Guys, I can't seem to find my previous tracking post on this topic but for those who remember, I have been tracking our first down production since the NFCCG last year. Why? I found a pretty significant pattern in that game that prompted me to track for 2012-Superbowl. While people focused on the 1 for 13 on 3rd downs, like in golf, I found it was the Tee-Shot that put you in a poor position on your 2nd and 3rd shots.
What I defined as successful production on first down was 4+ yards. That allows the OC to either pass or rush on 2nd downs AND helps put you in manageable positions to convert 3rd downs and keep the chains moving.
Therefore, I will highlight our offense in two phases: 1) offense production under Alex and 2) offense production under CK.
This is NOT designed to compare the two QB's per se but to highlight the changes/evolution of our offense before and after the switch (in QB's and offensive styles).
* this is based off memory (since I can't find the original post but it had a breakout of each game also and discussion)
Offensive 1st Down Production (Overall):
*Alex = 62% (through the first 8 games) - lead the NFL just ahead of GB at the time
Colin = 52% (through the last 10 games through the playoffs)
Week 11 (Chicago) - 14/23 = 61%
Week 12 (New Orleans) - 12/25 = 48%
Week 13 (St. Louis) - 15/30 = 50%
Week 14 (Miami) - 16/26 = 62%
Week 15 (New England) - 17/32 = 53%
Week 16 (Seattle) - 13/24 = 54%
Week 17 (Arizona) - 11/29 = 38%
Week DIV (Green Bay) - 17/34 = 50%
Week NFCCG (Atlanta) - 14/27 = 52%
Week Superbowl (Baltimore) - 18/31 = 58%
This is a significant drop off in first down production and may have contributed to many slow starts. IMHO, it speaks to a young QB, pre-snap reads and alignments, time/clock-management, evolution in offensive styles, etc. As a team, in the second half of the season, our best output was 62%, which was our "average" the first half of the year. And once again, it highlights our big struggles against the NFC West teams. We also seem to average only about (14-15) successful attempts of 4+ yards on first downs a game while giving ourselves about the same number of chances (28). This means while we make up for it often on 2nd and 3rd downs (total chances a game), we're putting ourselves behind the 8-ball early in the series and makes us more predictable which good teams can exploit. This is obvious when you watch the first quarters of many games. Another trend was that under the Alex offense under Roman, the mass majority of our explosive plays and scoring came on first down. I believe this was due to teams not knowing if we'll run or pass out of that down and the experience of Alex in this offense and overall. This area was also a clear focus in the off season as noted by Alex himself. In the Colin/Roman offense, there is a very significant drop off in this area as well.
So above all, this is clearly an area we need to improve upon along with RZ offense, overall play-calling, time/clock-management, pre-snap reads/experience, etc. I think Roman plays the most significant factor here re: proper game-planning for opponents, Harbaugh for ensuring these plays are practiced to perfection and CK/offense in execution. Team game!
[ Edited by NCommand on Feb 10, 2013 at 11:12 AM ]