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Please stop running up the middle on 1st and 10


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#1 BillsLux

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:10 PM

Despite absolutely no success, we continue to run up the middle on 1st and 10. Can anyone describe why we do this?

I suppose it could be two things:
1) The belief that we need to create manageable 3rd down situations for our young quarterback.  If that's the case, it makes no sense to me.  First of all, it's not working, so it's actually really leaving our quarterback in vulnerable long yard situations for second and third down when the other team knows we're going to throw.  Wouldn't it actually be easier for a young quarterback to throw on a 1st down when the other team might be playing the run a bit more.

2) What I call the Bobby Ross - Barry Sanders Phenomenom (replace Sanders with Spiller): I coined this phrase from listening to people who seemed to think that it was absolutely a given that if you gave the ball 16 times to Barry Sanders who averaged 5 yards a carry, that you would without a doubt go on 80 yard scoring drivings every single time. (2 runs * 5 yard carry = First down; never even have to use a 3rd down).  Unfortunately, the reality was that Barry went on a 20 yard run followed by -2 yard loss, followed by -3 yard run, followed by an incomplete pass and then a punt.  This gave him a 5 5 yard average along with punting from the 35 yard line.  I really hope that our offensive coordinator doesn't believe in this phenomenon too.

I can't figure it out.  Last year I couldn't watch our defense under Wandstedt.  This year, I enjoy watching the defensem but feel as though I'm getting ripped off when I watch our offense.

#2 NoSaint

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:17 PM

I believe someone pulled the stat that we passed 40% of first down plays yesterday

Our top 2 qbs are hurt, our top 2 rbs beat up, our #1 wr is hurt, our #2 is a rookie and 3-6 have about a dozen career catches combined, our TE is coming off an ACL injury in December, and we cut a starting lineman due to his poor play, swing tackle may not actually exist (what's up with Hairstons injury?) - AND STILL we are putting up points I schedule.

It might not be pretty but I'm a bit impressed still.

#3 Luis Mendoza

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:18 PM

At least we saw the screen play Sunday to the captain. And I have no idea why it took till week 7 to run it. Especially with how teams have been loading the box and unloading on our young QB's. Seems like it would be such a high percentage play to run on a consistent basis.

Edited by Luis Mendoza, 22 October 2013 - 11:22 PM.


#4 San-O

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Posted 22 October 2013 - 11:20 PM

I think is's all a great strategy: Our OC is setting them up for later in the year when he DOESN"T run up the middle on 1st downs!

:thumbsup:

#5 Gasjuggler

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 03:17 AM

With C.J. And Fred hobbled I don't think we can get outside. Lewis throws that pass in the flat pretty good but no blockers out there with him. Chan had a field day with that bubble screen. I think Levitre would pull on that play, maybe that's what's missing?

#6 peterpan

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:08 AM

I think we are passiong too much on 1st and 2nd down honestly.  Heck, Third down too (when its third and short at least).

The problem isn't running it.  The problem is that slow inside handoff play.  It must be Hackett's favorite.  But it stinks.

#7 distortions

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:11 AM

I'd like to at least see some creativity. Perhaps a fake handoff to Spiller or Jackson or something. We never do that. I was watching a high school game last Friday and the home team did a double fake handoff then the QB threw for a touchdown. It was just a brilliantly creative play.

#8 xsoldier54

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:16 AM

View PostBillsLux, on 22 October 2013 - 11:10 PM, said:

Despite absolutely no success, we continue to run up the middle on 1st and 10. Can anyone describe why we do this?

I suppose it could be two things:
1) The belief that we need to create manageable 3rd down situations for our young quarterback.  If that's the case, it makes no sense to me.  First of all, it's not working, so it's actually really leaving our quarterback in vulnerable long yard situations for second and third down when the other team knows we're going to throw.  Wouldn't it actually be easier for a young quarterback to throw on a 1st down when the other team might be playing the run a bit more.

2) What I call the Bobby Ross - Barry Sanders Phenomenom (replace Sanders with Spiller): I coined this phrase from listening to people who seemed to think that it was absolutely a given that if you gave the ball 16 times to Barry Sanders who averaged 5 yards a carry, that you would without a doubt go on 80 yard scoring drivings every single time. (2 runs * 5 yard carry = First down; never even have to use a 3rd down).  Unfortunately, the reality was that Barry went on a 20 yard run followed by -2 yard loss, followed by -3 yard run, followed by an incomplete pass and then a punt.  This gave him a 5 5 yard average along with punting from the 35 yard line.  I really hope that our offensive coordinator doesn't believe in this phenomenon too.

I can't figure it out.  Last year I couldn't watch our defense under Wandstedt.  This year, I enjoy watching the defensem but feel as though I'm getting ripped off when I watch our offense.
We are 5th in the league in rushing.  Running the ball early, regardless of results, opens up the passing game.  Defenses crowd the line hoping to stop the run, then it is easier to pass.  Also, running early in the game and sticking with the plan has proven successful.  Patience is the key, which is in short supply on this forum.

#9 ORTON1QB

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:25 AM

Drives me nuts too. Just like throwing a down away.

#10 Heitz

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:33 AM

Pretty sure the playcalling is being covered here: http://forums.twobil...defend-hackett/

Also, and I can't find the article now, but I had read that CJ's best runs last year were up the middle!  And as xsoldier54 pointed out it's not like our rushing ranking is *bad* http://www.nfl.com/stats/team

And NoSaint hits on the key point - most of our best O weapons are hobbled!

Give it some time, let's see where we're at at the end of year...

#11 Captain Hindsight

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:49 AM

We average 5.89 yards on first down per rush.
15 Buffalo Bills 5.89 6.58 6.15


http://www.sportingc...n-attempt/2013/

#12 over 20 years of fanhood

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 08:59 AM

View Postxsoldier54, on 24 October 2013 - 08:16 AM, said:

We are 5th in the league in rushing.  Running the ball early, regardless of results, opens up the passing game.  Defenses crowd the line hoping to stop the run, then it is easier to pass.  Also, running early in the game and sticking with the plan has proven successful.  Patience is the key, which is in short supply on this forum.

This...  Game plans are strategic. You might run up the middle for 5 first down plays just to set up that one play action strike for a TD.

Also 2nd and 7 is better than 2nd and 10.

Marrone is a numbers guy and plays percentages, guessing Hackett is too.  So far the approach has kept them in every game this season against a series of good NFL defenses.

#13 The Big Cat

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:01 AM

OH jesus. Here we go again.

#14 Offsides Number 76

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:02 AM

Why?  It wears down defenses and pays off later in the game.

#15 The Big Cat

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:04 AM

Can we please pin this post: http://forums.twobil...40#entry2955050 so threads like this can just go away?

#16 jeremy2020

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:14 AM

View PostCaptain Hindsight, on 24 October 2013 - 08:49 AM, said:

We average 5.89 yards on first down per rush.
15 Buffalo Bills 5.89 6.58 6.15


http://www.sportingc...n-attempt/2013/

I think this needs to be repeated.

#17 BillsFan-4-Ever

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:24 AM

Please stop running to the left side when it fails time and time again.

I posted yesterday that even injured FJ and CJ are 5th and 8th in rushing yards among AFC players.

For two hurt guys That's not bad

View PostCaptain Hindsight, on 24 October 2013 - 08:49 AM, said:

We average 5.89 yards on first down per rush.
15 Buffalo Bills 5.89 6.58 6.15


http://www.sportingc...n-attempt/2013/
c'mon don't confuse the issue with cold hard facts

#18 MDH

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:28 AM

View PostCaptain Hindsight, on 24 October 2013 - 08:49 AM, said:

We average 5.89 yards on first down per rush.
15 Buffalo Bills 5.89 6.58 6.15


http://www.sportingc...n-attempt/2013/

I quoted that stat yesterday in another thread but I'm beginning to think it's wrong. In looking up both Jackson's and Spiller's numbers individually. Jackson averages 4.4 ypc on first and 10 while Spiller averages 3.9.

Obviously the stat you posted includes all distances, not just 1st and 10 and also includes the QBs running with the ball but it still doesn't seem right.

Nonetheless Jackson's and Spiller's average on 1st and 10 is perfectly fine and goes against all the "why are we running on 1st down!" cries we've heard all year. They're ending up, on average, of 2nd and less than 6 which is what you hope for.

#19 distortions

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:45 AM

Could it be that the average is inflated due to a few big runs?

#20 The Big Cat

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Posted 24 October 2013 - 09:45 AM

View Postdistortions, on 24 October 2013 - 09:45 AM, said:

Could it be that the average is inflated due to a few big runs?

Of course. Which is also true for the 31 other teams we're compared to.