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Friday, September 23, 2011
Division defenses big on quick sacks

By Paul Kuharsky
ESPN.com

The number of quick sacks Peyton Manning took in 2009-10 is a testament to just how quickly he gets rid of the ball. Sack him quickly -- with initial contact 2.5 seconds or less after the snap -- or don’t sack him at all because the ball will be gone.

Manning
Manning
But even more interesting from this J.J. Cooper piece at Football Outsiders is a look at quick sacks by defenses over the past two seasons,

The Texans, Colts and Titans rank first, second and third, offering a testament to the quality of their edge rushers and also to some weakness in the secondary.
“…[T]he Texans’ secondary has been a cesspool of suck over the past two seasons, so it isn’t that shocking that 40 percent of their sacks were quick sacks -- either Mario Williams and the rest of the Texans’ pass rush gets there quickly, or there’s usually going to be someone open.”
Dwight Freeney, Jason Babin (now with the Eagles) and Robert Mathis rank in the top 10 in the category over the time span Cooper is dissecting.

Houston made two big moves in free agency to shore up its secondary, so there might be more long sacks as part of its total. Tennessee added depth to the defensive backfield but also lost two of its fastest rushers (Babin left as a free agent, Jacob Ford was released) while altering its scheme. Derrick Morgan and Jason Jones can be excellent rush ends, but quick sacks will likely go down.