Bad Martin

How the Titans sacked the passer in 2012, part two

Following up on yesterday's first installment, it's time for another investigation into how the Titans got to the passer in 2012.

Yesterday's post covered the sacks over the first nine games. This second post covers the sacks over five of the final seven games-the ones in that stretch not against the Jaguars. Tomorrow's post will cover those 14 times Chad Henne went to the turf in the backfield on pass plays against the Titans. Finally, I'll end this series on Friday with some broader lessons some of which may even say interesting things about what happened in 2012 compared to 2011 or what might happen in 2013.

Sack #15: Week 10, Sen'Derrick Marks of Ryan Tannehill
The Titans bring Zach Brown on a blitz and run a T-T stunt with RDT Marks and LDT Jurrell Casey. I can't tell if LG Richie Incognito, who's on an island, expected help from C Mike Pouncey. If he did, then +1 to Jerry Gray for a stunt and blitz combo that blows up the protection. If he didn't, well, it's just another -1 to Incognito in a long and never-glorious career. Either way, +1 to Marks for forcing the issue and Tannehill has nowhere to go.
Sack #16: Week 10, Jarius Wynn of Matt Moore
How bad was Dolphins RT Jonathan Martin? Wynn is no one's idea of a speed rusher, but he gets the corner on Martin after his punch and Martin's attempt to contain him finishes with the offensive lineman on his knees. Unlike most of the other plays I've written about, this is neither a quick nor fast sack. Give some credit to the coverage for forcing Moore to hold the ball, but it's not a coverage sack.
Martin will be playing left tackle for the Dolphins this season. Have fun, Tannehill!
[Sacks #17-23 were of Chad Henne in Week 12 and will be covered in tomorrow's post]
Sack #24: Week 14, Derrick Morgan of Andrew Luck
In case you wondered why the Colts made Gosder Cherilus the top-paid player signed to play right tackle, I present to you a picture of what happened when Winston Justice met Derrick Morgan's power rush from his wide-9 spot.
Sack #25: Week 14, Karl Klug of Andrew Luck
Klug eventually comes off his double team (good hustle by him) and hauls down Luck, but only after Kamerion Wimbley's very wide rush forces Luck to step up in the pocket and there's nothing available downfield. Call this one a coverage sack.
Sack #26: Week 14, Karl Klug of Andrew Luck (#2)
Like the Marks sack of Tannehill, this is another T-T stunt where the RDT ends up making the play. It looks like Klug's job here is just to occupy the center in addition to the left guard to free up a lane for Martin, but Samson Satele is so turned around Klug ends up with an inside lane to Luck. While it's not as good as Morgan's sack in explaining Cherilus, this play still works as an explanation for why the Colts drafted center Khaled Holmes in the fourth round.
Sack #27: Week 14, Jarius Wynn of Andrew Luck
I noted in yesterday's post my problems with pulling a guard to run play action. Well, here's another NFL example-the vacating lineman creates a gap LDT Jurrell Casey is able to shoot. Luck does well to escape him and try to reset, only to find Wynn in his face after Reggie Wayne went out on a route rather than continue trying to block him. New offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton will probably still pull linemen a lot, including in play action, since all he did at Stanford was run Power, and I'll continue to hate it in principle because of too easy sacks like this one. As a fan of an opposing team, though, thanks!
Sack #28: Week 15, Zach Brown of Tim Tebow
The Jets run a Spot route from bunch. Zach Brown blitzes off the edge. He's not accounted for in the protection, so Tebow needs to throw hot. I think Tebow is looking at the flat as his hot, and Sensabaugh has that covered. The curl is open, but as soon as Brown's bearing down on him he turns into a runner. Brown misses him at first but recovers in time to take him down for a loss of 1.
Sack #29: Week 15, Derrick Morgan of Mark Sanchez
Poor Mark Sanchez. The Titans bring a 6-man rush. The Jets actually pick it up, sort of, with the back (Bilal Powell, not Shonn Greene) crossing the formation to get Brown coming off the edge. They also handle the T-E stunt with RDT Casey and RDE Ayers, more or less, and C Nick Mangold picks up Will Witherspoon's A-gap blitz. Then Morgan gets inside of RT Austin Howard, who doesn't properly anchor, with his wide rush and ruins the whole thing.
Sack #30: Week 15, Zach Brown of Mark Sanchez
This is the first of the plays I wrote about where Derrick Morgan made the play but doesn't end up on the scoresheet. He forces the double team from the RT Howard and the tight end, at which point Brown converts to a rusher and takes advantage of his straight shot to the quarterback.
Sack #31: Week 15, Akeem Ayers of Mark Sanchez
And the second of the plays where Morgan's double team creates a free rush lane for the linebacker. The only difference is this time instead of Howard and a tight end it's sixth offensive lineman Jason Smith (lined up outside of Howard) and the back (again Powell rather than Greene).
Sack #32: Week 16, Mike Martin of Aaron Rodgers
Martin, lined up at RDT with Klug at LDT for a change, beats LG T.J. Lang to the outside and brings down Rodgers right before the out route to convert third-and-8 comes open.  A big play in another game, one where the Titans aren't already down 14 points 12 minutes in.
And sacks 33-39, like 17-23 of Chad Henne, will also be covered in tomorrow's holiday special.