Third Down Defense: Inside the Numbers Revisited

At the half way point in the season, I looked at how well the 3rd down defense was fairing, based on Run/Pass, and the distance.  It's time to look at the 2nd half of the season, and see if the Colts improved at all.

Here are the final numbers for all 17 games, and after the jump I'll put each individual game (from the 2nd half), so you can see how the defense did against each opponent.

  Total
  Run Pass Total
  Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Pct
Short (≤ 3) 32 36 21 38 53 74 72%
Middle (4 - 7) 3 9 33 67 36 76 47%
Long (8+) 2 12 18 64 20 76 26%
Total 37 57 72 169 109 226 48%
Pct 64.9% 42.6% 48.2%  

Some things to notice:

  • Getting outraged at the short yardage rush defense must have lit a fire under the defensive lineman, as they did stop 4 of them over the 2nd half of the season, none bigger than the first one.
  • The Browns had 20 3rd down plays against the Colts, which tied for the most in a single game this season.  One of the games it was tied with?  The Bengals were 4/20 in their epic tie against Philadelphia.
  • I mentioned before that teams are only 3/16 running the ball on 3rd and 4 or more in the first half of the season.  It was only tried against the Colts defense 5 times in the last 9 games, and 2 of them were this past weekend against the Chargers.  I guess teams figured out you can't catch the Colts off-guard.
  • The overall percentages changed very little from the first half to the second half of the season, which is a little disappointing, as the level of competition was much lower in the 2nd half.  The best game of the 2nd half was the Titan game, which is also a little disappointing, since the starters didn't play for either team more than 1 series.
  • Overall, the Colts finished (tied for) dead last in the league in 3rd down defense.  As a comparison, the Ravens had almost the same number of 3rd down attempts against their defense, and they gave up 30 less conversions.  They finished 3rd overall.  This is definitely one area that needs addressed in the offseason.

Like I said above, game by game numbers are after the jump.  Thoughts?

  Pittsburgh Houston
  Run Pass Total Run Pass Total
  Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att
Short (<= 3) 2
3
4
5
6
8
2
3
1
2
3
5
Middle (4 - 7) 0
0
2
5
2
5
0
0
0
1
0
1
Long (8+) 0
0
2
5
2
5
0
0
1
2
1
2
Total 2
3
8
15
10 18 2
3
2
5
4
8
  San Diego
Cleveland
  Run Pass Total Run Pass Total
  Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att
Short (<= 3) 4
5
1
2
5
7
3
4
2
2
5
6
Middle (4 - 7) 0
0
1
1
1
1
1
2
5
8
6
10
Long (8+) 0
0
0
4
0
4
0
0
0
4
0
4
Total 4
5
2
7
6
12
4
6
7
14
11
20
  Cincinnati Detroit
  Run Pass Total Run Pass Total
  Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att
Short (<= 3) 1
1
2
3
3
4
2 2 1 1 3 3
Middle (4 - 7) 0
0
2
4
2
4
0 0 0 3 0 3
Long (8+) 0
0
1
6
1
6
0 1 1 3 1 4
Total 1
1
5
13
6
14
2 3 2 17 4 10
  Jacksonville Tennessee
  Run Pass Total Run Pass Total
  Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att
Short (<= 3) 1 1 2 4 3 5 1 1 1 3 2 4
Middle (4 - 7) 0 0 1 3 1 3 0 0 1 3 1 3
Long (8+) 0 0 3 5 3 5 0 0 0 3 0 3
Total 1 1 6 12 7 13 1 1 2 9 3 10
  San Diego (Playoffs)
2nd Half/Playoff Total
  Run Pass Total Run Pass Total
  Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att Conv Att
Short (<= 3) 0 0 0 3 0 3 16 20 14 25 30 45
Middle (4 - 7) 0 0 3 3 3 3 1 2 15 31 16 33
Long (8+) 1 2 2 6 3 8 1 3 10 38 11 41
Total 1 2 5 12 6 14 18 25 39 94 57 119

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