Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2016 DEFENSIVE LINES

Regular season totals, through Week 3

Revised as of 9/27/2016

Teams are ranked according to Adjusted Line Yards. Based on regression analysis, the Adjusted Line Yards formula takes all running back carries and assigns responsibility to the offensive line based on the following percentages:

  • Losses: 120% value
  • 0-4 Yards: 100% value
  • 5-10 Yards: 50% value
  • 11+ Yards: 0% value

These numbers are then adjusted based on down, distance, situation, opponent, and the difference in rushing average between shotgun compared to standard formations. Finally, we normalize the numbers so that the league average for Adjusted Line Yards per carry is the same as the league average for RB yards per carry. Defensive line stats (more accurately, defensive front seven stats) represent the performance of offensive lines against each defense, adjusted for the quality of offensive opponents. These stats are explained further here.

The following stats are not adjusted for opponent:

  • RB Yards: Yards per carry by running backs against this defense, according to standard NFL numbers.
  • Power Success: Percentage of runs on third or fourth down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown. Also includes runs on first-and-goal or second-and-goal from the two-yard line or closer. This is the only statistic on this page that includes quarterbacks. Teams are ranked from lowest power success percentage allowed (#1) to highest power success percentage allowed (#32).
  • Stuffed: Percentage of runs where the running back is tackled at or behind the line of scrimmage.Ranked from most stuffs (#1) to fewest stuffs (#32).
  • Second Level Yards: Yards earned by opposing running backs against this team between 5-10 yards past the line of scrimmage, divided by total running back carries.
  • Open Field Yards: Yards earned by opposing running backs against this team more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage, divided by total running back carries.

Please note that regular opponent adjustments for ALY and ASR do not begin until after Week 4 of the regular season.


NFL averages for each stat given in red.

Why are these rankings different from the team defense DVOA ratings for rushing? Among other reasons, they don't include quarterbacks or fumbles, long runs are truncated, and a different set of adjustments is used, attempting to isolate line play rather than total team defense.

A team with a high ranking in Adjusted Line Yards but a low ranking in Open Field Yards has a strong defensive line but its linebackers and secondary have difficulty in pursuit and tackling. A team with a low ranking in Adjusted Line Yards but a high ranking in Open Field Yards generally allows runners to get past the defensive line but the linebackers and secondary are good at pursuit and tackling. A low ranking in Adjusted Line Yards with a high ranking in Open Field Yards is often an indicator of a 3-4 defensive scheme, though there are exceptions.

Stats in blue represent pass rush. Teams are ranked according to Adjusted Sack Rate, which gives sacks (plus intentional grounding penalties) per pass attempt adjusted for down, distance, and opponent. Pass rush stats are explained further here. Our sack totals may differ slightly from official NFL totals depending on the league's retroactive statistical adjustments.

RUN BLOCKING PASS PROTECTION
Team Adj. Line
Yards
RB
Yards
Power
Success
Power
Rank
Stuffed Stuffed
Rank
2nd Level

Yards
2nd Level

Rank
Open Field

Yards
Open Field

Rank
Team Rank Sacks Adjusted
Sack Rate
1 GB 2.05 2.00 67% 16 34% 1 0.66 1 0.03 1 MIN 1 15 11.7%
2 BAL 2.49 3.97 29% 2 29% 3 0.81 4 1.53 31 DEN 2 12 10.5%
3 NYJ 2.70 3.71 50% 5 29% 4 1.29 22 0.65 15 HOU 3 10 10.4%
4 LARM 2.99 3.29 63% 14 31% 2 1.01 10 0.54 14 PHI 4 10 9.4%
5 PHI 3.03 3.95 100% 28 27% 6 1.44 27 0.80 24 NYJ 5 9 9.0%
6 CAR 3.09 3.55 86% 26 28% 5 1.01 11 0.74 19 BAL 6 9 8.6%
7 SEA 3.22 3.49 75% 21 21% 12 0.89 6 0.41 11 SEA 7 8 8.4%
8 MIN 3.34 3.07 50% 5 18% 17 0.77 3 0.16 3 GB 8 10 8.3%
9 TEN 3.36 4.09 50% 5 18% 18 1.04 14 1.00 27 BUF 9 10 8.0%
10 PIT 3.47 3.59 60% 12 27% 7 1.30 23 0.34 8 ARI 10 9 7.6%
11 CIN 3.50 3.65 0% 1 22% 10 1.27 19 0.29 6 MIA 11 9 7.2%
12 NE 3.66 4.19 75% 21 15% 26 1.02 12 0.75 20 DET 12 7 6.6%
13 ARI 3.69 4.40 100% 28 17% 21 1.32 24 0.79 22 WAS 13 7 6.6%
14 TB 3.69 3.34 60% 12 22% 9 1.00 8 0.23 4 CAR 14 6 6.1%
15 SF 3.73 4.17 67% 16 17% 20 0.97 7 0.83 25 JAC 15 6 5.9%
16 NYG 3.82 3.31 100% 28 13% 28 0.88 5 0.07 2 SD 16 7 5.4%
RUN BLOCKING PASS PROTECTION
Team Adj. Line
Yards
RB
Yards
Power
Success
Power
Rank
Stuffed Stuffed
Rank
2nd Level

Yards
2nd Level

Rank
Open Field

Yards
Open Field

Rank
Team Rank Sacks Adjusted
Sack Rate
17 JAC 3.83 4.17 75% 21 15% 25 1.03 13 0.86 26 TB 17 5 4.9%
18 BUF 3.88 3.53 71% 19 21% 11 1.05 15 0.25 5 TEN 18 5 4.5%
19 NO 3.94 5.29 70% 18 18% 16 1.27 20 1.87 32 SF 19 5 4.5%
20 MIA 3.98 4.52 57% 10 16% 23 1.52 31 0.67 16 NE 20 5 4.3%
21 HOU 3.99 4.85 43% 3 20% 14 1.16 18 1.38 29 CHI 21 4 4.2%
22 DAL 4.02 4.92 50% 5 24% 8 1.69 32 1.12 28 NO 22 4 4.1%
23 SD 4.04 4.17 83% 25 19% 15 1.46 28 0.50 13 OAK 23 3 4.0%
24 CHI 4.08 3.97 75% 21 17% 19 1.09 16 0.48 12 CIN 24 4 3.9%
25 IND 4.27 4.04 50% 5 21% 13 1.40 26 0.34 9 IND 25 4 3.9%
26 CLE 4.31 3.90 43% 3 10% 30 1.01 9 0.30 7 DAL 26 4 3.7%
27 KC 4.34 4.29 71% 19 10% 31 1.16 17 0.38 10 CLE 27 3 3.4%
28 DET 4.40 5.31 100% 28 15% 27 1.27 21 1.38 30 LARM 28 4 3.3%
29 WAS 4.40 4.65 86% 26 16% 22 1.38 25 0.73 18 NYG 29 4 3.1%
30 DEN 4.41 4.15 63% 14 8% 32 0.70 2 0.68 17 KC 30 3 2.9%
31 ATL 4.60 4.78 57% 10 16% 24 1.49 30 0.76 21 ATL 31 3 2.7%
32 OAK 4.84 5.00 100% 28 12% 29 1.46 29 0.80 23 PIT 32 1 1.1%
x NFL x 4.04 65% x 19% x 1.02 x 0.59 x NFL x 6 5.8%

This second table lists each team's Adjusted Line Yards in each direction listed
in official NFL play-by-play, along with rank among the 32 teams. Only five
directions are listed because research so far shows no statistically significant
difference between how well a team performs on runs listed middle, left guard,
and right guard. These runs are from the perspective of the OFFENSE, so a run
listed as LEFT TACKLE is actually at the RIGHT defensive end.

LEFT END LEFT TACKLE MID/GUARD RIGHT TACKLE RIGHT END
TEAM ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank
1 GB 0.95 3 3.41 16 2.34 1 2.80 11 0.30 3
2 BAL 3.95 15 3.98 21 2.79 3 0.49 2 0.19 2
3 NYJ 3.68 13 2.75 2 2.73 2 2.77 10 1.80 7
4 LARM 0.42 2 3.16 11 3.51 11 1.03 3 7.61 30
5 PHI 4.35 17 3.02 6 2.80 4 3.43 19 2.59 10
6 CAR 4.30 16 2.87 4 3.46 9 3.08 16 -0.20 1
7 SEA 9.68 32 3.97 20 2.86 5 4.10 24 1.03 4
8 MIN 4.41 18 1.96 1 3.81 17 2.97 14 1.78 6
9 TEN 3.80 14 3.83 18 3.60 13 1.84 5 2.87 12
10 PIT 3.16 11 4.83 24 3.49 10 5.80 29 2.27 9
11 CIN 4.60 19 3.40 15 3.09 7 4.10 23 3.83 16
12 NE 4.76 20 3.38 14 3.81 18 2.59 8 3.95 19
13 ARI 4.89 21 2.83 3 3.92 20 2.93 13 4.35 21
14 TB 2.68 7 3.35 12 4.38 26 3.33 17 1.54 5
15 SF 2.95 9 6.15 31 3.70 14 1.75 4 2.92 13
16 NYG 3.02 10 3.87 19 3.71 15 5.03 26 3.94 18
LEFT END LEFT TACKLE MID/GUARD RIGHT TACKLE RIGHT END
TEAM ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank
17 JAC 1.18 4 3.14 10 4.22 23 5.90 31 3.96 20
18 BUF 6.29 27 2.94 5 4.04 22 3.34 18 5.20 26
19 NO 9.35 31 5.17 25 3.77 16 3.04 15 2.23 8
20 MIA 6.68 28 3.06 7 3.06 6 6.30 32 7.20 29
21 HOU 7.60 29 3.78 17 3.82 19 2.15 7 3.92 17
22 DAL 1.82 6 3.36 13 5.01 32 -0.53 1 6.10 27
23 SD -2.29 1 6.16 32 4.72 30 2.15 6 6.11 28
24 CHI 2.84 8 3.11 8 4.47 28 3.55 20 4.87 23
25 IND 1.20 5 5.38 26 3.93 21 4.27 25 8.25 31
26 CLE 5.13 22 5.50 28 3.58 12 3.71 21 4.51 22
27 KC 5.38 23 5.46 27 4.25 24 2.70 9 5.17 25
28 DET 5.46 24 5.92 30 3.46 8 5.81 30 3.45 15
29 WAS 6.16 26 3.12 9 4.47 27 5.21 27 2.76 11
30 DEN 5.58 25 4.29 22 4.51 29 2.84 12 32
31 ATL 3.66 12 5.51 29 4.79 31 3.98 22 3.40 14
32 OAK 7.64 30 4.50 23 4.36 25 5.70 28 4.91 24
x NFL 4.03 x 3.99 x 3.79 x 3.42 x 3.52 x

The third table lists how often each team runs in each direction. These runs are from the perspective of the OFFENSE, so a run
listed as LEFT TACKLE is actually at the RIGHT defensive end. Numbers may not add up to 100% due to carries listed without direction. Certain teams may have abnormal splits because of specific official scorer tendencies.

Team RB
Carries
LEFT
END
LEFT
TACKLE
MID/
GUARD
RIGHT
TACKLE
RIGHT
END
1 PHI 41 12% 15% 46% 7% 20%
2 SD 48 6% 4% 52% 21% 17%
3 DAL 51 8% 18% 55% 8% 10%
4 NYJ 52 10% 10% 58% 10% 13%
5 NE 53 2% 13% 58% 11% 15%
6 DET 55 7% 22% 42% 11% 18%
7 MIN 56 18% 14% 48% 7% 13%
7 PIT 56 25% 4% 46% 9% 16%
9 BAL 58 9% 12% 57% 12% 10%
10 DEN 60 7% 13% 72% 8% 0%
11 HOU 61 8% 10% 67% 8% 7%
11 SEA 61 2% 13% 61% 18% 7%
13 ATL 63 10% 16% 54% 16% 5%
14 GB 64 13% 6% 63% 8% 11%
15 ARI 65 8% 9% 54% 18% 9%
16 JAC 66 12% 3% 65% 3% 17%
Team RB
Carries
LEFT
END
LEFT
TACKLE
MID/
GUARD
RIGHT
TACKLE
RIGHT
END
17 IND 67 7% 12% 57% 16% 7%
18 NYG 68 12% 15% 47% 10% 16%
18 TEN 68 4% 16% 59% 13% 6%
20 CAR 69 6% 12% 62% 14% 4%
21 LARM 70 7% 9% 66% 16% 3%
22 OAK 74 8% 8% 66% 14% 4%
23 BUF 75 3% 15% 60% 17% 5%
24 SF 76 12% 17% 53% 13% 5%
25 TB 77 14% 12% 55% 13% 6%
26 NO 78 4% 15% 56% 14% 10%
27 CIN 79 5% 13% 51% 23% 9%
27 CLE 79 19% 11% 30% 19% 20%
27 WAS 79 18% 10% 49% 6% 16%
30 KC 80 4% 3% 89% 1% 4%
31 MIA 87 11% 13% 61% 13% 2%
32 CHI 92 10% 14% 53% 10% 13%
x NFL x 9% 12% 57% 12% 10%