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Texans Playbook and Predictability

theCATALYST

"Fake" Fan
I was reading an article this morning called "Establishing the Run" which I found very insightful and eye opening. All season (and in seasons past under O'Briens leadership) I have moaned and complained about our offensive predictability.
Run up the gut on 1st.
We all saw it. Everyone could predict it. Defenses knew it.
This caused me to royally dislike our offensive playcalling (and mostly O'Brien for being the engineer behind it), however the article breaks the play calling down further and claims;

"On first down, Houston ran the ball 51% of the time and thus passed the ball 49% of the time."

What? really? No way. I recall being able to predict the 1st and 2nd down play almost perfectly game in and game out. But the article continues...

"Diving further into this, out of Houston’s 497 first downs, they ran it 255 times and passed 242 times. A 13 rep disparity, a small enough number that we shouldn’t even be able to diagnose a difference. Yet the consensus is Houston run an unreasonable amount on first down "

So...what made us (or most of us) think we ran too often on 1st? Was it the failure to provide positive yardage in the attempts we did have that made it seem worse than it was?

"I tracked Houston’s first down Yards per Carry (YPC) and it was an astounding 4.72! That’s a ridiculous number and should set the Texans up for great success on the remaining downs."

So what is really going on here?

Let's discuss.


 

powda

Are you not entertained?
Go ahead and count me as one who thinks we run up the middle on 1st down far to much. Infact, I'd like to see his source material because I'm not sure I believe any of it.

In other news, we really need to ditch the secret Tunsil false start play. We're consistently losing 5 yards on that one.
 

Uncle Rico

Ur apology should be as loud as Ur disrespect was
I think this explains the disparity somewhat - its not as simple as just looking at the black and white rush vs pass numbers - its also trying to look at throw away downs and actual success rates on those 1st down plays.

They may not always run on 1st down, but when they do its usually an inside zone with a negative success rate.

 

powda

Are you not entertained?
I think this explains the disparity somewhat - its not as simple as just looking at the black and white rush vs pass numbers - its also trying to look at throw away downs and actual success rates on those 1st down plays.

They may not always run on 1st down, but when they do its usually an inside zone with a negative success rate.

Good article.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Go ahead and count me as one who thinks we run up the middle on 1st down far to much. Infact, I'd like to see his source material because I'm not sure I believe any of it.

In other news, we really need to ditch the secret Tunsil false start play. We're consistently losing 5 yards on that one.
Me too

While you're looking see how many 1st downs were gained after a Tunsil false start. If they got a 1st down then the Tunsil false start didn't hurt the team.
 

powda

Are you not entertained?
Me too

While you're looking see how many 1st downs were gained after a Tunsil false start. If they got a 1st down then the Tunsil false start didn't hurt the team.
I didn't mean to sound like I planned on looking up the stats. I've got to much on my plate today for that.

Your point on first downs after a tunsil false start is well taken ,but I'd wager the missing numbers there are positive plays nullified by his false starts.

Ie: How many times were his false starts nullified by first downs in the same drive after the penalty...

Vs.

How many times did his false starts nullify gains greater then 10 yards?
 

Uncle Rico

Ur apology should be as loud as Ur disrespect was
I didn't mean to sound like I planned on looking up the stats. I've got to much on my plate today for that.

Your point on first downs after a tunsil false start is well taken ,but I'd wager the missing numbers there are positive plays nullified by his false starts.

Ie: How many times were his false starts nullified by first downs in the same drive after the penalty...

Vs.

How many times did his false starts nullify gains greater then 10 yards?
If you really want to get mad look up the Tunsil flags that come on 3rd downs or in the red zone - for the highest paid "all pro" type LT its really inexcusable and MUST be curtailed - Tunsil cant keep getting the free passes while Watson is getting buried for other players mistakes.
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
I didn't mean to sound like I planned on looking up the stats. I've got to much on my plate today for that.

Your point on first downs after a tunsil false start is well taken ,but I'd wager the missing numbers there are positive plays nullified by his false starts.

Ie: How many times were his false starts nullified by first downs in the same drive after the penalty...

Vs.

How many times did his false starts nullify gains greater then 10 yards?
It's hard to quantify this.

That would take a very deep dive into the numbers.
 

sandman

Brexit Advisor
Was easy to validate his data. ESPN splits for Hyde, Johnson and Watson (representing the majority of 1st down rush attempts) says 230 attempts on 1st & 10 specifically yielded 4.74 YPC.

Hyde - 150/4.4
Duke - 51/4.6
DW4 - 29/5.2

Overall 1st down rush attempts by these three was 249 attempts at 4.59 YPC. Total of 257 on all 1st down attempts by all players at 4.41 YPC.

Of further note, among all attempts (not just those on 1st down) these three only had 12% of their attempts go greater than 10 yards and only 3% go greater than 20 yards. So at a high level, it doesn't appear that long runs are skewing the 1st down data unless we assume that the majority of that 12% of runs 10+ yards happened on 1st down. There is no easily accessible data on 1st down negative plays.
 

sandman

Brexit Advisor
Well hell, if we're picking up 4.5 ypc on first down we should keep running on 1st down.
While the author has the correct rushing data, I am not seeing where he is getting 242 passing attempts. Even if I count DW4's 33 rushing attempts as actual passing plays where he scrambled, there were only 213 passing plays on 1st down. Watson's 167 pass attempts, his 33 scrambles and AJ's 13 pass attempts. I count 213 total passing plays for a 55%/45% split. Still not a significant slant, but not quite as even as the author states. Since he provides no data around his counts, I can only assume he was counting plays that were nullified by penalty? Or simply had bad data?
 

Mollywhopper

Facilitator
Staff member
Fans often view their team relative to other teams similarly to how people view themselves relative to others on social media..
You're watching closely from behind your own eyes for the full production of your own performance versus seeing a majority of the highlights of others..
Pretty clear to see how this perspective can skew reality..
 

Rich Schmidt

Myopicone
I have no energy to chase, but I suspect two minute drills and coming from behind skew the numbers, we fully expect pass on those downs, so maybe it feels like we run a lot on 1st and 10 when the game is early or undecided. I do agree it is almost for sure on 2nd and long to get that 2 yard run, BOB probably does not like the plays he has for a ten yard gain
 

steelbtexan

King of the W. B. Club
Contributor's Club
Fans often view their team relative to other teams similarly to how people view themselves relative to others on social media..
You're watching closely from behind your own eyes for the full production of your own performance versus seeing a majority of the highlights of others..
Pretty clear to see how this perspective can skew reality..
Yep,

I can remember many here thought Kubiak's offense was predictable. The ZBS had trouble in the redzone etc.....
 

Corrosion

Idealist
Staff member
They may have run only 51% of the time but the vast majority of that 51% was the same play or a variant of the same play - inside zone.

Then when they did run something like an RRO with an outside option , they still ran it up the gut no matter what the actual read on the play was.
 

Earl34

All Pro
They may have run only 51% of the time but the vast majority of that 51% was the same play or a variant of the same play - inside zone.

Then when they did run something like an RRO with an outside option , they still ran it up the gut no matter what the actual read on the play was.
You can also add that when Duke Johnson was on the field, they passed 71% of the time. It leads to some predictability.
 

Tex1983

Practice Squad
We seemed to have plenty of penalties on first down so have those first downs been taken out of this ratio? I would think we would have more passing attempts on 1st and long as oppose to 1st and 10 (But this is obrien we are talking about).

Secondly, Has someone compared this to how often other teams run on first down? This article almost assumes that a 50-50 split is average. but if someone took all the teams and averaged it out it could possibly be a 20-80 split(maybe hyperbole but its a point). If the rest of the league averages a run on first down 20% of the time, 51% would seem absurd and you might as well believe we run every first down.

What about opening drives? Thats what really felt like it was a run every 1st down. Once we got down the field they did appear to throw the ball a little more on those first downs.
 

wasntme

Practice Squad
I was reading an article this morning called "Establishing the Run" which I found very insightful and eye opening. All season (and in seasons past under O'Briens leadership) I have moaned and complained about our offensive predictability.
Run up the gut on 1st.
We all saw it. Everyone could predict it. Defenses knew it.
This caused me to royally dislike our offensive playcalling (and mostly O'Brien for being the engineer behind it), however the article breaks the play calling down further and claims;

"On first down, Houston ran the ball 51% of the time and thus passed the ball 49% of the time."

What? really? No way. I recall being able to predict the 1st and 2nd down play almost perfectly game in and game out. But the article continues...

"Diving further into this, out of Houston’s 497 first downs, they ran it 255 times and passed 242 times. A 13 rep disparity, a small enough number that we shouldn’t even be able to diagnose a difference. Yet the consensus is Houston run an unreasonable amount on first down "

So...what made us (or most of us) think we ran too often on 1st? Was it the failure to provide positive yardage in the attempts we did have that made it seem worse than it was?

"I tracked Houston’s first down Yards per Carry (YPC) and it was an astounding 4.72! That’s a ridiculous number and should set the Texans up for great success on the remaining downs."

So what is really going on here?

Let's discuss.




FAKE NEWS!
 

mws

Waterboy
I don't know where those numbers are coming from, but according to Pro-Football Reference, the Texans ran 56.5% on 1st down, to 39.5% passing. 18 sacks didn't count in that. But even if you counted them as pass plays, it's still just 43%.
I wonder how they count a pass play that breaks down & Watson takes off for positive yards.
 

Let's go Texans

Practice Squad
Count me in on the belief I think we run up the middle on too many first downs. The data however shows differently.
I think a cause for believing the opposite of the data with me is I tend to remember things that piss me off more than things that make me happy. So a first down run up the middle that loses us a yard or gains us 1/2 yard is more memorable to me than a pass on first that gains 6 or 7 yards.
 


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