Inside The Lost SackOctober 5th, 2012
RGIII drops back to pass and gets sacked at the six-inch line for a seven-yard loss by George Johnson and Mason Foster. Not so fast. Roger Goodell’s stat gremlins have stepped in to deliver their twisted brand of reality.
Scott Smith, on the fancy pants new blog on Buccaneers.com, explains why the NFL has stripped Foster and Johnson their sack.
On the play, Griffin takes a shotgun snap and is pretty quickly overwhelmed by Foster, Johnson and LB Lavonte David near the goal line. At the time, it seemed pretty clear that the play was a sack. However, Elias’ review of the play noted that all three receivers on the field immediately started blocking on the play, and that Griffin appeared to pause for just a moment before starting to run up the middle of the field. RB Alfred Morris, who is lined up behind Griffin at the snap, rushes up the middle of the field and tries to throw a block on Foster but misses.
All of the evidence added up, in the eyes of the Elias statisticians to a designed running play, and it’s possible that the Washington coaching staff verified that opinion earlier this week. As such, the stop of Griffin – since it wasn’t a passing play – is not officially considered a sack. Instead, both Johnson and Foster get a tackle for loss.
As a result, the Buccaneers’ defense has eight sacks through four games, not nine. The ruling did marginally help Tampa Bay’s already good rushing defense numbers, as that play is now scored as a run for a loss of seven.
It sickens Joe how the NFL invests so much energy getting the stats right but refuses to use technology to review a play like Mark Barron’s clean tackle of RGIII that senselessly drew a personal foul.