PFF has already established that quarterbacks are far more responsible for their pressure rates than previously thought, since quarterbacks who get rid of the ball quickly have an easier time avoiding the oncoming pass rush.
Sometimes, the QB finds himself under pressure not because of poor blocking from the offensive line or because he has held onto the ball for too long, but because an unblocked pass-rusher has burst through the protection. We want to further study this type of pressure in this piece.
As former NFL offensive lineman Geoff Schwartz noted below, sometimes the quarterback should be blamed for a sack, hit or hurry for not making a good protection call before the snap.
Example number 10984058 of sacks being on the QB.
My newest empty protection video will be out tomorrow. Focus on even front w/mug linebackers. Here's a clip …
You can catch the first video and then subscribe to my YouTube channelhttps://t.co/mgo4W1NMAS pic.twitter.com/Ccylv4GNnz
— Geoff Schwartz (@geoffschwartz) May 19, 2020
With this in mind, we want to see how unblocked pass-rushers tie to quarterbacks.
Since each pass-blocking and pass-rushing scheme is somewhat unique to each franchise, we built a model to predict whether there will be an unblocked pass-rusher on a given play using:
1. The number of pass-blockers
2. The number of pass-rushers
3. The down, distance and field position
4. The play type (play action, straight dropback, run-pass option, etc.)
After excluding all screen plays, we can calculate the number of unblocked pass-rushers over expected grouped by quarterbacks since 2014. The chart below shows the result, with the two quarterbacks from Super Bowl 55 highlighted.