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Kliff Kingsbury’s Scheme May Help Protect Josh Rosen

QB Josh Rosen was sacked 45 times in 14 games last season.
QB Josh Rosen was sacked 45 times in 14 games this season.

The Cardinals had a variety of issues on offense in 2018, and the biggest may have been keeping Josh Rosen clean.

The rookie quarterback was often under siege, as he was sacked 45 times while attempting 393 passes for a 10.3 percent sack rate, fifth-highest in the NFL. While it’s fair to wonder if things will get even worse in Kliff Kingsbury’s pass-happy offense, that may not be the case.

In the past five seasons, Texas Tech’s quarterbacks were sacked on only 3.7 percent of dropbacks, the fourth-lowest rate in college football over that period, according to Pro Football Focus. Even though the team has always thrown a lot under Kingsbury, the highest number of sacks in a season during his tenure was 33 in 2013.

In 2014, Texas Tech threw the ball 559 times and its quarterbacks were only sacked 13 times.

The Cardinals’ offensive line struggled in 2018, and the position figured to be a primary focus in free agency. That may still be the case, but Kingsbury may also feel like he can scheme well enough to keep Rosen upright, which would allow the Cardinals to divert resources elsewhere.

It is something to watch heading into free agency in March.

Texas Tech Sack Rate Under Kliff Kingsbury

Table inside Article
Year Sacks Pass Attempts Sack Rate
2013 33 673 4.7%
2014 13 559 2.2%
2015 21 564 3.6%
2016 30 653 4.4%
2017 26 482 5.1%
2018 25 535 4.5%

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