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Football Outsiders: Run on 3rd and Short

Discussion in 'PatsFans.com - Patriots Fan Forum' started by DropKickFlutie, Aug 31, 2010.

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  1. DropKickFlutie

    DropKickFlutie Rookie

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    Related to some recent discussion, just an interesting FYI if you've never seen this. Football Outsiders shows that running on 3rd and short is a much preferable option than passing it.

    FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | Football Outsiders Basics (a.k.a. "Pregame Show")
  2. DropKickFlutie

    DropKickFlutie Rookie

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    Here is a different piece related to the Patriots, for why Law Firm may be a better RB choice than Maroney. A runner with lower variance in his runs is more valuable than a runner who is 'boom or bust'.

  3. RayClay

    RayClay On the Roster

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    If their overall ypc are equal.....
  4. pdangle

    pdangle Rookie

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    And if you call the same (or class of) runner 4 times per set, the variance will shrink considerably. But the original point stands for one play for short yardage, fo' sho'.
  5. PatsFan37

    PatsFan37 Rookie

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    Doesn't that make the assumption that statistically Law Firm had fewer negative yardage plays than Maroney?

    I don't have the numbers but I thought I read that Maroney had fewer negative yardage plays last year than any of the other backs. If it weren't for his goal-line fumbles last year (yes, and other than that, how was the play Mrs. Lincoln) he'd be the best short-yardage back on the team.

    I have not given up on this guy.
  6. CheeseMonkeys

    CheeseMonkeys Rookie

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    I think there is a very good chance that Maroney will have his best year yet this season. He certainly has the physical talent to be a succesful RB.
  7. Sicilian

    Sicilian On the Roster

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    That's what I thought too. I feel like for every run where Maroney's shifty style causes him to miss a hole, there's another play where his elusiveness prevents a loss when there are three defenders already in the backfield.

    People's problems with Maroney (pre-fumbling streak) have always been about aesthetic preference, not about results, whether they want to admit that or not.
  8. JackBauer

    JackBauer On the Roster

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    Maroney had the 2nd best success rate in 2007 and the 11th best in 2009.

    Meanwhile, BJGE does have enough carries to chart his position, probably because the coaching staff feels he's best off playing against scrubs or in garbage time.
  9. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    I have to say, FO's analysis seems muddled here -- they're conflating two very different measures:

    So guys, what is it you're measuring? Is it "gaining more yardage" or "converting to a new set of downs"? Those are totally different animals.

    Surely you have a better chance of converting a 2nd-and-1 on the ground too, no? In which case there is no "exception" here. All you're saying is that passes result in a greater average yardage but a higher chance of zero yards. Which is the ultimate football platitude..
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  10. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    That is an awfully good point, one I have preached excessively in my PrePatsFan.com days.

    ***

    Whether you're talking about a QuarterBack, a RunningBack, a TightEnd, or a WideOut, it's the guys with Golden Arms and Great "40" Times who get you to the PlayOffs.

    But it's the guys who bore the @#$%^&* out of you, but consistently Move the Chains...who win the PlayOffs.

    Joe Montana > Dan Marino
    Emmit Smith > Barry Sanders
    Tom Brady >>> Peyton Manning
  11. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    But in his prime, Emmitt was routinely pulling in 50+ catches a year, too. He was no "3 yards and a cloud of dust" guy -- you had to fully honor the RB position in all of its facets when he was in the game.

    For all that Maroney drives people crazy, he's a much more well-rounded threat than Green-Ellis. If you were a DC, wouldn't you be much happier scheming against Law Firm?
  12. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    That actually explains why Maroney is better than you want to give him credit for because his success rate has always been high.

    Even more interesting is that the Patriots OL ranked #2 for fewest stuffs in the league last year. I've heard a lot of people claim that Maroney always gets stuffed at or behind the LOS, yet the statistics do not agree.

    FOOTBALL OUTSIDERS: Innovative Statistics, Intelligent Analysis | 2009 OFFENSIVE LINES

    It looks like the one thing we really need more of is 10+ yard runs.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  13. DropKickFlutie

    DropKickFlutie Rookie

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    I agree with the previous poster that on 3rd and short, Tom Brady should be under center. The defense will be thinking and looking for run first, so the offense should at least pretend that is what it is going to be, even if we are passing it.
  14. Deus Irae

    Deus Irae PatsFans.com Retired Jersey Club PatsFans.com Supporter

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    In 2009:

    On 3rd and less than 6, Brady was 37 for 62.

    On 3rd and less than 3, Brady was 11 for 16.

    On 4th and less than 6, Brady was 3 for 5.

    On 4th and less than 3, Brady was 2 for 3.


    In 2007

    On 3rd and less than 6, Brady was 40 for 58.

    On 3rd and less than 3, Brady was 12 for 15.

    On 4th and less than 6, Brady was 4 for 6.

    On 4th and less than 3, Brady was 4 for 4.


    As I've noted over the years here, I'm a fan of running first and passing second. However, having a guy like Brady taking the snaps changes the equation, and that's especially true when you also toss in a safety valve the likes of Kevin Faulk.
    Last edited: Aug 31, 2010
  15. Triumph

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    Its about results - yards.

    I really dont care if Maroney runs around in circles as long as he picks up yards.
  16. emoney_33

    emoney_33 Rookie

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    Which he does, as evidenced by his success rate and the Patriots ranked #2 in fewest runs of negative or 0 yards last year.
  17. Off The Grid

    Off The Grid Rookie

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    Very good Argument, and yes, I probably would.

    But if I were Coach Belichick, I would want neither.

    I should explain that I meant to praise the preceding Argument, not Green, himself.

    If it was up to me, I would've traded both of them before the draft ~ I don't know if Green would've fetched anything, mind you ~ and drafted Deji Karim ~ who is currently injured, I'm sorry to say ~ and scooped up UFA Joique Bell, to go with the Jurassic Boys, who of course offered no trade value.
  18. captain stone

    captain stone Rookie

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    I completely, unequivocally agree.

    I detest the shotgun - and most esp. the empty backfield - formation, exc. in the case of obvious passing (incl. 2-min, catch-up, etc.) situations.
  19. patchick

    patchick Moderatrix Staff Member PatsFans.com Supporter

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    This wasn't a question of strategy and deceptive play-calling, but just whether FO's statistical analysis is sound. They claim to have found a situation that's a statistical "exception," and they haven't.

    The average yardage gained on 3rd & 1 will be greater for a pass than a run. Thus, 3rd & 1 is NOT an exception to any rule about pass plays averaging greater yardage than run plays. Similarly, a running play will be more likely to produce 2+ yards on 2nd & 10 than a pass play.

    What changes on 3 & 1 is the tactical value of a 2-yard gain vs. an 8-yard gain vs. a 0-yard gain.

    Which is the most basic strategic insight imaginable: 1 yard matters more on 3rd & 1 than on 2nd & 10! Wow!
  20. AndyJohnson

    AndyJohnson PatsFans.com Veteran PatsFans.com Supporter

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    Here is what I see when I study Maroney.
    -When there is an open hole he hits it
    -When the hole is not there, he hesitates, trying to find a cut back lane
    Probably 3 times out of 4 the cutback lane is not there. In those cases instead of having a RB who runs into the pile and gets nothing you have a RB who looks indecisive to the untrined eye, and gets nothing.
    In terms of being effective as a RB Maroney style as described above helps him on the 1 in 4 where the cutback creates yards and has pretty much no impact on the other 3 of 4. In terms of how fans perceive him, the way he gets nothng when there is nothing to get is an exteemely imprtant factor. In fact, the way he gets nothing compared to gettng nothing a different way is the reason why he is villified by many fans.

    The facts that we are a passing offense, that BB prefers to limit the carries of any 1 RB, and that Maroney has had 1 serious and a couple of minor injuries take the ignorant approach that his running style is flawed and back it up with the lack of stats that their was no prayer of achieving on this team.

    In the end, I expect Maroney to have a good season, yet fans to still complain because there are plays that aren't blocked well, and he won't get the 300+ carries that would keep those who anlyze from a stat sheet happy.
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