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This is a quick follow-up post to mgrex03's Week 4 Review: Inside the Numbers story. Through four games, opposing teams have attempted 65 plays on third down and have converted 31 of those attempts for a rather troubling 47.7% success rate.
65 third down attempts in four games is INSANE. I mean, talk about "bend but don't break."
It averages to about 17 third down attempts a game, converting roughly 8 out of those 17. Contrast this with the Colts offense, who are 21 out of 45 on third down, for roughly 48%.
Again, if you are converting 48% of your third downs on offense, that's impressive. However, allowing 47% of your opponent third down attempts to succeed is not a stat that makes me sleep well at night. While Larry Coyer and Jim Caldwell have done some very good things to improve the Colts defensively, one element they stressed repeatedly during the off-season was getting the opponent off the field on third down. And while we are seeing a spike in the Colts defense creating more 3-and-out stands (they had six all of last year), a 47% third down percentage is not acceptable. Coyer and Caldwell need this percentage to go down if they want to improve things.
We will keep an eye on this stat throughout the season.
On the positive side, the Colts are allowing only 4.4 yards a play and are gaining 7.1 yards a play on offense.