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B.J. Hill is fourth best in NFL at high quality sacks

According to this metric, the late addition to the Bengals’ roster is destroying opposing offensive lines.

Cincinnati Bengals v Pittsburgh Steelers Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images

On August 30, the Cincinnati Bengals and New York Giants completed a trade that would send Billy Price to New York for defensive tackle B.J. Hill and a conditional seventh round pick. At the time, it seemed pretty uneventful, just two teams trying to swap depth.

Now, though, it looks to be one of the greatest trades in Bengals history. Fans remember Hill’s impressive season opening performance, in which he sacked the Minnesota Vikings’ Kirk Cousins twice, less than two weeks after relocating to Cincinnati. Hill would add another sack against the Pittsburgh Steelers. But those numbers only begin to tell the story of his huge impact on the defense.

Hill has the fourth highest snap to high quality sack rate in the entire NFL.

So what are high quality sacks?

Well, in November of 2020, Trench Warfare’s Brandon Thorn developed a new system for quantifying sack production: the true sack rate (TSR). It is designed to measure the highest level of skill used by pass rushers in the most difficult circumstances. Based on that equation, Thorn derives scores and categories: 1.25 points for a rare high quality sack, one point for a high quality sack, .5 points for a low quality sack, .5 points for a coverage/cleanup sack, and .5 points per forced fumble.

Thorn defines a high quality (HQ) sack as: “A 1-on-1 (or 1-on-2) win over an above average (or below) blocker due to the rusher’s skill, move(s), and/or athletic ability.”

This means that Hill is one of the league’s very best at winning on account of ability and not due to simply fortunate circumstance.

How much will Hill and the Bengals’ rising defense be able to keep Aaron Rodgers and the Green Packers in check tomorrow? We talked to former Packer Mike Wahle about that and more in our preview of the game. You can watch below:

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