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Sustained Drive Scoring

Discussion in 'Fan Zone' started by Hoofbite, Nov 15, 2013.

  1. Hoofbite

    Hoofbite Well-Known Member

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    A lot of discussion has been had over whether or not Dallas' offense is as good as their #2 overall point total suggests. I think a lot of the resistance to the idea that they aren't that great hinges solely on the Denver game and people thinking that the team would trend away from the rather lackluster games they had played and more towards the high-octane performance we saw against the Broncos, if only a little bit.

    Aikman's comments on the offense didn't come as a surprise. They really haven't been that great and when you do take out the non-offensive scores and short fields, they're not much better than average. I took out all the non-offensive scores for every team. Also removed scores on drives that started inside the opponents 20 yard line for the entire league. The remaining is what I am calling, "Sustained Drive Scoring".

    Couple things.
    • Dallas is tied for #1 in terms of drives starting inside the opponents redzone. 49ers and Cardinals also have 5 drives starting at the 20 or closer. League average is 2 drives, Philly and the Jets don't have any it appears.
    • Dallas ranks #1 in terms of points scored on these drives with 31 points. Arizona has scored 3 TDs, San Francisco has scored 2. League average is just under 12 points.
    • Dallas is tied for #2 behind Kansas City in terms of non-offensive TDs. Dallas has 5 with a couple other teams and KC has 7.

    After factoring these in, Dallas ranks #13 in the NFL for Sustained Drive Scoring at 20.90 points per game, which gives you a difference between total points per game of 6.5 points per game. This is also the highest in the NFL.
    • Dallas is one of 4 teams with a difference greater than 5 points per game and one of 8 teams with a difference greater than 4 points per game.
    • The league average is a little over 3 points per game.
    • New Orleans has the smallest difference at just over 0.33 points per game. They have zero non-offensive TDs.

    For Comparison's Sake:
    • In 2011, Dallas scored 369 points. They had 1 non-offensive TD and 6 possessions that started inside the opponents Redzone. 4 TDs, 1 FG and an End of Game possession.
    • In 2012, Dallas scored 376 points. They had 4 non-offensive TDs and 5 possessions that started inside the opponents Redzone, scoring 2 TDs, 2 FGs and turning it over once.
    Sustained Drive Scoring for the past 3 years:
      • 2011: 20.6 points per game
      • 2012: 20.5 points per game
      • 2013: 20.9 points per game

    I know in some of the threads there have been people asking for numbers like this. Profootballreference has an amazing search feature that can isolate stats down to almost any specific measure and really made the task a lot easier.

    One thing that is interesting is that the Denver (and St. Louis) game featured no non-offensive TDs and no drives that started in the offenses Redzone which means that 48 of the 209 points that the Dallas offense has earned on its own right came in that single game.
  2. dstovall5

    dstovall5 Well-Known Member

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    Tell me if I'm reading this correctly, but you're saying without our defense/special teams help our offense ranks 13th in the league? I could've misread your post, just wanna make sure I read it properly.
  3. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    Great stats. Kinda supports how me and a lot of people feel. This offense (outside of the Broncos game) has not looked as good as the numbers indicate.
  4. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    Yeah, that's what it looks like. And, also, the Broncos game really inflated our overall stats. I know, I know, you can't exclude a game (I had this convo about the 6 forced turnovers against the Giants).
  5. dexternjack

    dexternjack World Traveler Zone Supporter

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    Just from my eye test alone, the offense is not as good as it appears. I don't even think stats are needed to prove that.
  6. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    But stats back it up when homers try to make excuses.
  7. dstovall5

    dstovall5 Well-Known Member

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    Wait, so I guess all those claims about how our defense/special teams is the only reason our offense is scoring points is bogus? I'm not saying we shouldn't be better then 13th overall with our offense(we should), but it's no where near as bad as people suggest.

    I've always said people have over reacted to our offensive performances, and it looks like the stats back that statement up 100%. Though, it doesn't surprise me, our fans typically over react to everything whether good or bad.
  8. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    Well, 13th is bad (and worse if you take out the Broncos game) when you have the 32nd ranked defense.
  9. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    And I don't think it's overreacting when people complain about a mediocre (mediocre being around middle of the road/ a.k.a. near 16th in the league) offense when we're used to being one of the best offenses in the league
  10. dstovall5

    dstovall5 Well-Known Member

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    How does our defense being ranked 32nd have anything to do with our offense? That'd be like me saying our 13th ranked defense is bad because we have the 32nd ranked offense, it doesn't make much sense.

    Also, if you're going to take out our best offensive outing(Den), then to be fair you would have to take out our worst outing as well (NO). Then you'd need to do the same for every offense in the NFL, to make sure the statistics aren't skewed in any way. If you did that, then I'd still bet that we're ranked in the top half of the NFL offensively.

    Over reacting is saying our only good offensive outing was against Denver, and yes that's over reacting. I've heard multiple people on this site make comments similar to the one I posted, and it's complete asinine.

    And also, if our defense was just as mediocre as our offense, then we'd be a 7-3 team right now looking well into the playoffs, but nope ...
  11. Venger

    Venger Well-Known Member

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    Good post Hoof, it confirms what is evident on the field - this team cannot sustain drives. By not sustaining drives, they do more than not score, they give the ball over leading to ToP issues and a defense that is getting pounded. I wonder sometimes if this team shouldn't concentrate first on getting a new set of downs more than getting the ball to Dez or whatever the priority is. Just. Move. The. Chains. Do that, and everything else takes care of itself.
  12. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    I already had this "if you take out one game you have to take them all out" conversation early in the season when I tried to say the Giants game was a fluke and we weren't gonna force many turnovers outside of that game. For the most part I was right. I'm just saying we've been mediocre aside from the Broncos game. That's the truth.

    But let's include the Broncos game... The offense without help from turnovers and great field position (the point of this thread) is about 13th in the league. My comment about it's even worse with the 32nd ranked defense was just saying that it doesn't look good overall as a team with the 13th best offense and 32nd best defense. I wasn't saying the defense affected the offense at all. I was just saying the collective rankings don't look good.
    dstovall5 likes this.
  13. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    Exactly. This is what I was trying to say after the Saints game. I'm not excusing the defense at all for the Saints game. They were horrible. But the offense played a large part in the defense looking record-breaking-ly bad last Sunday. They didn't convert on any 3rd downs, didn't sustain drives, and barely burned up any clock. But, when it's all said and done, everyone will only remember how bad the defense was since they're the ones who went into the record book.
    50cent likes this.
  14. dstovall5

    dstovall5 Well-Known Member

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    This offense is definitely hard to get your head wrapped around, it's very odd.

    Last year we moved the chains at will (or so it seemed), but our RZ offense was terrible. This year we can't move the chains the save our life, but when we get into the RZ we're money. What is shocking to me is that even with our struggles moving the ball, we're still a better offense then last years. That just shows you how good we've been in the RZ, and if we're able to fix our problems between the 20's we will have one of the best offenses in the league.

    I don't know about you guys, but these numbers are actually somewhat refreshing to me.
  15. JoeyBoy718

    JoeyBoy718 Well-Known Member

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    I guess our red zone efficiency is refreshing, but that's about it offensively. I guess what this does show us is, despite how awful our defense has been this year, the ability of our defense to create turnovers (and score or put us in the red zone) has really helped out our offense this season. Also, our #1 special teams in the NFL has too.

    But I agree, this season is weird. Our defense can't stop anybody, but they're great at forcing turnovers and giving our offense an opportunity. And our offense can't move the ball, but it's great at getting the ball in the end zone when given good field position.
    50cent and dstovall5 like this.
  16. CooterBrown

    CooterBrown Well-Known Member

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    Yep. The key to winning football. I hear a lot of "third down" stats, but first down is the key down in any series. If you get a second and two, don't waste that down with a shot "down the field," get the first down so you can have at least another three downs to try to break something.
  17. percyhoward

    percyhoward Research Tool

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    The sustained drives aren't there, but the red zone TD percentage (helped partially by shorter fields) makes up for that.

    Points per drive

    This year:
    offense: 9th
    defense: 27th

    Last year:
    offense: 10th
    defense: 26th

    That said, the offense has clearly struggled over the last five games, especially on 3rd down.
  18. Bullflop

    Bullflop Well-Known Member

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    We've had too many injuries. Make no bones about it, it's affected the offense. The injury to Brian Waters was a damaging blow to our OL. It seriously reduced our effectiveness there, not only at that spot but it appears to have depleted our performance throughout that unit. Austin's absence is also being felt as well, believe it or not. Romo hasn't been quite the same due to both of those injuries. Yet another aspect of our problem of sustaining drives lies solidly with a lack of our remaining receivers' execution. I believe we'll also have to figure out ways to get Dez and Witten more involved before we'll see any real relief in sustaining drives. I'm hoping Austin's return has a positive influence upon our passing game. The more threats we can field, the better.
  19. morasp

    morasp Well-Known Member

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    A related stat is third down efficiency which is a partial indicator of our ability to sustain drives. This year it is 33% and we are ranked 30th in the league. Last year it was 44% and we were ranked 5th in the league.
    CaptainCreed likes this.
  20. CaptainCreed

    CaptainCreed Active Member

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    That difference has to be on Callahan's play calling or players just declining in talent on the offensive side of the ball. Hard to believe the latter is actually the case.
    morasp likes this.

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