clock menu more-arrow no yes

Filed under:

Robert Quinn and Khalil Mack set to be the most disruptive duo in the NFL

New, comments
Dallas Cowboys v New England Patriots Photo by Adam Glanzman/Getty Images

When it comes to charting quarterback hurries and pressures from defensive players, each analytics site has their own methodology. Pro Football Focus, Football Outsiders, Pro Football Reference, and Next Gen Stats to name a few, each track a sabermetric side of football to bring more context to traditional statistics.

Sacks and quarterback hits (which is another subjective stat) don’t tell the entire story of a pass rusher, which is where the “disruption rate” from Next Gen Stats comes into play.

They take the combined total of hurries, pressures, or sacks (with only one counting per play) and then divide that by the total number of pass-rush snaps. New Chicago Bears outside linebacker Robert Quinn had the third highest disruption rate in the NFL.

Disruption rate: 17.2%. Sack rate: 3.3%. Total disruptions: 60. Sacks: 11.5.

Robert Quinn was well worth the price Dallas paid to acquire him last offseason, even if it was only as a one-year rental, and he’s set to make the money he deserves after signing a five-year deal with the Chicago Bears in March. Quinn enjoyed great success with the Cowboys while operating opposite DeMarcus Lawrence, pressuring the QB on 14 percent of pass rushes, the third-best rate in the NFL (minimum 250 pass rushes) in 2019. His ability to bend while maintaining speed and power around the edge can be a nightmare for opposing tackles, and he’ll likely enjoy similar success as part of another excellent tandem in Chicago in 2020. Quinn registered 49 QB pressures in 2019, which is the same number his new Bears teammate Khalil Mack posted, but Quinn did it on 116 fewer pass rushes. Watch out for that duo.

Quinn had his most sacks since the 2013 season last year and part of that was due to playing opposite Lawrence, who is one of the better pass rushers in the NFL. But he’s not as dynamic as Khalil Mack, and there’s no one on Dallas’ interior like the Bears have in Akiem Hicks.

The Quinn-Mack edge rushing duo should be outstanding in 2020, and speaking of Mack bouncing back from his “down” 2019...

NFL.com’s Gil Brandt is picking Mack as one of his players that he’s sure will bounce back in 2020.

2019 stats: 16 games, 8.5 sacks, 5 forced fumbles, 4 passes defensed.

Who really won the 2018 trade that sent Mack from the Raiders to Chicago, where he inked a record-setting $141 million contract? Mack was unbelievable in his first game with the Bears, recording a sack, a fumble recovery and a 27-yard touchdown return on an interception. Mack went on to post 12.5 sacks while Chicago won the NFC North behind the third-ranked defense in the NFL, apparently getting the immediate edge over the Raiders, who mounted one of the league’s worst pass-rushes in ‘18. Now, though, it’s fair to wonder whether the Raiders will be better off in the long run, thanks to the draft capital accumulated and cap space saved, with Mack coming off a relatively mediocre 2019 (8.5 sacks, including just 4.0 over his final 12 games of the year).

All that said, I think Mack will make good on his personal vow to play much better in 2020. He’ll have more familiarity with Chuck Pagano’s scheme in Year 2 under the defensive coordinator, while free-agent addition Robert Quinn will provide an upgrade over Leonard Floyd, who was released this year after failing to live up to his first-round promise. Hopefully, Mack can lead a roster-wide renaissance in what is shaping up to be a make-or-break season for coach Matt Nagy and general manager Ryan Pace.

Quinn lined up on the other side of Mack will draw more attention than Leonard did the last couple years in Chicago. Floyd is a good football player, but there’s no doubt that Quinn is the more dynamic pass rusher.

But I need to go back to the aforementioned Akiem Hicks, who is raring to go in 2020 after missing 11 games last season. Hicks’ presence on the interior of the Bears line will make it extra tough for offensive coordinators to scheme up their pass protection.

How many sacks do you predict that Mack and Quinn will combine for in 2020?