Last Game’s Revealing Stat: Packers’ Quarterback Hits
Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Carson Wentz is recovering from Sunday’s 26-15 loss to Seattle. In that game, the rookie quarterback out of North Dakota State was heavily pressured and harassed by the Seahawks’ defensive line, getting sacked twice and suffering seven quarterback hits – four of them punishing hits by defensive end Chris Avril. Wentz is probably smiling now, however, as he will encounter the Green Bay Packers defense next Monday.
In the Packers two most recent losses, the defense has totaled three sacks combined – and zero quarterback hits other than those sacks. The return of Clay Matthews on Sunday, after missing a month due to a hamstring pull, was inauspicious: one tackle, no sacks, no QB hits.
Through their first eight games, the Packers averaged 5.9 QB hits. They managed to have 12 QB hits against the Vikings, eight against the Colts, seven against the Giants, and five each against Atlanta and Chicago.
While the defensive backs usually get most of the blame when opposing teams rack up huge passing yardage, a good portion of the blame should also go to the defensive front seven when they exert little pressure on the quarterback.
Kirk Cousins obviously felt comfortable in the pocket on Sunday when he threw for 375 yards (on only 30 completions) and had an outstanding passer rating of 145.8. The same was true a week before, when the Titans’ Marcus Mariota passed for 275 yards, and accumulated a magnificent 149.8 rating.
To further show how inept the pass rush by Packers linemen and linebackers has become, the Packers sack leader over the last three games is safety Morgan Burnett, with two. The team’s linemen and linebackers have only totaled two and a half sacks in those three games.
Wentz presently has a quarterback rating of 84.2. If the past couple games are a guide, and unless the Packers can find a way to bring more heat to their pass rush, his rating against the Packers should be around 50 points over his average – somewhere in the mid-130s.