Everyone was out and about talking about how defensive end DeMarcus Lawrence was not playing well at all last season. He has more than proven his worth so far this season.
In only 11 games, he has 4.5 sacks, 42 tackles, and eight quarterback hits. That is 0.5 sack, three tackles, and eight quarterback hits fewer than his entire 2019 season.
Tank Lawrence was often looked at as a pass rusher more than a run stuffer. That was with him having three seasons of 50+ tackles. This season, he is on pace to make 61 tackles.
There are only seven other defensive linemen/edge rushers that have at least 4.5 sacks and 42 tackles this season. It’s not often that linemen are effective getting to the quarterback and defending the run.
If you look back on Lawrence’s career, that is what he has done. He has three seasons of 50+ tackles and two seasons on 10.0+ sacks.
What makes the former second-round pick stand out this season is more than his stats show. He has been winning battles defending the run and getting to the quarterback at a great rate.
According to ESPN, Lawrence has a 23 percent win rate when pass-rushing, which ranks him seventh in the NFL among edge defenders. Against the run, Lawrence has a 32 percent win rate, which ranks third among edge defenders in the NFL.
His success in the run game is shown in basic stats with his 42 tackles so far. He is not given enough credit for his success when rushing the passer. His 4.5 sacks are very underwhelming, especially when you consider his high win rate.
Why would his sacks total be so low, yet his win rate is so high? That’s because he is up against multiple blockers on most snaps. He will win one battle, just for another to come in and slow him down. If that doesn’t happen, then the quarterback will get rid of the ball, or a teammate takes the sack.