Joe’s Favorite New Stat

August 4th, 2021


This stat may not be new, but it’s new to Joe. And the Bucs led the NFL in it last year.

Per Thomas Bassinger of Football Outsiders, there is a stat called “rusher untouched.” This is when a pass rusher had a clean shot at a quarterback.

Per Bassinger, the Bucs were atop the NFL in this category last year with 12.

Typing for the Football Outsiders 2021 Almanac, Bassinger focused on the Bucs’ pass rush and he had an interesting stat here, too. The Bucs had a big dropoff in sacks from the perimeter (Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul) but had more from all other areas of the defense. And it is fair to say the defense was better in 2021.

🏈 Tampa Bay recorded about the same number of sacks in 2020 as it did in 2019. The distribution, however, was completely different, due in large part to White’s success as a pass-rusher. The Buccaneers went from second in edge-rusher sacks to 28th and from 26th in second-level sacks to sixth. The Tampa Bay defense also led the league with 12 sacks attributed to “rusher untouched.”

Joe just has visions of Devin White and Lavonte David having clean shots at quarterbacks, which makes Joe’s mouth water. But it is very interesting that the Bucs had just about the same number of sacks in 2020 as they did in 2019, and sacks from Shaq and JPP fell off.

That tells Joe that offenses weren’t prepared for or didn’t expect what Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles brought to the table each Sunday.

14 Responses to “Joe’s Favorite New Stat”

  1. Alanbucsfan Says:

    Assuming the next Bucs HC is Bowles or Leftwich, and the other coach left for another organization, who would you rather the Bucs lose? Bowles or Leftwich?
    Until Leftwich can show he can do it with a QB not named Brady, I’d prefer to keep Bowles.

  2. Señor Harry in Costa Rica Says:

    “…That tells Joe that offenses weren’t prepared for or expected what Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles brought to the table each Sunday.”

    A sign of great coaching – anticipating how other teams would adjust. Good job coach.

  3. Wild Bill Says:

    If an opponent game plans for our top pass rushers they can’t double team everybody. The Bucs have speed and talent coming from multiple locations.

  4. Jason Says:

    Pretty sure at least 2 of those untouched rushes were from White up the middle.

  5. Defense Rules Says:

    @Joe … “offenses weren’t prepared for or expected what Bucs defensive coordinator Todd Bowles brought to the table each Sunday.”

    Sound conclusion IMO Joe. The big surprise of 2019 was Shaq blowing up with 19.5 sacks on the year. That year he had 51 total QB pressures (based on his 19.5 sacks, 14 hurries & 16 QB knockdowns, with 174 blitzes in 889 def snaps). That’s an incredible year. Shaq did have about a 15% drop off in total pressures in 2020, but it looks like he was used somewhat differently; still had 42 total QB pressures though (based on him having 8 sacks, 24 hurries & 8 QB knockdowns, with 121 blitzes in 822 def snaps).

    The big surprise of 2020 was White kicking arse with 20 total QB pressures (based on him having 9 sacks, 3 hurries & 8 QB knockdowns, with 91 blitzes on the season). That’s an incredible jump in just 1 year, considering that White only had 5 pressures total in 2019 (based on 2.5 sacks, 0 hurries & 2 QB knockdowns, with 75 blitzes on the season). Obviously Devin White was used quite a bit differently in 2020 to get those kinds of stats as an ILB, but it also seems obvious that he made the most of his blitzing opportunities.

    Interestingly though, it looks like if you take BOTH their stats TOGETHER each year, their performance was pretty close to the same between the 2 years. In 2019 they had 56 total pressures together, based on 22 sacks, 14 hurries & 18 QB knockdowns, with 249 total blitzes. In 2020 they had 62 total pressures together, based on 17 sacks, 27 hurries & 16 QB knockdowns, with 212 total blitzes. From a pressure on the QB standpoint, not a huge difference.

    Can’t wait to see how Todd Bowles uses this same defense this year. I would expect that their communications & chemistry would be awesome by the time the season starts, giving Bowles a lot more flexibility to throw his whole playbook at our opponents. Fully expecting a Top-5 defense in 2021.

  6. PSL Bob Says:

    AlanBucsfan, think I’d go with Bowles too. Defenses win games, as evidenced in last year’s playoffs. Even as head coach, Bowles would certainly influence the defensive scheme. With the talent we have on offense, I think any good OC could have success here. As long as Licht continues to bring in exceptional players through the draft and FA on both sides of the ball, we should be good to go. The winning culture will continue to prevail!

  7. geno711 Says:

    I feel like Tom Bassinger is the male version of Cynthia Frelund without the good looks. Guy says stuff and then tries to somehow find stats to support a position without really understanding football.

    I remember last April 4th with Joe posted the Tom Bassinger tweet:

    ” We’re really going to do this? Claim that Tom Brady has shown no signs of decline?

    It’s just not true.”

  8. SB Says:

    For the thousandth time. Shaq and JPP’s production went down when Vea went down.
    Shaq had more sacks in the 7 games that Vea played in than the 13 games that Vea was out.

  9. SlyPirate Says:

    “Untouched sacks”

    Visions of Ronde Barber off the edge.


  10. Red86 Says:

    If I was Vita Vea, then I would print this article out and negotiate the next deal with it. VV was very important to us in the playoff. To me he was the defense MVP in the playoff. He made the defense better by doing what he does best. Occupy 2 blockers, get good push in the middle, rarely gets pushed back or on the ground, and occasionally get a sack or qb hurry. Everybody else has 1 on 1 a lot of times.

  11. BRYAN KOHN Says:

    Bowles all the way! He had a real schitt show in NY!

  12. SOEbuc Says:

    “The Bucs had a big dropoff in sacks from the perimeter (Shaq Barrett and Jason Pierre-Paul)”

    Enter healthy Vita, sacks fly through the roof.

  13. Rod Munch Says:

    Vita is the Brate of the defense, a guy who everyone thinks is way better and more important than he actually is.

    Go watch the SB and the subpar effort Vita put in, he was a complete non-factor during the game, and much worse than that, he gave up on plays and didn’t even bother trying to chase Mahomes on at least one 4th down where Mahomes held the ball forever as Vita just stop moving.

    The guy is a good run stuffing NT, that’s it. He’s not even on the field for most 3rd downs. He’s not a factor in the pass rush at all, and no, just standing still in the middle of the field isn’t ‘freeing up’ guys.

    Yes, I’m being too harsh on him, but the nonsense view of Vita as being an All-Pro when he can’t even play half the year because he’s out of shape and gets hurt… come on.

  14. geno712 Says:

    I feel like geno711 might be an idiot.

    I found Bassinger’s tweet. You cut out the rest of it:

    “I’m not saying he won’t be good enough in Tampa Bay. I think he will be, at least for one more season.”

    Talk about being selective.