FanPost

A Data Nerd's Grading of NFL Offensive Lines: Pass Protection

I know I promised some detail on our defensive players, but I found something interesting in the process. I was looking at pressure the opposing Offensive Lines allow to compare our performance. I noticed a trend that's pretty easy to understand: the more time a quarterback takes to throw, the more pressure he feels. You could also say that the worse a line performs, the faster the ball has to leave a QB's hands. I'm not going to argue the cause-and-effect of these two variables, but I think it provides an interesting glimpse into how we can grade the performance of Offensive Lines.

Plotting the Information

Below, you will see a charts with the amount of time to throw on the bottom, and pressure percentage on the side. As explained above, on average, as one increase, so does the other.

What's important to measure here is each team's vertical distance away from the line. This will essentially say that for a given amount of time in the pocket, the Quarterback faces more pressure (above the line) or less pressure (below the line) than average. Luckily for the Falcons, they have the worst Pressure grade in the NFL according to this methodology. I identified a few teams by team colors: the Falcons obviously in red/black, with New Orleans, Dallas, and Denver identified below. It's also interesting to note that the 3 undefeated teams left, KC, NO, & DAL are ranked 7th, 3rd, and 1st, respectively.

Just to post the top and bottom 5 teams, here you go:

BOTTOM 5

Team Additional Pressure Faced
ATL 7.7%
ARZ 7.4%
JAX 6.2%
TEN 5.3%
HST 5.2%

TOP 5

Team Additional Pressure Faced
DEN -10.3%
DAL -8.1%
NO -6.8%
TB -5.2%
CIN -4.9%

Let me know what you think!

<em>This FanPost was written by one of The Falcoholic's talented readers. It does not necessarily reflect the views of The Falcoholic.</em>

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