Look at Jake Fromm’s situational passing stats. He’s attempted more throws on first down than any other, so it’s not really a matter of “why don’t they throw on first down?”.
Look more carefully, though, and you should get a strong hint about what we should be asking. Here are his passer ratings, by down: First: 188.58 Second: 148.99 Third: 141.31 Fourth: 166.26 He’s completing over 71% of his passing attempts on first down. The question, then, isn’t why aren’t they throwing on first down. It’s why aren’t they throwing more on first down than they are.
Argh. Totally screwed the pooch on this post. Let’s start over. Passer ratings, by down:
- First: 175.82
- Second: 115.59
- Third: 187.07
- Fourth: 221.80 (Note: only two throws)
Most pass attempts came on third down, with 68, but Fromm has thrown 57 times on first down. He also hasn’t turned the ball over on any of his first down attempts. His problems, such as they are, come more on second down.
The earlier stats I posted were by quarter, not by down. What they show is that he’s been incredibly effective throwing the ball early in games and that his passing performance tails off as the game progresses. Why that’s the case may be the question worth asking.
Sorry for being an idiot on this one.