What Is A Pressure In Football?

A pressure in football is a pass-rushing statistic that is awarded when a player earns a sack, hurry, or quarterback knockdown.

A pressure is a statistic that is awarded to defensive players when they rush the quarterback.

To get a better understanding of this statistic we need to first break down the statistics that make up pressures in football.

What Is Considered A Pressure?

A sack is one statistic that fits under the pressure statistic in football.

A sack in football occurs when the quarterback is tackled behind the line of scrimmage before he can throw a forward pass.

A hurry is another stat included in pressures. Hurries in football occur when the quarterback is forced to throw the ball earlier than he planned or he is chased around the pocket by defenders.

Defensive players do not need to make contact with the quarterback in order to generate a hurry.

Quarterback knockdowns is the third statistic that is included in quarterback pressures.

A quarterback knockdown occurs when a defensive player is able to knock the quarterback down after he throws the ball.

Knocking the quarterback down well after he throws is going to earn you a penalty. But if it is done immediately after the quarterback throws the ball it means that the defensive player was almost able to earn a sack.

Quarterback knockdowns also make the game harder on the quarterback as the hits add up throughout the game.

Hurries, sacks, and knockdowns are the three statistics that make up pressures in football.

The pressure statistic is a great way to measure the effectiveness of pass rushers. Instead of focusing on flashy plays like total sacks this stat includes all sorts of pass-rushing outcomes that have a positive effect on the defense.

For this reason, using pressures or pressure rate is a great way to determine the quality of a pass rusher.

What positions get the most pressures?

Now that you understand what a pressure is in football you may be wondering which position wants them.

Defensive end

Defensive end is the position most responsible for creating pressures on the Defense.

These players have the main purpose of rushing the quarterback. Since these players line up on the end of the defensive line they often face off one on one against the offensive tackle.

The open space on the end of the line plus the one-on-one matchup means that these players are often providing pressure on the quarterback.


Linebackers are another position that generates a large number of pressures on the quarterback.

This is especially true for outside linebackers. In a 3-4 formation in which the outside linebackers are often tasked with rushing the quarterback.

Middle linebackers will often rack up some pressures throughout a season but noticeably less so than outside linebackers and defensive ends.

Linebackers will also be tasked with blitzing on some plays. Even if these players do not primarily pass rush a blitz may have them rushing towards the quarterback.

Since blitz involves an increased number of players rushing the quarterback it is likely that they are able to provide pressure on the quarterback.

1 thought on “What Is A Pressure In Football?”

  1. There needs to be a time limit associated with a “hurry”. Can’t take 6 seconds to get to the qb then get a “hurry” while others may get to the qb in 3 seconds with the same “hurry”. If we’re going to track the “hurry” then we indeed make sure he made the qb “hurry”. A pitcher doesn’t get a save up by 6. He closed the game but didn’t “save” it.


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