Let's Play Andrew Luck Whack-a-Mole
On Monday, I ran the list of leading defenders in QB hits for 2013 so far. Today, let's look at quarterbacks.
There are two ways for a quarterback to get knocked down: sacks, and QB hits after a pass is thrown. These are designated in the play-by-play in [brackets].
Nobody in the NFL gets knocked to the ground after a pass quite like Andrew Luck. Luck has 78 QB hits through 15 weeks, including plays cancelled by penalty. That's 25 more than any other quarterback in the league, a huge margin. This isn't a one-year thing, either. In his rookie year, Luck had 83 QB hits, which also led the league and was 22 more than any other quarterback. (Matt Ryan, incidentally, is second this year and was also second a year ago.)
However, Luck isn't the most frequently knocked down quarterback. First of all, he doesn't take as many sacks as some other quarterbacks; 31 sacks puts him in the middle of the pack. He also throws a lot of passes, so of course he's going to get knocked down a bit more.
If we look at knockdowns per pass, the leader is Geno Smith of the Jets, who has 47 hits and 44 sacks.
Two things to note about the following table:
1) As noted in the post about defenders and QB hits, official scorers are very inconsistent from stadium to stadium marking QB hits. Until we can clean that data up with game charting, some quarterbacks are artificially low because their home scorers almost never mark a QB hit, and others are probably artificially high.
2) I didn't have the time to go and do a proper rate stat that included all pass plays including those cancelled by penalty, so the "rate" listed here isn't actually the rate of knockdowns to pass plays. Nonetheless, it's close enough to be useful information.
|QB Hits and Sacks, Weeks 1-15 2013|
| * QB hits total may be artificially high due to overzealous home scorers.
** QB hits total may be artificially low due to inconsistent home scorers.
|Note: This is not the exact rate of knockdowns to pass plays because QB Hits and Sacks totals
include plays cancelled by penalty, but Passes total does not.