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Analyzing Vic Fangio’s decisions on 4th down

Has Fangio made the “right” decision more often than not? How does he compare to other head coaches during his tenure?

NFL: DEC 19 Bills at Broncos Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

For better or worse, the head coach is the one who gets the credit or blame for choosing when and where to go for it on 4th down. Very few NFL coaches buck the traditional wisdom that says you punt if you aren’t in range to kick a field goal. But what about the late in the half or late in the game situations when the clock changes the calculus?

Vic Fangio has received much criticism over the past two seasons for his decisions on 4th down. The hope here is to determine whether or not that criticism has been warranted. As always, I’m gonna bring the data and attempt to draw some conclusions from it.

In this work we’ll dive into how Fangio has done and how that compares to other NFL head coaches. Now, Fangio may not have the final call on what to do on 4th down, but I would guess that he does, much like most, if not all NFL head coaches do. Over the course of his two seasons as head coach, Fangio has had to make a decision on 241 4th downs. We are going to use expected points, EP, to evaluate how “good” or “bad” the outcome of his decisions was over the past two seasons.

For a long discussion of EP follow this link. What it essentially is is how many points you would be expected to score from any point on the field on a given play based upon every play run from that point on the field in NFL history. I will focus on the difference between EPB (expected points before the play) and EPA (expected points after). This is a relatively simple analytical method to determine if the “right” decision was made - based on the outcome.

For example the expected points on any play run from your own one yard line is pretty close to six since the number of plays that have scored a touchdown from the one yard is significantly higher than the number of plays that have scored a touchdown from the plus 45.

If you sum the difference over all of the 241 4th downs where Fangio has had to make the decision, you come up with a total value of 119.6. That’s useless without context though. So how does this compare to other franchises over the past two seasons? See the table below.

So overall the Broncos, and Fangio, are 8th in terms of summed EP difference on 4th down during the past two seasons. That’s interesting, but there are some other tidbits that can be pulled from this data set.

We also have to adjust this for a per play basis. The table with summed EP DIF/play is shown below.

Tm Plays Summed EP DIF DIF/Play
BAL 189 152.3 0.81
SEA 210 142.4 0.68
CIN 261 167.9 0.64
ARI 231 132.6 0.57
NOR 207 118.2 0.57
HOU 204 115.9 0.57
ATL 226 124.3 0.55
WAS 243 129.2 0.53
NYG 236 122.2 0.52
DET 222 112.4 0.51
KAN 184 92.2 0.50
DEN 241 119.6 0.50
MIA 236 112.8 0.48
LVR 211 100.6 0.48
GNB 200 94.3 0.47
SFO 202 94.3 0.47
NWE 232 107.8 0.46
IND 219 98.4 0.45
BUF 206 90.9 0.44
MIN 203 85.8 0.42
CAR 234 95.9 0.41
JAX 244 97.1 0.40
CHI 251 95.1 0.38
TAM 207 77.1 0.37
PHI 246 86.2 0.35
DAL 221 76.0 0.34
PIT 238 80.8 0.34
TEN 199 59.9 0.30
CLE 210 53.9 0.26
NYJ 256 54.0 0.21
LAC 209 43.6 0.21
LAR 227 45.5 0.20

Using EP difference per 4th down play, Fangio drops to twelfth. The Ravens clearly show up as an outlier here with a gap of 0.13 expected points per play between them and the Seahawks over the past two seasons. The Jets, Chargers and Rams are all clustered together at the bottom of the heap.

At first glance it might seem simple to determine whether the decision to go for it on fourth down was the “correct” one (if you convert), but what about situations like 4th and 1 from just outside of field goal range. How do you evaluate the choice to punt their? Expected points tries to answer that, but I’m going to use a more nuanced (less objective) method to answer this, particularly in regards to the instances where Fangio has had to make that decision.

The 241 total fourth down situations over the past two seasons means that the Broncos have had the seventh most 4th downs over the past two years. The Bengals have had the most with 261 while the Chiefs have had the fewest with 184. Not surprisingly the Ravens are a close second at 189.

The Ravens have also been the best team in the league when they actually run a play on 4th down over the past two years (only looking at regular season - I did not bring playoff 4th downs into the study). The table below just looks at passing and rushing plays on 4th down over the past two seasons - it removes the times when a coach chose to punt or try a FG.

Below is the instances over the past two season where teams have gone for it on 4th down.

Tm Plays ToGo Yds 1st% TO% Real TO% 1D TD FG Int Fmb Sk Pass Rush
BAL 39 3.6 8.5 66.7% 5.1% 33.3% 26 5 0 1 1 0 21 18
ARI 43 3.0 5.2 65.1% 4.7% 34.9% 28 2 0 2 0 2 25 18
LVR 37 1.4 3.6 64.9% 0.0% 35.1% 24 3 0 0 0 1 13 24
ATL 46 4.4 7.9 60.9% 4.3% 39.1% 28 7 0 1 1 5 38 8
IND 50 3.1 4.8 60.0% 2.0% 40.0% 30 7 0 0 1 2 23 27
CIN 51 4.7 7.8 58.8% 7.8% 41.2% 30 6 0 1 3 1 36 15
KAN 24 2.2 5.6 58.3% 8.3% 41.7% 14 1 0 2 0 0 9 15
GNB 35 3.3 5.0 57.1% 0.0% 42.9% 20 4 0 0 0 2 24 11
DAL 43 4.0 4.0 55.8% 4.7% 44.2% 24 4 0 1 1 2 28 15
BUF 27 2.8 3.1 55.6% 3.7% 44.4% 15 3 0 0 1 0 12 15
MIN 38 3.9 4.8 55.3% 5.3% 44.7% 21 3 0 1 1 1 21 17
NOR 29 3.3 3.7 55.2% 3.4% 44.8% 16 3 0 0 1 2 13 16
HOU 39 3.0 4.3 53.8% 10.3% 46.2% 21 6 0 3 1 3 30 9
NYG 52 5.8 4.7 53.8% 5.8% 46.2% 28 6 0 1 2 4 37 15
TAM 32 3.6 3.7 53.1% 9.4% 46.9% 17 2 0 3 0 1 22 10
LAC 42 4.6 4.7 52.4% 9.5% 47.6% 22 4 0 3 1 1 21 21
CAR 46 3.5 2.1 52.2% 2.2% 47.8% 24 6 0 0 1 5 24 22
SEA 27 5.1 6.2 51.9% 3.7% 48.1% 14 8 0 1 0 2 22 5
DEN 29 5.5 7.1 51.7% 6.9% 48.3% 15 2 0 2 0 2 23 6
WAS 33 5.0 3.4 51.5% 3.0% 48.5% 17 1 0 0 1 1 23 10
MIA 32 5.2 5.8 50.0% 0.0% 50.0% 16 1 0 0 0 1 22 10
SFO 27 2.4 6.2 48.1% 3.7% 51.9% 13 4 0 1 0 0 17 10
CHI 48 6.0 4.4 47.9% 0.0% 52.1% 23 1 0 0 0 2 35 13
NWE 32 3.8 2.6 46.9% 0.0% 53.1% 15 1 0 0 0 1 17 15
DET 32 6.3 1.9 46.9% 3.1% 53.1% 15 7 0 1 0 0 23 9
TEN 26 4.8 2.8 46.2% 3.8% 53.8% 12 4 0 1 0 3 18 8
PHI 58 6.2 4.8 39.7% 6.9% 60.3% 23 5 0 2 2 2 40 18
JAX 50 5.4 2.6 38.0% 2.0% 62.0% 19 1 0 0 1 5 38 12
LAR 29 3.7 2.2 37.9% 10.3% 62.1% 11 1 0 3 0 0 17 12
NYJ 37 3.7 2.9 37.8% 2.7% 62.2% 14 1 0 1 0 1 23 14
PIT 32 3.6 2.6 37.5% 6.3% 62.5% 12 1 0 2 0 0 21 11
CLE 40 4.4 3.5 37.5% 5.0% 62.5% 15 2 0 1 1 2 24 16

I have included turning it over on downs as a turnover (which the NFL still does not count as a turnover by the offense for some strange reason). That is the “Real TO%” column. You can see that Denver is in the middle of the pack in terms of Real TO% and first down (and TD) percentage. I did not look deeply into these interceptions to see how many were on end-of-game or end-of-half Hail-Mary passes. I am one of those stat folks who think that those interceptions should not be counted for QBs since are huge percentage of those passes are picked off.

You’ll note that Denver is on the low end in terms of conversions on 4th down, but we are also on the low end in terms of times that we have gone for it on 4th down during the past two years - 29 attempts. The Broncos are tied for the eighth fewest 4th down attempts and have exactly half the number of the Eagles who had the most over the past two seasons.

With only 29 plays we can look at them all and look for trends. Is Fangio too conservative? Would you have made the same decision(s)? How many of those were “no-brainer” decisions with the team down late in the game?

Date Tm Opp Quarter Time Down ToGo Location Score Detail Yds EPB EPA Diff
11/17/2019 Broncos Vikings 2 14:13 4 1 MIN 7 10-0 Courtland Sutton left end for 1 yard (tackle by Andrew Sendejo) 1 3.0 5.8 2.8
9/14/2020 Broncos Titans 2 3:25 4 1 OTI 1 7-7 Drew Lock pass complete short middle to Jake Butt for no gain (tackle by Jeffery Simmons) 0 3.6 0.4 -3.2
1/3/2021 Broncos Raiders 2 6:23 4 1 RAI 38 10-10 Drew Lock pass incomplete short left intended for Tyrie Cleveland (defended by Lamarcus Joyner) 0 0.7 -1.5 -2.2
12/15/2019 Broncos Chiefs 2 3:46 4 1 DEN 48 0-12 Drew Lock pass complete deep left to Noah Fant for 43 yards (tackle by Charvarius Ward) 43 -0.2 5.1 5.3
10/25/2020 Broncos Chiefs 3 5:56 4 5 KAN 45 9-27 Drew Lock pass complete short left to KJ Hamler for 3 yards (tackle by Charvarius Ward and Bashaud Breeland). KJ Hamler fumbles, ball out of bounds at KC-42 (forced by Bashaud Breeland) 3 0.3 -1.7 -2.0
11/22/2020 Broncos Dolphins 3 9:30 4 1 MIA 14 13-10 Melvin Gordon up the middle for no gain (tackle by Raekwon Davis and Elandon Roberts) 0 2.7 0.3 -2.4
12/22/2019 Broncos Lions 3 1:01 4 1 DEN 49 13-17 Andrew Beck pass complete short right to Phillip Lindsay for 6 yards (tackle by Trey Flowers) 6 -0.1 2.6 2.7
9/22/2019 Broncos Packers 3 6:05 4 1 GNB 1 16-24 Phillip Lindsay left guard for 1 yard, touchdown 1 3.6 7.0 3.5
12/15/2019 Broncos Chiefs 4 9:40 4 14 KAN 42 3-23 Drew Lock pass incomplete short right intended for DaeSean Hamilton 0 0.5 -1.7 -2.2
12/15/2019 Broncos Chiefs 4 4:52 4 10 KAN 33 3-23 Drew Lock pass incomplete short right intended for DaeSean Hamilton 0 1.2 -1.1 -2.3
9/15/2019 Broncos Bears 4 2:25 4 10 CHI 43 6-13 Joe Flacco pass complete short right to Courtland Sutton for 10 yards (tackle by Kyle Fuller) 10 0.4 3.4 3.0
9/15/2019 Broncos Bears 4 1:02 4 3 CHI 12 6-13 Joe Flacco pass complete short right to Courtland Sutton for 5 yards (tackle by Kyle Fuller) 5 2.7 5.6 2.9
9/15/2019 Broncos Bears 4 8:47 4 2 CHI 45 6-13 Joe Flacco pass complete short left to Phillip Lindsay for 4 yards (tackle by Roquan Smith) 4 0.3 2.9 2.6
12/27/2020 Broncos Chargers 4 8:19 4 7 DEN 46 6-16 Drew Lock pass complete short middle to Tim Patrick for 27 yards (tackle by Nasir Adderley and Alohi Gilman) 27 -0.3 3.8 4.1
10/17/2019 Broncos Chiefs 4 13:44 4 1 DEN 34 6-27 Phillip Lindsay left end for 3 yards (tackle by Tanoh Kpassagnon) 3 -1.1 1.4 2.5
10/17/2019 Broncos Chiefs 4 8:14 4 6 KAN 49 6-27 Joe Flacco pass incomplete short middle intended for DaeSean Hamilton (defended by Rashad Fenton) 0 0.0 -2.2 -2.2
9/27/2020 Broncos Buccaneers 4 3:56 4 1 TAM 13 10-28 Brett Rypien pass short middle intended for Jerry Jeudy is intercepted by Mike Edwards at TB-0 and returned for 30 yards 0 2.7 -0.9 -3.6
11/15/2020 Broncos Raiders 4 6:15 4 7 RAI 7 12-30 Drew Lock pass complete short middle to DaeSean Hamilton for 7 yards, touchdown 7 3.0 7.0 4.0
11/8/2020 Broncos Falcons 4 7:33 4 6 ATL 35 13-34 Drew Lock pass incomplete deep right intended for KJ Hamler (defended by Ricardo Allen) 0 1.0 -1.3 -2.2
12/27/2020 Broncos Chargers 4 0:20 4 10 DEN 25 16-19 Drew Lock pass complete deep middle to DaeSean Hamilton for 25 yards (tackle by Kenneth Murray) 25 -1.7 2.3 4.0
12/6/2020 Broncos Chiefs 4 0:33 4 5 DEN 30 16-22 Drew Lock pass deep right intended for Jerry Jeudy is intercepted by Tyrann Mathieu at DEN-49 and returned for no gain 0 -1.4 -2.3 -1.0
9/22/2019 Broncos Packers 4 2:23 4 17 DEN 49 16-27 Joe Flacco sacked by Preston Smith for -6 yards -6 -0.1 -2.7 -2.6
10/25/2020 Broncos Chiefs 4 1:42 4 10 KAN 49 16-43 Drew Lock pass incomplete deep left intended for Tyrie Cleveland 0 0.0 -2.2 -2.2
11/22/2020 Broncos Dolphins 4 0:04 4 14 DEN 16 20-13 Drew Lock pass complete deep right to Tim Patrick for 61 yards (tackle by Xavien Howard) 61 -2.4 4.0 6.4
9/20/2020 Broncos Steelers 4 1:55 4 2 PIT 15 21-26 Jeff Driskel sacked by Terrell Edmunds for -11 yards -11 2.6 -0.7 -3.2
11/17/2019 Broncos Vikings 4 0:33 4 1 MIN 15 23-27 Brandon Allen right end for 11 yards (tackle by Jayron Kearse) 11 2.6 6.3 3.7
11/17/2019 Broncos Vikings 4 3:27 4 6 MIN 45 23-27 Brandon Allen pass complete short middle to Noah Fant for 11 yards (tackle by Anthony Barr) 11 0.3 3.3 3.0
11/17/2019 Broncos Vikings 4 1:57 4 6 MIN 30 23-27 Brandon Allen pass complete short middle to Tim Patrick for 6 yards (tackle by Mike Hughes) 6 1.4 4.0 2.5
11/8/2020 Broncos Falcons 4 0:27 4 10 DEN 20 27-34 Lloyd Cushenberry aborted snap, recovered by DaeSean Hamilton at DEN-19 Penalty on DEN: Illegal Shift (Declined) 0 -2.0 -4.3 -2.3

We find that of the 29 4th down plays only eight were not in the fourth quarter of the game. Of those eight, the Broncos were only leading or tied in three of those attempts.

This link allows you to see every 4th down pass or rush over the past two seasons that occurred in the first, second, or third quarter of the game. You’ll note that with only eight, Denver has the second fewest “risky” decisions to go for it on 4th down. Only the Lions with seven have fewer. More of this later.

Chronologically the first of our 29 attempts was in 2019 against the Vikings. Leading 10-0 the Broncos had the ball on the MIN 7 at the beginning of the second quarter facing a 4th and 1. The Broncos would convert on an end-around to Courtland Sutton. The gamble paid off as the Broncos would score a touchdown to go up 17-0. The seventeen point lead would be stretched to 20 and that would be the second largest lead that the Broncos have had at any point during Fangio’s tenure as head coach. The Broncos would go into halftime with a 20 point lead. We will not discuss what happened in the second half of that game. It’s hard to lead a game by more than 20 when your offense averages less than 20 points per game.

The second attempt was another 4th and 1 situation, this time in the 3rd quarter against the Dolphins leading 13-10 with 9:30 left in the quarter in 2020. This would be another situation where the Broncos had the ball deep in the opponent’s territory (MIA 14) and chose to go for it instead of taking the almost automatic field goal (McManus is 50/53 from 30-39 during his career). This time the Broncos would run Melvin Gordon up the middle and he would be stopped for no gain. Hindsight says that this was a bad choice, but the Broncos running game was working really well for most of the game so Fangio made the right call here - expecting his offense to be able to gain one yard on 4th and 1. The Broncos would finish this game with 189 yards rushing.

More coaches are going for it on 4th and 1 since the analytics tell you that’s the “right” choice at almost any point on the field. In 2020 teams converted on 66 percent of their regular season tries on 4th and 1. Unfortunately, the Broncos were the only team in 2020 to NOT convert a 4th and 1 situation. We had seven 4th and 1’s in 2020 and went for it on four of them (punting on three). Those four plays (three passes and one run) resulted in no conversions and one interception. Two teams, Atlanta and Tennessee did not punt on 4th and 1 at all in 2020. The Falcons and Dolphins were the most successful team on 4th and 1 in 2020 converting on all of their attempts while the Raiders went for it the most on 4th and 1 - 16 times - converting on 13 of those.

The third attempt was in the final game of the 2020 season against the Raiders. It was another 4th and 1. This time in the second quarter tied at 10 with 6:23 left to play and from the Raider 38 yard line. This would have been a 53-yard FG attempt, but rather than attempts a long-ish FG, Fangio chose to let the offense try and gain one yard. This would fail as Drew Lock would throw incomplete to Tyrie Cleveland.

If you look at all of our 4th down attempts that were not in the fourth quarter, you find that all but one were on 4th and 1. That lone attempt with more yards needed was against the Chiefs last season down 27-9 on 4th and 5 from the KC 45. This was too long for a FG attempt, but a FG attempt doesn’t help much when you are down by 18 in the 3rd quarter against the best offense in the league. This play would also fail after Lock would complete a pass to KJ Hamler that would gain only three yards before two KC defenders would strip the ball which would be fumbled out of bounds.

The Broncos have also chosen to punt twelve times on 4th and 1 over the past two seasons with three of those punts coming from midfield and one coming in plus territory (punting on 4th and 1 from the Jacksonville 39 with 11 minutes left in the first quarter of a scoreless game).

There have been 459 punts on 4th and 1 over the past two seasons and the Broncos have the second most in the league with twelve. Only the Steelers have more with sixteen. For comparison, the Titans have only punted twice on 4th and 1 and the Chiefs, Panthers, Packers and Eagles have only punted three times on 4th and 1. Of those punts only 43 happened at midfield (team 47 or to opponent 47 is what I call “midfield”) or in plus territory. The Broncos have the most of any team with 4 and only three other teams have more than one - the Seahawks (3), the Steelers and Saints (2).

There have only been nineteen total punts on 4th and 1 in plus territory over the past two seasons and the Broncos are the only team with two. Those two punts were the one from the JAX 39 that I mentioned earlier and a punt from the CHI 49 with a 3-0 lead and 6:10 left to play in the first quarter. Many NFL coaches are now going for it on 4th and 1 in plus territory in some cases even when they are in field goal range. More on this later.

The rest of the times that the Broncos have gone for it on 4th down over the past two seasons were “no-brainer” choices with the team down either by large sums in the 4th or by one score with very little time left in the game. In either case almost all coaches go for it in those situations.

My summation is that Vic Fangio has been very risk averse when choosing to go for it on fourth down. However, he has had good reason to be risk averse given how poorly our offense has fared during his tenure.

For comparison let’s look at the Chiefs, Ravens, Eagles and Browns offenses over the same time frame. The Chiefs and Ravens have been really good on fourth down, but the Ravens have gone for it almost twice as much as the Chiefs. The Eagles and Browns have both not been very good and both have gone for it much more often than the Broncos or Chiefs.

Date Tm Opp Quarter Time Down ToGo Location Score Detail Yds EPB EPA Diff
12/1/2019 Chiefs Raiders 1 5:24 4 1 RAI 15 7-0 Darrel Williams left guard for no gain (tackle by Johnathan Hankins) 0 2.59 0.22 -2.37
9/10/2020 Chiefs Texans 1 3:00 4 1 KAN 34 0-7 Anthony Sherman left guard for 2 yards (tackle by J.J. Watt) 2 -1.11 1.33 2.44
11/22/2020 Chiefs Raiders 1 6:52 4 1 RAI 35 0-7 Patrick Mahomes pass complete short right to Tyreek Hill for 6 yards (tackle by Nevin Lawson) 6 1 3.64 2.64
11/3/2019 Chiefs Vikings 2 6:13 4 1 MIN 7 7-6 Damien Williams left end for 2 yards (tackle by Anthony Barr) 2 3.01 6.06 3.05
10/17/2019 Chiefs Broncos 2 10:00 4 1 DEN 5 6-10 Patrick Mahomes up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Derek Wolfe) 2 3.03 6.51 3.48
10/6/2019 Chiefs Colts 2 3:06 4 1 KAN 47 10-10 Anthony Sherman up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Justin Houston) 2 -0.26 2.19 2.45
12/27/2020 Chiefs Falcons 2 8:54 4 1 ATL 26 0-0 Sammy Watkins pass deep left intended for Patrick Mahomes is intercepted by Keanu Neal at ATL-2 and returned for no gain 0 1.89 0.38 -1.51
12/27/2020 Chiefs Falcons 2 11:17 4 1 ATL 46 0-0 Darrel Williams up the middle for 11 yards (tackle by Deion Jones) 11 0.2 3.25 3.05
1/3/2021 Chiefs Chargers 3 4:23 4 1 SDG 30 14-24 Darwin Thompson up the middle for no gain (tackle by Justin Jones and Denzel Perryman) 0 1.52 -0.94 -2.46
10/19/2020 Chiefs Bills 3 1:24 4 1 BUF 13 19-10 Darrel Williams left guard for 13 yards, touchdown 13 2.72 7 4.28
11/10/2019 Chiefs Titans 3 3:25 4 2 OTI 43 19-20 Patrick Mahomes pass complete short left to Damien Williams for 10 yards (tackle by Kevin Byard and Adoree' Jackson) 10 0.4 3.38 2.98
12/8/2019 Chiefs Patriots 3 11:10 4 1 NWE 33 20-7 Spencer Ware up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Danny Shelton and Kyle Van Noy) 2 1.21 3.51 2.3
11/1/2020 Chiefs Jets 3 7:20 4 1 NYJ 14 21-9 Le'Veon Bell up the middle for no gain (tackle by Henry Anderson) 0 2.66 0.28 -2.38
9/22/2019 Chiefs Ravens 3 8:01 4 1 RAV 41 23-13 Austin Reiter aborted snap, recovered by Patrick Mahomes at BAL-43 (tackle by Kenny Young and Earl Thomas). Patrick Mahomes fumbles (forced by Kenny Young), recovered by Darrel Williams at BAL-43 (tackle by Brandon Williams) 0 0.53 -1.8 -2.33
9/28/2020 Chiefs Ravens 3 3:01 4 1 KAN 49 27-13 Anthony Sherman up the middle for no gain (tackle by Calais Campbell) 0 -0.13 -2.32 -2.19
10/6/2019 Chiefs Colts 4 5:06 4 1 KAN 34 16-10 Damien Williams up the middle for -1 yards (tackle by Justin Houston) -1 -1.11 -3.38 -2.27
11/22/2020 Chiefs Raiders 4 8:36 4 2 RAI 48 21-24 Patrick Mahomes pass complete short middle to Demarcus Robinson for 9 yards (tackle by Erik Harris) 9 0.07 2.98 2.91
10/11/2020 Chiefs Raiders 4 5:44 4 7 KAN 28 24-33 Patrick Mahomes pass deep middle intended for Travis Kelce is intercepted by Jeff Heath at KC-49 and returned for 47 yards 0 -1.5 -6.74 -5.24
10/11/2020 Chiefs Raiders 4 4:25 4 5 KAN 49 24-40 Patrick Mahomes pass complete short middle to Mecole Hardman for 37 yards (tackle by Erik Harris) 37 -0.13 4.65 4.78
9/29/2019 Chiefs Lions 4 1:55 4 8 KAN 34 27-30 Patrick Mahomes up the middle for 15 yards (tackle by Will Harris) 15 -1.11 2.19 3.3
12/13/2020 Chiefs Dolphins 4 2:31 4 1 MIA 40 30-24 Patrick Mahomes pass complete short right to Tyreek Hill for 22 yards (tackle by Eric Rowe) 22 0.59 4.37 3.78
9/28/2020 Chiefs Ravens 4 0:28 4 1 RAV 28 34-20 Patrick Mahomes pass incomplete short right intended for Nick Keizer (defended by DeShon Elliott) 0 1.72 -0.87 -2.59
11/1/2020 Chiefs Jets 4 2:00 4 10 NYJ 34 35-9 Chad Henne pass incomplete short right intended for Darwin Thompson 0 1.06 -1.27 -2.33
9/20/2020 Chiefs Chargers 5 4:06 4 1 SDG 46 20-20 Darwin Thompson right guard for 2 yards (tackle by Denzel Perryman and Kenneth Murray) 2 0.2 2.65 2.45

The Chiefs have gone for it fifteen times in the first, second and third quarters over the past two seasons (remember Denver had eight) but the Chiefs have only gone for it 24 times in total, so the majority of their their fourth down attempts have been not in the fourth quarter. Interestingly, all but one of those 4th down attempts that occurred not in the fourth quarter were on fourth and one. The other was on fourth and two. This tells me that Andy Reid has the utmost confidence in his offense’ ability to gain one yard on fourth down, but not two yards. Of those fifteen attempts all but three occurred in plus territory with the those three happening at the KC 34, the KC 47 and the KC 49. Only the attempt from the 34 would be considered “risky”. So Andy Reid has been fairly risk averse like Vic Fangio.

Date Tm Opp Quarter Time Down ToGo Location Score Detail Yds EPB EPA Diff
9/22/2019 Ravens Chiefs 1 5:08 4 3 KAN 9 0-0 Lamar Jackson left end for 7 yards (tackle by Anthony Hitchens and Charvarius Ward) 7 2.93 6.74 3.81
11/25/2019 Ravens Rams 1 2:06 4 1 RAM 23 7-0 Lamar Jackson left tackle for 5 yards (tackle by Sebastian Joseph) 5 2.08 4.37 2.29
11/10/2019 Ravens Bengals 1 6:40 4 3 CIN 44 7-0 Lamar Jackson pass complete short right to Mark Andrews for 4 yards (tackle by Shawn Williams) 4 0.33 2.92 2.59
9/15/2019 Ravens Cardinals 1 4:39 4 3 CRD 43 7-0 Lamar Jackson pass incomplete deep right intended for Marquise Brown 0 0.4 -1.8 -2.2
12/22/2019 Ravens Browns 1 7:16 4 3 CLE 41 0-0 Lamar Jackson pass incomplete short right intended for Mark Andrews 0 0.53 -1.66 -2.19
12/8/2020 Ravens Cowboys 1 0:32 4 2 DAL 37 3-6 Lamar Jackson up the middle for 37 yards, touchdown 37 0.79 7 6.21
9/22/2019 Ravens Chiefs 2 13:26 4 1 RAV 34 7-6 Gus Edwards up the middle for 5 yards (tackle by Damien Wilson) 5 -1.11 1.53 2.64
12/1/2019 Ravens 49ers 2 5:03 4 2 SFO 38 14-14 Lamar Jackson pass complete short left to Hayden Hurst for 2 yards (tackle by Richard Sherman) 2 0.72 3.18 2.46
1/3/2021 Ravens Bengals 2 7:07 4 3 CIN 39 10-0 Lamar Jackson pass complete short right to Marquise Brown for 7 yards (tackle by Akeem Davis-Gaither) 7 0.66 3.45 2.79
10/11/2020 Ravens Bengals 2 7:56 4 6 CIN 46 17-0 Lamar Jackson pass incomplete deep right intended for Mark Andrews 0 0.2 -1.99 -2.19
9/22/2019 Ravens Chiefs 2 10:38 4 2 RAV 47 7-6 Lamar Jackson pass incomplete short right intended for Marquise Brown 0 -0.26 -2.46 -2.2
11/15/2020 Ravens Patriots 3 3:49 4 1 NWE 48 23-10 Gus Edwards left guard for 11 yards (tackle by Jason McCourty and Devin McCourty) 11 0.07 3.12 3.05
11/8/2020 Ravens Colts 3 0:34 4 3 CLT 43 14-10 J.K. Dobbins right end for 4 yards (tackle by Khari Willis) 4 0.4 2.98 2.58
10/6/2019 Ravens Steelers 3 9:10 4 1 PIT 44 17-13 Lamar Jackson aborted snap, recovered by Lamar Jackson at PIT-44 1 0.33 2.72 2.39
12/12/2019 Ravens Jets 3 2:28 4 1 RAV 29 28-7 Lamar Jackson pass complete deep right to Mark Andrews for 36 yards (tackle by Darryl Roberts) 36 -1.44 3.25 4.69
11/25/2019 Ravens Rams 3 2:18 4 4 RAM 33 35-6 Lamar Jackson pass complete short right to Miles Boykin for 15 yards (tackle by Jalen Ramsey) 15 1.18 4.37 3.19
11/3/2019 Ravens Patriots 3 3:33 4 4 NWE 38 24-20 Lamar Jackson pass complete short right to Willie Snead for 7 yards (tackle by Jason McCourty) 7 0.72 3.51 2.79
10/20/2019 Ravens Seahawks 3 1:24 4 2 SEA 8 19-13 Lamar Jackson right tackle for 8 yards, touchdown 8 2.99 7 4.01
12/20/2020 Ravens Jaguars 3 8:08 4 1 RAV 34 26-7 Lamar Jackson up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Adam Gotsis) 2 -1.11 1.33 2.44
11/15/2020 Ravens Patriots 3 9:45 4 1 RAV 48 20-10 Matt Skura aborted snap, recovered by Mark Ingram at BAL-37 0 -0.19 -3.12 -2.93
10/4/2020 Ravens Washington 4 1:33 4 1 WAS 40 31-17 Gus Edwards left end for 2 yards (tackle by Jonathan Bostic and Shaun Dion Hamilton) 2 0.59 3.05 2.46
11/25/2019 Ravens Rams 4 10:32 4 1 RAV 45 42-6 Gus Edwards up the middle for 1 yard (tackle by Clay Matthews and Aaron Donald) 1 -0.39 1.99 2.38
11/1/2020 Ravens Steelers 4 0:26 4 2 RAV 45 24-28 Lamar Jackson pass complete deep middle to Willie Snead for 32 yards (tackle by Terrell Edmunds) 32 -0.39 4.04 4.43
12/14/2020 Ravens Browns 4 2:00 4 5 CLE 44 40-35 Lamar Jackson pass complete deep right to Marquise Brown for 44 yards, touchdown 44 0.33 7 6.67
9/22/2019 Ravens Chiefs 4 13:21 4 5 KAN 27 13-30 Lamar Jackson pass complete deep right to Seth Roberts for 25 yards (tackle by Kendall Fuller) 25 1.72 6.74 5.02
9/29/2019 Ravens Browns 4 1:09 4 5 RAV 26 18-40 Lamar Jackson pass complete short middle to Hayden Hurst for 29 yards (tackle by Jermaine Whitehead) 29 -1.63 2.59 4.22
9/28/2020 Ravens Chiefs 4 4:55 4 24 KAN 31 20-34 Lamar Jackson pass incomplete deep left intended for Miles Boykin 0 1.32 -1 -2.32
9/29/2019 Ravens Browns 4 8:19 4 3 RAV 31 18-30 Lamar Jackson pass incomplete short left intended for Mark Andrews 0 -1.31 -3.51 -2.2
12/1/2019 Ravens 49ers 4 9:41 4 5 SFO 40 17-17 Lamar Jackson pass incomplete short middle intended for Mark Andrews (defended by Fred Warner) 0 0.59 -1.6 -2.19
11/15/2020 Ravens Patriots 4 0:08 4 6 RAV 21 17-23 Lamar Jackson pass incomplete short right intended for J.K. Dobbins 0 -1.96 -4.17 -2.21
12/1/2019 Ravens 49ers 4 4:39 4 1 RAV 44 17-17 Lamar Jackson right guard for 3 yards (tackle by Jimmie Ward and Sheldon Day) 3 -0.46 2.06 2.52
9/20/2020 Ravens Texans 4 6:32 4 1 RAV 36 30-16 Lamar Jackson up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Brennan Scarlett and Benardrick McKinney) 2 -0.98 1.47 2.45
11/1/2020 Ravens Steelers 4 2:00 4 3 PIT 8 24-28 Lamar Jackson up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Isaiah Buggs and Minkah Fitzpatrick). Lamar Jackson fumbles (forced by Minkah Fitzpatrick), recovered by Robert Spillane at PIT-6 2 2.98 0.38 -2.6
9/20/2020 Ravens Texans 4 12:04 4 1 HTX 30 29-13 Mark Ingram left end for 30 yards, touchdown 30 1.52 7 5.48
9/8/2019 Ravens Dolphins 4 9:30 4 3 MIA 3 58-10 Robert Griffin pass complete short left to Mark Andrews for 3 yards, touchdown 3 3.04 7 3.96
12/29/2019 Ravens Steelers 4 0:30 4 6 PIT 45 28-10 Robert Griffin pass short middle (defended by Cameron Heyward) intended for Willie Snead is intercepted by Joe Haden at PIT-40 and returned for no gain 0 0.27 -1.6 -1.87
12/2/2020 Ravens Steelers 4 6:03 4 2 RAV 22 19-7 Trace McSorley right end for 6 yards (tackle by Minkah Fitzpatrick) 6 -1.9 0.81 2.71
12/20/2020 Ravens Jaguars 4 4:02 4 20 JAX 34 40-7 Tyler Huntley pass incomplete deep middle intended for Eric Tomlinson 0 1.06 -1.2 -2.26
1/3/2021 Ravens Bengals 4 9:19 4 1 CIN 24 38-3 Tyler Huntley up the middle for no gain (tackle by Sam Hubbard) 0 2.02 -0.54 -2.56

The Ravens have gone for it a staggering 20 times in the first, second, and third quarter, but unlike the Chiefs some of these attempts were on longer situations and/or deeper in their own territory. Of those twenty attempts that didn’t happen in the fourth quarter, only seven were on fourth and one. The other thirteen occurred on two, three, four and six needed to gain. But all of the attempts where two or more yards were needed occurred in plus territory or at midfield. The most interesting of these thirteen is the decision to go for it on fourth and six from the CIN 46 leading 17-0 with 7:56 to play in the second quarter last season. Most head coaches in that situation are going to punt. Your team is up by three scores and you need to gain six yards for the first down.

Date Tm Opp Quarter Time Down ToGo Location Score Detail Yds EPB EPA Diff
11/15/2020 Eagles Giants 1 9:23 4 1 PHI 47 0-7 Carson Wentz pass complete short right to Jalen Reagor for 10 yards (tackle by Logan Ryan) 10 -0.26 2.72 2.98
12/13/2020 Eagles Saints 1 8:16 4 1 NOR 45 0-0 Jalen Hurts up the middle for 3 yards (tackle by Marcus Williams) 3 0.27 2.79 2.52
10/22/2020 Eagles Giants 1 11:16 4 1 NYG 31 0-0 Carson Wentz left end for 3 yards (tackle by James Bradberry) 3 1.41 3.71 2.3
12/9/2019 Eagles Giants 1 7:51 4 1 PHI 43 0-0 Carson Wentz up the middle for no gain (tackle by Dalvin Tomlinson). Carson Wentz fumbles (forced by Dalvin Tomlinson), recovered by David Mayo at PHI-43 0 -0.52 -2.72 -2.2
11/3/2019 Eagles Bears 1 10:52 4 2 CHI 40 0-0 Carson Wentz pass complete short middle to Zach Ertz for 15 yards (tackle by Eddie Jackson) 15 0.59 3.91 3.32
12/13/2020 Eagles Saints 1 4:55 4 2 NOR 34 0-0 Miles Sanders left guard for -3 yards (tackle by Malcolm Jenkins) -3 1.1 -1.4 -2.5
10/6/2019 Eagles Jets 1 0:35 4 5 NYJ 36 14-0 Carson Wentz pass incomplete short middle intended for Alshon Jeffery 0 0.88 -1.33 -2.21
12/29/2019 Eagles Giants 1 10:22 4 7 NYG 38 0-0 Carson Wentz pass incomplete short right intended for Dallas Goedert 0 0.72 -1.53 -2.25
12/29/2019 Eagles Giants 2 2:41 4 1 NYG 26 3-Mar Carson Wentz up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Leonard Williams and Markus Golden) 2 1.89 3.97 2.08
11/1/2020 Eagles Cowboys 2 0:32 4 1 DAL 44 6-Jul Carson Wentz pass incomplete short right intended for Travis Fulgham 0 0.33 -1.93 -2.26
10/18/2020 Eagles Ravens 2 1:03 4 1 RAV 20 0-17 Carson Wentz up the middle for no gain (tackle by Calais Campbell and Matt Judon) 0 2.27 -0.28 -2.55
12/22/2019 Eagles Cowboys 2 9:25 4 1 DAL 33 3-Oct Carson Wentz pass incomplete short right intended for Joshua Perkins 0 1.21 -1.14 -2.35
12/13/2020 Eagles Saints 2 13:30 4 2 NOR 15 Jun-00 Jalen Hurts pass complete short left to Alshon Jeffery for 15 yards, touchdown, touchdown. Penalty on Kwon Alexander: Roughing the Passer, 15 yards 15 2.57 7 4.43
10/13/2019 Eagles Vikings 2 9:43 4 2 MIN 49 17-Mar Carson Wentz pass incomplete short right intended for Alshon Jeffery 0 0 -2.19 -2.19
9/8/2019 Eagles Washington 2 10:52 4 2 WAS 29 0-10 Carson Wentz pass incomplete short left intended for Alshon Jeffery (defended by Da'Ron Payne) 0 1.6 -0.87 -2.47
12/20/2020 Eagles Cardinals 2 6:25 4 3 CRD 4 13-19 Jalen Hurts pass complete short left to Greg Ward for 4 yards, touchdown. Penalty on Patrick Peterson: Defensive Holding (Declined) 4 3.03 7 3.97
11/1/2020 Eagles Cowboys 2 11:38 4 3 DAL 44 3-Jul Carson Wentz sacked by Leighton Vander Esch for -10 yards. Carson Wentz fumbles (forced by Leighton Vander Esch), recovered by Dorance Armstrong at PHI-46 -10 0.33 -2.52 -2.85
9/8/2019 Eagles Washington 3 13:03 4 1 PHI 34 20-Jul Carson Wentz up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Matthew Ioannidis) 2 -1.11 1.33 2.44
10/4/2020 Eagles 49ers 3 4:21 4 1 SFO 31 14-Aug Carson Wentz up the middle for 1 yard (tackle by Javon Kinlaw) 1 1.41 3.58 2.17
12/13/2020 Eagles Saints 3 3:11 4 1 NOR 40 17-7 Jalen Hurts up the middle for no gain (tackle by Kwon Alexander and Marcus Williams) 0 0.59 -1.6 -2.19
10/6/2019 Eagles Jets 3 12:14 4 1 NYJ 40 21-0 Carson Wentz up the middle for no gain (tackle by Leonard Williams) 0 0.59 -1.6 -2.19
9/15/2019 Eagles Falcons 3 5:03 4 4 ATL 4 17-Dec Carson Wentz pass complete short middle to Nelson Agholor for 4 yards, touchdown 4 3.03 7 3.97
1/3/2021 Eagles Washington 3 2:01 4 4 WAS 4 14-17 Jalen Hurts pass incomplete short left intended for Quez Watkins 0 3.03 0.38 -2.65
9/13/2020 Eagles Washington 3 1:18 4 4 WAS 45 17-14 Carson Wentz sacked by Jonathan Bostic for -9 yards -9 0.27 -2.52 -2.79
12/20/2020 Eagles Cardinals 3 2:22 4 6 CRD 49 20-26 Jalen Hurts up the middle for 17 yards (tackle by Patrick Peterson) 17 0 3.45 3.45
12/9/2019 Eagles Giants 4 4:54 4 1 PHI 29 17-Oct Carson Wentz up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Julian Love) 2 -1.44 1 2.44
10/27/2019 Eagles Bills 4 2:43 4 1 BUF 21 31-13 Boston Scott left guard for -1 yards (tackle by Tremaine Edmunds and Kevin Johnson) -1 2.21 -0.41 -2.62
10/20/2019 Eagles Cowboys 4 1:57 4 2 PHI 34 Oct-37 Boston Scott left tackle for 14 yards (tackle by Byron Jones and Darian Thompson). Boston Scott fumbles (forced by Byron Jones), recovered by Boston Scott at PHI-48 14 -1.11 2.13 3.24
11/30/2020 Eagles Seahawks 4 13:33 4 2 PHI 48 17-Sep Carson Wentz pass incomplete short left intended for Richard Rodgers (defended by K.J. Wright) 0 -0.19 -2.39 -2.2
11/24/2019 Eagles Seahawks 4 7:54 4 2 SEA 23 17-Mar Carson Wentz pass incomplete short right intended for JJ Arcega-Whiteside (defended by Shaquill Griffin) 0 2.05 -0.54 -2.59
9/20/2020 Eagles Rams 4 7:53 4 2 RAM 36 19-31 Carson Wentz pass incomplete short middle intended for Dallas Goedert (defended by John Johnson) 0 0.89 -1.33 -2.22
10/22/2020 Eagles Giants 4 14:11 4 3 NYG 3 14-Oct Carson Wentz pass incomplete short right intended for Hakeem Butler (defended by Logan Ryan) 0 3.04 0.38 -2.66
9/13/2020 Eagles Washington 4 4:35 4 3 PHI 42 17-24 Carson Wentz pass incomplete short middle intended for Zach Ertz 0 -0.59 -2.79 -2.2
1/3/2021 Eagles Washington 4 0:38 4 4 PHI 14 14-20 Nate Sudfeld up the middle for 12 yards (tackle by Jonathan Bostic and Cole Holcomb) 12 -2.47 0.67 3.14
10/4/2020 Eagles 49ers 4 8:36 4 4 SFO 36 14-Nov Carson Wentz pass complete short right to John Hightower for 9 yards (tackle by Jason Verrett) 9 0.89 3.78 2.89
11/30/2020 Eagles Seahawks 4 8:40 4 4 SEA 15 20-Sep Carson Wentz pass deep right intended for Dallas Goedert is intercepted by Quandre Diggs at SEA-0 and returned for no gain 0 2.52 -0.28 -2.8
10/20/2019 Eagles Cowboys 4 6:52 4 4 DAL 19 Oct-37 Carson Wentz pass incomplete short middle intended for Mack Hollins (defended by Sean Lee) 0 2.26 -0.15 -2.41
10/18/2020 Eagles Ravens 4 9:25 4 5 PHI 30 14-27 Carson Wentz pass incomplete short right intended for Travis Fulgham 0 -1.37 -3.58 -2.21
11/22/2020 Eagles Browns 4 3:13 4 6 PHI 29 22-Oct Carson Wentz pass complete short right to Jalen Reagor for 11 yards (tackle by Terrance Mitchell) 11 -1.44 1.6 3.04
12/27/2020 Eagles Cowboys 4 1:13 4 6 PHI 43 17-37 Jalen Hurts up the middle for 8 yards (tackle by Anthony Brown) 8 -0.52 2.32 2.84
12/20/2020 Eagles Cardinals 4 0:56 4 7 PHI 25 26-33 Jalen Hurts pass complete short left to Travis Fulgham for 12 yards (tackle by Dre Kirkpatrick) 12 -1.7 1.4 3.1
9/15/2019 Eagles Falcons 4 0:38 4 8 ATL 16 20-24 Carson Wentz pass complete short left to Zach Ertz for 7 yards (tackle by Isaiah Oliver and Keanu Neal) 7 2.38 0.38 -2
9/22/2019 Eagles Lions 4 2:25 4 8 PHI 22 24-27 Carson Wentz up the middle for 6 yards (tackle by Devon Kennard) 6 -1.9 -3.71 -1.81
11/1/2020 Eagles Cowboys 4 2:00 4 8 DAL 32 23-9 Carson Wentz pass incomplete deep right intended for Jalen Reagor (defended by Anthony Brown) 0 1.24 -1.07 -2.31
10/18/2020 Eagles Ravens 4 3:55 4 9 RAV 18 20-30 Carson Wentz pass complete deep middle to Travis Fulgham for 18 yards, touchdown 18 2.25 7 4.75
11/17/2019 Eagles Patriots 4 1:05 4 10 NWE 26 17-Oct Carson Wentz pass incomplete deep left intended for Nelson Agholor 0 1.74 -0.67 -2.41
11/15/2020 Eagles Giants 4 4:56 4 10 NYG 36 17-24 Carson Wentz pass incomplete short right intended for Jalen Reagor (defended by James Bradberry) 0 0.88 -1.33 -2.21
11/22/2020 Eagles Browns 4 0:43 4 13 CLE 22 22-Oct Carson Wentz pass complete short left to Jalen Reagor for 18 yards (tackle by Terrance Mitchell) 18 1.99 6.28 4.29
9/15/2019 Eagles Falcons 4 1:29 4 14 PHI 39 20-24 Carson Wentz pass complete deep left to Nelson Agholor for 43 yards (tackle by Ricardo Allen) 43 -0.78 4.37 5.15
10/27/2019 Eagles Bills 4 0:34 4 14 BUF 32 31-13 Carson Wentz kneels for -2 yards -2 1.24 -1.2 -2.44
10/13/2019 Eagles Vikings 4 6:46 4 15 PHI 33 20-38 Carson Wentz pass complete deep middle to Zach Ertz for 17 yards (tackle by Trae Waynes) 17 -1.18 2.26 3.44
12/27/2020 Eagles Cowboys 4 14:09 4 15 DAL 33 17-30 Jalen Hurts pass complete short right to Zach Ertz for 8 yards (tackle by Chidobe Awuzie) 8 1.15 -0.61 -1.76
9/22/2019 Eagles Lions 4 0:49 4 15 PHI 45 24-27 Carson Wentz pass incomplete deep middle intended for JJ Arcega-Whiteside 0 -0.39 -2.59 -2.2
11/15/2020 Eagles Giants 4 2:10 4 16 PHI 31 17-27 Carson Wentz pass complete short right to Boston Scott for 11 yards (tackle by Jabrill Peppers) 11 -1.31 -2.79 -1.48
12/6/2020 Eagles Packers 4 7:59 4 18 GNB 32 23-Sep Jalen Hurts pass complete deep right to Greg Ward for 32 yards, touchdown 32 1.24 7 5.76
10/11/2020 Eagles Steelers 4 2:18 4 20 PHI 15 29-38 Carson Wentz pass deep middle intended for John Hightower is intercepted by Steven Nelson at PIT-25 and returned for no gain 0 -2.44 -0.61 1.83
12/20/2020 Eagles Cardinals 4 1:55 4 21 CRD 22 26-33 Jalen Hurts pass incomplete deep middle intended for Dallas Goedert (defended by Chris Banjo) 0 1.99 -0.41 -2.4
11/30/2020 Eagles Seahawks 4 2:21 4 31 PHI 25 20-Sep Carson Wentz pass incomplete short left intended for Jalen Reagor 0 -1.7 -3.97 -2.27

The Eagles have gone for it the most over the past two years, but the have not been very successful when they have don so. Similar to the Chiefs and the Ravens, they do have a good number of attempts that happened in the first, second, and third quarters of the their games (25 of 58). Thirteen of those 25 happened when they needed more than one yard. So the Eagles were similar to Ravens in that they seemed to be less risk averse. Six of those thirteen happened when they needed four or more yards for a first down. All six of those happened in plus territory with two of them coming on 4th and goal from the four. Doug Pederson appears to have taken some risks which may be one reason he is no longer the head coach of the Eagles despite leading them to a Super Bowl victory in 2017.

Date Tm Opp Quarter Time Down ToGo Location Score Detail Yds EPB EPA Diff
10/11/2020 Browns Colts 1 0:12 4 1 CLT 5 7-Mar Baker Mayfield pass complete short right to Odell Beckham for 3 yards (tackle by Anthony Walker) 3 3.03 6.74 3.71
11/1/2020 Browns Raiders 1 1:44 4 1 RAI 45 0-0 Baker Mayfield up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Maliek Collins) 2 0.27 2.72 2.45
11/22/2020 Browns Eagles 1 1:11 4 1 PHI 1 0-0 Kareem Hunt left guard for no gain (tackle by Jalen Mills and Javon Hargrave) 0 3.55 0.38 -3.17
11/10/2019 Browns Bills 1 3:18 4 1 BUF 1 Jun-00 Nick Chubb right tackle for -2 yards (tackle by Corey Liuget and Matt Milano) -2 3.55 0.38 -3.17
11/10/2019 Browns Bills 1 7:44 4 2 BUF 41 Jun-00 Baker Mayfield pass complete short right to Demetrius Harris for 16 yards (tackle by Levi Wallace) 16 0.53 3.91 3.38
12/20/2020 Browns Giants 1 7:08 4 2 NYG 43 0-0 Baker Mayfield pass incomplete short left intended for Austin Hooper (defended by Dexter Lawrence) 0 0.4 -1.8 -2.2
10/13/2019 Browns Seahawks 1 6:04 4 7 SEA 38 6-Jul Baker Mayfield pass complete deep right to Jarvis Landry for 27 yards (tackle by Tedric Thompson) 27 0.72 4.84 4.12
9/29/2019 Browns Ravens 2 0:30 4 1 RAV 8 7-Jul Baker Mayfield up the middle for 1 yard (tackle by Michael Pierce) 1 2.99 5.6 2.61
11/15/2020 Browns Texans 2 0:32 4 4 HTX 37 Mar-00 Baker Mayfield pass incomplete deep right intended for Jarvis Landry 0 0.79 -1.4 -2.19
11/22/2020 Browns Eagles 2 0:04 4 5 CLE 35 Jul-00 Baker Mayfield pass incomplete short right 0 -1.04 1.27 2.31
9/27/2020 Browns Washington 2 12:53 4 7 WAS 37 0-7 Baker Mayfield pass complete short right to Austin Hooper for 8 yards (tackle by Jimmy Moreland) 8 0.79 3.64 2.85
12/1/2019 Browns Steelers 2 0:02 4 10 CLE 36 10-Oct Garrett Gilbert pass incomplete deep right 0 -0.98 1.33 2.31
1/3/2021 Browns Steelers 2 0:05 4 16 CLE 29 6-Oct Baker Mayfield pass incomplete deep right 0 -1.44 0.87 2.31
11/29/2020 Browns Jaguars 3 8:56 4 1 JAX 44 17-19 Baker Mayfield pass complete short left to KhaDarel Hodge for 10 yards 10 0.33 3.31 2.98
12/1/2019 Browns Steelers 3 6:08 4 1 PIT 40 17-Oct Nick Chubb up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Bud Dupree and Terrell Edmunds) 2 0.59 3.05 2.46
11/3/2019 Browns Broncos 3 5:23 4 1 DEN 5 17-Dec Baker Mayfield right guard for no gain (tackle by Von Miller and Todd Davis) 0 3.03 0.38 -2.65
10/18/2020 Browns Steelers 3 5:59 4 1 CLE 29 24-Jul Kareem Hunt up the middle for -1 yards (tackle by Cameron Heyward and T.J. Watt) -1 -1.44 -3.71 -2.27
9/17/2020 Browns Bengals 3 10:15 4 2 CIN 44 21-13 Baker Mayfield pass complete short left to Jarvis Landry for 21 yards (tackle by Jessie Bates) 21 0.33 4.04 3.71
9/17/2020 Browns Bengals 3 8:07 4 2 CIN 2 21-13 Nick Chubb right guard for 1 yard (tackle by D.J. Reader and Freedom Akinmoladun) 1 3.25 0.38 -2.87
12/14/2020 Browns Ravens 3 0:32 4 4 CLE 46 20-34 Baker Mayfield pass complete short middle to Jarvis Landry for 12 yards (tackle by Chuck Clark) 12 -0.32 2.79 3.11
9/13/2020 Browns Ravens 3 3:08 4 4 RAV 28 Jun-31 Baker Mayfield sacked by Tyus Bowser for -14 yards -14 1.65 -1.73 -3.38
12/6/2020 Browns Titans 4 0:57 4 1 OTI 36 41-28 Baker Mayfield up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Jack Crawford). Baker Mayfield fumbles (forced by Jack Crawford), recovered by Kenny Vaccaro at TEN-34 and returned for 53 yards (tackle by Kareem Hunt) 2 0.89 -4.71 -5.6
11/1/2020 Browns Raiders 4 2:28 4 1 RAI 16 16-Jun Baker Mayfield up the middle for 2 yards (tackle by Carl Nassib) 2 2.53 4.65 2.12
12/27/2020 Browns Jets 4 1:25 4 1 NYJ 16 16-23 Baker Mayfield left guard for no gain (tackle by Tarell Basham). Baker Mayfield fumbles (forced by Tarell Basham), recovered by Kareem Hunt at NYJ-16 0 2.53 0.14 -2.39
11/29/2020 Browns Jaguars 4 5:42 4 1 JAX 22 27-19 Kareem Hunt up the middle for no gain (tackle by Adam Gotsis) 0 2.14 -0.41 -2.55
10/13/2019 Browns Seahawks 4 10:43 4 1 SEA 1 20-25 Nick Chubb right guard for -1 yards (tackle by Quinton Jefferson and Poona Ford) -1 3.55 0.38 -3.17
10/18/2020 Browns Steelers 4 6:12 4 1 PIT 47 Jul-38 D'Ernest Johnson right tackle for -2 yards (tackle by Vince Williams and Tyson Alualu) -2 0.13 -2.19 -2.32
9/8/2019 Browns Titans 4 1:21 4 2 CLE 33 13-43 Nick Chubb right guard for 1 yard (tackle by Wesley Woodyard) 1 -1.18 -3.31 -2.13
10/18/2020 Browns Steelers 4 13:46 4 2 PIT 45 31-Jul Case Keenum pass incomplete short left intended for Kareem Hunt 0 0.27 -1.93 -2.2
10/13/2019 Browns Seahawks 4 14:24 4 3 SEA 23 20-25 Baker Mayfield pass complete short left to Dontrell Hilliard for 3 yards (tackle by K.J. Wright) 3 2.03 4.24 2.21
12/14/2020 Browns Ravens 4 13:42 4 4 RAV 21 26-34 Baker Mayfield pass complete deep right to Rashard Higgins for 21 yards, touchdown 21 2.13 7 4.87
9/22/2019 Browns Rams 4 0:33 4 4 RAM 4 13-20 Baker Mayfield pass short right intended for Damion Ratley is intercepted by John Johnson at LA-0 and returned for no gain 0 3.03 -0.28 -3.31
11/3/2019 Browns Broncos 4 3:23 4 4 DEN 28 19-24 Baker Mayfield pass incomplete short middle intended for Jarvis Landry (defended by Kareem Jackson) (defended by Davontae Harris) 0 1.65 -0.81 -2.46
12/15/2019 Browns Cardinals 4 1:53 4 6 CRD 12 17-38 Baker Mayfield pass complete short middle to Odell Beckham for 11 yards (tackle by Jordan Hicks) 11 2.66 6.97 4.31
9/13/2020 Browns Ravens 4 10:11 4 6 RAV 48 Jun-38 Baker Mayfield pass incomplete deep right intended for Odell Beckham 0 0.07 -2.13 -2.2
1/3/2021 Browns Steelers 4 3:41 4 7 PIT 35 24-16 Baker Mayfield pass incomplete short right intended for Rashard Higgins 0 0.97 -1.27 -2.24
9/22/2019 Browns Rams 4 9:19 4 9 RAM 40 13-17 Nick Chubb right tackle for 2 yards (tackle by Eric Weddle) 2 0.59 -1.47 -2.06
9/8/2019 Browns Titans 4 5:41 4 13 OTI 48 13-36 Baker Mayfield pass incomplete short left intended for Odell Beckham 0 0.07 -2.13 -2.2
10/27/2019 Browns Patriots 4 6:17 4 16 CLE 19 27-Oct Baker Mayfield sacked by and Adam Butler for -5 yards -5 -2.14 -4.65 -2.51
12/29/2019 Browns Bengals 4 7:23 4 20 CIN 20 22-30 Baker Mayfield pass complete deep right to Odell Beckham for 20 yards, touchdown 20 2.12 7 4.88

The Browns had twenty-one of their forty fourth down attempts happen in the first, second or third quarter with nine of those happening on fourth and one. The majority of their second quarter fourth down attempts were near the end of the half with three coming on passing attempts from their own territory with five seconds or fewer left on the clock.

Almost all of the Browns attempts came in plus territory or at midfield (other than the near half-time plays). The one exception was a run on 4th and one from their own 29 against the Steelers in 2020 with 5:59 left to play in the third and a 24-7 lead. It tends to be easier to take risks when you have a three score lead.

Looking at the whole league in terms of fourth down attempts in the first three quarters of the game, Denver’s eight are the second fewest in the league over the last two seasons. Compare that to the Cardinals who have had twenty-seven attempts in the first three quarters of the came.

Tm G Plays ToGo Yds 1st% TO% TD FG 1D Int Fmb Sk Pass Rush
ARI 22 27 2.4 6.9 77.80% 0.00% 1 0 21 0 0 1 14 13
GNB 16 27 3.2 6.3 66.70% 0.00% 4 0 18 0 0 1 17 10
IND 17 26 1.8 4.2 65.40% 3.80% 5 0 17 0 1 1 8 18
PHI 17 25 2.3 2.2 44.00% 8.00% 3 0 11 0 2 2 14 11
CAR 14 24 2.5 2.8 66.70% 0.00% 4 0 16 0 0 3 10 14
CIN 17 23 3.2 6.8 56.50% 13.00% 3 0 13 0 3 0 12 11
NYG 14 23 2.9 4.9 60.90% 4.30% 3 0 14 0 1 3 13 10
LAC 17 23 2.1 2.7 56.50% 8.70% 3 0 13 1 1 0 7 16
ATL 15 21 2.4 5.9 66.70% 4.80% 2 0 14 1 0 2 13 8
CLE 17 21 3.5 4.1 47.60% 0.00% 0 0 10 0 0 1 13 8
LVR 15 21 1.3 4 66.70% 0.00% 1 0 14 0 0 0 4 17
BUF 15 20 2.1 3.7 60.00% 5.00% 3 0 12 0 1 0 7 13
JAX 15 20 2.7 2 50.00% 5.00% 0 0 10 0 1 2 13 7
BAL 16 20 2.4 7.6 75.00% 0.00% 2 0 15 0 0 0 10 10
CHI 14 19 3.6 2.2 47.40% 0.00% 0 0 9 0 0 0 11 8
MIN 14 19 2.1 5.6 73.70% 0.00% 2 0 14 0 0 0 8 11
DAL 13 18 1.9 3.7 55.60% 5.60% 1 0 10 0 1 0 9 9
HOU 13 18 1.7 2.9 55.60% 5.60% 2 0 10 1 0 2 13 5
LAR 15 18 2.9 0.7 44.40% 16.70% 1 0 8 3 0 0 10 8
NYJ 16 17 1.5 3.5 52.90% 5.90% 1 0 9 1 0 0 6 11
NOR 11 16 3 4.1 75.00% 0.00% 3 0 12 0 0 0 5 11
NWE 14 16 2.8 2.4 50.00% 0.00% 1 0 8 0 0 0 7 9
PIT 14 16 1.6 1.5 31.30% 6.30% 0 0 5 1 0 0 8 8
SFO 16 16 1.8 6.9 56.30% 6.30% 4 0 9 1 0 0 9 7
KAN 14 15 1.1 3.3 60.00% 6.70% 1 0 9 1 0 0 3 12
TAM 12 15 2.5 3.3 66.70% 6.70% 1 0 10 1 0 1 9 6
WAS 11 15 3.5 4.2 60.00% 0.00% 0 0 9 0 0 0 9 6
MIA 12 14 2.9 5.4 57.10% 0.00% 1 0 8 0 0 0 8 6
TEN 9 11 3.5 5.2 63.60% 0.00% 2 0 7 0 0 1 6 5
SEA 8 11 2.1 2.3 18.20% 9.10% 2 0 2 1 0 2 8 3
DET 7 9 1.2 1.4 77.80% 0.00% 5 0 7 0 0 0 3 6
DEN 8 8 1.5 6.8 50.00% 0.00% 1 0 4 0 0 0 5 3

From my analysis, Vic Fangio has been the least aggressive had coach in the NFL in terms of going for it on fourth down. What do you think?

Poll

Why do you think Vic Fangio has been so conservative and risk averse on fourth down decisions?

This poll is closed

  • 13%
    He trusts the defense
    (38 votes)
  • 46%
    He doesn’t trust the offense
    (133 votes)
  • 2%
    He was trained to be that way by his mentors.
    (8 votes)
  • 0%
    He was told to play it safe.
    (2 votes)
  • 32%
    All of the above
    (92 votes)
  • 4%
    something else
    (12 votes)
285 votes total Vote Now