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|