Inside The Bills

The challenge of 3rd-&-2, 3rd-&-3

Posted by Chris Brown on October 13, 2013 – 6:15 am

Bills head coach Doug Marrone has pointed to the offense’s lack of effectiveness in converting on 3rd-and-2 and 3rd-and-3 as an area that needs to be improved to enhance the chance of turning close losses into victories. We took a closer look at Buffalo’s performance in those situations and uncovered a few things.

On 3rd-and-1s this season Buffalo has a very respectable 54 percent conversion rate (7-for-13).

On 3rd-and-4 to 3rd-and-6 the Bills are a very solid 50 percent on conversions (10-20).

On 3rd-and-2 and 3rd-and-3 this season Buffalo has moved the chains just 27 percent of the time (3-11).

One trend we’ve noticed is of the 11 opportunities on 3rd-and-2 or 3rd-and-3 this season they’ve chosen to pass all but once. While all three of the conversions they’ve made on those down and distances were via the pass, Buffalo is the number one rushing team in the AFC.

For a team that averages better than four yards per carry this season a few more run plays on 3rd-and-2 or 3rd-and-3 may extend some more scoring drives.

Only one other team in the NFL runs more often than the Bills (62.5%) on 1st-and-10 and that’s Seattle (64.2%). Buffalo gains 4.29 yards per carry on 1st-and-10. It wouldn’t seem unreasonable to think they could get a couple of yards most of the time on 3rd-and-2.


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