SB Nation’s Rebecca Toback did some superb research on the topic recently and asked Cincinnati Bengals cornerback Dre Kirkpatrick for the reasoning behind the timid interception numbers.
Kirkpatrick kept it simple:
“This game is definitely turned to a passing league, but quarterbacks don’t really take their big shots unless receivers are wide open,” Kirkpatrick said. “Everything is coming into the crossing route game where guys are going under and over and it frees up the passing route because the quarterback is actually throwing away from the defender. Everybody used to go after the big play, the big touch, the big catch. But you don’t see that as often.”
Not that Kirkpatrick wants to buy into the idea either way.
In fact, he told Toback his interception goal for 2018 is six, which would be a career high.
Regardless of the types of routes and throws, Kirkpatrick should at least have a good chance to make good on his goals with offenses likely to look more his way than usual while they avoid William Jackson.
At the end of the day, it’d be funny to watch Kirkpatrick have the perfect explanation here before going on to set a career mark in interceptions.