Quarterback Pressures And Winning

June 12th, 2023

Bucs coach Todd Bowles.

Joe chatted recently with Joe’s good friend Sean Sullivan, the great general manager of Bill Currie Ford and the JoeBucsFan.com draft guru. He told Joe something that prompted research.

Joe likes to describe a love for the pass rush as having “an erection for sacks.” Sacks are game-changers, that’s all there is to it. Sullivan worships sacks (maybe not quite to the degree of Joe) but Sullivan is also fond of quarterback pressures.

Teams with a lot of quarterback pressures are often winners, Sullivan told Joe. So Joe decided to check it out using numbers from Pro Football Reference, which is Joe’s go-to site for NFL numbers (no grades!).

Below are the top-15 teams in quarterback pressures, their 2022 record and playoff results (if any).

1. Chiefs (178) 14-3, Super Bowl champs
2. Jaguars (168) 9-8, lost to Chiefs in divisional round
2. Eagles (168) 14-3, lost to Chiefs in Super Bowl
3. Belicheats (163) 8-9, no playoffs
4. Cowboys (162) 12-5, lost to 49ers in divisional round
5. Jets (160) 7-10, no playoffs
6. Titans (156) 7-10, no playoffs
7. Giants (155) 9-7-1, lost to Eagles in divisional round
8. Dolphins (152) 9-8, lost to Bills in divisional round
8. 49ers (152) 13-4, lost to Eagles in NFC championship
9. Lions (149) 9-8, no playoffs
10. Cardinals (147) 4-13, no playoffs
11. Bills (142) 13-3, lost to Bengals in divisional round
12. Bucs (141) 8-9, lost in wild card to Cowboys
13. Commandos (137) 8-8-1, no playoffs
14. Bengals (136) 12-4, lost to Chiefs in AFC championship
15. Vikings (135) 13-4, lost in wild card to Giants

So Sullivan is on to something. While the Bucs may not have been elite at rushing the passer, they weren’t far from being a top-10 team in quarterback pressures.

And as this list shows that without any sort of pass rush, you likely are not playing mid-January games.

12 Responses to “Quarterback Pressures And Winning”

  1. shankasorous Says:

    3 of the top 6 didn’t make the playoffs.

  2. Chris@Apple Roof Cleaning Tampa Says:

    This is true. I can not count how many time we ALMOST got to the QB.

  3. LOL Says:

    3 of the top 6 made it to the superbowl or lost late in the playoffs

  4. Craig Says:

    To have gotten this high and being one step away is somewhat impressive.

    Hopefully everyone can get a better first step and actually get there this season.

  5. Who Says Says Can't Say Says:

    is this a paid advertisement?

  6. BucU Says:

    Haha right?

  7. Rand Says:

    What this actually shows me is that yes, QB pressure is one important facet but not on its own merit. The teams who excel to the playoffs have several other factors as well. Like elite QB play, passes defensed, yards allowed, yards gained, and low turnover differential but sacks and pressure certainly can control time of possession and the most T.O.P. usually determines the winner.

  8. BillyBucco Says:

    Pressure up the middle will be better this year because we are younger and Calijah Kancey is the real deal. Greg Gaines is even quicker than Golston.
    That will push QBs into the hands of JTS and Co. Sacks and pics should go up.
    Hopefully they are still stout against the run.

  9. Hunter's Crack Pipe Says:

    BillyBucco Says:
    “That will push QBs into the hands of JTS …”
    Only if Plan 9 isn’t in his Sputnik orbital path behind the dark side of the QB.

  10. An Erection for Sacks Says:


  11. Show Me the TDs Says:

    Skipping the article prompted by a car salesman.

  12. garro Says:

    The trick this year will be getting “pressure” without having to send ILBs, Corners and Safeties. That folks is a tall order considering we got a still recovering Shaq, JTS, Hall, Rookie Kancy, and your best pass rusher from last year Vea. Ya Ya may not see the field much if at all.
    But my hope is Shaq is back and JTS finally gets it all together. Hall getting bigger might help too.

    Go Bucs!