Dwight Freeney has two sacks in his first year as an outside linebacker in the Colts' new 3-4 hybrid and his final year of his contract with Indianapolis.
But that doesn’t mean a team like Detroit looks at Freeney any differently that it would have in recent years when he shredded offensive linemen and sacked and stripped quarterbacks with regularity.
Detroit coach Jim Schwartz was talking about Ndamukong Suh this week and said his production hasn’t shown up on the state sheet.
He then used Freeney as a comparison.
“We’re sitting there watching Dwight Freeney and watch him just affect the game on just about every play and really raising hell as a pass-rusher,” Schwartz said. “And he sacked (Jay) Cutler on the very first play of the season and he has two sacks on the season. I mean, what do you judge on? Do you judge on what he’s doing on tape? Because based on tape we are going to have our hands full with Dwight Freeney. Based on the stat sheet, you wouldn’t even pay a second thought to 93, but we certainly are.”
I wrote earlier today about Connor Barwin, and Gary Kubiak saying his two sacks and stats don’t reflect his play. The Colts would say the same thing about Freeney that Schwartz said. The Titans have maintained that Derrick Morgan’s play has been good even if it hasn’t resulted in more than 2.5 sacks. Jeremy Mincey was a big re-signing for Jacksonville, and he’s got two sacks as well.
J.J. Watt has 14.5 sacks. Robert Mathis has seven. The next best totals in the division are Titans end Kamerion Wimbley (4.5), Colts third outside linebacker Jerry Hughes (four) and Texans versatile lineman Antonio Smith (four).
Beyond them the division is, apparently, loaded with pass-rushers who rush well, but don’t actually get sacks.