When the Titans signed Shonn Greene this week, the key number that was bandied about as to why the signing was a great move was Shonn Greene was incredibly successful in 2012 on converting third-and-short into first downs. It's true, he was. Eleven times Shonn Greene ran the ball on third down and three or less, and 11 times that resulted in a first down. It's also true that the Titans struggled at times in 2012 to run the ball in short yardage. Like Shonn Greene, the Titans converted 11 first downs on designed runs on third down and three or less, though it took them 16 attempts to get there rather than Greene's 11. Ergo, instant upgrade, right?
If only the story was quite that simple... let's compare how two players did in third and short.
Those numbers look pretty close to me. Player A comes out slightly better in percentage terms. Over pretty modest sample sizes like that one less conversion for Player A or one more conversion for Player B basically eliminates the difference between the two of them.