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Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

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Old 10-27-2022, 01:29 PM   #1
SunnySide
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Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

This is related to, but not completely the same as, the league’s move toward mobile quarterbacks in the past decade. After spending the 2000s chasing cerebral, statuesque quarterbacks in the Peyton Manning–Tom Brady mold, the NFL started to find competitive edges with dual-threat quarterbacks such as Cam Newton and Robert Griffin III, and expanded on those edges with Lamar Jackson, Kyler Murray, and others. In 2022, it’s known that the league’s elite quarterbacks—Patrick Mahomes, Josh Allen—can beat you with their arms, no problem. But if you somehow manage to quiet them in the air, they’ll just beat you with their legs instead.

It was with this shift in mind that the Philadelphia Eagles selected Jalen Hurts in the second round of the 2020 NFL draft. A run-first quarterback at Alabama who grew as a passer at Oklahoma, Hurts was considered by NFL.com draft analyst Lance Zierlein to be a developmental player for his “ability to grind out yards on the ground” despite his tendency to “break the pocket when throws are there to be made.” A decade ago, the league wouldn’t have considered the juice worth the squeeze. But the Eagles took him on, and two years later, he’s in the thick of the MVP race as the leader of the league’s last undefeated team.

While Hurts has improved, he is not any different from what he was described as two years ago. Hurts still grinds out tough yards on the ground and still leaves the pocket when there are throws to be made. Through seven weeks, Hurts is third in the league in the percentage of his dropbacks that become scrambles, at 11.2 percent, per TruMedia.

This is where quarterback scrambling raises the floor of an offense. A quarterback who can scramble when pressured is not just creating a positive play, but also erasing a hugely negative play: a sack. Just one sack on a drive makes it three times less likely that that drive will end in a touchdown than when compared with a sack-less drive—and accordingly, the ability to avoid sacks is perhaps the most valuable skill a quarterback can have.

https://www.theringer.com/nfl/2022/1...yan-scrambling

Ive heard a lot about this article on sports radio leading up to our Colts game.

Interesting .. is the NFL changing how it views QB play? I find myself in old school thinking .. I want a pocket QB who can read a D pre snap, get the ball out quick if its a blitz, make those next level throws.

But now, flawed passers like Hurts and Fields and Heinike etc are getting playing time. OCs are crafting playcalls to what they do well, tucking and scrambling is baked into the pie.

As an old school opinion holder of what a QB should be ... I think I need to be more open minded.

If heinike misses a 10 yard pass he should have seen and made ... maybe I need to give him credit for plays where he gets a 3 yard gain on what would have been a negative 8 yard sack.

Avoiding a sack/negative play of -5 yards > a 15 pass.
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Old 10-27-2022, 03:35 PM   #2
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

I have also read that a sack is the equivalent to 1/3 of an interception. In regards to game outcome.
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Old 10-27-2022, 05:17 PM   #3
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

Nice read. Having a QB who can avoid sacks definitely helps. I'm not sure if we would have won the Packers game if Wentz played - he would have been sacked a few times in the game.. The football game has evolved, so it makes sense for the traits we look at in football players evolved as well.
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Old 10-28-2022, 04:10 AM   #4
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

I don't think it's as simple as just having a mobile QB. A guy that can move within the pocket and get the ball out quickly and accurately will always be more valuable than one that can simply run. Mahomes, Allen etc. are pass first and accurate; they run when they have to. Hurts still makes me think that when it's critical he won't be able to put the ball where its needed with his arm. The game has evolved to favour mobile QBs maybe if only because DL have become lighter and faster. But they still have to be leaders and passers first, not just runners.
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Old 10-28-2022, 08:57 AM   #5
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

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Originally Posted by BaltimoreSkins View Post
I have also read that a sack is the equivalent to 1/3 of an interception. In regards to game outcome.
That doesn't surprise me at all. It's a drive killer almost every time and ignites the team distributing the sack. Underrated part of the nfl.
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Old 10-28-2022, 12:14 PM   #6
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

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Originally Posted by AnonEmouse View Post
I don't think it's as simple as just having a mobile QB. A guy that can move within the pocket and get the ball out quickly and accurately will always be more valuable than one that can simply run. Mahomes, Allen etc. are pass first and accurate; they run when they have to. Hurts still makes me think that when it's critical he won't be able to put the ball where its needed with his arm. The game has evolved to favour mobile QBs maybe if only because DL have become lighter and faster. But they still have to be leaders and passers first, not just runners.
They do—and, like play-action passes, there’s probably a point of saturation at which that value starts to diminish. Take Bears quarterback Justin Fields, the current league leader in scramble rate with a scramble on a whopping 17.7 percent of his dropbacks—that’s nearly one out of every five dropbacks! Fields is one of the most physically gifted runners in the league at any position, let alone quarterback—yet by EPA per scramble, he’s ninth, behind players including Geno Smith, Joe Burrow, and Derek Carr. Scramble too much, and defenses won’t fear your passing game once they get pressure or take away your first read. They know what you’re going to do next.

^^ from the article ... there is a balance to be had. Mahomes/Allen are at the top of the QB pedestal being dual. As the writer said .. to much scrambling like Fields and teams wont respect the pass threat knowing that if they cover your first read you will likely tuck and run.

From a Heinike perspective .. I prefer a Kirk Cousins "process oriented" QB who will go through pre and post snap reads like a robot and tend to discount a Heinike .. but maybe I need to give Heinike and his scrambling more credit. In that Packers game, there were some plays where Wentz takes a sack but Heinike was able to back pedal/scramble just enough to get a short pass off.

That 3 yard completion maybe was more than 3 yards, it was 13 yards bc it was going to be a 10 yard sack if it was Wentz

I think I need to give these more scrambly QBs more credit
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Old 10-28-2022, 01:44 PM   #7
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

This is a great read and definitely jives with other recent metrics that have come out. ESPN arrived at their QBR formula which a) weights the importance of the score of the game and likelihood that a play will have a meaningful impact on the outcome of the game. Meaning, a 20-yard TD pass when it's 14-14 in the 3rd quarter is a pretty important moment and should count more than a 20-yard TD pass when it's 42-14 with 6 minutes to go in the game. It levels out the garbage time effect.

But it also takes into account negative plays that the QB is at least partially in control of like taking sacks vs rushing for 2 yards vs throwing the ball away.

You can see the difference in QBR vs Quarterback Rating which leaves out sacks, scrambling and clutch-weighting. The ranking of QBR will jive much better with your impression of how QBs should be ranked in a discussion over beers with buddies.

This sack measurement is in the same vein.
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Old 10-28-2022, 02:42 PM   #8
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

Makes sense for Colts to try a more mobile QB. To be honest, a more athletic, mobile QB has been the trend for the last 10-15 years. Colleges and those schemes demand more running for the QB. Stand tall QB like Matty ice, Brady and Big Ben…all HOFers…that didn’t need the scramble ability, game is different. Defenders faster, more athletic in getting to QB.

Def doesn’t diminish the fact you still need to be a great passer to win.
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Old 10-28-2022, 04:23 PM   #9
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

We still gonna sack the fug out of Ehlinger tho
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Old 10-28-2022, 05:36 PM   #10
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
We still gonna sack the fug out of Ehlinger tho
Lololol…I hope so.

For some reason Im thinking this has to be an easy, relaxing win…can I get one more of those before I die.

But then I see the line and much smarter folks than me say you must agonize against a first time starter in order to get this W.
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Old 10-28-2022, 08:22 PM   #11
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

Quote:
Originally Posted by Schneed10 View Post
We still gonna sack the fug out of Ehlinger tho
I hope so. But I wouldn't be surprised if he evades the rush well, we have struggled against mobile qbs in recent years.
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Old 10-30-2022, 04:52 PM   #12
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Re: Ringer Article: Value of Avoiding a Sack

For what it's worth:

Heineke was sacked only once and for only 3 yards in the whole game.

And no offensive penalties until the delay of game when they were running out the clock.
It seemed he was moving around the guys that weren't in the right place. And maybe the offensive line was less apprehensive about screwing up.

Although I've seen very little this year, I expect Heineke will be able to do OK. The prior offseason he had to prove he wasn't made of glass, and he got his strength up so he survived the season. (Unlike Fitzpatrick and Smith before.) This offseason was focused on his arm strength. So he should have more distance and velocity than before.

Also, since I haven't seen it mentioned anywhere else, the Packers have the #1 ranked pass defense, so he got thrown right to the wolves.

The game that threw his confidence under the bus last year was the Dallas game, where it seemed like both the snap and Parsons got to him at the same time.

So I'm hopeful for the game, although I won't be able to see it, as I have to help out my kids' youth orchestra from 4:30-7:45. (If anyone can record it I'd appreciate it, as I don't have cable etc. anymore, but if we lose badly, forget about it.)

(I also have to confess I'm a bit biased, as I'm also a scrappy short math guy.)
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