Third Down Sacks: Mike Nolan Edition

As a Falcons fan, I always wished for a defense which can sack or knock off the QB on 3rd downs. Luckily, Mike Nolan is known around the NFL for pressure packages and bringing the heat on the QB especially on 3rd downs. In this post, lets take a look how Nolan's Defense did on 3rd downs in MIA last year, coincidentally the Falcons play AFC West and NFC East teams this year, same teams who played against MIA in 2011.

Third Down Sacks

Def Drop Backs 3rd Sacks 3rd Sack% Rank
BAL 178 24 13.4831 1
MIA 172 21 12.2093 2
NYG 175 21 12.0000 3
PHI 171 19 11.1111 4
CIN 169 18 10.6509 5
MIN 160 17 10.6250 6
HOU 175 18 10.2857 7
DEN 161 16 9.9379 8
OAK 173 17 9.8266 9
STL 165 16 9.6970 10
CAR 150 11 7.3333 23
TB 137 10 7.2993 24
NO 174 12 6.8966 25
WAS 161 11 6.8323 26
DAL 164 11 6.7073 27
PIT 169 11 6.5089 28
SD 144 9 6.2500 29
ATL 166 10 6.0241 30
GB 168 8 4.7619 31
TEN 178 8 4.4944 32

  • Miami ranked 2nd in total number of sacks on 3rd down as well as in 3rd down Sack %. The Falcons and Miami Defenses are different but, Mike Nolan did dial up some creative blitzes and pressure plays on 3rd downs.
  • Falcons were ranked 30th in 3rd down sack%, sacking the QB only on 6% of the drop backs on 3rd downs. This is not surprising as the QB could have cooked eggs before throwing the ball on 3rd downs against the Falcons last year.
  • QB Pressures and QB hits also influence the third down conversions but getting a Sack is the best possible outcome on a 3rd down. I will do a continuation post on the over all 3rd down conversions later.

Enjoy the 3rd down CB blitz below which put Brady on the ground. I have never seen BVG crowd the Line of Scrimmage last year on a 3rd down to disguise where the Blitz was coming from. The defender was never picked up by the RB or OL.


Another one below, a Safety Blitz on Vick.Similar to the earlier blitz, the defender had a free run at the QB.


I personally can't think of any reason why Nolan can't do the same with Falcons. Finally, I think Falcons can have a intimidating defense on 3rd downs.

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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