OT: Quarterback Sack Definition Clarity

Submitted by Champeen on September 12th, 2017 at 9:09 AM

If a QB drops back, and his intent is to pass it, however, after 5 seconds everyone is covered and the pocket is collapsing and he sees/feels pressure, so his intent is now to run it .... he runs forward a few yards but does not pass the line of scrimmage before he is tackled.

Is this a sack?  Or simply a TFL?



September 12th, 2017 at 9:22 AM ^

So as long as the QB shows intent to pass at any time, and he is tackled behind the line, it is considered a sack? Some of these bootlegs or rollouts must be tough to judge.  Some QB's look like they are going to run it, and at the last minute on a rollout raise the ball above the waist and pass at last minute.  Hell, Denard used to do something similar on one of my favorite RR plays (usually to Gallon).


September 12th, 2017 at 9:36 AM ^

From the NCAA Football Statistics Rules:

"...a quarterback drops back to pass, is pressured by a defensive player Benson and then pulls down the ball to run. He then is tackled by defensive player Brown before reaching the line of scrimmage. Credit defensive player Brown with a solo pass sack, a solo tackle, and a solo tackle for loss for all the yards lost."

The sack rules are on pages 17-18.


Larry Appleton

September 12th, 2017 at 9:47 AM ^

The sack is one of the more useless statistics, and your scenario demonstrates why.

- A QB drops back, but then quickly takes off on a designed draw. He's tackled for a loss. Not a sack.

- A QB drops back, sees his first passing option is covered, panics and takes off running. He's tackled for a loss. Sack.

It should all just be TFLs.


September 12th, 2017 at 10:42 AM ^

I think it depends on whether you are looking at team sacks or individual sacks.  Team sacks seem to give you a pretty decent idea of how good a defense is at rushing the passer.  A team with 20 sacks isn't very good, a team with 40 sacks is outstanding.  But it doesn't really matter which specific players are actually tackling the QB.

To that end, sacks for individual players does seem like a fairly arbitrary statistic.  If one particular DL is crushing the pocket down-after-down, he might get double- or triple-teamed and not actually record very many sacks, while his single-blocked teammates pick them up in spades.  Seems like pressures is the more useful stat for individual rushers.


September 12th, 2017 at 11:17 AM ^

On a related note, what are your best practices for manscaping these days? I'm dealing with some very unsightly razor burn and my lady deserves better...

Late Bluemer

September 12th, 2017 at 11:32 AM ^

Does that count as a sack since it would have resulted in one if the qb hadn't dumped the ball before being tackled?  It seems fair that it would count and the closest pursuer(s) would get credit.  Just wondering.


September 12th, 2017 at 11:51 AM ^

Credit the defensive player who pressures a QB into intentional grounding with a sack.  From the NCAA book:

"When a passer is pressured into throwing an intentionally grounded pass, the defensive player who exerted the pressure is credited with a solo pass sack, a solo tackle, and a solo tackle for loss for the yards lost to the spot of the foul. The passer is not charged with a pass attempt, but is charged with a rush attempt and yards lost to the spot of the foul. Since the ensuing penalty is loss of down at the spot of the foul, charge the offensive team with a penalty for no yards."