5 NFC East pass rushers finished in the Top 10 in “Snaps per sack” in 2011

I was doing a little research on Osi Umenyiora this morning, and noticed that he was only on the field for 374 regular season snaps in 2011.  And yet, he managed to rack up 9 sacks.  Very impressive.  That got me wondering if he had the least amount of “snaps per sack” in the league last year.  Wait… What are “snaps per sack?’  They’re basically the number of snaps a guy played, divided by the number of sacks he had.  The lower the number, the better.  Got it?  OK.

It turns out that Osi did not have the least amount of snaps per sack in league.  In fact, he didn’t even have have the least amount of snaps per sack in the NFC East.  That distinction would go to Jason Babin of the Eagles.

25 players had at least 9 sacks in 2011.  Now, sacks aren’t everything of course, and this little metric is far from perfect, seeing as different players on the below list have varying roles in their respective defensive schemes, but I thought it might be fun to take a look anyway.  A whopping, yet kind of unsurprising 5 NFC East players finished in the Top 10.  Here is the top ten:

Rank Player Team Sacks Snaps Snaps per sack
1 Aldon Smith 49ers 14 506 36.1
2 Jason Babin Eagles 18 720 40
3 Osi Umenyiora Giants 9 374 41.6
4 Antwan Barnes Chargers 11 483 43.9
5 Mark Anderson Patriots 10 444 44.4
6 DeMarcus Ware Cowboys 19.5 913 46.8
7 Jared Allen Vikings 22 1044 47.5
8 LaMarr Woodley Steelers 9 520 57.8
9 Trent Cole Eagles 11 640 58.2
10 Jason Pierre-Paul Giants 16.5 971 58.8

The rest of the 25 players with at least 9 sacks after the jump:

Rank Player Team Sacks Snaps Snaps per sack
11 John Abraham Falcons 9.5 628 66.1
12 Terrell Suggs Ravens 14 952 68
13 Chris Long Rams 13 946 72.8
14 Cliff Avril Lions 11 821 74.6
15 Andre Carter Patriots 10 753 75.3
16 James Harrison Steelers 9 681 75.7
17 Robert Mathis Colts 9.5 748 78.7
18 Von Miller Broncos 11.5 907 78.9
19 Julius Peppers Bears 11 918 83.5
20 Tamba Hali Chiefs 12 1009 84.1
21 Connor Barwin Texans 11.5 986 85.7
22 Chris Clemons Seahawks 11 952 86.5
23 Charles Johnson Panthers 9 805 89.4
24 Elvis Dumervil Broncos 9.5 863 90.8
25 Brian Orakpo Redskins 9 956 106.2


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  9. Tim says:

    Yeah, the impressive players on this list are not the situational guys like Mark Anderson, Aldon Smith, or Osi, who are used mostly in purely pass rushing situations and you would expect to have disproportionately high numbers. The impressive players to me are the ones who are every down players (Ware, Jared Allen, etc.), who are not liabilities against the run, but who STILL manage to rank in the top dozen or so in pass rushing productivity.

  10. Shaun says:

    Looking at how many snaps Jared Allen took, its amazing how much he produced…almost breaking the sack recorded with that many snaps, while being double-teamed and chipped on obvious passing downs.

  11. Eric says:

    The sad thing is Barnes is a former Eagle. He’d be great for the wide 9.

  12. ArthuroMolenda says:

    Which raises the question : would Umenyiora keep the production up if he were to take 700+ snaps a year ?

    1. Euler.is.a.pimp says:

      I think the bigger issue is the liability in defending the run rather than concern about his production being constant, but no you wouldn’t expect him to do so. When you only see snaps on obvious passing downs, you add an obvious bias in a snaps per sack metric which will favor those who see more downs with a possibility of a sack.

      A better metric might be snaps where the opposing team passed per sack.

      1. BBI says:

        I agree. Umenyiora was a situational player last year, he took a lot of snaps during obvious pass situations.

        Aldon Smith was the best example of this, and a reason why he came in first. He came in during nickel situations where he wouldn’t worry at ALL about the run game.

        That’s why you see the three down DEs, the really good ones, like JPP, Trent Cole, Jared Allen, a bit lower on the list, because they take a ton of snaps in the run game as well.

      2. ArthuroMolenda says:

        Pass rushing snaps per sacks

        Jason Babin 23,7
        LaMarr Woodley 24,4
        DeMarcus Ware 24,5
        Antwan Barnes 24,9
        Aldon Smith 25,4
        Jared Allen 27,0
        Osi Umenyiora 28,2
        Mark Anderson 32,5
        Trent Cole 34,1
        Jason Pierre-Paul 35,2

        1. Yeah, kinda figured it wouldn’t be a huge difference. Thanks for looking that up.

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