Houston Texans: Who is to be blamed for all the sacks?
The Houston Texans saw quarterback Deshaun Watson be sacked over 60 times in 2018, but whose fault was it?
The Houston Texans allowed 65 sacks during the 2018 season, including the playoffs and that’s a scary number. That number also should be broken down more to find just who allowed those sacks.
I rewatched all 65 sacks and noted who allowed them based on a whiffed assignment, a poorly read blitz, or a player flat out being beat. What I found were some important numbers based off of a players ISAP (individual sacks allowed percentage).
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The ISAP is based on the film alone. For every player, I tallied how many sacks they allowed then divided that number by their snaps at the position in which they allowed it. Though the number itself is small, it’s telling.
For a reference point, if the number is at the 1.25 percent, it means the player individually allows a sack once in a full game worth of offensive snaps (80). Anything close to that number (.90-percent and up) is alarming.
Offensive linemen ISAP in 2018, including playoffs were:
- Kendall Lamm, RT: .70-percent (6.5 sacks allowed)
- Zach Fulton, RG: .23-percent (2 sacks allowed)
- Nick Martin, C: .34-percent (4 sacks allowed)
- Senio Kelemete, LG: .93-percent (9 sacks allowed)
- Julie’n Davenport at LT: 1.14-percent (11 sacks allowed)
- Julie’n Davenport at RT: 2.96-percent (4 sacks allowed)
- Martinas Rankin at LG: .79-percent (1 sack allowed)
- Martinas Rankin at OT: 1.81-percent (5.5 sacks allowed)
- Greg Mancz at LG: .41-percent (1.5 sacks allowed)
Skill position players and even quarterbacks allow sacks too. A quarterback sack allowed is primarily judged by poor footwork, holding onto the ball too long and poorly reading an obvious blitz. While tight end and running back sacks allowed factors in poor chip blocking, missed blocks, and poor pass protection behind the line of scrimmage.
Skill position players ISAP in 2018, including playoffs:
- Deshaun Watson, QB: 1.20-percent (14 sacks allowed)
- Ryan Griffin, TE: .44-percent (3.5 sacks allowed)
- Jordan Thomas, TE: .32-percent (1.5 sacks allowed)
- Alfred Blue, RB: .21-percent (1 sack allowed)
- Lamar Miller, RB: .07-percent (.5 sack allowed)
You might be wondering, which players and numbers stand out the most in either a negative or positive connotation? I have you covered there.
- Nick Martin and Zach Fulton’s low percentages are no fluke. Not only did the two have great chemistry playing together, they rarely got beat by power rushers from the inside while different types of blitzes rarely confused the two. Half of Martins sacks came when Watson collided into him.
- Martinas Rankin’s mediocre .79 percentage at guard doesn’t reflect how good he can be at the position. His one sack allowed at left guard came when his foot slipped on a block against the Eagles, but he contained the all of Fletcher Cox, Brandon Graham and Michael Bennett for that entire game.
- Lamar Miller rarely gave up a sack in pass protection. His play is bigger than his size and often does an excellent job of identifying a blitz.
- Kendall Lamm and Greg Mancz continue to develop as good depth pieces. Though they both had their struggles, they weren’t the catalyst of poor offensive line play.
- Deshaun Watson’s footwork needs improvement as he often slides left when he should slide right, or looks to play backyard football instead of staying the pocket. He could also stand to improve his ability to identify a blitz.
- Julie’n Davenport, despite his great size and athleticism, struggled at both tackle positions. He constantly got beat by quicker pass rushers; his poor hand leveraging, high pad level consistently and poor play strength played a crucial factor in his team-leading 15 sacks allowed.
- Senio Kelemete failed to develop chemistry with his teammates as he was constantly injured and new to the team. There seemed to be a lack of communication when double teaming or picking up stunts.
- Ryan Griffin whiffed on a healthy amount of simple chip blocks.
While statistics don’t quite tell the full story, they can help shape one. In some cases (Martinas Rankin and Nick Martin) their number was higher than it should be due to a mistake.
Nevertheless, if you’d like to know more or have any questions from my findings, you can shoot me a question on twitter @averydduncan