Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

29 Oct 2013

When is a sack not a sack?

Hi Guys,

Maybe you guys can help me understand the interpretation of the sack rule.

During the final qtr of the round 7 monday night game between the Vikes and the Giants Eli Manning was sacked, happens with about 5:15 to go in the game.

Eli receives the snap, looks up and sees no one to pass to, puts the ball under his arm and runs around to his left and slides at the line of scrimmage for no gain.

I always thought when the QB decides to run and is tackled behind the line of scrimmage its not recorded as a sack??


Posted by: colz.net on 29 Oct 2013

2 replies , Last at 05 Nov 2013, 5:14pm by tuluse

Re: When is a sack not a sack?
by colz.net :: Mon, 11/04/2013 - 10:08am

For a sack to be called I always thought there needs to be some kind of pressure form the defense. With the Eli sack, he starts moving forward to his left as soon as the ball is snapped. There is no real intention to pass as they want to keep the clock rolling, so he runs towards the line of scrimmage.

The defense didn't cause him to abandon the pass and move forward.

Sacks need to be earned by the defense, this was not earned, there was no pressure from the defense.

I honestly thought the sack would have been corrected.

Re: When is a sack not a sack?
by tuluse :: Tue, 11/05/2013 - 5:14pm

If a QB attempts to run it should be a tackle for a loss and not a sack, but it's pretty much a judgement call between trying to run or just scrambling to buy time.

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