Disruption Rate is a metric from the NFL Next Gen Stats department that takes a different path to evaluating pass-rush excellence. In an attempt to capture a larger understanding of a pass-rusher’s effectiveness by taking into consideration hurries, pressures, and sacks, rather than just using a sack total to measure performance.
And when it comes to Chicago Bears pass-rusher Robert Quinn, his ranking in this category presents a silver lining to what was otherwise a cloudy 2020 season.
Quinn came away with just 2 sacks and 6 quarterback hits in 2020. It was a disappointing season, to be sure. One in which his ineffective play stood out like a sore thumb. That it came in Year 1 of a five-year contract that could be worth as much as $70 million didn’t help matters. It wasn’t the type of first impression Quinn wanted to leave with his new team. But it wasn’t a total loss if you take the Next Gen Stats disruption number into account. Follow me for a moment.
Here’s some good news: Quinn was a top-10 disruptor in 2020, which is worth noting as he enters his age 31 season.
NFL.com’s Nick Shook has Quinn finishing with the fourth-fastest average time to hurry a quarterback. Quinn also has an average get-off time of 0.8 seconds or less since 2016. Moreover, Quinn is just one year removed from being a top-3 player in the disruptor category. Back in 2019, Quinn collected 11.5 sacks and 22 QB Hits with the Cowboys. This helped spur the Bears to cut ties with Leonard Floyd and pounce on Quinn when he hit free agency. Altogether, the most encouraging takeaway is that there is a recent track record of excellence from Quinn. So, it’s not as if it’s a flash-in-the-pan ordeal. On top of that, we’ve seen Quinn shine in this area and see that excellence translate into awesome numbers from a traditional standpoint.
In other words, analytics have provided a hint that a bounce back year from Quinn could be on the horizon. And if that’s how the cookie crumbles, then opposing quarterbacks should be quaking in their cleats. Because if Quinn rounds back into form, then the Bears could be crashing down with a flurry of defenders. Imagine Khalil Mack, Akiem Hicks, Bilal Nichols, Roquan Smith, and Quinn coming from all sorts of different angles. That sounds like a dream for Bears fans (and a nightmare for opponents).