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What is the Definition of a Sack?


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#1 Islander

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 09:50 AM

How do they determine whether a certain play is a sack or not?

Obviously if the play went for positive yardage it's not a sack. But what if the QB is tackled at the line of scrimmage? I thought it was a rush for zero yards. But apparently not. From the gamebook of the Vikings' game:

1-10-MIN 14 (:28) 15-S.Wallace sacked at MIN 14 for 0 yards (93-K.Williams).

Also, what if the QB takes the snap from the shotgun, and starts running right away. It's clearly a designed run play. He gets tackled for a 1-yard loss. I don't think this is a sack since the intent was not to pass the ball. How do you draw the line as to whether it was a running play or a passing play and decide if it's a rush for -1 yard or a sack for -1 yard? If you intend to pass, but nobody is open, you start to run, but get tackled for a 1-yard loss?



#2 cr8f

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 10:18 AM

Ask Deacon Jones. :)

#3 cr8f

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 10:23 AM

The QB has to be trying to pass for it to be a sack.

#4 Islander

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 01:40 PM

The QB has to be trying to pass for it to be a sack.

Do you have a link to the definition somewhere? What if the QB sees nobody open, the pressure is coming, and he runs forward and quickly falls in the pile for a 4-yard loss. He is no longer trying to pass, but I think it's a sack in that situation, no?

#5 nortobc

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 01:45 PM


The QB has to be trying to pass for it to be a sack.

Do you have a link to the definition somewhere? What if the QB sees nobody open, the pressure is coming, and he runs forward and quickly falls in the pile for a 4-yard loss. He is no longer trying to pass, but I think it's a sack in that situation, no?

His intention when the ball was originally snapped was to throw the ball. In other words, when the ball is snapped and the QB's intention is to throw the ball, if he is tackled for a loss or no gain, that is a sack. If when the ball is snapped and the QB's intention is to run the ball, that is not a sack regardless of where he gets tackled.

Edited by nortobc, 26 October 2006 - 01:46 PM.


#6 Islander

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 02:06 PM





The QB has to be trying to pass for it to be a sack.

Do you have a link to the definition somewhere?

What if the QB sees nobody open, the pressure is coming, and he runs forward and quickly falls in the pile for a 4-yard loss. He is no longer trying to pass, but I think it's a sack in that situation, no?

His intention when the ball was originally snapped was to throw the ball. In other words, when the ball is snapped and the QB's intention is to throw the ball, if he is tackled for a loss or no gain, that is a sack. If when the ball is snapped and the QB's intention is to run the ball, that is not a sack regardless of where he gets tackled.

Ok, things are getting more clear now. Thanks.

What if there is no pre-set intention when the ball is snapped, for example a boot leg, throw if someone is open, run it if nobody is open. This would be a sack because the intent was not solely on running?

So the sack definition is if the QB is tackled for no yards or a loss and his intention was not entirely to run (so either the intention was entirely to pass, or the intention was to pass/run depending on how the play develops)?

#7 nortobc

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 02:08 PM







The QB has to be trying to pass for it to be a sack.

Do you have a link to the definition somewhere?

What if the QB sees nobody open, the pressure is coming, and he runs forward and quickly falls in the pile for a 4-yard loss. He is no longer trying to pass, but I think it's a sack in that situation, no?

His intention when the ball was originally snapped was to throw the ball. In other words, when the ball is snapped and the QB's intention is to throw the ball, if he is tackled for a loss or no gain, that is a sack. If when the ball is snapped and the QB's intention is to run the ball, that is not a sack regardless of where he gets tackled.

Ok, things are getting more clear now. Thanks.

What if there is no pre-set intention when the ball is snapped, for example a boot leg, throw if someone is open, run it if nobody is open. This would be a sack because the intent was not solely on running?

So the sack definition is if the QB is tackled for no yards or a loss and his intention was not entirely to run (so either the intention was entirely to pass, or the intention was to pass/run depending on how the play develops)?

That's a good question. I don't know the answer.

#8 redman

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 02:38 PM









The QB has to be trying to pass for it to be a sack.

Do you have a link to the definition somewhere?

What if the QB sees nobody open, the pressure is coming, and he runs forward and quickly falls in the pile for a 4-yard loss. He is no longer trying to pass, but I think it's a sack in that situation, no?

His intention when the ball was originally snapped was to throw the ball. In other words, when the ball is snapped and the QB's intention is to throw the ball, if he is tackled for a loss or no gain, that is a sack. If when the ball is snapped and the QB's intention is to run the ball, that is not a sack regardless of where he gets tackled.

Ok, things are getting more clear now. Thanks.

What if there is no pre-set intention when the ball is snapped, for example a boot leg, throw if someone is open, run it if nobody is open. This would be a sack because the intent was not solely on running?

So the sack definition is if the QB is tackled for no yards or a loss and his intention was not entirely to run (so either the intention was entirely to pass, or the intention was to pass/run depending on how the play develops)?

That's a good question. I don't know the answer.

Half a sack. :mellow:

You're overthinking this a tad. It's really a judgment call.

Here's another one: a WR reverse where the WR pulls up to throw the ball but can't and his tackled behind the LoS. :shrug:

Edited by redman, 26 October 2006 - 02:39 PM.

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#9 cr8f

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 02:42 PM

If the quarterback's intent is not obvious statisticians use certain criteria, such as the offensive line blocking scheme, to decide. Other unique situations where a loss reduces a quarterback's rushing total (not a sack) are "kneel downs" (used to run time off the game clock), and aborted plays, such as a fumbled snap that the quarterback falls on to maintain possession.

#10 Maurile Tremblay

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 02:46 PM









The QB has to be trying to pass for it to be a sack.

Do you have a link to the definition somewhere?

What if the QB sees nobody open, the pressure is coming, and he runs forward and quickly falls in the pile for a 4-yard loss. He is no longer trying to pass, but I think it's a sack in that situation, no?

His intention when the ball was originally snapped was to throw the ball. In other words, when the ball is snapped and the QB's intention is to throw the ball, if he is tackled for a loss or no gain, that is a sack. If when the ball is snapped and the QB's intention is to run the ball, that is not a sack regardless of where he gets tackled.

Ok, things are getting more clear now. Thanks.

What if there is no pre-set intention when the ball is snapped, for example a boot leg, throw if someone is open, run it if nobody is open. This would be a sack because the intent was not solely on running?

So the sack definition is if the QB is tackled for no yards or a loss and his intention was not entirely to run (so either the intention was entirely to pass, or the intention was to pass/run depending on how the play develops)?

That's a good question. I don't know the answer.

When Merriman tackled Manning for a loss last year on a bootleg, it was not counted as a sack. (It was not clear whether Manning had the option to throw. So I guess that doesn't help answer the question since it could have just been considered a running play from the beginning.)
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#11 redman

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 05:23 PM

What about when Brett Favre just keels over for no apparent reason after dropping back to pass? :popcorn:

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#12 Maurile Tremblay

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Posted 26 October 2006 - 05:32 PM

What about when Brett Favre just keels over for no apparent reason after dropping back to pass? :popcorn:

That's a sack, credited to the nearest toothless defensive end.
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#13 Polyethylene Bag

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Posted 27 October 2006 - 07:37 PM

On a related tangent, something I've never understood. How does one get a sack and not get a tackle? I've seen it credited that way before and it makes no sense to me.

:shrug:

#14 The Gator

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 05:18 AM

On a related tangent, something I've never understood. How does one get a sack and not get a tackle? I've seen it credited that way before and it makes no sense to me. :shrug:

It should only be a sack IMO. A player can't get a sack and a tackle on the same play. :shrug:

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#15 redman

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 08:57 AM


On a related tangent, something I've never understood. How does one get a sack and not get a tackle? I've seen it credited that way before and it makes no sense to me. :shrug:

It should only be a sack IMO. A player can't get a sack and a tackle on the same play. :shrug:

Why? A QB gets credit for both a completion on a pass attempt as well as a TD when he throws a TD. Why shouldn't it work the same on a tackle that happens to be for a sack?The situation I've never fully understood in terms of scoring methodology is this: a defensive player rushes the QB on a pass play and hits/tackles him, however before the QB is down or ruled in the grasp the ball comes loose. Is that a sack and a forced fumble, or just a forced fumble? I've seen it scored both ways. It seems like it should be the latter as the former would end up with a play with two tackles. :confused:

Edited by redman, 28 October 2006 - 08:59 AM.

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#16 cr8f

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 03:05 PM

What about when Brett Favre just keels over for no apparent reason after dropping back to pass? :popcorn:

I think the reason was Strahan was 2 feet away and charging.

#17 The Gator

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Posted 28 October 2006 - 06:21 PM



On a related tangent, something I've never understood. How does one get a sack and not get a tackle? I've seen it credited that way before and it makes no sense to me. :shrug:

It should only be a sack IMO. A player can't get a sack and a tackle on the same play. :shrug:

Why? A QB gets credit for both a completion on a pass attempt ..

Only if its complete. If not, than it's just an attempt. Two diferent things happen in that sequence, Pass attempt >>> catch or Pass attempt >>>>incomplete. If a QB gets tackled behind the line it's just a sack. You can ahve a pass attempt and either it be incomplete or complete. You can't have a QB in a passing situation behind the LOS and have either a tackle or a sack. It is only a sack.BTW, Im not saying im right and your wrong, just my opinion.

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#18 redman

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 07:10 AM




On a related tangent, something I've never understood. How does one get a sack and not get a tackle? I've seen it credited that way before and it makes no sense to me. :shrug:

It should only be a sack IMO. A player can't get a sack and a tackle on the same play. :shrug:

Why? A QB gets credit for both a completion on a pass attempt ..

Only if its complete. If not, than it's just an attempt. Two diferent things happen in that sequence, Pass attempt >>> catch or Pass attempt >>>>incomplete. If a QB gets tackled behind the line it's just a sack. You can ahve a pass attempt and either it be incomplete or complete. You can't have a QB in a passing situation behind the LOS and have either a tackle or a sack. It is only a sack.BTW, Im not saying im right and your wrong, just my opinion.

You cut off the rest of my sentence. If a QB throws a TD, he's both 1/1 on that play, as well as getting credit for the TD thrown. Conceptually it's idetntical to a defensive player getting credit for both a tackle and a sack on the same play.

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#19 coolnerd

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 07:47 AM




On a related tangent, something I've never understood. How does one get a sack and not get a tackle? I've seen it credited that way before and it makes no sense to me. :shrug:

It should only be a sack IMO. A player can't get a sack and a tackle on the same play. :shrug:

Why? A QB gets credit for both a completion on a pass attempt ..

Only if its complete. If not, than it's just an attempt. Two diferent things happen in that sequence, Pass attempt >>> catch or Pass attempt >>>>incomplete. If a QB gets tackled behind the line it's just a sack. You can ahve a pass attempt and either it be incomplete or complete. You can't have a QB in a passing situation behind the LOS and have either a tackle or a sack. It is only a sack.BTW, Im not saying im right and your wrong, just my opinion.

The argument for both tackle/sack is that a "sack" is merely a type of tackle...i.e. a Qb attempting a pass behind the line of scrimmage. I believe that the NFL separtes the two while colleges credit everything as tackles. Off topic note: does the nfl keep record on Tackles Behind Line on like RBs or WRs? I believe this would be an effective way to increase the scoring of good players who make plays which impact the game more than the downfield tackling machines that often wind-up as top 10 LB and such w/o being real difference makers.

Edited by coolnerd, 29 October 2006 - 07:49 AM.

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#20 redman

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 09:00 AM

The argument for both tackle/sack is that a "sack" is merely a type of tackle...i.e. a Qb attempting a pass behind the line of scrimmage. I believe that the NFL separtes the two while colleges credit everything as tackles.

I get that, but isn't a TD pass just another kind of pass? :confused: Again, I can't see a good reason why you'd differentiate one but not the other.

Let's not forget that the Golden Bear was from the Pac. It's basically the Pac10 and everybody else when it comes to Golf.

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#21 The Gator

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Posted 29 October 2006 - 09:47 AM









On a related tangent, something I've never understood. How does one get a sack and not get a tackle? I've seen it credited that way before and it makes no sense to me. :shrug:

It should only be a sack IMO. A player can't get a sack and a tackle on the same play. :shrug:

Why? A QB gets credit for both a completion on a pass attempt ..

Only if its complete. If not, than it's just an attempt. Two diferent things happen in that sequence, Pass attempt >>> catch or Pass attempt >>>>incomplete. If a QB gets tackled behind the line it's just a sack. You can ahve a pass attempt and either it be incomplete or complete. You can't have a QB in a passing situation behind the LOS and have either a tackle or a sack. It is only a sack.BTW, Im not saying im right and your wrong, just my opinion.

You cut off the rest of my sentence. If a QB throws a TD, he's both 1/1 on that play, as well as getting credit for the TD thrown.

I explained it in my post. To get the 1/1 TWO things have to happen, so there are two stats. For a sack, it is just a sack.

Conceptually it's idetntical to a defensive player getting credit for both a tackle and a sack on the same play.

:no: Not just for a sack. If he had a Sack>>>forced fumble>>>>>fumble recovery, that would be three different actions and then three different stats.

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#22 GregR

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Posted 01 November 2006 - 10:47 PM

The situation I've never fully understood in terms of scoring methodology is this: a defensive player rushes the QB on a pass play and hits/tackles him, however before the QB is down or ruled in the grasp the ball comes loose. Is that a sack and a forced fumble, or just a forced fumble? I've seen it scored both ways. It seems like it should be the latter as the former would end up with a play with two tackles. :confused:

It is a sack and a forced fumble both.
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#23 Islander

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 03:35 AM





The situation I've never fully understood in terms of scoring methodology is this: a defensive player rushes the QB on a pass play and hits/tackles him, however before the QB is down or ruled in the grasp the ball comes loose. Is that a sack and a forced fumble, or just a forced fumble? I've seen it scored both ways. It seems like it should be the latter as the former would end up with a play with two tackles. :confused:

It is a sack and a forced fumble both.

I believe the player gets credited for a sack, forced fumble, and tackle.

#24 redman

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Posted 02 November 2006 - 06:35 AM






The situation I've never fully understood in terms of scoring methodology is this: a defensive player rushes the QB on a pass play and hits/tackles him, however before the QB is down or ruled in the grasp the ball comes loose. Is that a sack and a forced fumble, or just a forced fumble? I've seen it scored both ways. It seems like it should be the latter as the former would end up with a play with two tackles. :confused:

It is a sack and a forced fumble both.

I believe the player gets credited for a sack, forced fumble, and tackle.

That's what's bizarre to me conceptually. How can you have a sack when the play is not blown dead by the QB being tackled?

Let's not forget that the Golden Bear was from the Pac. It's basically the Pac10 and everybody else when it comes to Golf.

The only hybrid I'll ever drive is the one that uses half gasoline and half poor people. And that's only if it comes with A/C.

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#25 bonscott

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Posted 03 November 2006 - 09:10 AM








The situation I've never fully understood in terms of scoring methodology is this: a defensive player rushes the QB on a pass play and hits/tackles him, however before the QB is down or ruled in the grasp the ball comes loose. Is that a sack and a forced fumble, or just a forced fumble? I've seen it scored both ways. It seems like it should be the latter as the former would end up with a play with two tackles. :confused:

It is a sack and a forced fumble both.

I believe the player gets credited for a sack, forced fumble, and tackle.

That's what's bizarre to me conceptually. How can you have a sack when the play is not blown dead by the QB being tackled?

Sacks are always tackles. Sometimes that all I get from an IDP is that one play. Sack and tackle. Not saying if that's right or not, but it's the way the NFL records the stat.

As for the fumble, it's all different stats. I remember in Will Smith's rookie year sometimes the only stats he got were on 1 play:

1 tackle
1 sack
1 forced fumble
1 fumble recovery

In my league that's 30 points, on one play no less. :banned:

Edited by bonscott, 03 November 2006 - 09:11 AM.


#26 KellysHeroes

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Posted 04 November 2006 - 03:28 AM

Yahoo rules a sack as a tackle.... for instance; J Peterson was credited with 9 - 1 w/ a sack on yahoo stat tracker Sunday.. On NFL.com, Peterson had 10 - 1 w/ a sack; therefore he was credited w/ a tackle and a sack on the same play... the next morning, yahoo readjusts their scoring and peterson is scored w/ 10 - 1 w/ a score..

not sure how any of the other ff sites score it.. but i know yahoo gives you both pts.

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