4. It’s not just the sacks, it’s the Quarterback Hits
Quarterback hits are a metric that began tracking in 2006. For perspective, the undisputed leader in this parameter since the stat’s inception is Houston Texans pass-rusher, J.J. Watt. Despite a few injury-hampered seasons, Watt has accrued 265 quarterback hits since he joined Houston in 2011. So, when you think “quarterback hits,” think Justin James Watt.
When Yannick Ngakoue arrived in Jacksonville four seasons ago, he promptly began stockpiling the quarterback hits. During those four years, he has the 8th-most in the league with 85. For comparison, Danielle Hunter has 71 since 2016, and Everson Griffen has totaled 84. Therefore, if the sole purpose of the play is to land the opposing quarterback on his buttocks, Ngakoue is your backdoor man.
Quarterback hits are crucial because they are indicative of pocket pressure. And, the more you make contact with a signal-caller, the more the passer becomes skittish throughout a given game, in theory.
Instantly, Ngakoue is the Minnesota Vikings’ top hitter of quarterbacks if judging by past performance.