Getting a Win on First Down

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The importance of getting a win on first down for an offense was underscored in the game against the Jacksonville Jaguars. A win on first down is a basic building block for having a successful offense.

In the first half the Steelers had 13 1st and 10 opportunities. Five of those were wins (4-yards or more), and produced at least 1 other first down. Of the 8 they did not get wins (less than 4-yards), 5 produced at least 1 first down.

Of the 3 1st and 10 opportunities that did not produce at least 1 first down, 1 produced a FG, 1 a missed FG, and 1 a punt.

Seems rather unimportant at this point doesn’t it?

In the second half, there were 8 1st and 10 opportunities. Four were wins and notched up at least 1 first down. Of the 4 that produced less than 4-yards, no first downs were achieved.

The difference? In the first half the Steelers were able to come through on their their 2nd and long opportunities to position themselves for 5 makeable 3rd downs (3rd and 4-yards or less), but only were able to do that 3 times in the second half.

Winning on first down is not a be-all barometer, just another sign of the health of an offense.