Hey guys, this will be the first of a (hopefully) weekly post reviewing the Offensive Success Rate (OSR) for the Jaguars and their opponents from their previous game. The idea behind the post was inspired by this awesome article written by Bud Elliott from the SB Nation Florida State affiliate Tomahawk Nation.
Effectively, OSR tracks how well an offense has performed on any given play based on the down, distance, and result of the play. How is success measured? Here's a description from TN:
Success rate is a measure of how many plays gain 50% of needed yards on first down, 70% of needed yards on second down, or 100% of needed yards on third or fourth down. A standard down is "first downs, second down with 1-7 yards to go, or third/fourth down with 1-4 yards to go." Passing downs are 2nd & 8+ and 3rd/4th downs & 5+ yards to go.
The only adjustment to that formula that I've made is redefining success on 2nd down to be 50% of the yards remaining for a first down. I did this mainly because of personal preference, and I haven't seen the NFL version of Bill Connelly from Football Study Hall (who provided stats utilized in Bud's article) for the league-wide tracking of these stats anyways, so these reports will mainly be used to track the Jags' offensive and defensive performances throughout the season.
Other potential differences could be that I don't include offensive kneel-downs to end halves and that I view yardage gained on a QB scramble to be yards gained on a passing play. The nature of the QBs in this game made the latter stat harder to track, but I think I recorded them as correctly as possible.
Let's get to it...
Jaguars Offense vs Carolina Defense
Okay, so by now we've seen that things didn't go exactly to plan in the opener. Other articles on BCC by Alfie, Ryan, Cole, and Hank have gone in depth on some of these issue, so I'll just stick to looking over the Jaguars' OSR stats:
At first glance, you'll see that the Jaguars were running the ball pretty well on first down, and ended up averaging 4.1 yards, which would put their average less than a yard short of averaging a successful play running on 1st down.
That's the good news...
The bad news is that there were only seven 1st down runs called to 22(!) 1st down passing plays. That number is skewed by seven pass attempts in two minute situations to end both halves, but that is still a 7:15 ratio on first down. Add in that the average yards gained per passing play on 1st down to be 3.7, and you have a much lower success rate passing on 1st down.
On second down, Bortles looked VERY sharp moving the ball through the air on standard passing downs (2 & 7 or less), with a Success % of 85.7% (6/7, all six converted into 1st downs). The problems came when he was asked to get the offense back on track on 2nd down passing situations. On 2nd & 8+, Bortles had a Success % of 20% (1/5), and averaged 2.8 yards per play.
The troubles on third down have been well documented at this point, with the offense going 3/12 in these situations. A major problem they faced was that they weren't giving themselves much of a chance, only having a standard 3rd down opportunity (3rd & 4 or less) on 3 of 12 attempts (which were all converted into 1st downs). Drops by Rashad Greene and Allen Hurns on separate 3rd and long situations definitely didn't help those stats, but reaching manageable 3rd down situations on 16.7% of attempts in the future likely won't produce better offensive performances than what we saw Sunday.
It should also be noted that the offense struggled mightily in the second half. How big was the difference, you might ask? Well...
Yeah... Not saying he's perfect, but getting Luke Joeckel back soon would do wonders for the offense. With Sam Young in the game, the Panthers D-Line began to shift towards the right side of the Jags' OL more in the second half, and the results were not favorable, neither in the run game nor in the passing game. As former Pro-bowl center and current OL Guru LeCharles Bentley recently said in an interview with Pete Prisco of CBS Sports:
"The biggest drop-off of all position, maybe in all of sports, between starter and backup is at offensive line," Bentley said.
While the Jaguars have great depth along the interior of the OL with Luke Bowanko and AJ Cann, the same cannot be said about the tackle position, especially after Josh Wells was placed on IR in the preseason.
Get well soon, big guy...
Jaguars Defense vs Carolina Offense
The Panthers, on paper, seemed to have a very vanilla game plan installed. Run the ball on first down (regardless how many players the defense has in the box), run the ball or throw out of play action on second down, and let Cam do the rest on third down. Here's a look at the Panthers' OSR stats:
As you can see, the Jaguars defense did very well limiting the Panthers from running the ball successfully throughout the game, especially on 1st down. For the game, the Jaguars stopped the Panthers on 1st down runs, limiting them to 12.5% success rate (2 out of 16 1st down rushes) and a 3.1 YPC average.
The Panthers did, however, find more success through the air, especially on 3rd down. For the game, the Panthers converted 7/12 3rd downs on passing plays, and that doesn't include Ginn dropping a sure touchdown on a break in coverage. This will need to improve.
Now let's look at how the Panthers' offense performed by half...
After Bortles' pick six early in the 3rd quarter, the Panthers seemed to go into straight "bleed the clock" mode. Of their nine 1st down plays after going up 17-9, 7 were runs (all of which were stopped for two yards or less). On 2nd downs after that first pick, the Panthers relied on runs, short passes, and Cam scrambling to keep the clock moving, with only 2 passes falling incomplete on those downs. Up until the second pick of the half, the Panthers seemed content letting themselves get into passing situations on third down, then treating any first down Cam could deliver as icing on the cake.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, the defense, which had already been struggling on 3rd down passing situations up in the first half, allowed the Panthers to convert 5/10 3rd downs to keep drives going in the second half, including 4/7 in obvious passing situations...
The Jaguars are going to need to find some form of offensive consistency against future opponents in order to avoid having opponents from running this type of "kill the clock and let's get home" style of offense, and will definitely need to improve their ability to get off the field on 3rd down obvious passing situations.
If you guys like the content, I'll keep doing these.
I realize the length of this post was kind of long, and I probably should have split it into an Offensive and Defensive post. I'll see how long these posts average out to over the next few games before I start splitting them regularly.
I won't be able to monitor the comments regularly during the day due to work (I'm posting this using Chick-fil-A Wifi on my lunch break), but I'll try to get to any questions/comments on the format in the comments when I can!