Editor's Note: I'm front paging this simply because I find the stat mind-boggling and discussion worthy. Nice catch, jonramz. - BG
For a team with two very good running backs and a good offensive line, you would think that third and short would be a running down. Well, you would be half right...
For the Buffalo Bills, 3rd and 1 was completely different than 3rd and 2. 3rd and 2 was treated much more as a passing down than as a running down
3rd and 1
Wildcat: 28% (60% success rate) Brad Smith stopped only once
QB Sneak 33%
Overall success rate 62% (one success via penalty)
3rd and 2
Overall success rate: 46% (all runs were successful)
Considering the Bills were ranked No. 28 in the NFL in third down percentage last year, this might be something worth looking into. At minimum, we should all re-consider the usefulness of Brad Smith; even if his role is limited to that of a short-yardage player, he's highly effective at it.