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A closer look at Robert Quinn’s 2020 season

Maybe Robert Quinn played better last year than fans have given him credit for...

New Orleans Saints v Chicago Bears Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Chicago Bears inked pass rusher Robert Quinn to a huge deal last offseason after he racked up 11.5 sacks for the Dallas Cowboys in 2019, and while giving a 30-year old a 5-year, $70 million contract was always going to raise some eyebrows, him picking up a career worst 2 sacks in 2020 exasperated Bears’ fans.

The Bears decided Quinn’s affinity for getting to the quarterback was more important to their defense than re-signing home grown Leonard Floyd, who was coming off a career low 3 sacks in 2019, but we all know how that story ended up going.

Floyd finally broke through with a career high 10.5 sacks last season for the Rams, but according to most metrics Floyd was basically the same player he was in Chicago. Sure the sacks were much higher, but the total pressures weren’t much different than what he did while a member of the Bears.

But would you believe that Quinn’s total “disruptions” weren’t that far off from what he did a year ago?

Next Gen Stats still has Quinn as one of their most productive pass rushers in the NFL, ranking him at number 10 in disruptions, which according to them “is the combined total of hurries, pressures or sacks, with only one counting per play.”

Here’s what the numbers tell us from NFL.com.

Disruption rate: 15%
Sack rate: 0.7%
Total disruptions: 46
Sacks: 2

Quinn was a top-three disruptor in 2019, which is why the Bears were willing to sign him to a five-year, $70 million deal in 2020. Good news for the Bears: He’s still a top-10 disruptor at 31 years old. Quinn has eye-popping speed off the edge, posting an average get-off of 0.8 seconds or less in each of the last five seasons. He finished with the fourth-fastest average time to hurry (any time a player gets within 1.5 yards of a QB from snap to pass) in 2020 at 2.75 seconds. His sack total, however, is not what you’d expect for a player making $14 million per year. Quinn tied for the fewest sacks of any player who has posted a 12 percent or better pressure rate and 300-plus pass rushes in a single season during the Next Gen Stats era (since 2016), meaning his sack total should be higher than it was in 2020. That’s what Bears fans hope will happen in 2021. I know it might be a surprise to see Quinn included here, but keep in mind that sacks are not an all-encompassing stat. Quinn was still making a difference even if he wasn’t getting home often in 2020.

This really surprised me, but I would imagine like most fans I was blinded to his overall effectiveness by that horrible sack number.

Quinn bouncing back with more sacks in 2021 would be a plus for a defense that is transitioning to a new play caller in Sean Desai. But even if he’s not able to get home as much, him continuing to force quick throws could lead to more turnovers as the Bears are likely going to be playing more zone than the last 2 years under Chuck Pagano.

What are your thoughts on the Next Gen “disruptor“ stat and Quinn picking up the pace in 2021?