RG3 took sacks last season at a historic rate

AP

Washington quarterback Robert Griffin III took sacks during the 2014 season like no other quarterback in the 21st Century.

Griffin was sacked 33 times last year while throwing only 214 passes. How rare is that? Not since Hugh Millen of the 1992 Patriots has a quarterback been sacked so many times while throwing so few passes.

The NFL started counting quarterbacks’ times sacked as an official statistic in 1963, and in the 52 seasons since then, only six quarterbacks have been sacked as many as 33 times while throwing as few as 214 passes: Griffin, Millen, Randall Cunningham in his first season, Mike Rae of the horrendous expansion Buccaneers, Bobby Douglass of the 1969 Bears, and Archie Manning — who did it twice while playing behind the awful New Orleans Saints line of the 1970s.

It would be tempting to blame the offensive line any time a quarterback gets sacked that often, but in Griffin’s case it would be incorrect. Washington’s other two quarterbacks, Colt McCoy and Kirk Cousins, weren’t sacked as often as Griffin. McCoy was sacked 17 times while throwing 128 passes, and Cousins was sacked eight times while throwing 208 passes.

No, the problem with Griffin is that he isn’t good enough at getting rid of the ball when he’s under pressure. Griffin has been sacked at least 30 times in all three of his NFL seasons despite never throwing more than 456 passes in a year. (For comparison with a passer who’s good at getting rid of the ball, Peyton Manning has never been sacked 30 times in any of his 16 seasons despite always throwing at least 453 passes.)

As a rookie, the 30 sacks Griffin took just seemed like part of the cost of doing business for a quarterback who was so good at making plays with his legs that he ran for 815 yards. But this year, when Griffin took 33 sacks despite rushing for only 176 yards, it seems like he’s still trying to rely on his legs to get him out of trouble — but his legs aren’t getting the job done anymore. RG3’s sack rate is another reason to think that building him into a franchise quarterback is going to be a difficult, and maybe even impossible, job.

82 responses to “RG3 took sacks last season at a historic rate

  1. As a point of comparison, McCoy would have been sacked 29 times if he threw the same amount of passes. Yes, Griffin holds onto the ball way too long, at times. But let’s not pretend he’s playing behind the 1991 Hogs here.

  2. If Griffin was sacked 33 times in 214 attempts and McCoy was on pace to be sacked 34 in 256 attempts, you can’t say it was on Robert and McCoy didn’t have that trouble. Yes, RG holds on to the ball, no argument there. But you’re wrong with its not the Offensive Line because Colt was on pace for the same.

  3. I seem to remember McCoy getting sacked 6 times the last game he started… Yeah maybe RG3 held it a little long but watching the PATs play, Brady has all day to throw the ball. You can’t expect a QB learning a new system to be able to pick up everything that quickly and get the ball out that fast while being rushed on every play.

  4. If you asked him for a legitimate response to this, he’d say: “Don’t let the haters invade your place of serenity. Only you can achieve the ultimate knowledge of your true potential. #knowyourwhy”

    “But, Mr. Griffin, you didn’t actually say anything there.”

    “#themovement #thisisforus”

  5. While there is a lot wrong with Griffin and he absolutely holds on to the ball too long, this article seems to hint that he is responsible for all of those sacks. If you double McCoy’s pass attempts to 256 that would put him on pace for 34 sacks. Slightly better than Griffin’s ratio, but still pretty bad. Cousins got the ball out quicker than either of those two, but that is also what led to most of his interceptions. Swap picks for sacks and Cousins is looking pretty bad, too.
    The last paragraph is the only bit I can’t argue with here.

  6. Randall Cunnigham was sacked over 50 times in 4 different seasons:

    72 (1986), 60 (1992), 57 (1988), and 54 (1987).

    Yet, he’s still regarded as a great Quarterback.

    Mobile quarterbacks who like to run and move around are going to get sacked more often.

  7. simply put he does not have the QB accumen needed to make the quick decisions, and execute. Some QB have weak arms or no mobility. His flaw is that he can’t process what he see’s,,and decide. In college like manzel,,if you can’t decide what to do,,tuck it and run. What that won’t work in the NFL. Nobody here can show me a scamper QB who has long term success. Sure a year or two until he gets beat up. But at some point he has to be able to put that on the shelf and be a POCKET QB. An “O” line can’t protect a QB that is constantly outside the sphere of protection.

  8. Who is really concerned? That’s a Redskins issue that will never be solved because nobody currently there knows how to build a competitve football team. They great at taking fans money though! Comment from GM Bruce Allen’s end of the season presser: Asked in what ways Washington was a better NFL franchise than was when he took the reins in 2009, Allen said: “I do think our charitable foundation does a fantastic job. We’re winning off the field, but we’ve got to start winning on the field.”

  9. Thinking about the math involved, 214/33 = 1 sack every 6.48 passing attempts.

    Brady made 582 attempts this year, and if he’d been sacked at the same rate he would have taken an enormous 89.8 times.

    Payton Manning made 597 attempts this year, which would translate to 92.1 sacks.

    Aaron Rodgers had a mere 520 attempts this year, which would translate to 80.24 sacks.

    Lastly lets look at Drew Brees, who made a whopping 659 attempts this past season. Which at the rate the Washington QB was sacked would translate to unbelievable 101.69 sacks.

    The fact is, if you extrapolate RGFragileEgo’s sack rate to every other team in history, he’s most likely getting sacked more than any other QB in NFL history. It doesn’t matter how bad the OLines throughout league history have been, no one has ever been sacked 80 times+ in one season that I’m aware of.

    Ie; Griffin is incapable of reading NFL defenses at a historic level, perhaps the worst ever for any QB with the number of starts he’s had. He is a bust of epic proportions and the trade up to get him is probably the worst trade in NFL history.

  10. The Redskins line is terrible. If you project McCoy’s totals out they aren’t that much different then RGIII’s. If they played behind the line of the Dallas team they wouldn’t have anywhere near those totals.

  11. The facts don’t lie. Bob can’t be successful in the NFL and people don’t want to believe it. He set the franchise back 10 years. What’s the point of comparing him to McCoy? Ok Bob can also be a journeyman. He needs to go to the arena league and hone his skills.

  12. Apparently most of you don’t watch the games and are just doing some math comparing him only to the third string qb (who played eight quarters) while obviously ignoring Cousins. If you watched RG3 you would see a guy who is totally clueless, not on the same route page with his receivers, has no idea what to do in a pocket, stares down his receivers, and has ZERO anticipation on where to throw the ball in sync with receivers.
    I’m a life long skins fan who is saying HES A TOTAL BUST!!

  13. Look. If you look back at previous seasons like 2011
    and 2012, He was really good, And i mean really good.But the end 2012 season he got his legs wiped out in the second half of the season. And he was a mess in 2013, and this season. But if look at it this way, RGIII, is a joke. What you do is just release him or trade him to like, Oakland(This great place to drop off star players into the black hole of nothingness), Clevland (being Cincinnati fan i’d love it),New York Jets,to mension that Rex Rayn is fired and im not saying he would be a good coach, or The Rams. but i don’t really care that much. he is just “Big Hot Pastrami” at this point. Meanwhile in Oakland, “Pastra-me! I want some!”

  14. Would have been better off sitting on all the picks and taking the best OLmen available with them. Maybe it wouldn’t have mattered so much who was starting at QB because they have good RBs and would just need a game manager at that point.

  15. Maybe he’s a douche and his line doesn’t block for him as well as the other QBs on the roster. Isn’t this the same guy who wasn’t given a helping hand off the ground when he was knocked down early this year or late last year?

  16. I long for the days of the Hugh Millen Patriots…

    Back when Belichick with the Browns sneaked into opposing team’s practices dressed as a woman. Sigh.

  17. I’m not a big RG3 fan, but how many players or coaches have had success in Washington during the Dan Snyder era compared to their success rate elsewhere throughout their careers? NONE

  18. Why do people keep harping on the obvious. RG3 and any other spread option QB are not going to be WCO pocket passers overnight. They will either throw picks or take sacks because they have not played this style before.

    Other than Luck whose father was an NFL QB was coach by an NFL QB spent an extra yr in college and had the best QB coach in the NFL none of the other young QB have looked consistently good.

    Every single other QB drafted for the past 20 year was either a bust a game manager sat on the bench or wildly inconsistent for 3 to 4 seasons.

    That includes Brady Manning Brees and Rogers the only true elite QBs in the game.

  19. This happens when you don’t step into the pocket and go through your progressions after properly reading the defense and choose to just scramble on every play.

    When oh god, when will this kid just go away and stop insulting our intelligence by remaining a starting QB in the NFL??

    Bust. Waste of traded picks, waste of RoTY award, waste of money, ink, time, even this post.

  20. .
    it is really amazing how many brainiacs keep noting colt mccoy was on the same pace so it has to be the offensive line while totally ignoring the other stat

    “Cousins was sacked eight times while throwing 208 passes.”

    Well… Ok there was a totally different offensive line out there when Cousins was behind them, that explains it all

  21. If RG3 is not a VERY serious run threat, then he is not a starting caliber NFL QB… The windows that were opened up by LBs having to respect him as a runner were the only reason he was able to complete so many passes as a rookie. Now that they can play him straight up, he has nowhere near the accuracy or timing to hit the much smaller windows… Unfortunately for the Fighting Dan Snyders, this equals a gigantic BUST.

  22. RGIII might be the worst of all worst, but our team has been a bust for 20 years and RGIII has been the only glimmer of positivity since our last division title playoff appearance, which by the way we were still in the game until his leg almost came all the way off.

    It’s not about how much we gave up to ger him. Mike Ditka gave up the whole Saints draft to get Ricky pothead Williams and there are many other teams that have given up plenty to get nothing in return.

    We have drafted plenty of players that have not worked out and to compare that to how the Rams negotiated for other players with some of those picks idiotic because what have they won with all of the bounty?

    This young man has suffered what would be career ending injuries for most people, but he’s still obviously better than the other quarterbacks on this team because he’s back at the helm and the job is still his to lose.

    The Redskins issues didn’t start and don’t end with RGIII although a lot is still riding on him to do his part.

    If we took out all of the plays that he held on to the ball too long and left those where it was the lines failt, how many sacks would that be?

    Ask Tony Romo what it’s like to have 7-9 seconds while moving only about 5 yards left or right with that young, big and strong line that he’s playing behind after a few years of running for his life behind an inferior pass blocking line that was still better than the Redskins line.

    Oh by the way who won the Super Bowl last year and how many passes did Manning complete or just a few weeks ago when he couldn’t buy a completion? Was it Manning or was it his offensive line?

    Parsing words and contrived statistics can be made to say anything.

    Get some decent coaches, offensive line, defensive line, linebackers and defnsive backs and then we can talk about the quarterbacks.

  23. Hodey- OMG- RG3 was playing at Baylor in
    2011.

    hodey3434 says:
    Jan 2, 2015 10:23 AM
    Look. If you look back at previous seasons like 2011
    and 2012, He was really good, And i mean really good.But the end 2012 season he got his legs wiped out in the second half of the season. And he was a mess in 2013, and this season. But if look at it this way, RGIII, is a joke. What you do is just release him or trade him to like, Oakland(This great place to drop off star players into the black hole of nothingness), Clevland (being Cincinnati fan i’d love it),New York Jets,to mension that Rex Rayn is fired and im not saying he would be a good coach, or The Rams. but i don’t really care that much. he is just “Big Hot Pastrami” at this point. Meanwhile in Oakland, “Pastra-me! I want some!”

    0 4
    Report comment

  24. The drafting of RGme is another in a long line of bad decisions by Daniel Snyder since 1999..the day the Anti-Christ known as Snyder, took over the Washington Redskins.

  25. The ability to see the field is a god given talent. It’s very much like a point guard. A point guard (or any basketball player to an extent) can see the court and quickly process it – or he can’t. There’s only so much you can do to improve it. It’s the difference between Andrew Luck and Jay Cutler. Both have great physical tools. Cutler doesn’t see the field – neither does RGme.

  26. RG3 is the best thing to ever happen to the Rams.
    If you think the RG3 trade was one of the worst in NFL history, you may also say it was one of the best. Depends who’s colors you are wearing.

  27. charge1 says:
    Jan 2, 2015 10:21 AM
    Apparently most of you don’t watch the games and are just doing some math comparing him only to the third string qb (who played eight quarters) while obviously ignoring Cousins. If you watched RG3 you would see a guy who is totally clueless, not on the same route page with his receivers, has no idea what to do in a pocket, stares down his receivers, and has ZERO anticipation on where to throw the ball in sync with receivers.
    I’m a life long skins fan who is saying HES A TOTAL BUST!!

    Not you charge1 but…

    Perhaps now people will learn to stop anointing draft picks as the second comming. Some excitement is fine but folks were falling all over themselves over this guy like he’s the god of football. They had him pegged as the greatest QB ever before he even started his first NFL game.

    This post by charge1 should be recited to everyone after every draft pick is made. The media should recite it before talking about every draft pick. It should be tattooed backwards on every media members forehead so they can read it in the bathroom mirror each morning. Teleprompters should have this displayed to all announcers, in between each play.

    It was not fair to put all that pressure on the guy. Imagine if he didn’t have that pressure of being the football messiah when he was drafted, in training all the way to his first game, season, etc. Who knows, he could have developed differently.

  28. Maybe if his teammates liked him, he would be sacked less.

    I am curious though how the sack rate looks with McCoy in the game? Is it an offensive line thing or an RG3 not reading the coverages fast enough? Perhaps a little bit of both.

  29. How stupid, RG3 played with Trent Williams on 1 leg and 1 arm. At times Polumbus played with Compton at both tackles. Moses started the SF game vs Aldon Smith. Get real.

  30. Remember the Andrew Luck Vs. RG3 draft day “debate”. I’d love to go back and listen to the guys who were arguing for Griffen now.

    5 Dollar, 5 Dollar, 5 Doller FACEPALMMMM….

  31. RG3 may not be the answer but they have to address o-line and safety first. I would trade down from the #5 spot and pick up an additional 2nd rounder. With that, we can then draft a safety, OT and OG with those 3 picks.

    I’m fine if they want to spend a 4th or 5th rounder on Sean Mannion from Oregon St and throw him into the mix. He plays in a pro-style offense and I think he could be a bit of a sleeper.

    Also, they need to get a GM and invest in the scouting department. Bruce can still serve a valuable role running the team (and serving as a buffer between Snyder and the new GM). However, he should not be involved in football decisions. New stadium decisions – yes, retiring a player’s number – yes, personnel decisions – NO!

  32. It astonishes me that NFL teams still haven’t figured out how to draft the QB position. It’s not that difficult. You find guys that understand how to play the position in the pocket. That’s it. Name one legitimate elite QB that isn’t a pocket passer first and foremost? You can’t, because they don’t exist. RGIII will never be a star in this league.

    Who’s the best rookie QB this year? Bridgewater (according to PFF and the majority of credible football people). Who was the best pocket passer in college football out of that draft class? Bridgewater.

    It’s not a coincidence.

  33. Even when he gets it off it’s often late to the receiver. I.E the WR has made the break, or Griffin waited until he was open to throw, with little anticipation. There are two possible reasons.

    1. Griffin doesn’t know the offense well enough (as illustrated by Gruden’s footwork comments before he was benched)
    2. He has very little ‘feel’ for the QB position

    Either one of those reasons shouldn’t get you an extension on a Subway TV contract.
    His best bet would be to find the best available QB coach and spend the entire offseason with him aside from the time he spends with the Redskins.

  34. Either way that offensive line is just that: fuh-king offensive. It gave up almost 60 sacks which warrants the dynamite and certainly a lineman will be drafted with their top pick.

  35. I think everyone except Danny Boy knows RGIII is not the guy and never will be in Washington. Expert analysis have said multiple he doesn’t put in the time or effort to improve and his work habits are not going to change and even if they did it doesn’t mean he will improve on the field. I think his talents have been wasted since he was not required to improve from the beginning. But Danny and Allen are not moving off him so next year will be a repeat of this year and then a new coach.

  36. this is what happens when you try to make a running qb into a pocket passer (aka kaepernick). you need to be able to read defenses, throw with accuracy and touch, and throw with anticipation. I believe you can get better at reading defenses with film study and experience, but the other intangiables are more inherent than learned.

  37. Nobody has succeeded in Washington under this owner. No coaches. No players. No GMs. But they were all successful before they came? I’m not an RG3 fan, but it’s impossible to judge him before he gets an opportunity to play elsewhere.

  38. Apparently most of you don’t watch the games and are just doing some math comparing him only to the third string qb (who played eight quarters) while obviously ignoring Cousins. If you watched RG3 you would see a guy who is totally clueless, not on the same route page with his receivers, has no idea what to do in a pocket, stares down his receivers, and has ZERO anticipation on where to throw the ball in sync with receivers.
    I’m a life long skins fan who is saying HES A TOTAL BUST!!
    ————————————————————-

    Obviously you don’t watch the game if you think McCoy only played 8 quarters. Whether you meant him or Kirk, they both played more than 8 quarters Mr. Life Long I watch every game.

  39. Seasons over…..enough of the press fascination with RGlll.
    Bust or not we will continue the drama next year. Let’s report on the teams that are still playing football. They are the ones who earned their season extended so give them the attention.

  40. I’ve watched every game he’s been in. He is actually getting worse in the pocket. He steps into blocked linemen. He scrambles with the ball loosely at his side.

    And every time he goes left, he literally can’t throw the ball accurately! Weirdest thing I’ve ever seen.

  41. The use of this statistic is misleading:

    Though Cousins is clearly the best at getting the ball out – and this stat supports it – he’s also a turnover machine and was playing behind a healthy O-line that still hadn’t given up on the season. As a coach, I’ll take a sack over an INT any day of the week – in fact, logic would say you’d them at a 3:1 rate. So if we add in the picks for Kirk – it’s a different comparison.

    McCoy, by comparison, also played behind a slightly healthier O-line – at least in regards to Left Tackle Trent Williams, who missed far fewer snaps with McCoy under center than he did RG3.

    Yet – despite this – their sacks per drop back numbers are pretty close:
    RG3: 1 sack per 6.48 drop backs
    Colt: 1 sack per 7.52 drop backs.

    By comparison, Colt would have been sacked only 4 fewer times (29) with the same number of pass attempts, while playing from behind considerably less than RG3 despite generating fewer points.

    Not defending one statistically bad QB against the other, because that’s ultimately what we have with the ‘Skins, but this stat doesn’t exactly get the O-line off the hook or purely indict the QB as much as the author would like it to.

  42. [quote][b]tonebones says:[b] I’m not a big RG3 fan, but how many players or coaches have had success in Washington during the Dan Snyder era compared to their success rate elsewhere throughout their careers? NONE[/quote]
    Brad Johnson, but he was subsequently fired for Jeff George.

    p.s. Brad Johnson went on to win a SB with the TB Bucs the following year.

  43. RGIII is a Read-Option QB, period. If you force him into another system, he’s going to stink up the joint. Put him back into the offense he ran 2012 before he blew out his knee and he will play far better.

    This really isn’t rocket-surgery, folks…

  44. RG3: 5 TDs (4 passing, 1 rushing), 10 Turnovers (6 INTs, 4 lost fumbles), sacked 33 times on 214 attempts

    Cousins: 10 TDs (all passing), 11 Turnovers (9 INTs, 2 lost fumbles), sacked 8 times on 204 attempts

    Cousins is clearly the better quarterback. both have about the same turnovers, but Cousins has twice as many TDs and way less sacks.

    And unlike RG3, Cousins can make more dynamic throws down the field and not just screens (most of Desean Jackson’s 50 yd+ plays this season came from Cousins).

    Cousins is also more coachable and doesn’t have the arrogance that RG3 has.

  45. Wow is this writer wrong with the McCoy and Griffin comparison. McCoy was on pace to be sacked a similar amount that Griffin was and I guess he also missed the last two games where the sacks were down. Griffin CAN develop that. Admittedly Cousins gets sacked less, he makes quick decisions, but lots of times, it’s too quick. Griffin is worth developing at least for one more year.

  46. No matter how you look at it, this is not an RG III issue that’s going to be fixed by getting him to release the ball faster or teaching the receivers to get open faster. This is an offensive line issue. This team, under 3 separate QB’s, both pocket passer and mobile, both seasoned vet and two 3rd year guys, with quick releases and holding on to the ball too long, had 58 sacks and 112 QB hits in 547 attempts. Basically every 3.22 ties a Washington QB went back to pass, he got hit.

    Two years ago I was laughed off of other sites saying that the Skins, after coming off a 10-6 season, needed to upgrade their OL. I still hear the fans clamoring for a safety or DE or a CB in the first round. But the rules are simple. The team that scores the most wins the game. The Skins are going to stay in the bottom until their offense begins scoring. The fix for that is to give the QB more time by fixing the OL.

  47. here’s the problem: The Redskins Organization. I mean…how many teams trade down to get more picks and then cut those guys where they never see the field. The Skins had 6 draft picks going in…ended up trading down to from quality to quantity….and then they ended this season with 5 of those 8 players on the roster somewhere…and only ONE of them actually starting. Seems to me that a team that won 3 games might want to start ALL of their draft picks because 3 wins means you have horrible players.

  48. in other words……the 3 win Washington Redskins released and wasted 37 percent of their draft this past season by cutting 3 drafted players. in fact, one of those players ended up on another NFL team. What a WASTE! This teams personnel department is worthless.

  49. RG3 takes sacks he should not take…but just as bad is this fact: he is a fumbler. All someone has to do is look at him and he automatically fumbles. Half of his fumbles in 3 years have been recovered by the Redskins but nevertheless he fumbles constantly.

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