FanPost

McCoy's offense: what's working and what isn't

While watching the SD game, as usual, I was following along on the live game thread here at MHR. Once again, it seemed that many comments (frustrations) centered around McCoy's playcalling, especially in the middle half of the game. In this post we'll look at particular combinations of Runs and passes and what has been effective and what hasn't. Then we'll briefly review the SD game.

The stats in the tables below are just looking at Tebow's 6 starts.

First of all we'll look at the times when we've gotten a first down on first or second down. In particular pay attention as to the order of the run/pass sequence.

First Down

On 1st or 2nd

Downs

1st on

First Down

Run

1st on

First Down

Pass

1st on

Second Down

Run/Run

1st on

Second Down

Run/Pass

1st on

Second Down

Pass/Run

1st on

Second Down

Pass/Pass

# of times

16

10

24

7

5

7

Success rate

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

100%

Outcome %

14%

23%

64%

24%

29%

44%

In terms of explanation on reading the chart, you can say for example that we've had 16 runs on 1st down that netted us a first down, and that on 14% of our first down runs, we get a first down. We've passed on first down much less but have gotten a first down 23% of the time. Our best 2nd down success rate has happened when we pass on 1st and then again on 2nd (44%). Food for thought. On to 3rd down:

Third

Down

Plays

Run

Run

Run

Run

Run

Pass

Run

Pass

Run

Pass

Run

Run

Run

Pass

Pass

Pass

Run

Pass

Pass

Pass

Run

Pass

Pass

Pass

Success

8/23

4/19

0/8

2/3

1/14

1/9

2/4

3/5

Success %

35%

21%

0%

67%

7%

11%

50%

60%

Here we see what sequence our playcalling has been when we've been forced into 3rd downs, followed by our success rates on that sequence of plays. We have done RRR by far the most (23 times) and have only gotten a 1st down 35% of the time. RRP is 2nd most and only been successful 21%. (This would mean we haven't had a good outcome on the pass, after we ran the first two times.) Note that our success rates are good when we pass on 1st & 2nd downs. Also note that we rarely do that! In fact if you look at the # of times we've done these different combinations, we are really predictable. (I know, I know this isn't news if you've been watching the games.)

So now we'll break things down a little differently.

3rd Down

Conv

1st on

First

1st on

2nd

1st on

2nd

Total

Success

Total

Success

%

TD!

TD%

Yards

1st Down Run

13/64

20%

16 (R)

24 (RR)

7 (RP)

60/111

54%

6 TD

5%

1335

4.94 avg

1st Down

Pass

8/21

38%

10 (P)

5 (PR)

7 (PP)

30/43

70%

5 TD

12%

567

5.85 avg

2nd Dn

Run

15/54

28%

***

24 (RR)

5 (PR)

44/83

53%

5 TD

6%

940

4.27 avg

2nd Dn

Pass

6/31

19%

***

7 (RP)

7 (PP)

20/45

44%

2 TD

4%

429

3.55 avg

3rd Dn

Run

12/38

32%

***

***

***

***

32%

1 TD

3%

352

3.09 avg

3rd Dn

Pass

9/47

19%

***

***

***

***

19%

3 TD

6%

300

2.12 avg

This could be a bit confusing so let me explain the first line so that it's clear what you're looking at (stay with me here, it's worth it). :)

On sequences where we run on 1st down, and we're forced into 3 downs, we've converted that third down 20% of the time. The next column shows how many times we had got a first down on a 1st down running play (16). Then we see our second down success rates, again after running on first down (24RR & 7RP). In this case we've achieved a first down on 60/111 sets of downs in which we run on first down or 54% of the time. TD means how many TD's we've scored when we've started a set of downs by running the ball, followed by the % of the time we score a TD (6 times out of the 111). The final column is the yardage and avg gain per play on those sets of downs where we run on first down.

This is deep analysis here, at least for my brain, but let me give you a synopsis of the findings as I see them right now and you can add yours to the comments.

Regarding First Downs:

1. We are very successful at moving the chains consistently when we pass on first down. We earn a first down on 70% of our set of downs when we pass on first down. There could be all kinds of reasons.

2. Our average gain per play is about a yard better when we pass on first down, than when we run on first down. It's actually a bigger difference than it looks because we had a major outlier on the run category (McGahee's 60yd TD on a first down run).

3. If we are forced into a 3rd down situation, we have a significantly better conversion rate when we'd passed on first than when we ran on first (38% vs 20%). Maybe less distance to go and/or better advantage over the defense.

4. Our chance to score a TD is over twice as high after passing on first down than running on first (12% vs 5%).

Second Downs:

1. Running on second down has worked better than passing on second down in every statistical area.

Third Downs:

1. We are not a good passing team on third down. A number of things are at play here: drops (a bunch in the SD game on third down), sacks (a bunch earlier in the year), off target passes under duress (especially earlier in the year). We perform better running the ball on 3rd down, but while I haven't looked at this specifically, I think it's mostly when Tebow runs (remember that crazy 3rd down run against Mia or the game winner against NYJ). Our 3rd down passing is atrocious except that it is true that we have a decent scoring percentage when passing on 3rd down. We've actually passed the ball more on 3rd down than run it (doesn't seem that way but it's true), but we aren't good at converting. Using the passing game only when it's obvious we need to doesn't seem to be working!

Against SD we only passed on first down 5 times, 4 of which ended up as eventual first downs or TD's and one of which went to a failed third down. I can't prove it, but I believe our offense will look better if we pass a lot more on 1st down. We should also have a better time with 3rd downs. We've done better running the other two downs, but PLEASE PLEASE McCoy, call some first down passes!! The numbers would say (imho) that this would be the simplest way to improve our offensive production.

If you're still reading, you must be a super fan!

I want to give credit to Jeremy Bolander and Rodney for the idea to do this kind of analysis. It was interesting to me and I hope you found it so. For further looks at the SD playcalling check out Bronco Mike's analysis: http://www.milehighreport.com/2011/11/27/2591264/broncos-chargers-observations-playcalling-breakdown-stats

This is a Fan-Created Comment on MileHighReport.com. The opinion here is not necessarily shared by the editorial staff of MHR

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