Which Defenses Depended on "Non-Pressure Sacks" in 2017?
by Aaron Schatz
Data dump time! I was putting together some data for the Patriots chapter in Football Outsiders Almanac 2018 and I decided why not share with the class a little early. I'm not sure we've ever looked at sacks in exactly this way. Not much commentary here, but readers can feel free to respond with their own thoughts and point out what they think is interesting.
I've counted up all the sacks that fit into one of the following three categories:
- Coverage Sacks
- Failed Scramble, which refers to sacks where the quarterback just takes off to run and doesn't make it past the line of scrimmage
- QB Fault, which refers to sacks where the quarterback just drops the ball or trips over his own feet without being touched by the defense
This helps us get to the bottom of the question, "How did the Patriots rank tenth in adjusted sack rate but just 30th in pressure rate?" They were getting a lot of their sacks with great coverage, plus a couple where they didn't do anything at all and just watched the quarterbacks screw up. The Patriots led the league with 16 "non-pressure sacks." No other team had more than 13. Yet the Patriots didn't lead the league in the rate of such sacks. Oh man, was the Tampa Bay pass rush non-existent last year. On the flip side, the Washington pass rush led the league in pressure rate and was massively underrated.
|Rate of "Non-Pressure" Sacks, 2017 Defenses|
Here's the flip side, looking from the offensive perspective. Tyrod Taylor sure likes to run around a lot and try to make something happen, and sometimes he just runs out of time.
|Rate of "Non-Pressure" Sacks, 2017 Offenses|
Data comes from Sports Info Solutions charting, of course.