Tannehill gets a bad rap on Sacks

Tannehill gets a bad rap on Sacks
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I usually don’t write about the Dolphins and especially not about Tannehill but I recently witnessed an argument with one side holding the position Tannehill holds onto the ball too long causing the record number of sacks. It didn’t seem that way to me and I decided to look into it.

I remembered seeing an article on each QB’s time to throw and was able to find it at:

What follows here is a summary of some of the information contained in the above posting. Even though the data is from early 2012 the information is worth a look. I didn’t calculate the average time to throw but 11 QB’s had times between 2.71 and 2.79 seconds and I imagine the average falls in that range. In my opinion it sheds a little light on the number of Tannehill sack situations.

The best place to start is which quarterback has the longest time to throw. Now to explain what ‘time to throw’ is, we record the time from when the ball is snapped to the point where the quarterback has either thrown a pass or can no longer throw a pass (has been sacked or has scrambled past the line of scrimmage).  My chart has been abbreviated to show how much time the top and bottom 4 Quarterbacks have. The full chart is available at the above link.


# Quarterback Attempts TIME
1  Russell Wilson 274 3.14
2  Michael Vick 366 3.12
3  Cam Newton 266 3.04
4  Robert Griffin III 309 3.01
30  Ryan Tannehill 261 2.57
31  Peyton Manning 304 2.51
32  Matt Hasselbeck 240 2.50
33  Tom Brady 335 2.49


There’s a correlation between how long a player takes to throw and how high an average time to sack they have. Wilson not only leads the league in time to throw but also in average time to sack.

Those with the lowest time to sack have a very small window to release the ball before being hit.


1  Russell Wilson 274 4.05
2  Alex D. Smith 244 4.03
3  Michael Vick 366 4.02
4  Jay Cutler 278 4.01
30  Peyton Manning 304 2.5
31  Ryan Tannehill 261 2.48
32  Philip Rivers 285 2.43
33  Kevin Kolb 217 2.28


Tannehill has the third lowest time to sack in the league. To me the data suggests Tannehill gets rid of the ball quickly enough but that an O-line that could buy him another .46 seconds. (still the 10th lowest time) could eliminate quite a few sacks.

To have that quick a release as a rookie bodes well for his future. It’s already the kind of release that allows more experienced QB’s to make a defense pay for blitzing. Experience will add to quicker reads but the data doesn’t support the argument that Tannehill holds the ball too long.

I don’t subscribe to PFF and its possible they have more current data available to members. If anyone does find the same figures for 2013 I’d be interested in seeing how consistent the numbers are from year to year.

Spot the Looney



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