FanPost

Sacked! Rodgers' Sacks Revisited


With Rodgers playing brilliantly this season, the one criticism I've heard leveled is that Rodgers takes a lot of sacks.  Additionally, ESPN's new QBR quarterback rating system scores sacks negatively against the quarterback's rating.  I went to NFL.com, which lists all games played and includes play by play recounts.  Here's the Packers' sack list through the Viking contest, Game 7:

Sack 1:  Saints game, 1st Qtr, 2nd and 4, GB 43, shotgun, loss of 8.  Drive ends in TD.

Sack 2: Saints, 4th Qtr, 2nd and 9, GB 44, under center, loss of 8.  Punt.

Sack 3: Panthers, 3rd Qtr, 1st and 10, opponent 13, under center, loss of 13. Field goal.

Sack 4: Bears, 1st Qtr, 3rd and 7, GB 35, shotgun, loss of 2.  Punt.

Sack 5: Bears, 2nd Qtr, 1st and 10, GB 33, shotgun, loss of 3.  Halftime ends drive.

Sack 6: Broncos, 2nd Qtr, 2nd and 8, GB 27, under center, loss of  9.  Punt. 

Sack 7: Broncos, 3rd Qtr, 1st and 10, opponent 48, shotgun, loss of 3.  Touchdown.

Sack 8: Falcons, 2nd Qtr, 2nd and 2, opponent 2, under center, loss of 11.

Sack 9: Falcons, 2nd Qtr, 3rd and 13, opponent 13, shotgun, loss of 1.  Field goal.  Sacks 8 and 9 were on consective plays.

Sack 10: Falcons, 3rd Qtr, 1st and 10, GB 18, shotgun, loss of 7. Punt.

Sack 11: Falcons, 4th Qtr, 1st and 10, GB 22, under center, loss of 8.  Field goal.

Sack 12: Rams, 1st Qtr, 1st and 10, opponent 16, shotgun, loss of 7.  Field goal.

Sack 13: Vikings, 1st Qtr, 3rd and 2, opponent 46, shotgun, loss of 11.  Punt.

Sack 14: Vikings, 2nd Qtr, 2nd and 10, opponent 15, shotgun, loss of 6.  Field goal.

Sack 15: Vikings, 3rd Qtr, 3rd and 4, opponent 4, shotgun, loss of 2.  Field goal.

Sack 16: Vikings, 3rd Qtr, 3rd and 6, opponent 31, shotgun, loss of 9.  Field goal.

Quick facts: Half the sacks, 8, happened in the Falcon and Viking games.

Eleven sacks came in shotgun, five under center.  The yards lost for under center sacks is 49, or an average of 9.8 yards per sack.  The total yards lost for shotgun sacks is 59, or an average of 5.4 yards lost.  On five of the eleven shotgun sacks, only three or less yards were lost, suggesting that Rodgers is moving ahead in the pocket, compared to the greater losses during under center plays.

Six of the sixteen sacks have occurred in the opponent's red zone.  Against the Falcons, two of these red zone sacks occurred on consecutive plays, leaving five drives with red zone sacks.  All five drives failed to recover and score a touchdown; but all five resulted in field goals.

Of the fifteen drives that suffered a sack, only two ended with a touchdown, eight ended with a field goal, five ended with punts, and one ended with halftime.  Seven sacks occurred in Packer territory.  Of those seven drives, one drive resulted in a touchdown, one with a field goal, four with punts, and one at halftime.

Six of the sacks happened on 1st and 10.  Four of those plays were in shotgun, two under center.  Only four sacks came with less than four yards to go for either a first down or a touchdown. 

By quarter, four sacks in the 1st Qtr; five sacks in 2nd Qtr; five sacks in 3rd Qtr; two sacks in 4th Qtr.  By down, six sacks on 1st down; five sacks on 2nd down; five sacks on 3rd down.

The biggest concern, in my humble, is the high number of sacks in the opponent's red zone, which is resulting in field goals instead of touchdowns.  This kept inferior opponents hanging around a bit longer.  The other concern, seemingly obvious, is that sacks in Green Bay territory are drive killers.  Of seven such drives, one ended with a touchdown, one with a field goal, one at halftime, and four with punts. 

ESPN's QBR rating formula, apparently, hasn't been released to the public.  They do hold sacks against the quarterback, but I've not seen whether the score is weighted for killed drives versus scoring drives.  A sack that occurs on a touchdown drive is meaningless.  A sack that kills a drive is more damaging than a sack that stalls a drive that results in a field goal. 

See any patterns?  Comments welcome. 

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