The 49ers are coming up short on 3rd down

Anytime a team has lost 3 games in a row, fans can find lots of reasons why they aren't winning.  It's no different with the 49ers 3 game losing streak.  We could probably come up with a good size list of areas they've struggled, but the one area that really stands out to me is their failures on 3rd down.  Right now the 49ers are only converting on 28.26% of their 3rd down attempts.  That's all the way down at 29th in the NFL.  I know no one is going to confuse the 49ers with the Colts, but for a team with playoff aspirations, that isn't going to cut it.  Of course, we all know the strength of this 49ers team is their defense.  Surely they're doing a better job at stopping teams on the other side of the ball.  Well they are, but not by much.  Opposing teams have converted on 40.19% of their 3rd down attempts, which is good enough for only 25th in the NFL.  This stat more than any other really surprises me.  The 49ers have the top ranked run defense and the 16th ranked pass defense, so it's not like there's an area that they really struggle.  So why do the 49ers have the 25th worst defense when it comes to stopping teams on 3rd down?  Out of curiosity, I decided to list where every team ranks on offense and defense on 3rd down, and then averaged the two out to see where they rank.  Here's the list:        

Teams                    Offense                   Defense                    Average                                                                                                                                      

  1. Saints               5                         1                         3
  2. Ravens              3                         4                        3.5
  3. Dolphins            2                         6                         4
  4. Giants               7                         2                        4.5
  5. Vikings             4                          7                        6.5
  6. Packers            10                        10                       10
  7. Patriots              6                         14                       10
  8. Cowboys           14                         8                        11
  9. Broncos             17                        7                         12
  10. Colts                  1                         26                       13.5
  11. Eagles               22                         5                        13.5
  12. Cardinals            26                        3                         14.5
  13. Texans               19                        12                       15.5
  14. Lions                  16                        16                        16
  15. Bengals              12                        21                        16.5
  16. Titans                 18                        17                        17.5
  17. Chargers              8                         28                         18
  18. Jets                    23                        13                         18
  19. Steelers               9                         27                         18
  20. Bears                  15                       24                         19.5
  21. Panthers             21                       18                          19.5
  22. Redskins            28                        11                          19.5
  23. Seahawks           20                        19                          19.5
  24. Falcons              11                         31                           21
  25. Jaguars               13                        30                          21.5
  26. Bills                    30                        15                          22.5
  27. Raiders               27                        20                          23.5
  28. 49ers                  29                        25                           27
  29. Browns               31                        23                           27
  30. Buccaneers         25                        29                           27
  31. Chiefs                 32                        22                           27
  32. Rams                  24                        32                          28

Only the Rams are doing worse than the 49ers.  And when you look at the teams that are surrounding the 49ers, well they aren't the teams they want to be associated with.  If they want to start getting more games in the win column, the 49ers have to start doing a better job on 3rd down.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

Log In Sign Up

Log In Sign Up

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Niners Nation

You must be a member of Niners Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Niners Nation. You should read them.

Join Niners Nation

You must be a member of Niners Nation to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Niners Nation. You should read them.




Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.