Looking at the game stats, you may notice that some players often end the game with half a sack. this leaves many fans wondering what exactly a half sack is and why they are calculated that way.
A half sack in football is exactly what you think it is. when multiple players team up to sack a quarterback, half the sacks are split.
Interestingly, half of the sacks don’t just come when two players team up to take down a quarterback. if three defenders combine to take down a quarterback, all three will be credited with half a sack.
For this reason, it can be useful to think of a half catch as assist. like an assisted tackle, half a sack is awarded each time you help bring down the quarterback for a sack.
how do half sacks count in team stats?
Sacks are counted for each individual player, but are also saved for the team as a whole. when it comes to half sacks, they only show up in player stats.
When it comes to counting sacks as a team, they’ll just add a sack every time the quarterback is tackled as a passer.
If three players converge for half sacks, the team will simply add a sack. adding 1.5 sacks for the middle three sacks would simply lead to an inaccurate number of sacks for the team.
how they usually happen
Now that you understand how .5 bags work, it’s time to look at some examples. after all, how exactly do multiple players end up firing a single quarterback?
one high one low
One of the most common ways players’ sacks are split is when one goes high and the other goes low.
often when a defensive player grabs the lower body of quarterbacks, he won’t be able to take them down. instead, this lower body grab will slow the quarterback’s movement and allow other teammates to catch up.
this often results in another player hitting the quarterback high and eventually taking him down.
In this scenario, both players will split the sack.
On some plays, you may notice the umpires blow the whistle before the quarterback hits the ground. on these plays, the pocket collapses and the quarterback is usually within range of defenders.
The whistle is blown on these plays to protect the quarterback’s health. Since multiple players are involved in the lack of forward progress, multiple half-captures often occur.
On some occasions, defensive backs will be tasked with bombing the quarterback in one play. cornerbacks and safeties are noticeably smaller than most defensive players.
When you’re trying to take down a quarterback, you’ll often see a weight difference of half a foot and close to fifty pounds. this can make it very difficult for some of these players to take down the quarterback.
Often, these players will hit the quarterback but won’t have enough strength to take him down on their own. on these occasions, the defensive lineman or linebackers will ultimately go to the quarterback.
Once they arrive, they’ll take down the quarterback together.