Two things stand out about the 22 sacks that Chris Clemons has produced in his first two seasons with the Seahawks.
Clemons and his back-to-back, 11-sack seasons are pertinent, of course, because he just agreed to a new contract and the team also added two players this offseason to give him some needed help in first-round draft choice Bruce Irvin and free agent Jason Jones.
But back to Clemons’ sack oddities.
First, he is making a habit of sacking Sam Bradford. In four games against St. Louis, Clemons has dropped the Rams’ quarterback 6.5 times. He had a career-high three sacks of Bradford last season, two against him in 2010, another full sack last season and half a sack in the 2010 regular-season finale.
No one else comes close, as Clemons has gotten to the Giants’ Eli Manning, Chargers’ Philip Rivers, Cardinals’ Derek Anderson and Bears’ Caleb Hanie twice each. He has 1.5 sacks against the 49ers’ Alex Smith, half sacks of the Bears’ Jay Cutler and Buccaneers’ Josh Freeman and full sacks of the Steelers’ Ben Roethlisberger, Cardinals’ Kevin Kolb and Max Hall, Browns’ Colt McCoy and Panthers’ Jimmy Clausen.
The other aspect of Clemons’ sacks that prompts a double take is that he gets more on the road than in games at CenturyLink Field, where the din generated by the 12th Man crowd makes it difficult for opposing tackles to hear themselves think let along hear the snap count.
Of Clemons’ 22 sacks, 15.5 have come in road games – including five at the Edward Jones Dome, where Bradford and the Rams play their home games.
What’s the deal? “My thing is, the competition level is a lot better because you can get more on the road,” Clemons explained late last season – when nine of his 11 sacks came at venues not called CenturyLink Field. “Getting off the ball at home, you can’t hear really anything. That’s not an excuse for me not being able to produce at home as much as I do on the road.
“But teams tend to play us differently at home, with quick throws and things like that. When they’re at home, they think they have a better opportunity because of the hard counts and because of the snap count. So they get an opportunity to drop back more.”
And that gives Clemons more of an opportunity to produce sacks. Just ask Sam Bradford.
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