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Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

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Old 10-01-2010, 01:09 PM   #16
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

And this is putting our D on the field too much.
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Old 10-01-2010, 01:16 PM   #17
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

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Originally Posted by irish View Post
The Skins best WR (Moss) is just too small to be a factor in the Red Zone and cant win jump balls. Everyone know the Skins cant run the ball and cant do a fade route with their small WRs so IMO it makes them easy to defend.
Irish, it........breaks my heart to agree with you, alas I do. I nearly wretched the other day when Andre Johnson pulled in the pass...easliy in the end zone over our guy.
If we do not get D Thomas or ??? in the act and with our lack of credible ground game, we are easy to defend. When was the last time on 3rd and 3, we even....thought about a run play?
HOWEVER...it is encumbent on "the boy genius" to realize these facts and DEAL with it
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:34 PM   #18
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

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Irish, it........breaks my heart to agree with you, alas I do. I nearly wretched the other day when Andre Johnson pulled in the pass...easliy in the end zone over our guy.
If we do not get D Thomas or ??? in the act and with our lack of credible ground game, we are easy to defend. When was the last time on 3rd and 3, we even....thought about a run play?
HOWEVER...it is encumbent on "the boy genius" to realize these facts and DEAL with it
Its not that the Little General doesnt understand what to do, he realizes he doesnt have the players to do what he wants. If he thought Thomas or ??? could get it done they'd be in there. He's trying to find a way to deal with it but when you dont have the players to get it done it makes things tough.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:42 PM   #19
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

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Originally Posted by irish View Post
Its not that the Little General doesnt understand what to do, he realizes he doesnt have the players to do what he wants. If he thought Thomas or ??? could get it done they'd be in there. He's trying to find a way to deal with it but when you dont have the players to get it done it makes things tough.
I hear you. It's not like this is original thought. I imagine he gave up sleep some time ago trying to contrive, and scheme some genius for our Offensive shortcomings...HTTR
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:48 PM   #20
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

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Originally Posted by Mattyk View Post
Skins are 6/33 on 3rd downs. 6 conversions in 3 games?? That's insanely bad.

What's interesting is they kick ass on 1st downs and average something close to 8 yards an per play. So something appears to be going horribly wrong on 2nd downs.
I'm just looking back at my notes from the first three games, and it certainly appears that the tendency after an unsuccessful first down play (and we've had our share of successful ones for sure) is to reverse trend. If it's an incomplete pass, we like to run or screen in second down. If we ran for little gain, we like to take a shot, either at the sticks or down the field.

It's a strong trend.

The result appears to be a severe reliance on getting a big play when we try it. If not, a third down is nearly inevitable. And obviously, that third down figure is going to regress towards the mean a little bit, but it's going to be low as long as we are in third and longs.

And Portis is right that when we do get in third and short, we have the fun ability to get a procedure penalty and back it up to third and long.
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Old 10-01-2010, 02:51 PM   #21
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

Yeah those 3rd down penalties have killed us a few times.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:05 PM   #22
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

VINCENT JACKSON would have fixed that
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:20 PM   #23
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

I think that the root of the problem is the offensive line. The right side of the line has struggled to open up holes in the running game, and therefore, our running game has suffered. Clinton portis and torain should be sufficient RBs behind a good offensive line, but trent williams and lichtensteiger have been our only really good run blockers so far this year. Our lack of running game makes us predictable, especially in the red zone, and thus we become easy to defend against.

I like seeing sellers involved; he's a freak athlete and is very versatile, although I cringe when he gets the ball because I'm afraid he'll fumble it lol. His run blocking has been very hit or miss this season - does anyone know what the implications of a zone blocking scheme are for a fullback? And I hope portis can teach torain and keiland or whatever rookie RB we end up with how to pass protect..
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:32 PM   #24
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

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Originally Posted by Mattyk View Post
Lost in all the focus on the struggles of the defense is the fact the offense is coming up short in two critical categories, 3rd down conversions (18% - last in the league) and red zone offense (22%, 2 TDs out of 9 possessions - again last in the league).

Improving in these 2 categories will keep the defense off the field and lead to more points. Just wanted to bring this topic up since the defense is receiving such a huge brunt of our criticism, but it's obvious the offense needs to shoulder some blame as well.
Thoughts?
Great topic, its been on my mind.
My take:

This trend is major part of why the Skins are 1-2.
The 3rd down coversion rate is more troubling to me then the RZ rate but imo both are certainly fixable.
Its troubling because it speaks to mindset.
It seems like Kyle/McNabb are content with playing boom or bust football at the sacrifice of ball control and time of possession.
Kyle is an ultra-aggressive playcaller.
He attacks on 1st down and we're No.1 in the league on 1st down yardage.
But, the 1st down aggressiveness has a flip side, because when it result in an incomplete pass it puts the offense behind schedule.
Now its second and long and because we're not married to the run nor are we running the ball well we seem to end up in 2nd and long more then we should which results in too many 3rd and longs.
Which bring us to our terrible 3rd down conversion rate.

To sum up i think part of the problem is that Kyle and McNabb are both very aggresive offensive thinkers.
IMHO Kyle needs to scale his aggressiveness back to accomdate McNabb's own aggressiveness and call more plays geared toward effecieny then quick strike.
For example look at some of the long bombs McNabb has thrown in situations where a high percentage throw with a chance of converting a 1st down and milking the clock would have been more beneficial then a low percentage TD ball.
Being that Kyle and the running game haven't got on track i'm not advocating that Kyle become run 1st (although i wouldn't mind if were able to become a successful running team)
No, i think that Kyle needs to call an offense geared more towards move the chains.
If it means quick-rhythm classic 3-step drop WCO in lieu of the running game, so be it but whatever it should be geared towards putting us in a 2nd down situation that gives us more options (like actually being able to run the ball).
For example at the beginning of the Texans game when Sellers was involved in the short game or the beginning of the Rams game when we ran some quick rhythm stuff from 1 WR Double TE sets.

Oh, and please quit the Zorn-esque WR/TE screen pass on 3rd down.
If there's 1 playcall that makes me scratch my head is a WR/TE screen on 3rd down.

RZ
It seems like Kyle is less aggressive inside the 20 then he is elsewhere on the field. I think they need to throw more into the endzone. I've always felt that once you're in the RZ especially in a goal to go situation you need to throw the ball into the endzone at least twice.

I don't think the problem is personel. I think we have enough people to produce an effective RZ offense. Everyone seems to be hung up on throwing fade passes, but how often do teams throw successful jump-fade in the RZ?
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Last edited by 30gut; 10-01-2010 at 04:11 PM.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:35 PM   #25
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

Part of the problem is the team is so one dimensional. Not being able to run the ball and not having reliable red-zone receivers only compound the problem.

If the numbers are going to improve, we must establish some semblance of a running game and stay committed to it. [easier said than done] Until then, play action is useless, teams will just ignore it knowing you're not going to run anyway. 6/32 3rd down completions is horrible.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:45 PM   #26
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

It all gets back to being able to run the football, particularly on 1st down. We actually lead the league in average yards on 1st down, but that's deceiving since Donovan had two 60+ yard passes against the Texans on 1st down. Converting 3rd downs and sustaining drives becomes much more manageable when it's 3rd and less than 5, which can be done by running the ball more effectively. I want to see A LOT more cut blocking by our O-linemen to make defenders more tentative in the run game.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:45 PM   #27
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

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Originally Posted by SmootSmack View Post
Crazy to think we're tied for last in the league in 3rd down conversions with the 3-0 Pittsburgh Steelers.

Sometimes to really understand why a team is struggling in 3rd down conversions is to look at their 2nd down attempts. I haven't done this, but I would be interested to know how many 3rd and longs they've had to face. (which I believe Matty also alluded to)

Our Red Zone offense is consistently abysmal
It doesn't matter cause they have a great defense. Plus they're playing their 4th string QB? 3-0 w/ out Ben is pretty impressive. Troy P. is the MVP of that team. Not Ben.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:48 PM   #28
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

Fred Davis might help. He was one of the few bright spots on a bad offense last year. He's a big physical presense in the red zone. Why they're not using him is a complete mystery.
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Old 10-01-2010, 03:54 PM   #29
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

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Originally Posted by Mattyk View Post
Skins are 6/33 on 3rd downs. 6 conversions in 3 games?? That's insanely bad.

What's interesting is they kick ass on 1st downs and average something close to 8 yards an per play. So something appears to be going horribly wrong on 2nd downs.
You alluded to it earlier- running game epic fail.
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Old 10-01-2010, 04:18 PM   #30
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Re: Two big problems on offense: 3rd downs & red zone

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Originally Posted by Mattyk View Post
Skins are 6/33 on 3rd downs. 6 conversions in 3 games?? That's insanely bad.

What's interesting is they kick ass on 1st downs and average something close to 8 yards an per play. So something appears to be going horribly wrong on 2nd downs.
Throw away the two 60+ yard passes on first downs against the Texans, and I would argue that something is seriously wrong on 1st down too. Because of meager 1st and 2nd down production running the ball, we're putting too much pressure on the passing game to convert 3rd and long. I bet that our yards to go on third down is among the highest in the league.
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