Overload Griffin

How the Titans sacked Chad Henne in 2012

It's time for the third installment of how the Titans sacked the passer in 2012. While the first and second installments covered spans of time, today's installment covers how the Titans sacked a single player, Chad Henne of the Jacksonville Jaguars, in two non-consecutive games.

As I note in virtually every one of these play breakdowns, the Jaguars did not have a very good offensive line in 2012. Their players lost 1v1 matchups frequently. Even accounting for how often the Jaguars let their quarterback, either Henne or Blaine Gabbert, get sacked, though, the Titans were particularly good at doing so. The Jaguars finished the season with a below-average offensive Adjusted Sack Rate of 7.8%. In the 14 games they played not against the Titans, their ASR was 6.4%, roughly league-average. In those two other two games, Chad Henne went down 14 times on 83 dropbacks for an ASR of 17.3%. So, yeah, that's a lot.

How weird is it that the Titans got so many of their sacks in two games? It's a little extreme, but not insanely so. For example, the Panthers had 12 of their 39 sacks in the two games against the Bears and Chargers, and on only 65 total dropbacks. The Chargers had 11 of their 38 sacks in one game, against Greg McElroy and the Jets. Given the extent to which sacks are a function of the quarterback, the only thing I'm surprised about is that Henne wasn't sacked more often in the other games he played. More on this subject and related thoughts in tomorrow's post. For now, though, here's how the Titans did sack Henne.

Sack #17: Week 12, Zach Brown of Chad Henne
Bootleg. Morgan, basically unblocked from his inside rush, has the first shot at Henne but can't bring him down. At that point, Henne takes off and gets what he can before Brown brings him down. Smart quarterbacks throw this play away rather than lose 2 yards.
Sack #18: Week 12, Akeem Ayers of Chad Henne
Titans are in a 5-2 look, with Ayers lined up outside of TE Marcedes Lewis. It's play-action, and Lewis blocks down to double RDE Kamerion Wimbley like he would on a run play. Ayers heads straight for Henne and has an easy takedown, getting there right before Derrick Morgan, who beat RT Cameron Bradfield to the outside, does.
Sack #19: Week 12, Jurrell Casey of Chad Henne
LDT Casey beats RG Uche Nwaneri to the inside quickly and cleanly and has an easy takedown of Henne. Like the sack on the previous play, Morgan beat Bradfield to the outside nearly as quicky and cleanly, in case you're wondering why the Jaguars spent the second overall pick on Luke Joeckel.
Sack #20: Week 12, Kamerion Wimbley of Chad Henne
This play is almost all Wimbley, with a minor nod to RDT Sen'Derrick Marks as well. The Jaguars run a TE screen. Wimbley is properly located between Henne and the ball. Henne has nowhere to go, so he takes off. Wimbley then finishes the play by taking down Henne. The part of me that believes in such things is very glad to see the man who made the play also get the credit in the linescore.
Sack #21: Week 12, Zach Brown and Kamerion Wimbley of Chad Henne
The Titans are sugaring the A-gaps, in that inimitable phrase, with Brown and Colin McCarthy. The Jaguars have 6 to block 6 would-be rushers, but the back is slow to identify and pick up his rush. Wimbley also beats LT Eugene Monroe to the outside and gets credit for his effort, unlike Morgan on sacks ##18 and 19.
Sack #22: Week 12, Michael Griffin of Chad Henne
Schemed pressure works, as Griffin creeps down late and the Titans end up with an overload. The Jaguars have 3 to block 2 on the offensive left side and 3 to block 4 on the offensive right. The back picks up McCarthy, and Griffin is the man with a free pass to the quarterback.
Sack #23: Week 12, Karl Klug of Chad Henne
Clinging to a 21-19 lead on third-and-10 from their own 20 late in the game, Henne decides he's not going to lose this game on his own. He starts to feel Morgan coming after beating Bradfield yet again on the outside rush and with an apparent lane takes off. Griffin, who was lurking in case Lewis released into a route off his block, takes that away. Klug then takes advantage of Henne's indecision for another "nice effort, but you didn't actually beat anybody on this play" sack.
Sack #33: Week 17, Derrick Morgan and Kamerion Wimbley of Chad Henne
Guy Whimper played right tackle for the Jaguars this game, and he's no more capable of blocking Morgan (or anybody else, really) than Bradfield was. Morgan comes inside from his outside rush and is on Henne fairly quickly. In case you're wondering why Henne has an NFL job, he's had time to check his first and second reads by the time Morgan gets there, and both of them are covered. Wimbley joins the party before Morgan drags Henne to the ground, but I'd rate his contribution to this play fourth or fifth, behind Morgan, Jason McCourty (covering the first read), and Ayers and probably Al Afalava (bracketing Henne's second read).
Sack #34: Week 17, Derrick Morgan of Chad Henne
Alright, guys, same play. Morgan comes off Whimper to the inside of his outside rush and gets Henne to move before his first read comes open. Henne then tries to reset, but Morgan gets to him and takes him down solo this time.
Sack #35: Week 17, Kamerion Wimbley and Sen'Derrick Marks of Chad Henne
The Titans run a T-E stunt to the left with Casey and Morgan. I think Casey's pressure may have convinced Henne not to throw the out route, but the sackers come from winning their 1v1s on the other side. One of the things the Titans have talked about this offseason is getting better push from the interior as a means of getting better results from outside pressure. Wimbley wins to the outside. Like sack #21, Henne might have been able to step up and avoid Kam had somebody not been coming for his grill at the same time. Teamwork!
Sack #36: Week 17, Akeem Ayers and Derrick Morgan of Chad Henne
The Titans bring a blitz, including Ayers and Brown. The Jaguars have 6 to block 6. About 3 of them are actually blocked successfully. Brown's pressure from the outside (3 to block 3, nobody picks him up) forces Henne to step up. Ayers avoids the back's cutblock. Henne tries to avoid him, only to run into Morgan (who was part of a T-E stunt). Playing bad offensive lines can be fun.
Sack #37: Week 17, Jurrell Casey of Chad Henne
Casey gets credit for the sack on this play, but the Jaguars end up in a better position after this play than they were in before it. RDE Jarius Wynn beats Whimper to the outside. He tries to swipe at Henne but gets only his face mask instead. After Henne steps up, Casey is able to slide off his blocker and get the takedown. The sack counts, but the Jaguars net +8 yards on the play.
Sack #38: Week 17, Zach Brown of Chad Henne
The Jaguars have 6 to block 6 against this blitz, but once again slide their protection the wrong way and give the Titans another overload. This time Brown is the free man who gets an easy path to Henne.
Sack #39: Week 17, Akeem Ayers and Karl Klug of Chad Henne
You're not going to believe this, but after two sacks in the previous four plays and six total on the day, Henne doesn't seem inclined to trust his protection. The Titans bring 5, with Ayers coming up the middle on a blitz. Different back, Keith Toston this time instead of Richard Murphy, similarly ineffective attempt at a cut block. Henne sees what he thinks is a lane to convert this fourth-and-2, but Ayers' quick recovery and Klug sliding off his block stop him well short of the line of scrimmage, let alone the sticks.
Tomorrow: I try to make sense of what I've written about the past three days.