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Dobbs’ 2016 3rd Down Incompletion Study Reveals Interesting Data

I have now completed my 2016 third down incompletion study of new Pittsburgh Steelers quarterback Joshua Dobbs and while several might have viewed it as me picking on the teams fourth-round draft pick out of Tennessee, the results show that the in-depth look was not only warranted, it also played into his favor.

For starters, my biggest takeaway after examining 51 of Dobbs’ incompleted third down passes from the 2016 season is the fact that he didn’t get much help from his intended receivers. In short, roughly 26% of Dobbs’ 2016 third down incompletions can be argued as being catchable passes. Sure, some were more catchable than others due to accuracy, but if you watched all of the videos, you know several were just plain awful drops. In my opinion, this is a good sign overall.

In eight other Dobbs’ third down incompetitions from 2016 you can strongly argue that there was some sort of miscommunication or failed assignment by the intended target and those plays weren’t very hard to pick out. Things like receivers stopping their routes, falling down, turning routes up too early and getting beat to spots are just a few arguments that can be made when it comes to issuing blame. Unfortunately for us, however, we’ll never know for sure where to place the blame in several of those instances.

A few of Dobbs’ other third down incompetitions were on throws that were too high with a few coming via screen plays while a few more coming after the quarterback had scrambled and was on the run.

It’s worth noting that 18 of Dobbs’ third down incompletions from the 2016 season came on plays when his offense needed 10 yards or more. On 12 of those, the Tennessee offense needed 13 or more yards, which is a daunting task for any college quarterback, let alone Dobbs. How that percentage compares to other quarterbacks drafted this year I do not know.

Five of Dobbs’ 51 third down incompletions came on throws of 25 or more yards past the original line of scrimmage and four of those were thrown 32 or more yards. That, as you know, is quite a distance. One of those five, by the way, was a very catchable pass, in my honest opinion.

Now, was Dobbs’ perfect with his decision-making on some of his third down incompletions in 2016? Absolutely not, but he probably wasn’t any worse in that area when compared to several of the other top-drafted quarterbacks in this year’s class. There were some mechanic issues like failing to step into throws and throwing off his back foot when under pressure in addition to some lack of touch on a few other throws.

Finally, outside of his targets not helping Dobbs out on third downs last season, the only other glaring thing that caught my eye during this study is how many times the quarterback threw short of the chains, which was 24 of his 51 attempts. Also, 29 of Dobbs’ third down incompletions in 2016 also came with him getting rid of the football in 2.70 or more seconds after it was snapped to him and that’s a lot of time.

In summation, while Dobbs’ third down incompletions from 2016 can be viewed as a negative overall from a percentage standpoint, I came away with a positive feeling about the negative stat after reviewing what actually transpired on those plays as a whole. Sure, none of it will change the fact that he completed just 44.1% of his total third passes in 2016, but it goes without saying that that percentage could have and probably should’ve been much higher.

If you missed any of the posts in this series they are linked below:

Joshua Dobbs’ Low 3rd Down College Completion Rate Warrants Deeper Look
Steelers Tape Study: Joshua Dobbs’ 2016 3rd Down Incompletions – Part 1
Steelers Tape Study: Joshua Dobbs’ 2016 3rd Down Incompletions – Part 2
Steelers Tape Study: Joshua Dobbs’ 2016 3rd Down Incompletions – Part 3
Steelers Tape Study: Joshua Dobbs’ 2016 3rd Down Incompletions – Part 4
Steelers Tape Study: Joshua Dobbs’ 2016 3rd Down Incompletions – Part 5

Dobbs’ 2016 Third Down Incompletion Data

OPP QRT TIME DWN DIST LOS PLAY BY PLAY AIR YDS STT REASON
APP 1st 6:45 3rd G APP 5 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to P.Williams 14 2.70 Good throw/Drop/PBU
APP 1st 3:45 3rd 6 TENN 35 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to A.Kamara 4 1.98 Poor decision almost picked
APP 1st 0:00 3rd 18 TENN 32 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Hurd 2 2.55 Poor throw high and behind
APP 2nd 1:24 3rd 3 APP 28 J.Dobbs pass intercepted by M.Williams 25 4.70 Scrambling. Poor decision off back foot
APP 3rd 3:05 3rd 7 APP 21 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to A.Kamara -1 3.00 RB screen throw behind & dropped
APP 4th 7:46 3rd 18 TENN 16 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to E.Wolf 6 8.57 Scrambling. Poor decision off back foot
VTECH 1st 3:47 3rd 2 TENN 33 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone 9 2.54 Throw wide to outside
VTECH 2nd 5:41 3rd 15 VT 16 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to T.Byrd 17 6.87 Scrambling. Throw on run high in end zone
VTECH 3rd 10:11 3rd 10 VT 29 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Jennings 14 2.95 Poor decision almost picked
VTECH 3rd 2:25 3rd 13 TENN 37 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith 3 3.39 Dropped. Pressure in face
VTECH 4th 14:50 3rd 6 50 J.Dobbs pass intercepted by M.Reynolds 9 3.28 Low snap. Open stance and poor decision
OHIO 2nd 4:55 3rd 7 TENN 31 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone 16 2.75 Throw off target maybe miscommunication
FLA 1st 11:16 3rd 5 FLA 40 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to E.Wolf 5 3.01 Designed roll-out pass dropped
FLA 1st 4:32 3rd 11 TENN 40 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone 8 5.79 Pass caught but out of bounds after scramble
FLA 1st 2:44 3rd 7 FLA 43 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to T.Byrd 1 2.89 Receiver turned upfield after crossing over middle
FLA 2nd 10:30 3rd 5 FLA 38 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith 0 2.62 Dropped pass thrown slightly behind receiver
FLA 2nd 8:57 3rd G FLA 7 J.Dobbs pass intercepted by Q.Wilson 15 2.95 Forced red zone pass in end zone picked off
FLA 2nd 2:44 3rd 6 FLA 10 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to A.Kamara 1 1.89 Dropped flair-out pass thrown low and behind
FLA 3rd 4:20 3rd 8 TENN 34 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to A.Kamara 15 2.53 Sideline pass thrown out of bounds
UGA 1st 11:03 3rd 9 TENN 47 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith 13 3.31 Throw behind receiver after hit while throwing
UGA 1st 7:12 3rd 8 UGA 34 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Hurd -4 2.25 Short screen pass thrown too high
UGA 3rd 3:04 3rd 9 TENN 28 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone 34 3.00 Catchable deep pass through receiver’s hands
TA&M 2nd 13:32 3rd 2 TA&M 35 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Croom 4 2.37 Misdirection TE screen pass too high
TA&M 2nd 5:20 3rd 8 TENN 16 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to E.Wolf 4 1.92 Throw slightly high and dropped after hit
TA&M 2nd 1:26 3rd 4 TENN 35 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone 5 1.90 Throw on target and nice PBU
TA&M 4th 13:13 3rd 23 TA&M 43 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith 13 2.87 Hit as throwing. Behind receiver but catchable
TA&M 4th 6:00 3rd 6 TENN 34 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone 8 2.29 On target slant pass dropped due to hit
ALA 1st 0:14 3rd 7 ALA 37 J.Dobbs pass intercepted by R.Harrison -5 2.18 Should’ve thrown away after RB couldn’t release
ALA 2nd 14:30 3rd 5 TENN 30 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Jennings 5 1.84 WR beat to spot? Throw slightly inside
ALA 2nd 10:40 3rd 8 TENN 26 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Jennings 16 2.60 Throw high to left sideline
ALA 2nd 1:09 3rd 4 TENN 38 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to T.Byrd 14 2.64 Thrown way behind receiver – Tipped MOF?
ALA 3rd 10:15 3rd 14 TENN 35 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Hurd 2 2.46 Dropped
SCAR 1st 7:12 3rd 21 TENN 42 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to T.Byrd 8 2.14 On target drop
SCAR 2nd 13:45 3rd 17 TENN 14 J.Dobbs pass intercepted by J.King 13 3.12 Hit as throwing
SCAR 2nd 11:35 3rd 9 TENN 26 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to E.Wolf 4 2.39 Off target inside-Miscommunication?
SCAR 2nd 7:58 3rd 13 TENN 30 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith 6 3.62 Receiver stopped running inside
SCAR 3rd 7:51 3rd 10 TENN 45 J.Dobbs pass incomplete 3 10.07 Scramble and smartly thrown away
SCAR 4th 14:09 3rd 11 TENN 15 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Croom 11 3.15 Bad decision-Route undercut
TNTC 2nd 9:33 3rd 6 TNTC 43 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to T.Byrd 5 2.42 Wide outside – Miscommunication? Bad outside break?
KEN 4th 13:15 3rd 4 TENN 36 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Jennings 15 5.73 Off target out of bounds trying to make a play
MIZ 1st 4:54 3rd 1 TENN 42 J.Dobbs pass incomplete 0 1.78 Poor throw
MIZ 2nd 12:07 3rd 7 MIZ 29 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone 15 3.10 Receiver fell down- throw out of bounds
MIZ 3rd 8:51 3rd 11 TENN 24 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith 10 2.78 Drop
MIZ 3rd 4:49 3rd 4 MIZ 35 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Jennings 19 2.81 High and out of bounds – Missed blown coverage
VAN 3rd 7:46 3rd G VAN 7 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to E.Wolf 7 2.11 Pass broken up at goal-line
VAN 4th 12:06 3rd 17 VAN 19 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to T.Byrd 8 3.20 short-hopped throw – bad route?
NEB 1st 11:46 3rd 11 NEB 33 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Jennings 32 3.25 Under-thrown and hit defender in back
NEB 1st 6:43 3rd 14 TENN 41 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Smith 8 2.86 Too high and over head
NEB 1st 1:25 3rd 4 TENN 15 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to A.Kamara 12 1.95 Little long but catchable and dropped
NEB 3rd 5:58 3rd 5 NEB 28 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone 34 3.67 End zone throw out of bounds after roll-out
NEB 4th 6:00 3rd 13 TENN 36 J.Dobbs pass incomplete to J.Malone 40 3.31 Deep throw right side over head of receiver and out of bounds
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