First and foremost, the Jacksonville Jaguars offensive line didn't have a good day run blocking or in pass protection. There were missed assignments, some guys got blown off the ball but I'm not so sure the offensive line was double-digit sack bad.
One of the stories this week for the Jaguars is going to be how awful the offensive line is in protecting the quarterback, and while they're not great at it at the moment, they're not nearly as awful as it's being made out to be. I went back and watched all 10 sacks surrendered to Washington in the 41-10 loss on Sunday and there was plenty of blame to go around.
Albeit I'm watching this without the coaches film, so it's tough to see how many sacks from Chad Henne holding the ball were simply because no one is open, but there were plenty of times on the day where he did have time to get rid of the ball and simply didn't.
It's worth noting however, that the "average time to throw" in the NFL is considered to be 2.75 seconds from the snap of the ball, according to Dean Oliver of ESPN Stats and Info (h/t wemcneal in comments).
Times of Henne's 10 sacks (either sacked or in trouble): 3.85, 2.22, 3.10, 2.88, 3.35, 3.01, 2.54, 2.47, 2.50 and 2.75 seconds. #Jaguars— Ryan O'Halloran (@ryanohalloran) September 15, 2014
Sack 1 -- Chad Henne holding the ball
On the first third down of the game, Washington sends five pass rushers (a theme on nearly every passing play) and the offensive line actually picks it up pretty well. The play is clearly a three-step drop and at the end of the drop Henne holds on to the ball looking to his right, looks like he wants to throw and then just goes down. As mentioned, on this play we can't see the All-22 so we don't know if someone is open or not. We also don't know if it's possible for Henne to have simply thrown the ball away, either. From the snap of the ball, I count nearly five seconds before the rushers get to Henne. I can't put this sack on the offensive line.
Sack 2 -- Free rusher, who's at fault?
On the second sack of the game, Washington once again sends at least five rushers after the quarterback on third down. The issue with this play however is that a free rusher comes off the edge and it's tough to figure out who's exactly to blame on the play. On one hand, Chad Henne should know with the tight end running a route that the linebacker is going to come unblocked. Should he adjust the protection and have the right tackle and right guard fan out, should he have audibled to a differed play? Should the right tackle know that the rusher is coming free on the outside and block wide? Was the tight end supposed to feign a block and then run his route? Henne tries to come up to avoid the rush from the left side, but again the linebacker is coming free right at him.
Sack 3 -- Gotta get rid of the ball
On the third sack of the game, Ryan Kerrigan doesn't bite at all on the play fake. The offensive line by design blocks to the left with Henne rolling out against the grain. We've seen this play run a dozen times but if the outside rusher on the bootleg side doesn't bite, the play is dead. The problem here is Henne should be able to get rid of the football. He's outside the tackle box so he can at the worst throw the ball at Marcedes Lewis' feet and avoid losing yardage on the play. Instead Henne tries to cut inside and avoid Kerrigan to no avail.
Sack 4 -- Adjust protections?
The fourth sack of the game is similar to that of the second one. The Jaguars are running a play fake to look like a stretch play, so the entire offensive line is blocking down to the right. Washington sends six players on the rush/run blitz and once again the outside rusher is given a free release on the play. Zane Beadles recognizes it and tries to peel back and get the backside rusher, but there are two guys unblocked. Is this play on the fault of the left side of the line not blocking down on the right defender? Is it on the fault of Chad Henne for not recognizing the free rusher on the outside and adjusting the play at the line of scrimmage?
Sack 5 -- Have to get rid of the football
This is another sack for me that I put on the shoulders of Chad Henne. You have to get rid of the football faster on a three step drop when you know heat is coming. Washington rushes six on the play and Henne has enough time to finish his drop but instead of climbing the pocket he moves sideways and ends up sacked. There's a few things Henne could have done better here, which is step up in the pocket, take off running or simply just throw the ball away. Again, I don't have the benefit of the coach's film yet, but this sack for me is more on the quarterback not getting rid of it in a situation he knows the rush is coming.
Sack 6 -- Get rid of the ball, roll out
This is another play where I can't really put the majority of the blame on the offensive line. The Jaguars run play action and Washington once again sends at least five rushers on the play. Henne has time to fake the hand off, complete the drop, look at his first read and then tries to come back to the middle of the field and gets sacked. Granted, the tight end that Henne is trying to throw to is clearly not open, but you have to know the rush is coming with Washington sending five players. He should have been able to at least drift to his left or roll out to avoid the pass rusher coming from the right side.
Sack 7 -- Bradfield gets beat
We finally have a sack where there's clear blame on the play to an offensive lineman. Cameron Bradfield simply gets flat beat around the edge by Ryan Kerrigan. Off the snap Kerrigan blows past Bradfield and Henne is sacked as he hits the end of his drop. He truly had no chance on this play and didn't even have enough time to step up in the pocket, though if he did he probably would have been sacked anyway.
Sack 8 -- Hesitation, get rid of the ball
Another third and long and another time Washington sends five plus rushers after the quarterback, because they obviously have zero respect for the Jaguars passing the ball. This again though, was another sack where some of the blame lies at the feet of Chad Henne, at least from the TV view. Washington shows blitz pre-snap with the defensive back showing blitz. Henne has to recognize this and know that pressure is coming on third down. Instead, he once again double clutches the ball and completely misses Mike Brown on the hot right at the top of the play. This play is clearly designed to be a quick throw and the goal is to get rid of the ball quickly, but Henne just holds the ball and eats the sack. I don't know if he just doesn't see the defensive back showing the blitz or if he just decides early who he's going to throw to or what, but the receiver he's looking at (Allen Hurns) is bracketed by a linebacker and the defensive back.
Sack 9 -- Beadles beat, time to throw away
The ninth sake of the game is another where you can share the blame of the sack. Zane Beadles is beat off the snap by the nosetackle and put on skates. The Washington defensive lineman breaks through pretty easily, but Henne does have enough time to look like he's going to throw and then pulls the ball back in and takes the sack. It appears Henne could have drifted to his right and gotten rid of the football. From this view, no one really looks open, but even so it appears there's enough going on for Henne to get rid of the ball.
Sack 10 -- Henne drifts into the sack
This is the third sack I put right at the feet of Chad Henne. Washington shows blitz but only sends four rushers and the offensive line for the most part picks it up. Rookie Brandon Linder is being pushed back by Ryan Kerrigan, but instead of drifting to his left, where Luke Joeckel is handling his man and rolling out, Henne just drifts right into Kerrigan for the 10th sack of the game. While Linder was getting pushed in the backfield, Henne has to have the presence of mind to slide in the pocket and give himself more time, especially with how many times he's been sacked in the game.
As I mentioned, I don't think the offensive line was necessarily good on Sunday, but I don't think it was 10 sack bad, especially after re-watching the game. I think for the majority of the sacks, Chad Henne had time to at least throw the ball away. There were only about four that he had zero shot and some of those might have been avoided with adjustments pre-snap.
If you don't believe me though, believe Jeff Lageman.
Talked to Lageman who is working on All Access for tonight. Said Chad had NO chance on only 4 of 10 sacks. Will that create a change at QB?— Brian Sexton (@JagsVoice) September 15, 2014