Third Down Passing, by the numbers
This isn't really a contest on third down. Both faced an average of 3rd an 8 when they got a touch (non-handoff):
- Alex Smith had a 32.8% conversion %
- Colin Kaepernick has a 40% conversion %
- Excluding Turnovers, Alex Smith got only about 2/3rds of the yardage necessary for the first down.
- Excluding turnovers, Colin Kaepernick gets 2/3rds MORE than the yardage necessary for the first down.
- Variance/consistency/distribution: almost equal. Smith's coefficient of variation is 2.3 while Kaep's is 2.18 (lower = less volatility)
Want to control for outliers? Taking out the top 5% of 3rd down conversions (and turnover plays):
- Smith gets 46% of the yardage necessary for the first down on average.
- Kaepernick gets 5% more yardage than necessary for the first down on average
- Variance: Smith's CV is 2.68, Kaepernick's is 1.42
Takeaway: Kaepernick gets much more yardage than Smith on third down, on a consistent basis
Finally, Expected Points Added (EPA) per play on Third Down and Fourth Down:
Smith: 0.018 expected points added per play (1.3 total)
Kaep: 0.237 expected points added per play (11.15 total)