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3rd down conversions

I ran a search on this topic and found nothing, so apologies if this has been discussed. It's an important area and we've been abysmal at it. All the talk about Alex's improvement and how the spread is so much better for our personnel (and it is) seems to ignore that we still can't sem to buy a first down when it's 3rd and whatever. Alex's accuracy reverts to old Alex form, receivers drop balls, and forget the run........Correct this one weakness and we'd be in the playoffs (that and dropped balls).
Originally posted by 4evrfan:
I ran a search on this topic and found nothing, so apologies if this has been discussed. It's an important area and we've been abysmal at it. All the talk about Alex's improvement and how the spread is so much better for our personnel (and it is) seems to ignore that we still can't sem to buy a first down when it's 3rd and whatever. Alex's accuracy reverts to old Alex form, receivers drop balls, and forget the run........Correct this one weakness and we'd be in the playoffs (that and dropped balls).

Yeah, I don't think we'd lose a game if we just completed 40% of our 3rd downs. Not going to happen this year.
  • tmg808
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The thing was most of the 3rd downs where 3rd and longs, its hard to convert 3rd and long no matter who you have at QB. I would have liked to see him be more decisive when he decides to run. The hesitation is making him look slow, and there were some he could have gotten with his legs.
Originally posted by tmg808:
The thing was most of the 3rd downs where 3rd and longs, its hard to convert 3rd and long no matter who you have at QB. I would have liked to see him be more decisive when he decides to run. The hesitation is making him look slow, and there were some he could have gotten with his legs.

This is a good point. One of the things Smith was supposedly strong at was running, yet he's resorted to that too little in my opinion. There are times when he has nothing downfield and may have a lane but doesn't take it. Don't know why.
Originally posted by 4evrfan:
Originally posted by tmg808:
The thing was most of the 3rd downs where 3rd and longs, its hard to convert 3rd and long no matter who you have at QB. I would have liked to see him be more decisive when he decides to run. The hesitation is making him look slow, and there were some he could have gotten with his legs.

This is a good point. One of the things Smith was supposedly strong at was running, yet he's resorted to that too little in my opinion. There are times when he has nothing downfield and may have a lane but doesn't take it. Don't know why.

Hopefully with a full offseason Alex & this offense will get better on 3rd downs. I don't know why we don't do more slants to pick up 1st downs.
Yet one more game where the inability to convert 3rd downs has bitten us in the a$$. We are a frustratingly inconsistent team, but this seems to be the only area where we ARE consistent.
I would just like to note that the MIN game 0-11 3rd downs was put a lot on Shaun Hill. I think it is safe to say that Smith needs to play smarter and convert some of these.
Originally posted by Joecool:
I would just like to note that the MIN game 0-11 3rd downs was put a lot on Shaun Hill. I think it is safe to say that Smith needs to play smarter and convert some of these.

To be fair it sure looked like a lot of 3rd down patterns were either run incorrectly or called incorrectly. When we need 5 yards we got 4, when we needed 10 we got 8, etc...
We could start with asking why all 3rd down patterns seem to run 1 - 3 yards short of the 1st. I mean since ALL of our receivers do it you have to wonder if this is taught.
The OLine needs to play better and they need to be in 3rd and short more often.

Is it just me or does Smith not tuck the ball and run anymore? He used to run that bootleg and if nothing was open he would run and now he just throws the ball away.
Originally posted by saj4423:
The OLine needs to play better and they need to be in 3rd and short more often.

Is it just me or does Smith not tuck the ball and run anymore? He used to run that bootleg and if nothing was open he would run and now he just throws the ball away.

One thing I always wondered and only now people in the media are questioning is why Raye doesn't call more rollouts. It's a nice way to help the o-line plus gives Smith the option of running if only a few yards are needed.

This is something to add to the playbook for next year.
Originally posted by bzborow1:
Originally posted by Joecool:
I would just like to note that the MIN game 0-11 3rd downs was put a lot on Shaun Hill. I think it is safe to say that Smith needs to play smarter and convert some of these.

To be fair it sure looked like a lot of 3rd down patterns were either run incorrectly or called incorrectly. When we need 5 yards we got 4, when we needed 10 we got 8, etc...

This looks to be part of J-Raye's play calling. If you remember, we saw the same thing when Hill was starting. Most of his 3rd down passes were completions (he actually had a very high completion % on this down); but, these completions were short of the first by 1 to 2 yards.

Now, I am a J-Raye supporter. I like his willingness to listen to the players and adapt the O to match the guys he has; but, he too has some work to do in this area.
Originally posted by D_Niner:
Originally posted by bzborow1:
Originally posted by Joecool:
I would just like to note that the MIN game 0-11 3rd downs was put a lot on Shaun Hill. I think it is safe to say that Smith needs to play smarter and convert some of these.

To be fair it sure looked like a lot of 3rd down patterns were either run incorrectly or called incorrectly. When we need 5 yards we got 4, when we needed 10 we got 8, etc...

This looks to be part of J-Raye's play calling. If you remember, we saw the same thing when Hill was starting. Most of his 3rd down passes were completions (he actually had a very high completion % on this down); but, these completions were short of the first by 1 to 2 yards.

Now, I am a J-Raye supporter. I like his willingness to listen to the players and adapt the O to match the guys he has; but, he too has some work to do in this area.

I agree it is a combination of things, but we really have to get this fixed during the offseason. It just kills me to watch the plays we run to try & pick up these 3rd downs!
Originally posted by D_Niner:
Originally posted by bzborow1:
Originally posted by Joecool:
I would just like to note that the MIN game 0-11 3rd downs was put a lot on Shaun Hill. I think it is safe to say that Smith needs to play smarter and convert some of these.

To be fair it sure looked like a lot of 3rd down patterns were either run incorrectly or called incorrectly. When we need 5 yards we got 4, when we needed 10 we got 8, etc...

This looks to be part of J-Raye's play calling. If you remember, we saw the same thing when Hill was starting. Most of his 3rd down passes were completions (he actually had a very high completion % on this down); but, these completions were short of the first by 1 to 2 yards.

Now, I am a J-Raye supporter. I like his willingness to listen to the players and adapt the O to match the guys he has; but, he too has some work to do in this area.

Yeah but a lot of people on here were saying it was because Hill doesn't have a strong arm.
Without looking at stats.. it seems to me that we've been great on 4th down this year, but stink on 3rd down.