NFL Team Sacks: A Closer Look

A lot of you guys might notice that in my weekly scouting report for the podcast that I like to throw out there ratings for sacks on the offensive and defensive lines. I prefer to do this because looking at the outright rankings can be misleading. I believe it is very relevant to look at things within context, and therefore the amount of times a team is passed against versus the sacks they have netted is a much more relevant statistic to me.

So without further ado, here is my findings. Each team is ranked based on the number of pass attempts against versus a sack. The smaller the number the better, since an opponent would go fewer attempts before being sacked. I also included the current ranking for that team in NFL sacks in parenthesis, followed by the differential on my ranking so the differences were more obvious.

1. 9.93 Oakland Raiders (3rd) +2
2. 10.37 San Diego Chargers (3rd) +1
3. 11.36 Green Bay Packers (1st) -2
4. 11.29 New York Giants (10th) +6
5. 11.50 St. Louis Rams (1st) -4
6. 11.80 Detroit Lions (9th) +3
7. 11.96 Miami Dolphins (6th) -1
8. 12.27 Philadelphia Eagles (6th) -2
9. 13.15 Tennessee Titans (3rd) -6
10. 13.46 Seattle Seahawks (6th) -4
11. 14.05 New Orleans Saints (16th) +5
12. 14.38 Pittsburgh Steelers (10th) -2
13. 15.15 Indianapolis Colts (12th) -1
14. 15.30 San Francisco 49ers (12th) -2
15. 15.80 New York Jets (12th) -3
16. 16.24 Dallas Cowboys (22nd) +6
17. 16.55 Arizona Cardinals (12th) -5
18. 16.83 Atlanta Falcons (20th) +2
19. 17.89 Kansas City Chiefs (16th) -3
20. 19.06 New England Patriots (20th) 0
21. 19.38 Baltimore Ravens (23rd) +2
22. 19.74 Chicago Bears (16th) -6
23. 19.79 Washington Redskins (16th) -7
24. 19.81 Cleveland Browns (23rd) -1
25. 20.64 Jacksonville Jaguars (25th) 0
26. 21.00 Buffalo Bills (28th) +2
26. 21.00 Minnesota Vikings (25th) -1
28. 21.08 Denver Broncos (28th)
29. 22.31 Carolina Panthers (28th) -1
30. 23.86 Houston Texans (25th) -5
31. 34.00 Cincinnati Bengals (31st) 0
32. 35.38 Tampa Bay Buccaneers (32nd) 0


So the Giants and Cowboys have a much better ability to sack the quarterback than what their NFL rankings would indicate and the Redskins are not near as good as their NFL sack total ranking would indicate. I put this out here so people could have a better understanding of what a good sack rating for a defense is. The top tier teams are around one sack every 10-11 attempts against, the mediocre teams will be around 15, and the bad teams will be around 19. Anything beyond 20 is absolutely horrible.

One nice thing about this stat is that it will allow you to get a reasonable expectation of how many sacks a given team will get versus a given opponent. For instance Detroit has a rating of 11.8 and the Cowboys have a rating of 16.24. The Cowboys average 38.7 pass attempts a game and the Lions average 43.4. So you could take those numbers and equate them into a projected sack total of 2.67 for the Cowboys and 3.28 for the Lions.

When you look at the offensive line numbers relative to that, the Lions offensive line only allows a sack once every 26.1 attempts where the Cowboys give up one every 20.5 attempts. Given those numbers you could say the Lions are likely to give up 1.66 sacks and the Cowboys are likely to give up 1.89 sacks.

Putting these numbers together leads me to believe that the Cowboys will fall short of their normal defensive numbers and the Lions will come closer to achieving theirs, but still fall a bit short as well. If I had to make a prediction I would think that the Cowboys will get one or two sacks and the Lions will get two or three.

Anyhow I just wanted to show you all what is going on behind the curtain so to speak with those sack rating numbers and the logic I follow to my conclusions in that scouting report.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Pride Of Detroit or its writers.

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