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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.


  .........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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Smith looks better with No.31

Attention Dolphin fans: I believe that most, maybe all of these so called Saint fans are really jet fans.

Think about it, we're talking about Louisiana here. Most of them don't have electricity, much less computers.

And carlito, still waiting on the fried monkey recipe.

Smith would look the best pimpin down the sideline with a pick six.

"Attention Dolphin fans: I believe that most, maybe all of these so called Saint fans are really jet fans."

Disagree. They have problems with the English language it is true, but still much more articulate than J-E-T-S fans.

54th dolphin , you think smith would have a int if he wore 31 ? Do you think smith would be a pro bowler if he wore 31 ? :)

don't pick on the cajuns...great food

saints are a serious NFL team unlike the yets.

i also think its gonna be more like the coltz game, except...........we can't miss those easy tackles that gave that game away. its all on the secondary (mainly the safety position) and ILB. NO will pass early and often.

If Fergie can stop the run pass rush will be productive.

In other word , who gives a shyt what he wears ! :)

hope my boy sean smith is wearing OUT colston, by dogging him all afternoon. still can't get that Smith INT against NO out of my mind.

Harricane , he had that int wearing # 31. HMMMMMMM ! LMFAO

harricane , you missed on 1 point from the indy game. Miami HAS to get TD'S and not FG's. That means not handing off the ball and running up the middle on 3rd and 6 , settling for a FG.


yea, and if you drink enough it looks like 13, LMFAO

this looks like the toughest game yet....our time to shine

this looks like the toughest game yet....our time to shine

Posted by: harricane | October 23, 2009 at 05:22 PM

EXACTLY! If we lose it's just another had learned lesson.

If we win, we got the begrudging respect of all the haters. I'm starting to hyperventilate already.

odinse is a man of honor who loves cheap pizza ( 3 for 3.99 )

cocoajoe is man who loves men wearing number 31

hurricane is a retired nurse who loves football.
go fins

hey odin,

i worry about the lil rat gerbil. i worry about allen on a hugh colston. i worry about crowder or OLB on shockey.

young CBs will hold their own. need a pass rush and they have a pretty damn good running game. we rotate often on D line.

on the positive side, i see henne stepping up a couple of rungs....O line must protect like a condom !

we will give the saints the money shot on money down!

carlito my brother....

i hope we punch them in the mouth....its an ole fashion smashdown. its that kinda game and its time for us to step up !!

climb that ladder boyz


I hope its hotter than hell on the field

Mark Schlereth pick Dolphins as his upset of the week on ESPN today...

Henne the BUST coming near you .

yes bust as in head and shoulders on a hall of fame type bust............

ISN'T HENNE VERY LUCKY MAN , chad pennington get injured wright before miami having 3 home games in a row ?

can't wait to see him on the road .the BUST .

yeeeees the nurse in the houseeeeeee

learn how to spell mr hot....wright is a name...its "right before"

Hey Saint Fans,

I guess it is difficult for you to show a little class since you've never had the chance to talk smack in the entire existance of the Saints franchise. Remember the bags over your heads? Remember the jokes about your team? You've had 1/3 of a good season and now you're all that, give me a break. Your team will choke, like last year, the year before, and the many years before that. In the mean time stick your chests out, beat your drums because it's never been this way before, enjoy it while you can, but maybe you should enjoy it with a touch of "southern class".. Oh yeah, not a lot of class in NO, just thugs who prey on the inocent and profit off those who came to help.

wow ^^^^^

i really hope some of the dolphin players are reading this....and get all jacked up

hurricane ....thank you .

gopats always say "wright" insteads of "right" too. Stop tryin to incite riot mr. gopats. You and I know that the correct phrase is Henne the Hero. Say it with me.

Henne the Hero.

can't read either, its harricane (the hurricane)

carlito is a real fan

hurricane has class


did u see how much henne gained confidence afer taking all of the first team snaps in practice.

henne is just beginning....dolfans love this guy !! big...smart...i'd rather have a big neck QB than a big headed QB, i.e., Brady/Bunchin?

but you got it hurricane , doesn't matter how i wrote your name .i trust your brain power .now it's time for my meatball sub .

"after" my fingers are drinking

lol, there is only meatball sub guy on here....use your real name man....but henne is not a bust......

i'd like to see U say that to his face....if you could even see past his chest


ok, i type too fast so what....at least it was right. oh....i get it U wanted to add a W as in Win? Cool......



could be....a lil hot sause on a meatball sub or pressed real cubano is quite good...........

Win is a win.

Wow, that has to be a Guiness record fir the longest run-on sentence! Other than that, well said!

Ignore that. Thought I was replying to a previous post.

yogi speak,

"Whoever scores the most runs, usually wins".

these two last posts win the guiness record for the dumbest ,


Anybody know the taints site?They sure know ours.

Reggie Bush no substitute for Ronnie the Rabid beast in practice for wildcat. This is like difference between Amy Whinehouse and Eva Mendes.
Saints in for big surprise when they come down to Miami and get punch in the mouth.

time for my low fat ice cream and my meatball sub .




no way ronnie the Rabid Beast has a girl friend looks more sexy than kardashian girl .

I don't care who Ronnie Brown's girlfriend is.

Only thing I care about how he play football, and he do it much better to Reggie Bush. But anyway, I bet Ronnie Brown girlfriend does not have sextape with someone else all over internet for everyone to see.

do you a girl friend ? what's her name ? ha aaaaaaaaaaaa

I have a wife, so yes, the joke is on me ha aaaaaaaaaa

fin fan but we're gonna get shredded no way to stop brees passing attack hate to say i'm depressed no way out no way out.

vox do us all a favor and switch teams already

i got nowhere else to go....need fins victory so very very badly

have a little faith and dont forget the saints have a few things to worry about too this aint only about drew brees. those two 230 pound sledgehammers we got in the backfield are gonna show up as far as i know

carlito has a wife??? She must look like a toad. Well at least it is better than nothing. Unless he really is the menace and is trying to throw us off by saying he got a wife. loser

what is little, brown and likes banana?

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