It was brought to my attention that the Pro Football Focus stats on the number of sacks recorded by DE Lawrence Jackson (eight) was incorrect.
The sacks recorded by NFL.com says that LoJack had only six sacks.
Who got it right? Who got it wrong? Could they have been wronger? I was determined to find out, and heap shame upon the poser, whoever it might be.
So, I got out my Meerschaum pipe, my hounds tooth cap and donned my cape for an investigation.
"Come, come, Dr. Watson! We’re off to the film room!"
OK, I made that up. I was sitting at my laptop in my bathrobe, drinking coffee and dining on a Krispy Kreme. Alright! It was two Krispy Kremes.
You guys are brutal!
Off we went to that hallowed shrine Ty Shalter, of The Lions in Winter, aptly characterizes as "The Temple of the NFL Oracle." Otherwise known as YouTube videos.
First, I went into those Premium Stats at PFF (that were so kindly paid for by my part time employer, DraftTek.com). I looked up the game by game stats for our quarry, LoJack. Hmm. LoJack played in 11 games, starting none.
Now I looked at the column where those sacks were recorded. Indeed, there were eight of those nuggets, neatly tucked away for our perusal. I made some notes on which games those sacks were recorded, along with other data that I felt was pertinent.
Next, I consulted the Oracle—er, YouTube videos for those games where LoJack had recorded those eight sacks. Here’s what I uncovered:
Week 3 @ Minnesota
From the left DE position, LoJack played 8 of 74 defensive snaps. He recorded a sack on Brett Favre at 7:54 of Q4.
Week 10 @ Buffalo
From the left DE position, LoJack played 31 of 61 defensive snaps. He sacked Ryan Fitzpatrick at the 9:25 mark of Q1.
Week 11 @ Dallas
From the left DE position, LoJack played 36 of 65 defensive snaps. He sacked Tony Romo twice. The first was at the 13:45 mark of Q3. The second was at the 11:04 mark of Q4.
An anomaly was uncovered that might shed some light on the discrepancies between the NFL.com, and PFF.com stats. PFF does not record half—sacks. They award a whole sack for each sack that a player participates in.
LoJack’s first of two sacks in the Dallas game was indeed a half—sack.
Week 13 Green Bay
From the left DE position, LoJack played 54 of 66 defensive snaps. He sacked Matt Flynn twice. The first was at the 1:03 mark of Q2. The second was at the 6:58 mark of Q4.
Like the Dallas game, LoJack’s first sack should have been recorded as a half—sack.
Week 15 @ Tampa Bay
From the right DE position, LoJack played 38 of 73 defensive snaps. He recorded a sack on Josh Freeman at the 12:58 mark of Q4.
This sack was credited by the announcer to Turk McBride, but it looked like Freeman was tripped up from behind by LoJack. The video was inconclusive, so I dialed up a Pro scout associate and asked him to look at that point in the game film. I did not suggest to him who made the sack, but asked him to tell me who should have received the credit.
He phoned me back after watching four views of that play. The camera angle from behind the Buc’s offense clearly indicated that it was LoJack’s sack.
Week 17 Minnesota
Playing the right DE position, LoJack played 29 of 61 defensive snaps. He recorded a sack on Joe Webb at the 7:21 mark of Q3.
Conclusions (AKA My Spin)
If we take those two half—sacks, plus the sack on Freeman erroneously awarded to McBride, LoJack would have a total of six sacks.
Whose stats were correct? Well, both were wrong. PFF’s non recording of half—sacks is a glaring weakness in their recording criteria, and thus, their results. NFL.com’s failure to correctly award a sack to LoJack was likewise unforgivable.
The thing that I took away from the exercise was LoJack’s snaps per sack ratio. Applying seven sacks (the correct number) over the 377 snaps yielded 1 sack per every 53.9 snaps played.
"Honey, do we have any more Krispy Kremes?"