and the asbsence of Campbell and now Pittman.  I think JTs limitations will become obvious as the season goes on and I think their is plenty of evidence to suggest this.   We need another guy who can take carries and make people miss and be creative in the running game.  JT is going to do a few things well but since his debut he has caught 3 passes for 12 yds.  So I am not sure if that is going to be a big option as teams are aware of him out of the back field.  My guess is he will struggle getting open with limited lateral quickness.  I think he could be deadly in well set up screens when linemen create lanes and he can get up field fast.  the RB is not trying to get open on a screen, he's trying to get lost really.

 

I honestly don't know how you cannot see the difficulty that Frank has had to deal with personnell wise.  It's pretty across the board on the offensive side of the ball.  

 

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29 minutes ago, Nickster said:

 

There has been quite a bit more than Luck leaving East.  

 

So last year he lost the Bully slot he coveted in the first half of the first game after Luck's sudden retirement.  He was without solid, two time ProBowl TE whom he expected to have.  His #1 WR was out much of the year and hurt most of the year.  He had a non-starter material QB.   They were still top halp in PPG last year.

Look at Luck's 2018 pass catching options. We were #6 in the league passing with Rogers as the #2. Losing Luck was easily the biggest issue. Had he been here, those issues wouldn't equate to anything.

29 minutes ago, Nickster said:

This year he lose a promising WR candidate and IMO underrated RB at the very beginning of the year.  He hasn't had the TE they bought available.  I agree on the comp being questionable and the 2 tds on D last week will bring it down a couple points but they are averaging over 28 ppg this year.

Yet Rivers was 80% passing, and pass catchers open all over the place. We still have plenty of options catching the ball. Taylor at 4.5 AVG vs one of the better run Ds is very good.

29 minutes ago, Nickster said:

The one thing that has been consistent with the O is the line, but that is it.  You seem to be a pretty sharp football guy and I think if you will watch you will see how limited the Offensive playbook is right now with Taylor in the backfield and the asbsence of Campbell and now Pittman

The playbook was limited G1 with both of those WRs playing. Pittman isn't a factor on the playbook as Pascal was starting X. He only factored once Campbell got hurt and he got the start when Pascal moved to slot. Taylor caught 6/6 passes in G1, but only 3 targets in the last two games (catching all 3). He shouldn't be limited, or limit the playbook at all. He's shown he can catch the ball well, and had a good AVG running against a good run D.

29 minutes ago, Nickster said:

I think JTs limitations will become obvious as the season goes on and I think their is plenty of evidence to suggest this. 

What's the "plenty of evidence"? 

 

He ran for 100 yard in his second game. He had 4.54 AVG in his 3rd game vs the 2nd best run D from last year. He's 9/9 catching the ball. Really struggling to understand all these "obvious limitations" after only 3 games. He's at worst a timid rookie, who will gain confidence as he gets more experience. The biggest bag on him out of college was all the wear on his legs, and he needs to improve his jump cut. 

29 minutes ago, Nickster said:

 We need another guy who can take carries and make people miss and be creative in the running game.  JT is going to do a few things well but since his debut he has caught 3 passes for 12 yds. 

Incorrect. 9 of 9 for 79 and 8.8 AVG. He doesn't really even need to catch a lot. Mack didn't at all lol. I mean, holy cow, he's only got 3 games under his belt lol. 

29 minutes ago, Nickster said:

So I am not sure if that is going to be a big option as teams are aware of him out of the back field.  My guess is he will struggle getting open with limited lateral quickness.  I think he could be deadly in well set up screens when linemen create lanes and he can get up field fast.  the RB is not trying to get open on a screen, he's trying to get lost really.

 

I honestly don't know how you cannot see the difficulty that Frank has had to deal with personnell wise.  It's pretty across the board on the offensive side of the ball.  

I think you are very Colts centric in your view. We have a QB that can elevate pass catchers like Luck did in 2018, and a good stable of RBs even without Mack. No team has perfection, or lacks injury impact. 

 

2019

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East didn't want to quote because it was getting too long.  

 

I said since JTs debut meaning in games 2 and 3 he's gained 12 through the air.

 

On the limited playbook thing, some of the evidence is that he did not take a majority of snaps in the game Sunday and had a diminished role while the game was still in doubt in the 2nd half.   The evidence right is snap counts IMO.  Yes later in the 4th was garbage time, but through the 2nd and 3rd he was subbed out more often than he was in.

 

I think you will see that this will continue.

 

I am still surprised that you don't at least acknowledge the perosnnell issues that have characterized the Colts since the Luck retirement.  It frankly seems pretty obvious

 

Of course Luck elevated the team, if you think I am disputing that I can assure you I am not.

 

One thing that I find curious in your disputations is that you say the OLine is kicking butt.  Well if that is the case, we would expect the running game to be averaging more than 3.8 ypc which is well below league average and 27th in football wouldn't we?  Again seems pretty obvious here.

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On 9/28/2020 at 11:13 AM, Shafty138 said:

Funny thing is, when you havent had a single 3 and out in three games, you don't have too many chances to change that %, for better or worse.

 

We are also bottom 5 in number of 3rd downs at 33. In other words, Eagles who have 47 3rd down plays in 3 games are worst. Our short yardage plays will improve once JT's vision will improve on 3rd downs. Plus, with both Parris and Pittman injured, it is going to be tough having chain movers, hope they are back soon. Not concerned yet.

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On 9/28/2020 at 10:58 AM, Zoltan said:

Here’s the stats for the first 3 weeks:

Week 1: 33%

Week 2: 27%

Week 3: 30%

 

While I do think we can improve in this area as we shake off the rust. It is a stat that we must improve, if we want a successful season. 


while I don’t disagree that it needs to be improved, it’s not a great picture of the whole story. Very few if any three and outs. Of the 23 failed conversions, we went for it 5 times converting 3 (60%). We kicked 10 field goals missing 2, punted 6 times and I’m assuming the other 2 were interceptions. 
 

Our opponents are 10/31 on third down against us, so it’s not like a huge disparity of how the game is going. We have dominated each game aside from mistakes made and points left on the field during week 1 which ultimately lost us the game. I’m impressed by the offense thus far. Of course there is room for improvement, and we need to keep in mind this is still a very young football team. 

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2 hours ago, ColtStrong2013 said:


while I don’t disagree that it needs to be improved, it’s not a great picture of the whole story. Very few if any three and outs. Of the 23 failed conversions, we went for it 5 times converting 3 (60%). We kicked 10 field goals missing 2, punted 6 times and I’m assuming the other 2 were interceptions. 
 

Our opponents are 10/31 on third down against us, so it’s not like a huge disparity of how the game is going. We have dominated each game aside from mistakes made and points left on the field during week 1 which ultimately lost us the game. I’m impressed by the offense thus far. Of course there is room for improvement, and we need to keep in mind this is still a very young football team. 

Yup, no single stat ever tells the whole picture.

 

But even with that 3rd down conversion, by itself, is one of the critical stats, it's right up there with TDs, yards per attempt and turnovers that indicates a team's efficiency in must have situations.  And, quite frankly, the Colts are not doing well in that category so far this year.  Some of it's to be expected with a new QB plus no offseason, Rovers has not developed that chemistry to know where a WR will be in each 3rd down situation.  Nor has Reich and Rivers been in the film room enough together to so reich knows what Rivers likes and doesn't like in those situations.  

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Our red zone offense and our 3rd down conversion rate. It seems like we are really having a hard time scoring touchdowns when we get to the red zone. I really dislike the play calling when we get down there, I'm sorry but handing it off up the gut to Hines isn't fooling anyone. It's like we don't start getting creative until third down and its to late thenn. I don't think we are going to win many more games if these struggles continue.

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The thing I have noticed, it’s like Reich keeps going to the well (the run) too predictably often. 
 

Yesterday, several times, but there was one occasion late, they had just had a decent gain, and I yelled out, “play action fake the run here, it’s too obvious that you’re going to run again!”  Instead, predictably, Reich went to the well again and Hines was nailed for a loss on the failed run play.  Man, it was just set up so perfectly for the fake run, and Reich missed it again. 
 

I agree in that I too have not liked our red zone play calling.  It’s imperative that the Colts sort out their red zone play calling!

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    • I think we're in good shape either way, it just adjusts our strategy with some extensions, and maybe we can't add another FA.    For a team like the Eagles, it completely changes their approach. If the cap is $175m, they can't keep Wentz without completely gutting the rest of their roster.
    • The trend is for the best offenses to be the teams contending for the Superbowl.  Are you aware of the basic Defense wins championships mantra?  You know Offense scores points?   I assume you are   Interstingly, the last really good D to win Superbowl was PHI and they had to score 44 points to do it v. No. 1 yanked Offense NE. And the Foles led offense carried them through the playoffs.  Before that it was Mannings Broncos.   Also intersesting is the 13-3 NE over LAR SB, featured the 25th and 27th ranked Ds in football.       The way to win in today's NFL is with high powered NFL passing offenses.  The rules are and have been set up that way increasingly over the last 20 years.   It's a lot different than when we were kids.   So like I said, it's usually Offense wins championships, Defense tries to hold teams to FGs.  There are occasionally anomalies but this is bascially accurate in todays' NFL.
    • There’s a good reason why defense everywhere suffered badly.   I can explain it in one word.  And you know the word.  Come on EVERYBODY say it with me!!!!   COVID!!   C-O-V-I-D!!   Defenses were poorer in the NFL and the college level as well.   Much less practice.  Much less contact.  Much less close up coaching.  Far more walk throughs.      When the world returns to normal, defenses will get better.  So will football. 
    • Not surprising at all. Here is how he ranked in other categories:   Intended Air Yards/PA - 26 Completed Air Yards/PA - 28 Completed Air Yards/Completion - 29 YAC/Completion - 2   First...it cannot be ignored that the Colts played (by far) the easiest schedule on offense. The average defense they played would have ranked ~23rd in DVOA. And that average was "deflated" somewhat by playing #1 defense PIT...when they clearly weren't the #1 defense anymore (after losing players to injury). That definitely played a factor.   Second...these numbers are as much Reich as it is anything. Reich uses the mesh concept (like he did with JB last year)...which creates open players in space and allows for YAC.    In fact, River's numbers (in the above categories) were very similar to JB's numbers last season. But Rivers is just a much better QB...and throws with better anticipation and accuracy. Throw in a HR hitter like Taylor and a young talented WR like Pittman...and you (naturally) have much better QB production with these concepts.   With the Colts offensive system, I think they could have immediate success with just about any talented QB they brought in...including a rookie. And if that QB is mobile...it will open up the playbook even more and raise the ceiling.   So I am in the minority here...but Rivers coming back doesn't move the needle for me. It's a lateral and stagnant move. I was all for the signing Rivers last off season...because it was the best of not-so-ideal situation. But if anything, it just proved that this team is ready to take the next step forward...and that means getting the right QB. Now is the time to make that move. So the only way I want Rivers back is if they get aggressive and move up to draft a QB who might need to sit for a part or all of a season.    TBH...I would rather roll the dice on Darnold and accept the risk of a reset year. I think he make a  good transition to this offense. And either he breaks out and suddenly you have a 24 year-old franchise QB...or he doesn't...and you have a reset year with the Colts in a much better position to draft a QB. Bringing back Rivers does nothing for the position long-term...and likely means another pick in the 20s.       
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