Let me start by saying this post is only simply looking at the sacks Mettenberger took and not an overall indictment or commentary on his play as a whole. It's well known that Mettenberger isn't exactly fleet of foot and I wanted to see how much blame could be attributed to the receivers and/or offensive line during these moments.
First Sack - 3rd and 8
This is a pretty bang-bang play in real time and hard to fault Zach. The still shot at the top of his drop shows no pressure, however, and an open Delanie walker on the shallow cross, not to mention the running back outlet to the right. Odds are Zach knows these are short of the sticks and gets sacked while waiting for something to open up downfield which never occurs.
2ND Sack - 1st and 10
The only player to get open was Hunter down the left sideline. Mettenberger never looked to that side of the field and the first 2 receivers in his progression were blanketed by 4 defenders. This is a slow developing play with a delayed release and a double move by the receivers on the right side of the field. He has plenty of time however and either needs to get to Hunter in the progression or throw the ball away.
Sack 3 - 1st and 10
Down and distance as well as field position have to be known here. It's 1st and 10 inside your own 10. At the top of the drop this ball needs to come out to either Kendall in the flat or to Sankey sitting underneath. Get your 5 yards and work with a short 2nd down.
Sack 4 - 3rd and 7
This is the non called face mask penalty. Hunter gets a great rub on the defender leaving Kendall Wright with an open look towards the near boundary. The window shuts quickly though before Mettenberger can even get his eyes to that side of the field.
Sack 5 - 1st and 10
This is the worst of the bunch. I'm not sure where the indecision came from but it may have simply been an overload of options. Zach has at least three options open not counting the deep out to the TE (Coffman I think) and plenty of time to get rid of the ball. Again it's 1st and 10 and no reason to hold the ball this long.
There was a lot of talk about receivers needing to get open after this game which is an easy knee jerk reaction when you see a lot of sacks on the quarterback. After looking at the tape, however, that doesn't seem to have been the problem.
Zach has a lot of great attributes, but this is clearly part of his game that needs work. Whether it's getting through the progressions faster or simply gaining enough experience for that inner clock to get rid of the ball, it's something the rookie will have to improve upon. Sacks aren't the worse thing in the world and are better than interceptions, especially on 3rd and long. However, the unnecessary ones on 1st and 10 need to get cleaned up.