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The money down belongs to Miami's offense

Readers of this blog -- and there have been over 180,000 unique visitors so far this month -- know the NFL game consists of first down, second down, the money down, and fourth down.

Third down is where players make their big money because it is the most important down.

If the offense is converting on third down, it is staying on the field and depressing the heck out of the defense. If the defense is winning on third down after third down, it is shutting down the opposition's opportunities to score because the opposition is busy headed to their seats on the bench.

So I think we can all agree, third down is the money down.

Now, let's agree on this. The Dolphins are doing excellent work on third down so far this season.

I wrote earlier this week how the Dolphins are very good at converting third-and-2 or fewer yards. Very good is translated as they are converting 85 percent of the time in those situations and no one in the NFL is doing any better.

Well, today we expand on that a little bit.

Simply said, the Miami offense -- for all its flaws and shortcomings -- leads the NFL in third down conversion. The Dolphins have converted 42 of 75 third down plays into first downs this year. That's a 56 percent conversion rate and, it bears repeating, that is the NFL's best rate.

[Quick aside here: The Dolphins are tied for the NFL lead in fourth down conversion. They've converted 5 of 5 situations this season for a perfect 100 percent rate. Atlanta and the New York Jets also have a 100 percent success rate on fourth down.]

So despite a QB change, despite a receiver corps that begs upgrading, Miami's offense is doing work on third down. The defense?

Good. But not great.

Miami's defense is rated No. 12 in the NFL in stopping third down conversions. Miami's defenders have allowed 21 of 58 third down plays to convert into first downs or touchdowns. That's 36.2 percent.

And that's better than Pittsburgh (42.4) or Minnesota (41.4) or Indianapolis (45.6). But it pales compared to Denver (28.4) or, sure enough, New Orleans (26.8).

By the way, Miami's offense matching up against the Saints defense on third down should be interesting. Both are outstanding on the money down as you see above.

The Saints offense is rated No. 8 in third down efficiency so they seem to have a slight advantage satistically against Miami's defense. But the difference is not as vast as the teams' records suggest.

Anyway, the chart below breaks down Miami in every third down situation it has faced this year on offense and defense. You will note the Dolphins offense is not very good in third-and-nine or more (3 of 16). That speaks to Miami's need to improve its passing game.

The defense is giving up too much success on third-and-10 or more (7 of 16). That is not acceptable because the defense has a built-in advantage in long passing situations and Miami's defense isn't cashing in on that advantage so far this season.

  3RD DOWN AND …

  .........1.......2......3.....4.....5......6.....7.....8.....9....10+  TOT.    %

Miami 11-12..6-8..7-7..2-6..7-11..3-6..2-6..1-3..0-6..3-10..42-75  56.0%

Opps. 3-5.....2-4...3-6..0-4..1-4...1-4...2-4..2-7..0-4..7-16..21-58  36.2%

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why i have the feeling some one is talking to himself ?

Posted by: asdfinsup | October 23, 2009 at 12:29 PM

Yeah and I'm pretty good at it too! A bottle of Jack and a webcam....I'm in heaven.

You got a problem with that?!?!?!?!

the reason why dolphins are still looked down upon is because of their so-called tough schedule
everyone saw what they did last year
its not like they don't know
the fact is
they will not quit until miami beats the better teams in the league
like NO
plus, people are basing their assumptios on what has happened in the past:
Most teams who have an extraordinary season and make the playoffs, half of them don't return the following year.
they go to 7-9, 8-8, and so forth
they take a step back in part because they're facing the top-tier teams
its what history has shown
very few teams are able to return as contenders when facing the hard schedule
however, i think miami will be an exception
if they stay injury-free
and don't shoot themselves in the foot
thats all i have 2 say
and who knows, if the dolpins Do have the successful season,
they STILL may not get that respect
but hey, do the 'experts' opinions truly matter?
No, its what fans think of the team
It's all about the wins

the reason why dolphins are still looked down upon is because of their so-called tough schedule
everyone saw what they did last year
its not like they don't know
the fact is
they will not quit until miami beats the better teams in the league
like NO
plus, people are basing their assumptios on what has happened in the past:
Most teams who have an extraordinary season and make the playoffs, half of them don't return the following year.
they go to 7-9, 8-8, and so forth
they take a step back in part because they're facing the top-tier teams
its what history has shown
very few teams are able to return as contenders when facing the hard schedule
however, i think miami will be an exception
if they stay injury-free
and don't shoot themselves in the foot
thats all i have 2 say
and who knows, if the dolpins Do have the successful season,
they STILL may not get that respect
but hey, do the 'experts' opinions truly matter?
No, its what fans think of the team
It's all about the wins

Dolphins 31 saints 24

Reggie Bush simulating the wild cat is pointless. Hes fast but the wild cat is mano y mano power running. Ronnie is known as the most physical running back in the league second to none and tied with Peterson as far as physicality. Bush def can no simulate that. He get flciked and he hits the ground. He cant run through the line. only around it. If he could, hed be the every down back. Reggie is a bit*h. Horrible pick to simulate the wild cat. And if the wild cat was a joke, the saints wouldnt be so worried with defending it. GO FINS!!!!!!!

Scared money don't make money PUNKS!

We started this season with the toughest schedule out there. We aint getting no love or respect from anyone. We've been "favoured" to lose every game we've played.
We started this season 0-3 and lost our starting QB. A proven backup QB with any NFL experience? NOPE! Are you kidding me?
So what have we done so far? We've established the most dominating run game in the NFL. We've established an offense that seems taylor made for our talented young QB. Were on a two game win streak and undefeated in our division. Best of all were one game away from forcing some respect out of the entire league! We've had our backs against the wall and overcame quite a bit of diversity already. What's not to love?

As far as the Saints go.......BRING IT!!!!

Scared money don't make money!!!!

Drew Brees will get hurt this game. You heard it here first! Yes, I can predict the future. Mia -24 NO -20.

180,000 unique visitors ? Yeah and 175,000 of them are the cuban menace posting as somebody else ( aloco , cubano , monkey , fake killerdolphins , luggi , vicky , etc ) LOL ! :

FLPD . mando did miami's 3 and 2 or less success rate on yesterday's blog. It's called " 3rd and short belongs to miami ". Get with the program ! :)

i dreamnt it last night fellas, mia 24-n.o.17 please let it be!

Aint's fans better bring your paper bags I know you have them put away for a rainy day. Guess what, R&R are going to rain down on your parade.

NJ,

As soon as I read: 180,000 unique visitors ?

I thought the same thing-LOL!

I hope Mando's Dolphin stats are a little more accurate;)

I just want to say that the saints are over rate. They have had easy schedule so far and phins could be the toughest matchup so far. Dolphins have something to prove and are on winning streak of they own. One thing the fins need more to anything this week is pass rush.

WHO CARES ABOUT WHETHER OR WHATEVER BS YOUR TALKING. THE FACT IS YOUR SUCKS RIGHT NOW. LIKE I SAID GET A REAL OFFENSE.

Odinseye , Yeah. I like how that was omitted. Mando's dolphin stats are a little more accurate . LOL ! :)

whodatnation,

there is no nation of taint fans. Fins have number one rushing game in nfl. eat it sucka. Pansy saints can't take mia physical football.

Hey everybody , jaksin dreamt miami won on sunday. So lets chalk up the win now and we don't have to watch the game. it's a done deal . MIAMI WINS ! LMFAO !

straight up, The WC averages more yards per play than n e other formation in league when it is run by miami. secondly, Miami runs it more per game than most teams run any other formation. It s legit offense and if it wasnt real than, the saints would be so worried about defending it having reggie puss simulate it for them. Which as I stated earlier at 1:06, is a huge mistake by them. So go back to ure f*cking nation and shut the f*ck up. Ure in Fin Nation now B*tch!!

The WC averages more yards per play than n e other formation in the league when run by Miami. They run it more times than most teams run any other formation. Its legit. If it wasnt the saints would be worried prepping for it haveing reggie puss simulate it which I stated at 1:06, was a huge mistake. So go back to ure F***ing nation and shut the f*** up. Ure in Fin Nation now B**ch!!!
Reggie Bush simulating the wild cat is pointless. Hes fast but the wild cat is mano y mano power running. Ronnie is known as the most physical running back in the league second to none and tied with Peterson as far as physicality. Bush def can no simulate that. He get flciked and he hits the ground. He cant run through the line. only around it. If he could, hed be the every down back. Reggie is a bit*h. Horrible pick to simulate the wild cat. And if the wild cat was a joke, the saints wouldnt be so worried with defending it. GO FINS!!!!!!!

whats the matter nj? cuban's not around so i guess need someone else to start with? it was wishfull thinking you a.h. i thought you might know the difference.

WHO CARES ABOUT WHETHER OR WHATEVER BS YOUR TALKING. THE FACT IS YOUR SUCKS RIGHT NOW. LIKE I SAID GET A REAL OFFENSE.

Posted by: WHODATNATION | October 23, 2009 at 01:30 PM

WHODAT I remember you. Your that troubled child actor from the Fat Albert cartoon aren't you.

The Dolphins are 2-3. Our starting QB's out for the year. We have inexperienced players and rookies all over the field. On top of that, we have to play ESPN's 2nd ranked team called that Aints. The best part is, we got nothing to lose. It's going to be gorilla warfare sweet pea!

Coming off the bye were at home with a chance to knock off one of the so-called better teams in the league.

Balls to the Wall CHUMP!!!!

Jaksin , cuban is irrelevant. I'm joking with you ! jeez ! get a senseof humor. you can't live life all serious.

WHO CARES ABOUT WHETHER OR WHATEVER BS YOUR TALKING. THE FACT IS YOUR SUCKS RIGHT NOW. LIKE I SAID GET A REAL OFFENSE.

Posted by: WHODATNATION | October 23, 2009 at 01:30 PM


The WC averages more yards per play than n e other formation in the league when run by Miami. They run it more times than most teams run any other formation. Its legit. If it wasnt the saints would be worried prepping for it haveing reggie puss simulate it which I stated at 1:06, was a huge mistake. So go back to ure F***ing nation and shut the f*** up. Ure in Fin Nation now B**ch!!!
Reggie Bush simulating the wild cat is pointless. Hes fast but the wild cat is mano y mano power running. Ronnie is known as the most physical running back in the league second to none and tied with Peterson as far as physicality. Bush def can no simulate that. He get flciked and he hits the ground. He cant run through the line. only around it. If he could, hed be the every down back. Reggie is a bit*h. Horrible pick to simulate the wild cat. And if the wild cat was a joke, the saints wouldnt be so worried with defending it. GO FINS!!!!!!!

yeeees,
the plumber in the houseeeeeeeeeeeee

nj, you have a point, it is friday, and life's short. let us enjoy, as i already know i will be a time bomb on sunday! lol!

Jaksin,

Did you really dream that?

Just curious....

i am a unique visitor b/c i am not a plumber .

why odins sounds more as an inmate than a normal fan ?haaaaaaaa

Odinseye , 175, 001 has just arrived.

NJ,

I don't care what everyone else says about you(just joking), I think you know football and you know the Dolphins. So I'm always interested in getting your take on things.
Give us a rundown on your lowdown of this showdown!

do i sense the plumber's jealousy of the great armando ?

odin. no b.s. but this game has been in my head and haunting me all week. but i know it does sound stupid ha!

why odins sounds more as an inmate than a normal fan ?haaaaaaaa

Posted by: VIcke | October 23, 2009 at 02:03 PM

Vickie,

Does the thought of me being an inmate excite you?
I have found that FEAR is the absolute aphrodisiac!!!!

Odinseye , THANKS !. Miami has to have the same game plan as the indy game. The difference is miami has to be less conservative on 3rd down . Emample , miami can NOT ! run the ball up the middle on 3rd and 6 and play for the FG ( like in the indy game ). We NEED ! Td's not FGS'. Also the safties have to play better ( which i think they will ) and miami needs toget at least 2 defensive stops. Miami will run the ball eating up clock. All this , while playing on grass , playing at home and NO due for a loss , spells a miami win ! :)

DAMN I DIDNT THINK YALL WERE THAT WEAK OUT HERE IN THE U. GET JIGGY WITH IT

Jaksin,

I'm a "half breed(and proud)" Apache. My Grandfather used to preach about dreaming and interpretations.
Don't dismiss it so easily, your dream sounds more like VISION-LOL!!!!

GO MIAMI!!!!

SURE HOPE YOU GUYS START PLANNING FOR THE DRAFT AFTER THIS LOST. HOPE THEY DONT BLOW ANOTHER ON.

WHODAT NATION, read my comments and follow accordingly

DAMN I DIDNT THINK YALL WERE THAT WEAK OUT HERE IN THE U. GET JIGGY WITH IT

Posted by: WHODATNATION | October 23, 2009 at 02:15 PM

Weak? What u thinking bro? You been babbling AW DAY. It's obvious you aint got game.

odin, since you put it that way, that must mean theres a bottle of mezcal in my near future tonight. eat the worm then make my way into the spirit world, lol! mezcal, oh boy, its been a while. but if its for the good of the vision quest i guess i have to!

Jaksin,

Sooner or later we all have to take one for the team.

Bottoms up!

the sunsentinel wrote thsi up already. did you copy?

Am i good or what.. This is what i posted in the forum a formula to slow which seems unstoppable blog about five days ago.

"Even if dolphins can limit Drew Brees to two touchdowns and less then 300 yards passing and under 100 yards rushing. The dolphins have a great chance to win this game. The Key to the game is our 3rd down conversion rate Vs. their third down conversion rate. We must get them off the field on third down!"

This is what ESPN Accuscore, which bases game projections on 1000's of computer simulations had to say.

"While Drew Brees is expected to have a big game (passer rating of 100 in simulations), the running game may be the most important factor in the game. The Dolphins were able to turn their season around with a dominant run game averaging 177 rushing yards per game and a defense that has held teams to 76 rushing yards per game. The Saints run defense has allowed just 83 yards and 3.8 ypc this year. For Miami to pull off the upset they will need to have a huge 150+ rushing yards while holding the Saints running game to under 100 yards. If they do this the Dolphins win 69 percent and can overcome a 260 yard, 2 TD Drew Brees performance. However, if the Dolphins rush for under 140 yards and the trio of Pierre Thomas, Mike Bell and Reggie Bush have 100+ yards the Saints win 90 percent of simulations by an average of 19 points."

Like I thought before I read this. Dolphins need to be able to stop the running game! Make sure we keep the Saints working in 3rd and long and hopefully we can make a couple of stops to get them off the field. If dolphins do this and limit the 25 yard + plays. We win this game!

I still like to call 3rd down the C00TCHIE down

OH I GOT GAME BUT ITS NOT ME U NEED TO WORRY ABOUT. HOPE YOUR BOY RICKEY DOESNT SMOKE TO MUCH OF THAT PURP BEFORE THE GAME

You got that all wrong WHODATNATION! it's YOU that better hope ricky DOESN'T smoke the reefer before the saints game. Cause when Ricky WAS smoking the reefer he ran for 1800 yards, 18 tds, and was pro bowl MVP! As well as being the most feared back in the league...

WOW ! CHASE. What a revelation ! Who would've thunk. LMFAO ! :)

"Who would've thunk."????

TRUE-DAY WHOODAT ALL BS TO THE SIDE I THINK IT SHOULD BE A GOOD GAME. ITS REALLY A BIG GAME FOR BOTH TEAMS IF U THINK ABOUT IT. WHOEVER WINS WOULD DEFINITELY MAKE A STATEMENT.

Yeah , thunk ! a slang ,an expression. It's a blog. Don't get mad. :)

Could we get the grounds keepers to plant some cush in the endzones..............

Ummmmmmmm........CUSHHHHHHH!!!!!

NJ Phin Fan

Right on money about the Dolphins game plan needing to be like game against Indy.
But now we can stretch the field more with Henne's arm, our defense only a month removed from that game against Indy, has to make some plays this time and they will. I beleive we are getting better on defense and our D back field will make a play.

But whats gonna be sooo much fun is how the Dolphins are gonna ram it down New Orleans throats. Cant wait to see the look in the Olreans D linemans eyes as they are gasping for air while the Dolphins running game emposes their will on them.

Cant wait! GoDolphins!

Don't know the slang or expression

but how can that be ?

Dolphins4life , the NO dl will be sucking on the oxygen masks all day long like indy'd dl did on that monday night. :)

Despair looms.......fin defense will let us down again.

First off the Saints are 5-0 not 6-0 & they won't improve to the latter on Sunday.We have to apply pressure and run the clock out. And more importantly SCORE IN THE REDZONE.We can't settle for field goals. I hope Miami wins because it is annoying how everyone acts like the Saints are so spectacular when they are only scoring lots of points early and haven't really played any tough opponents. Plus,even if they have not trailed all year it's not like they are blasting opponents.The Bills were in the game 10-7 before Buffalo did what they always do which is find a way to lose.All we have to do is play mistake free football & not let the Saints get going early or we are doomed.Go Fins!

I suggest 1st down is the money down because 1st down sets up the rest.

Saints fans, why don't u reserve all ur talk and see what happens sunday, and i would figure with all the BAD history ur team has had in the 2nd half of seasons that u guys would be throwing more cuation to their season then pronouncing urself the so CALLED *king* of the nfl, when in fact their r 3 other undefeated teams in the nfl. Yea,ur 5-0 right now, and u guys look good thus far, but this season is very young and if anything history has shown us its not how teams started, its how they finished. SO take a chill pill, eat some gumbo, and see where u guys r come late january and then PEEK ur heads!!!

How about the defense actually creating multiple turnovers?

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