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10 May 2004

Even More Complete Failures

by Aaron Schatz

Based on a couple of comments in the article on "failed complete" passes, here are three new tables for your analyzing enjoyment.

First, there were a number of requests to give the percentage of failed completes, rather than the total.  This table gives that percentage based on total pass plays (including sacks) for each offense:


    1st/2nd
Down
Partial
Success
3rd/4th
Down
Fail to
Convert
Zero
Gain
or Loss
Total
Failed
Completes
% of
Pass
Plays
Yards     1st/2nd
Down
Partial
Success
3rd/4th
Down
Fail to
Convert
Zero
Gain
or Loss
Total
Failed
Completes
% of
Pass
Plays
Yards
1 NYJ 54 33 14 97 18.4% 337 17 SFO 45 27 7 76 14.1% 350
2 SDG 54 26 21 97 17.6% 304 18 CAR 39 25 7 69 14.1% 293
3 DET 57 35 12 104 17.3% 385 19 DEN 44 21 5 70 14.0% 337
4 IND 59 31 12 99 16.7% 355 20 ATL 38 19 11 66 14.0% 256
5 ARI 62 26 10 96 16.7% 408 21 PHI 47 22 7 73 13.9% 268
6 GNB 44 33 8 82 16.7% 349 22 OAK 46 24 8 77 13.8% 344
7 TAM 62 26 16 101 16.4% 369 23 HOU 35 21 10 66 13.3% 269
8 CLE 41 39 13 89 16.1% 316 24 NOR 46 22 8 75 13.1% 314
9 DAL 44 34 12 86 15.8% 353 25 MIA 25 23 17 62 12.9% 185
10 KAN 52 25 10 86 15.4% 342 26 NYG 54 24 6 83 12.7% 335
11 NWE 50 27 15 87 15.2% 300 27 MIN 46 21 6 71 12.6% 291
12 STL 55 27 18 97 15.0% 335 28 BAL 27 27 5 57 12.5% 263
13 BUF 47 30 7 81 14.6% 369 29 PIT 39 25 8 71 12.4% 325
14 CHI 47 26 9 81 14.5% 354 30 WAS 40 23 5 67 11.7% 286
15 JAC 46 27 7 79 14.4% 335 31 TEN 31 26 5 61 11.5% 284
16 CIN 51 21 8 80 14.3% 358 32 SEA 35 11 9 55 9.7% 195

Second, there was a request for the defensive numbers.  Remember, the goal here isn't to discover the quality of each defense, but its shape:


    1st/2nd
Down
Partial
Success
3rd/4th
Down
Fail to
Convert
Zero
Gain
or Loss
Total
Failed
Completes
% of
Pass
Plays
Yards     1st/2nd
Down
Partial
Success
3rd/4th
Down
Fail to
Convert
Zero
Gain
or Loss
Total
Failed
Completes
% of
Pass
Plays
Yards
1 OAK 38 35 21 89 18.0% 322 17 KAN 53 22 10 85 14.4% 310
2 IND 46 24 15 82 17.3% 328 18 JAC 40 23 15 76 14.2% 302
3 PHI 55 32 20 101 16.9% 357 19 CLE 44 22 10 74 13.9% 297
4 TEN 51 42 9 98 16.7% 466 20 NYJ 44 18 6 67 13.6% 262
5 PIT 46 30 13 86 16.6% 289 21 STL 42 26 9 75 13.6% 333
6 SDG 51 34 6 90 16.3% 448 22 NYG 41 25 13 76 13.4% 323
7 GNB 61 31 10 101 16.3% 379 23 DAL 35 32 7 70 13.4% 283
8 DEN 55 25 9 87 16.2% 330 24 WAS 36 24 9 68 13.3% 252
9 CHI 48 36 7 88 16.2% 351 25 CIN 40 21 10 70 12.9% 296
10 TAM 45 30 11 82 16.0% 298 26 BUF 41 21 12 70 12.8% 233
11 BAL 49 30 15 92 15.9% 384 27 ARI 35 27 3 65 12.5% 349
12 DET 52 26 8 84 15.3% 372 28 SEA 49 17 10 75 12.1% 275
13 ATL 57 21 5 83 15.1% 337 29 HOU 34 25 4 63 12.0% 290
14 CAR 54 16 15 82 14.6% 252 30 NWE 50 22 7 77 11.7% 266
15 SFO 47 25 9 81 14.6% 320 31 NOR 32 22 4 58 11.2% 274
16 MIA 55 22 7 83 14.5% 317 32 MIN 36 21 7 63 11.1% 269

Yes, I'm sure many people are shocked to find the Patriots near the bottom of this list.  Remember, of course, that before a pass can be a "failed complete" it has to be complete to begin with.  Once I had thought about this a bit, the numbers made sense.  Based solely on my subjective watching of every Patriots game last year (except Cleveland, the day my daughter was born) I don't remember a lot of short completions against the Patriots.  Judged solely by the metric "number of times Aaron screamed at the television" it seems like every third down completion was a new first down, and the Pats would give up a couple of these before making their big third down stop or getting the interception.  The low number of catches tackled for a loss would seem to jive with New England's weakness against passes to running backs discussed here.

Another number above that jumps out at you is probably the 42 third down catches against Tennessee that failed to achieve a first down.  That's far and away the most in the league, but the Titans did face the most pass plays of any team in the NFL last year.  Guess what: the gap is even wider when you look at the percentage of such catches on all third-and-long plays (defined as six or more yards to go):


Team % Failed Completes
on 3rd-and-6+
Team % Failed Completes
on 3rd-and-6+
TEN 40.9% SDG 26.7%
ARI 29.3% BAL 26.4%
CHI 28.9% PIT 26.3%
OAK 27.9% HOU 26.1%
PHI 27.6% DAL 25.5%

I'll leave the rest of the analysis, for the time being, to the readers.  Feel free to go nuts in the discussion thread.

Posted by: Aaron Schatz on 10 May 2004

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