Schaub/Texans Following an NFL Trend

Discussion in 'Texans Talk' started by CloakNNNdagger, Oct 15, 2011.

  1. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

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    This trend is somewhat disturbing and heralds a pattern to put him at increasing risk for more gurney rides.



    More passing by offenses leading to more injuries to QBs


    By Pat Kirwan NFL.com
    Senior Analyst
    Published: Oct. 5, 2011 at 01:28 p.m.
    Updated: Oct. 5, 2011 at 04:16 p.m

    Quarterbacks seem to be suffering injuries on a regular basis. No matter how many rules the league puts in place to protect QBs, guys still take a beating. We've seen that play out already this season with Ben Roethlisberger (foot), Michael Vick (concussion, hand), Tony Romo (ribs) and Chad Henne (shoulder), to name a few.

    To me, injuries are part of the game, at any position. Before the NFL writes more rules that water down the game in order to protect the $100 million investments, maybe it should look at other reasons quarterbacks are always looking for a flag to protect them from the pass rush.

    Amazingly, 13 teams went into Week 4 with only two quarterbacks on the active roster -- Arizona, Baltimore, Cincinnati, Green Bay, Jacksonville, Miami, New Orleans, N.Y. Giants, Oakland, San Diego, St. Louis, Tampa Bay and Washington. I've heard all the logic about how little the third QB plays, and that the roster spot is needed for a special teams player, but I thought the reason teams went to seven active offensive linemen instead of the traditional eight was to get an additional special teams player on the field. There was a time when teams used that third QB spot to develop a player, but now, with quarterback injuries climbing ever higher, they are quickly becoming a necessity rather than a luxury.

    Here's why: The passing game is accelerating at a rate that will simply put the quarterback at risk more often. More pass attempts mean more exposure to an opposing pass rush, which increases the risk of injury for a quarterback. Pretty simple logic. But here are some numbers that bear that out.

    I took a look at passing numbers every 10 years dating back to 1971 to measure the growth in that aspect of the game:

    Frequency of pass plays by top 10 passers
    Year Attempts per season Attempts per game
    1971 375 26.7
    1981 548 34.2
    1991 540 33.6
    2001 586 36.6
    2011 *677 42.3
    *Projected, based on four weeks

    As you can see, there was a substantial jump from 1971 to 1981 and it leveled off at the turn of the century. But it's on the move again, which is a big reason quarterbacks are going down.

    Now, take a look at the next table:

    Frequency of pass plays by 25th-ranked passer

    Year QB Pass plays per game
    1971 Johnny Unitas 14.6
    1981 Pat Hayden 22.7
    1991 Jeff Hostetler 25.4
    2001 Tony Banks 26.6
    2011 Chad Henne 30.8

    This zeroes in on the 25th passer in the league by attempts over the same period of time. This shows that it's not just the Tom Brady's of the world who are passing way more. It's going on throughout the league.

    For quarterbacks at the top and bottom of these lists, the growth rate is virtually the same with passers attempting about 16 more passes per game since 1971 as compared to today. Over a 16-game season, that means an extra 250 passes per season. It's no wonder quarterbacks are taking such a beating.

    I recently discussed this issue with Hall of Fame QB Dan Marino. He believes there has to be more balance in today's offenses, especially with the way defenses are attacking the passing game with a multitude of blitz packages and pressures. As great as Marino was, he averaged 38.5 pass plays per season for his whole career. If he were playing this season, that would put him 17th in the league in pass plays attempted, just ahead of Tarvaris Jackson. Joe Montana was a great quarterback and he averaged 34.7 pass plays per start for his career. That would place him 23rd in 2011, just ahead of Andy Dalton.

    The rule will always be: The more you throw, the more you will be hit. Sam Bradford is going to be a very good player for a long time if he can stay upright, but he has been sacked 12 times and hit 20 more in the past two games. Chicago, which has had the same issues as St. Louis, finally wised up in Week 4 and balanced up its offense. The result was 205 rushing yards for Matt Forte and only one sack and three hits on Jay Cutler in the Bears' win over the Panthers.

    One really smart former NFL coach recently said, "The passing game is very addictive and it is a bit out of control right now." I have to agree, particularly if teams want to keep their starting QB on the field for 16 games. In the first four weeks, we saw close to 300 sacks, and we are on pace for more than 1,200 this season, which would be about an 8.5 percent increase from 1991.

    Instead of looking to the rules committee for answers, the league should be turning to their offensive coordinators.
     
  2. hradhak

    hradhak Site Contributor

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    Great read. Ironically, some teams who have become more pass happy have struggled more offensively. I think that this happens when teams start copying the winning teams like the Patriots. Teams see that great success can be had by throwing it around a lot, but if your QB sucks like Mark Sanchez the end result is usually not very good, or he gets injured.

    What bothers me is that teams keep slinging it around when they also have no offensive line. The Lions are doing great, but Stafford's going to get injured because they throw the ball too much and can't protect him.
     
  3. Kthx

    Kthx All Pro

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    That is a good article but one of the things he fails to mention is the new rules on "defenseless receivers" also. It is getting to the point where running is pointless when you can throw slant routes over the middle and not have to worry about the receiver getting taken out for the season because you left him in the air.
     
  4. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

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    To your point, CLICK ON THIS LINK and look at the 2010 AND 2011 stats for Passing attempts/Total passing yds/Yds per attempt..................then click on Passing Attempts a couple of times so that the order is highest number at the top. Then look at the corresponding Passing yds and Yds per attempt (for both 2010 and 2011).
     
  5. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

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    But this year, so far, the Texans has been very balanced: 162 rushes vs 164 pass attempts; unlike our opponents (110 vs 172).
     
  6. Honoring Earl 34

    Honoring Earl 34 Hey Koolaid

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  7. b0ng

    b0ng Ooops

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    I'd be way more worried about guys like Jay Cutler and Sam Bradford who are currently in the middle of NFL experiments where they try to play QB without a professional O-line.
     
  8. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

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    The problem with that is that last year our passing per attempt:
    5th at 7.6 yds (574 atttempts)

    compared to this year:
    4th at 8.4 yds (164 attempts)


    And rush per attempt last year:
    3rd at 4.8 yds (423 attempts)

    compared to this year
    4th at 4.1 yds (162 attempts)

    LINK
     


  9. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

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    With the balance between run and pass (so far) this year, the Texans should alleviate your worry that Schaub can be exposed to injury "uneccessarily".

    With the stats you brought up to compare last year with this year, are you suggesting that te Texans should pass more?
    That would go against what I think you wanted, or do I misunderstand your point somehow?
     
  10. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

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    You're exactly correct........it is contradictory. It points out that it seems better for Schaub, but worse for our numbers.
     
  11. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

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    At any rate, I think the stats through 5 games (similar to what TC noted in a different thread) are still not enough to really tell the story about anything, including our running game and passing game.

    I would love for us to continue with the balance attack, but with better results in the running game.
     
  12. brakos82

    brakos82 Hall of Fame

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    Also, pretty sure Foster being out for a few games hurt our rush y/a totals.
     
  13. 76Texan

    76Texan Hall of Fame

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    True that!
    It's most likely a very different scenario with a complete healthy Foster.
     
  14. Texans_Chick

    Texans_Chick Utopian Dreamer

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    Schaub tied for 17th with attempts this year.

    9th in yards.
    4th in average yards per catch.
     
  15. TimeKiller

    TimeKiller Guest

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    I'll say that while this is a decent article, there are just some things that you can't calculate. For instance, the bigger, faster, stronger NFL of today. I think I'd rather be sacked by almost anybody other than Mario Williams: 6'6'' 280 and runs like a horse.

    On the other hand, everyone loves to quote the shelf life of an average RB because they take such a beating, play after play. Why would that be any different for QB's needing to throw 40, 50+ times a game?

    For that matter, what of OLmen? More chances to get rolled up on. Or DLmen crashing into each other after swinging around an OL?

    But really....it's just football. Injuries are a part of this epic, violent game. We've seen that a time or two this year. At some point, there is a few rules needed to keep players from getting out of hand because even with all the rules, someone is going to die on the field eventually. But really, player safety is something the PLAYERS need to enforce/live by. After all, if you're not taking care of your fellow man, why would they take care of you? And if you go after another guy....what would you expect?
     
  16. eriadoc

    eriadoc Texan-American

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    Teams are sending more receivers out in routes and leaving fewer guys in to protect. Defenses have been prohibited from actually defending the field, so all that's left is to try and get to the QB.
     
  17. Lucky

    Lucky Moderator

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    With the proliferation of the empty backfield sets, defenses can just pin their ears back. Go back to 1971, and teams often kept 2 backs in on passing downs to protect the QB. Now, they're hoping the lenient pass blocking rules and the microscopic QB target zones will protect the passer. Nope.
     
  18. CloakNNNdagger

    CloakNNNdagger Site Contributor

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    18th in completion percentage.
     
  19. Surreal McCoy

    Surreal McCoy All Pro

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    And what was his completion percentage rank the previous two years?
     
  20. Lucky

    Lucky Moderator

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    2010 - 8th
    2009 - 4th
    2008 - 4th
    2007 - 5th
     
    CloakNNNdagger likes this.

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