In what is one of the more amazing stats of Seattle’s Super Bowl season is that the Seahawks allowed more sacks per pass play than any team in the NFL — 44 on 420 attempts.
The easy culprit is the offensive line, which was the position group hardest hit in 2013 by injuries, particularly to tackles Russell Okung and Breno Giacomini.
FootballOutsiders.com in this piece today helps make better sense of those numbers.
Specifically, FootballOutsiders assesses a primary reason for each sack for every QB in the NFL.
For Seattle’s Russell Wilson, the breakdown looks like this:
20 for what it terms a “blown block.”
14 for good coverage in the secondary
8 for a rusher coming in untouched (so meaning the blame more on scheme or assignment than a physical error).
And one each for it describes as other pressure and “quarterback fault.”
Of most note might be that FO assesses so many as coverage sacks — only Carolina had more, with 15.
FootballOutsiders also says Wilson scrambled more the last two years than any other QB, writing:
“For the second year in a row, Russell Wilson led all quarterbacks in scrambles to earn his “second coming of Fran Tarkenton” reputation. He had 50 as a rookie and 51 in 2013. He did face an above-average amount of pressure on the scrambles, but the highest rate belongs to Matt Cassel, who scrambled 11 times with 10 pressures.”
One of the more interesting aspects of the piece, though, is its debunking of the idea that it’s mobility that is largely the reason QBs are good at avoiding sacks. Instead, a quick release, and recognition of defenses tend to be more important. As evidence, FO cites Terrelle Pryor, who was traded to Seattle this week, writing:
Terrelle Pryor was just traded from Oakland to Seattle. Last season, he had a league-worst 10.23 percent sack rate. The Raiders were a mess at offensive line, but rookie Matt McGloin still managed a 2.77 percent sack rate (Manning territory) when he played. It’s not like the Raiders magically blocked that much better for McGloin.