Inside The Bills

For Bills’ offense 2nd down is key

Posted by Chris Brown on September 28, 2014 – 11:15 am

Through the first three games this season the Texans’ defense has been outstanding on third down. Their unit ranks first in the league in third down conversion percentage allowed with opponents moving the sticks just over 27 percent of the time (27.3). Buffalo’s offense has ranked just 24th in third down conversion percentage (36.6%), which is why against Houston the Bills should do their best to convert a down earlier.

Converting a first down on second down is obviously a bit tougher if you haven’t set up a medium or short distance situation, but against the Texans that may not be a problem.

On first down Houston’s defense gives up four yards or more an astounding 61.7 percent of the time, more often than any defense in the league. Opponents are gaining an AVERAGE of 5.9 yards on first down against the Texans.

That leads to a lot of favorable down and distance situations on second down. That’s also a big reason why the Texans’ defense is last in the league when it comes to allowing conversions on second down. Houston is letting opposing offenses move the sticks on SECOND down 42 percent of the time (41.9%).

The Texans’ surrendering of conversions on second down is 15 percent higher than on third down, so Buffalo’s offense wants to stay close to Houston’s average given up on first down (5.9) to set up a good chance for second down conversions instead of even getting to third down.

And running the ball on second down would be perfectly fine if the Bills are in anything that’s 2nd-and-6 or less because Houston is giving up a difficult to believe 6.84 yards on second down, which ranks 30th in the NFL.


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