Third Quarter Breakdown? I think not...

As opposed to my last fanpost, I'm keeping this one short to hopefully just spark some discussion. I found an interesting stat to share.

We talk each week about the highly anticipated Third Quarter Breakdown. Predictably, our team comes out swinging, to only let us down at the start of the second half. But is the 'breakdown' really limited to just the third quarter?

Points Scored Points Allowed Differential
Quarter 2013 2012 2013 2012 2013 2012
1st 10.3 6.2 - 3.3 10.3 2.9
2nd 5.3 8.6 8.7 6.4 -3.4 2.2
3rd 4.7 4.2 8.0 3.8 -3.3 0.4
4th 3.3 7.3 8.0 6.2 -4.7 1.1

After starting hot in the first quarter, the offensive performance tanks. The Falcon's score on par with last year through the first half, but our offense really disappears before the third quarter. The 4Q production is even worse. Ranked 27th, I get a little worried about winning every close game like last year. Adjustments have not been made well, so it's fixable, but we need a team that can score more than 25% of the game.

Defensive play heavily relies on the offense giving them rest, no doubt. So looking at the points allowed, we need to understand that quick offensive possessions wear down the defense. Now, that's not to say the defense can't play better, but it really is a team issue. In line with the offensive falloff, the defense has simply allowed more points (and plays more consistently, whatever that helps). Three tough opponents this early may swing the average, but that doesn't change what need in order to put enough W's on our record to make the post-season.

The last section of the table shows the differential in points score versus points allowed for each quarter. This is where I ask if it's really only a third quarter breakdown...The second quarter is just as bad, and the fourth quarter is actually worse in terms of points on the board. I understand it don't completely describe how well a team plays...Whereas the 2012 season showed our average differential growing each quarter, 2013 goes the opposite direction.

We come out with larger leads, only to watch opponents slowly chip away the entire game. Honestly, I believe the issue is easier to fix knowing it's not just the third quarter. Especially with the fourth quarter stats, I feel the coaching staff needs to make better in-game AND half time adjustments. Player conditioning, most likely, needs to improve. And the Falcons need to be healthy.

What do you think? Do you feel better or worse that the breakdown is for three quarters, not just the third quarter?

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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