Tua Tagovailoa's historic red-zone success; Colts' blunder: Sharp Edges

Published:Mar 9, 202417:54
Tua Tagovailoa's historic red-zone success; Colts' blunder: Sharp Edges

When Tua Tagovailoa is within the pink zone, he’s been completely cash. On the season, 36% of the passes he throws there end in touchdowns.

That ranks No. 1 within the NFL this yr. And is one of the best season for any QB since 2020 (minimal 30 makes an attempt). His success price (56.8%) is No. 1 and his anticipated factors added per try (+0.42) ranks No. 2.

Tua's share of incompletions as a consequence of inaccuracy is fourth-lowest of 56 qualifying QBs during the last two years.

However should you strip away particular person seasons and have a look at all QB stats accrued since 2000, you’ll discover that Tua at the moment ranks first in landing price (31%). And amongst 112 QBs with no less than 100 red-zone makes an attempt since 2000, Tua’s profession ranks:

  • No. 1 in success price (49%)
  • No. 1 in landing price (31%)
  • No. 1 in third down conversion price (48%)
  • No. 2 (second-lowest) in sack + interception price (4.6%)
  • No. 3 in completion price (61%)
  • No. 5 in first down price (36%)
  • No. 11 in EPA per dropback (+0.17)

Getting all the way down to the pink zone is difficult. Making it depend if you’re there may be very important. Tua has been one of the best within the NFL (since no less than 2000) at making his possibilities depend when the Dolphins are down there. And that’s going to be very important in opposition to the 49ers on Sunday afternoon.

Initially, the 49ers have allowed simply 22% of opponent drives to succeed in the pink zone. That’s second-best within the NFL.

That’s partially as a result of the 49ers have confronted the third-easiest schedule of offenses this yr. They’ve performed some actually horrible models. However additionally they have an excellent protection, schedule apart. And of their final three video games, they’ve held the Chargers, Cardinals and Saints offenses to a complete of solely 5 journeys to the pink zone and just one red-zone landing.

PFF has Tua Tagovailoa as its highest-graded QB this season

PFF has Tua Tagovailoa as its highest-graded QB this season

Tua Tagovailoa is the highest-graded quarterback by Professional Soccer Focus' proprietary grades. Patrick Mahomes (90.8), Josh Allen (89.4), Geno Smith (85.9) and Jalen Hurts (85.2) are proper behind him. Colin Cowherd breaks down Tua's play and the diploma to which he is elevated the Dolphins.

Whereas that has been a giant speaking level amongst TV commentators, it deserves to be talked about that within the prior three video games, in opposition to the Falcons, Rams and Chiefs (solely one in all which is an elite offense) the 49ers surrendered 10 red-zone journeys and 9 red-zone touchdowns.

So sure, the 49ers have been elite defensively these final three weeks. However within the three video games prior, they had been something however elite within the pink zone. And now they’re dealing with the NFL’s best quarterback within the pink zone.

The issue for Tua is he’ll be with out beginning left sort out Terron Armstea. However I’m already trying ahead to what occurs within the pink zone when Tua faces this 49ers protection on Sunday.

League-wide red-zone offensive effectivity at a 10-year low

Whereas Tua has been nice, red-zone offense has taken a giant step again in 2022 in comparison with prior years.

The speed of red-zone drives which rating factors of any sort has fallen from 87.3% final yr to 85.7% this yr. We haven’t seen worse red-zone scoring since 2011.

Naturally, when groups go for it extra typically on fourth down within the pink zone, we’re much less more likely to see scores of any sort, however needs to be extra more likely to see factors. Whereas fourth-down failures result in zero factors as a substitute of the three derived from a discipline purpose, fourth-down conversion might result in seven factors versus three factors from a FG.

However we’re seeing solely 4.8 factors scored per red-zone drive. We haven’t seen fewer factors scored per pink zone drive since 2014. What is going on?

For starters, let’s talk about what's working.

Groups are having simply as a lot success operating the ball with operating backs within the pink zone as they ever did. Dashing EPA/play from operating backs is +0.04 EPA/att. That’s similar to final yr and hasn’t been topped since 2008.

Designed QB runs are averaging +0.30 EPA/att, which is barely beneath 2021 (+0.31) however above each 2019 and 2020 and fairly consistent with historic averages.

QB scrambles are averaging +0.79 EPA/att, that are nicely above what we noticed in 2021 (+0.62) and one of the best we’ve seen within the NFL since 2001, when far fewer QBs had been scrambling.

Nonetheless, QB move makes an attempt are delivering the worst effectivity that we’ve seen since no less than 2000, which is way back to TruMedia information goes.

QBs are averaging -0.03 EPA/dropback (with out scrambles), worst since 2000. And if we take away sacks, spikes and throwaways and focus solely on move makes an attempt, QBs in 2022 are averaging simply +0.07 EPA/att.

Not solely is that the worst within the NFL since no less than 2000, it’s half of what QBs had been delivering the prior 5 years:

  • 2022: +0.07 EPA/att
  • 2021: +0.15
  • 2020: +0.14
  • 2019: +0.17
  • 2018: +0.16

A giant a part of the issue is what QBs are doing when they're NOT being blitzed. Take a look at the outcomes this season when QBs should not being blitzed relative to the prior few years:

  • 2022: +0.02
  • 2021: +0.12
  • 2020: +0.13
  • 2019: +0.16
  • 2018: +0.18

When QBs should not blitzed, they're nonetheless being pressured 25% of the time on red-zone dropbacks (highest since 2019) and are holding onto the ball for two.63 seconds earlier than passing (second-highest since 2000).

Quite the opposite, when QBs are being blitzed however not sacked, their EPA/dropback (+0.16) is down barely from the final couple of years (+0.22 in 2021, +0.18 in 2020), however isn’t the large trigger for concern, because it’s nonetheless higher than what we noticed in nearly yearly from 2011-2018.

The largest drawback with pink zone effectivity in 2022 isn’t RB runs (one of the best they’ve been since 2008) and it isn’t QB scrambles (one of the best they’ve been since 2001). Extra groups must lean into these kind of performs within the pink zone. The issue is QB dropback effectivity when the protection isn’t blitzing.

Groups want to review what works and what doesn’t, then formulate a greater plan to name move performs. Relying too closely on red-zone passes might derail a crew’s playoff hopes.

Teaching errors in Indianapolis

We simply noticed the Indianapolis Colts blow a chance to tie their recreation with the Steelers, whereas holding three timeouts of their pocket and taking two of them to the locker room having gone unused.

After the sport, they claimed it wasn’t a problem with the clock, however a matter of execution.

The Colts they've a playcaller who has by no means referred to as performs in his life till a pair weeks in the past.

After they picked up a primary down on a fourth-and-3 on their greatest play out of the two-minute warning, on a shifting clock, they referred to as:

  • A primary-and-10 move play on the Steelers 33 which resulted in a sack (at 1:35)
  • A second-and-17 move play on the Steelers 40 which resulted in a QB scramble (at 0:59)
  • A 3rd-and-3 RB run play on the Steelers 26 which resulted in no acquire (at 0:34)

After which they referred to as a timeout at 0:30.

What the Colts fail to account for is the stress that's on any play caller in late-game conditions. On a shifting clock with out substituting in personnel, they've a restricted vary of performs they're working with. That alone limits their capability to get of their greatest play.

However the play must be relayed all the way down to the QB inside seconds in these conditions. It’s unreasonable to anticipate Parks Frazier, a 31-year-old in his first yr being greater than a quality-control coach and an assistant QB coach, to make sure that he had one of the best play with one of the best personnel calls on this scenario.

Jeff Saturday loses MNF for Colts with poor clock administration

Jeff Saturday loses MNF for Colts with poor clock management

The Pittsburgh Steelers benefited from Saturday letting the clock run with three timeouts left, losing over a minute of recreation time, and lacking a chance for the Matt Ryan and the Colts to attain and take the lead. Greg Jennings and Craig Carton break down why Saturday would not deserve a move for this loss.

And that assumes the crew doesn't legitimately run out of time — and we don’t know if they'd have, as a result of they didn’t make it previous the Steelers 26-yard line and solely 24 seconds remained.

I’d enterprise to say they each would have run out of time and didn’t get their greatest performs into the sport on account of not utilizing their timeouts correctly.

Warren Sharp is an NFL analyst for FOX Sports activities. He's the founding father of Sharp Soccer Evaluation and has labored as a advisor for league franchises whereas additionally beforehand contributing to ESPN and The Ringer, amongst different shops. He studied engineering earlier than utilizing his statistical acumen to create predictive soccer fashions. You may observe Warren on Twitter at @SharpFootball.

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Publish date: 2022-11-30 02:11:33
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