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Are Sacks Vick’s or Offensive Line’s Fault? Probably Both

Oct 12, 2012, 1:20 PM EDT

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Michael Vick has been sacked 13 times this season. Some say he’s holding on to the ball too long, others point to an offensive line that’s been decimated by injuries. Statistics indicate both have been responsible.

Football Outsiders has been charting short and long sacks for every quarterback in the league so far in 2012, defining a short sack as one that occurred in 2.4 second or less. Any way you count ‘em up, Vick is near the top.

We’ve always known Vick tends to hold the ball way too long, and the numbers continue to prove it’s a problem, as he’s already been caught for eight long sacks this year. I guess it could be worse though. That accounts for 4% of all dropbacks, and while only two quarterbacks have more, six have been taken down at a higher rate.

Unfortunately, Vick doesn’t fare much better with short sacks, which are usually due to a blown protection. 13 minus eight is five, and once again only two quarterbacks have been felled more. Only seven offensive lines are giving up short sacks at a higher rate than 2.5%.

It’s worth noting not every short sack is automatically on the offensive line, but FO claims that it typically the case.

So, yes, Vick is holding on to the ball too long, and yes, the offensive line kinda stinks. Both could be much worse though. Cam Newton is surrendering long sacks on 6.0% of dropbacks, and Kevin Kolb has felt the brunt of short sacks an incredible 11 times — and he didn’t even start the first game!

>> Under Pressure: Long and Short Sacks [FO]