defensive sack percentage in 2017

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    I noticed something about sack percentages on defense. So I looked at sack percentages going back to 2000. I looked for teams that had a sack percentage of 9.0 or better–which would be really good. I then compared it to teams in 2017 that currently have a sack percentage of 9.0 or better. This is a flawed comparison because the 2017 numbers are for 6-7 games (depending on the team) when of course all previous years it’s for the whole season. Still it’s interesting.

    Right now there are 6 teams with a sack percentage of 9.0 or better. It has never been 6 teams before.

    Here it is:

    Jax 10.4
    Cin 10.0
    Pitt 9.7
    Rams 9.3
    Chargers 9.1
    Caro 9.1

    Caro 9.6
    Buff 9.2
    Rams 9.2

    Oak 9.1

    Dallas 10.4

    Giants 9.2

    Balt 10.5
    Chargers 10.2

    Tampa 9.4

    Caro 9.1
    Phil 9.0

    N.O. 10.5
    Pitt 9.5

    N.O. 11.9
    Tenn 10.6

    The closest any year has come to having 6 teams above 9.0 in sack percentage is 2013 with 3 teams. In fact getting 9.0 or better is rare—in 18 years it has happened 21 times, with 9 of those coming in 2013-2017. In the previous 13 years it was 12 times. (This of course could change since it has only been 6-7 games, and maybe by the end of the season it will be more than 6 or less than 6…so this is all pretty provisional. But still. IMO interesting.)

    Some interesting points related to all this from an article:

    just one out of every six offensive drives (16 percent) in which the quarterback was sacked eventually got another set of downs, making it easy to see how much of a momentum killer a quarterback sack can be.

    According to data from TruMedia, the league’s average passer rating dropped to 78.1 on plays immediately following a sack last season, showing that the effects of a good pass rush can linger for at least another down for any passer on any team. Part of the reason for this is that sacks often create long, difficult down-and-distance situations, increasing the likelihood of a quarterback throwing an incompletion or an interception.

    Quarterbacks were also sacked in 3.42 seconds last season per Pro Football Focus, a few fractions of a second faster than a decade ago (3.69), a byproduct of faster defenders.

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