Banking On Shaq Barrett’s Sacks

September 5th, 2021


There are all sorts of ways the Bucs defense could improve this year. The youthful secondary is a year older and wiser, Devin White may play like he did in the playoffs, and Jason Pierre-Paul is healthy.

In part because Bucs opposing quarterbacks on the 2021 schedule seem to hit the turf more than most, Seth Walder of BSPN is putting money on Shaq Barrett to lead the NFL in sacks.

Shaquil Barrett to record most regular-season sacks (14-1)

My projected sacks model expects T.J. Watt — who sits at 8-to-1 — to record the most sacks, but Barrett is right on Watt’s heels in the projection and has much better odds at 14-to-1. Barrett recorded just eight sacks a season ago, but basically everything else is working in his factor, including the upside he showed in 2019 when he hit 19.5 sacks. Barrett is in an exceptional sack environment: He’s on a good team, a blitz-heavy defense and — crucially — is scheduled to face a slew of quarterbacks (like Carson Wentz, Sam Darnold and Daniel Jones) who take sacks frequently.

Joe has pointed out how Walder is like a lot of stat geeks in that he rarely factors in injuries. One reason Shaq had a lesser year than 2019 was that JPP was hurt and he wasn’t getting penetration like normal, so teams could deploy bodies on Shaq they could not before.

Same thing holds true for Vita Vea. Once Vea returned in the NFC title game and in the Super Bowl, Shaq exploded.

Joe wouldn’t put cash on Shaq to lead the NFL in sacks. But Joe certainly believes Shaq will have a better year for both the reasons Walder stated as well as JPP and Vea being healthy.

And, oh yeah, Joe Tyron-Shoyinka being used as well.

24 Responses to “Banking On Shaq Barrett’s Sacks”

  1. ClodHopper Says:

    The entire line is going to be so fun to watch!

  2. SB~LV Says:

    I hope none of our rushers get injured all arriving at the quarterback at the same time!

  3. Wild Bill Says:

    Expecting a peak year for Bucs defense.

  4. PA Buc Fan Says:

    I could be wrong on this but didn’t Shaq switch sides on the DL last year. That has to have an impact on what a player does. Everything is done the opposite. Had to play a small role at least in his sacks being diminished.

  5. Tampabaybucfan Says:

    Shaq gives maximum effort on every play….I expect him to do very well this year for all the reasons stated above……
    A defense can cover only so many good pass rushers…..

  6. Infomeplease Says:

    Looking forward to the Dallas game. DEFENSE!!! GO BUCS!!!

  7. PSL Bob Says:

    TBBF, you’re absolutely correct – effort on every play. Plus, he’s on a mission this year. He wants to be defensive MVP. I think Walder’s analysis is right on. Would love to see Shaq put Prescott on the ground a couple of times Thursday night!

  8. Bird Says:

    That’s pretty good. A jailbreak that turns into 4 guys all destroying the qb at the same time

  9. gotbbucs Says:

    @PA Buc

    You are correct. Shaq and JPP approached Bowles about switching sides before last season and Bowles agreed to it. I still think it’s a head scratching idea and probably cost Shaq a couple million dollars on his contract, but they won the Super Bowl, so who am I to question?

  10. Cobraboy Says:

    I would not be surprised if scouts saw JPP was somewhat hobbled last season, and they suggested singling JPP and chopping Barrett, which could account for the reduction in ShaQ SaQs.

    With JPP healthy and an effective Tryon in the mix, I would not be at all surprised with a sharp increase in ShaQ SaQs.

  11. Jason Says:

    I think we may lead the NFL in half sacks this year, if that makes any sense. Lol.

  12. Mike Says:

    Shaq is relentless in his pursuit of the QB and has a ton of moves. If Vea can stay healthy, and assuming JPP and JTS are bringing heat from the other side, it’s pick your poison, you can’t double them all.

  13. Nate Says:

    Vita Veda’s health was evident to all the pass rushers as he started to get better when he got hurt in Chicago and his presence was evident the defense kinda struggled in Washington (yes white too) and kept it close in New Orleans but dominated up front in Green Bay. He opens it all up for one on ones

  14. Nate Says:

    I meant yes being without white in Washington hurt too

  15. The Red Mirage Says:

    It’s all about Vita staying healthy.

  16. Ghost of Darrell Henderson Says:

    Every tome I see that 19.5 number I get pissed. I see Arians throwing that 3rd red flag in Arizona that cost Shaq a sack. But no, BA wasted the 1st two red flags on frivolous pass interference calls that he should have known were unwinnable.

    So did Shaq come up a half sack short that year or did his bumbling HC cost him big time?

  17. Biff Barker Says:

    Agree with most all comments.
    IMO, sack numbers will be inter related with blitz numbers,
    My recollection is Bowles blitzed with less frequency in the playoffs. We got mega pressure rushing 4 guys. The secondary benefitted greatly.
    Bowles is at liberty to blitz when he spots a weakness in the protection scheme.

  18. Anonymous Says:

    I don’t see Shaq getting 19 or more sacks this season because we have enough pass rushers to spread the count total per person around, I also believe that when you put the pressure on a QB, it effects his game as far as timing is concerned. 13 sacks from Shaq will be a big pluse when you add 9 from JPP and another 7 from JTS and also my belief is D White bemcomes more involved in rushing the passer this season. When JTS is on the field, this defense will become Pick Your Poison for any O-line’s 5, 6 or 7 man front!! After the lights go out tonite…..4 more days….GO BUCS!!

  19. Defense Rules Says:

    ” One reason Shaq had a lesser year than 2019 was that JPP was hurt and he wasn’t getting penetration like normal, so teams could deploy bodies on Shaq they could not before.”

    That makes perfect sense, however, if you look at JPP’s stats for the year he did extremely well for ‘playing hurt’. JPP ended up the 2020 regular season with 9.5 sacks, 1 sack more than he had in 2019 and 1.5 more than Shaq had in 2020 (although Shaq did only play 15 games vs JPP playing 16 games).

    Beyond that though, JPP had 2 INTs last year plus 6 PDs, as opposed to 0 INTs & 2 PDs in 2019 (he only played in 10 games in 2019). For someone playing hurt all 2020 season, that’s pretty impressive. JPP finished 2019 on fire, getting 5 sacks in the last 2 games, but he only had 2 sacks in the last 8 games in 2020. Makes me wonder if maybe Todd Bowles compensated for JPP playing hurt by modifying what he had JPP doing on defense a little bit.

  20. Greg Says:

    I still think that Shaq gets off ahead of the snap by a hair. When there’s was a crowd ala 2019 you couldn’t tell. There’s too much noise. I think the zebras started catching him last year early because there was no noise. He had to settle down a bit.

    This year all bets are off.

  21. Craig Says:

    The cat is out of the bag, so Shaq is no longer a surprise to other offenses. In 2019, the teams keyed on JPP, 2020, they tried to stop both, even if that is impossible.

    Let Shaq do his thing to make the defense better overall, the sacks aren’t everything ( dynasty is).

    I thought he had a better 2020 than 2019. He didn’t just rush the QB, he covered backs and tight-ends, and that made the Bucs better overall.

  22. Brandon Says:

    Shaq only had JPP the 2nd half of 2019 and he got a majority of his sacks in the first few weeks. If a guy can use stats and considers himself a stat geek, maybe he should really analyze those stats.

  23. Bucschamp Says:

    JTS going to give him and JPP much needed rest. I see relentless pressure all the time

  24. David Says:

    I think JPP gets 10+ and shack gets 14+
    If they use him enough I think the rookie gets to 8+