NFlytics: Internal Pressure Causes Chaos

Henry Thomas and Warren Sapp would be proud of today’s interior pass rushers. The crop of big guys who can successfully rush into the middle just keeps growing — making life harder for centers, guards, and quarterbacks.

Ten years ago there were only 11 starting defensive tackles that achieved a pass rushing grade above 70 by Pro Football Focus, and just four broke the 80 mark. Imagine being between 70 and 80 has a significant impact and anything over 80 to be a superstar. Geno Atkins, JJ Watt and Ndamukong Suh were over 85 in 2012. This year, the Impact player pool is much larger than it was a decade ago, with 25 DTs scoring over 70 points. The elites are still the elites with only six over 85, but there’s clearly a rise in the number of big guys who can wreak havoc.


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