Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

2014 DEFENSIVE LINES

Regular season totals, through Week 11

Revised as of 11/18/2014

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.

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 DET 2.79 3.10 67% 17 27% 1 0.89 4 0.46 7 BUF 1 39 9.2%
2 DEN 2.95 3.01 40% 1 25% 4 0.80 2 0.34 1 JAC 2 28 8.4%
3 STL 3.03 3.62 50% 4 26% 2 1.08 14 0.78 25 TEN 3 29 8.1%
4 BUF 3.22 3.66 65% 14 25% 3 1.01 8 0.60 15 NYJ 4 27 8.1%
5 ARI 3.38 3.51 50% 2 23% 6 1.04 11 0.49 9 MIN 5 30 8.1%
6 JAC 3.47 4.30 62% 12 22% 8 1.13 16 1.10 29 MIA 6 30 7.9%
7 TB 3.58 3.99 79% 31 24% 5 1.16 19 0.78 26 KC 7 30 7.8%
8 BAL 3.58 3.52 50% 3 17% 22 0.86 3 0.42 3 WAS 8 25 7.2%
9 SEA 3.61 3.88 53% 7 23% 7 1.03 10 0.75 23 IND 9 24 7.1%
10 PHI 3.61 3.69 76% 26 20% 12 1.05 12 0.52 13 PHI 10 33 7.1%
11 CAR 3.70 4.51 79% 29 21% 11 1.02 9 1.30 32 BAL 11 25 6.8%
12 MIA 3.72 3.76 68% 22 21% 10 0.99 6 0.57 14 DEN 12 27 6.8%
13 NYJ 3.74 3.39 67% 18 19% 14 0.75 1 0.45 6 DET 13 26 6.6%
14 WAS 3.74 3.74 65% 16 18% 17 1.07 13 0.42 4 NE 14 23 6.5%
15 OAK 3.86 3.98 67% 19 21% 9 1.14 17 0.61 17 CAR 15 23 6.4%
16 NO 3.93 4.33 68% 23 18% 16 1.29 24 0.78 24 GB 16 25 6.4%
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 HOU 4.04 4.32 74% 24 17% 21 1.33 27 0.60 16 HOU 17 21 6.1%
18 PIT 4.04 4.33 54% 9 19% 15 1.30 26 0.80 28 SD 18 17 5.9%
19 SF 4.08 3.91 77% 28 16% 24 0.97 5 0.50 11 PIT 19 20 5.8%
20 CHI 4.17 4.31 52% 5 14% 31 1.00 7 0.79 27 CHI 20 22 5.8%
21 SD 4.19 4.00 65% 15 18% 18 1.16 18 0.42 5 TB 21 20 5.7%
22 ATL 4.21 3.99 77% 27 14% 30 1.09 15 0.41 2 NO 22 22 5.6%
23 NE 4.25 4.37 79% 30 14% 32 1.24 20 0.50 10 STL 23 19 5.5%
24 DAL 4.27 4.85 64% 13 17% 19 1.24 22 1.16 30 CLE 24 19 5.5%
25 NYG 4.30 4.99 60% 11 16% 26 1.46 31 1.18 31 NYG 25 17 5.4%
26 GB 4.32 4.28 54% 8 17% 23 1.24 21 0.49 8 SF 26 17 5.1%
27 CLE 4.32 4.46 57% 10 15% 29 1.38 29 0.61 18 ARI 27 18 4.9%
28 IND 4.34 4.48 74% 25 17% 20 1.35 28 0.72 20 CIN 28 13 4.4%
29 CIN 4.43 4.38 68% 21 16% 25 1.29 25 0.52 12 SEA 29 13 4.2%
30 TEN 4.43 4.53 83% 32 15% 27 1.40 30 0.62 19 OAK 30 10 4.1%
31 MIN 4.59 4.51 68% 20 15% 28 1.25 23 0.73 21 DAL 31 16 4.0%
32 KC 4.60 5.00 53% 6 19% 13 1.72 32 0.74 22 ATL 32 14 4.0%
x NFL x 4.11 65% x 19% x 1.03 x 0.59 x NFL x 23 6.3%

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 DET 1.78 2 3.11 8 2.91 2 2.72 5 2.46 6
2 DEN 1.60 1 2.79 5 3.48 7 2.13 1 1.97 2
3 STL 3.57 12 2.31 3 3.28 6 2.27 2 3.50 13
4 BUF 4.64 26 2.98 6 2.89 1 2.75 6 6.07 32
5 ARI 3.87 16 3.99 19 3.17 3 2.47 3 4.45 25
6 JAC 2.67 7 3.17 9 3.56 8 3.08 7 4.37 24
7 TB 5.17 30 2.77 4 3.98 15 2.64 4 1.65 1
8 BAL 1.88 3 4.98 29 3.19 4 5.48 31 4.03 19
9 SEA 4.24 23 3.81 16 3.61 10 3.99 16 2.07 3
10 PHI 3.41 11 2.16 2 4.30 22 4.60 22 2.95 8
11 CAR 2.46 4 3.58 13 3.89 12 3.97 14 3.27 10
12 MIA 2.54 5 3.31 10 3.95 13 3.97 15 3.74 16
13 NYJ 3.11 9 4.10 20 3.95 14 4.27 20 2.69 7
14 WAS 3.95 19 3.08 7 4.19 19 3.77 12 2.42 5
15 OAK 2.85 8 3.45 11 3.99 16 5.04 28 3.28 11
16 NO 3.94 18 4.83 27 3.21 5 4.98 26 4.28 23
LEFT END LEFT TACKLE MID/GUARD RIGHT TACKLE RIGHT END
TEAM ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank
17 HOU 4.32 24 5.22 30 3.70 11 4.16 17 4.09 20
18 PIT 3.82 15 3.49 12 3.59 9 5.06 29 4.83 27
19 SF 3.77 14 3.85 17 4.59 31 3.59 10 2.39 4
20 CHI 2.56 6 4.60 25 4.14 17 5.60 32 3.74 17
21 SD 3.30 10 5.30 31 4.14 18 5.48 30 3.49 12
22 ATL 3.88 17 3.72 14 4.45 27 4.68 23 3.68 15
23 NE 4.20 22 4.42 22 4.39 25 3.91 13 3.07 9
24 DAL 4.54 25 3.88 18 4.41 26 3.59 9 4.95 29
25 NYG 4.19 21 3.75 15 4.49 28 3.74 11 5.58 31
26 GB 4.91 28 4.49 24 4.27 21 4.48 21 3.66 14
27 CLE 5.21 31 2.02 1 4.53 30 4.68 24 4.25 22
28 IND 4.95 29 4.40 21 4.25 20 4.23 19 4.12 21
29 CIN 4.77 27 4.47 23 4.49 29 4.22 18 4.00 18
30 TEN 4.13 20 5.43 32 4.37 24 3.18 8 4.47 26
31 MIN 3.67 13 4.82 26 4.63 32 5.03 27 4.90 28
32 KC 6.44 32 4.89 28 4.37 23 4.82 25 5.16 30
x NFL 3.77 x 3.86 x 3.96 x 4.03 x 3.73 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.

Team RB
Carries
LEFT
END
LEFT
TACKLE
MID/
GUARD
RIGHT
TACKLE
RIGHT
END
1 DEN 189 8% 14% 58% 14% 6%
2 ARI 195 12% 14% 53% 13% 8%
3 SF 197 8% 13% 56% 14% 10%
4 DET 201 8% 22% 46% 15% 8%
5 BAL 204 7% 10% 66% 11% 5%
6 DAL 209 13% 16% 45% 15% 11%
7 MIA 210 9% 14% 54% 14% 10%
8 SEA 210 8% 14% 56% 14% 8%
9 CHI 211 10% 16% 50% 11% 12%
10 SD 211 12% 7% 61% 10% 10%
11 BUF 212 8% 11% 62% 12% 6%
12 NYJ 216 18% 12% 50% 11% 9%
13 IND 217 13% 12% 53% 12% 10%
14 KC 217 6% 9% 74% 6% 6%
15 PIT 218 6% 11% 50% 23% 9%
16 WAS 223 16% 12% 44% 16% 12%
Team RB
Carries
LEFT
END
LEFT
TACKLE
MID/
GUARD
RIGHT
TACKLE
RIGHT
END
17 NO 228 10% 21% 49% 13% 7%
18 STL 231 11% 16% 46% 14% 12%
19 NE 233 11% 12% 64% 7% 7%
20 MIN 239 15% 8% 49% 15% 13%
21 HOU 241 10% 12% 58% 12% 7%
22 NYG 249 14% 16% 33% 20% 16%
23 PHI 253 17% 13% 38% 11% 22%
24 CAR 255 8% 13% 58% 13% 8%
25 CIN 257 11% 18% 48% 11% 12%
26 GB 260 10% 17% 45% 15% 13%
27 JAC 260 20% 7% 44% 8% 20%
28 TB 262 13% 10% 53% 10% 13%
29 CLE 263 8% 10% 62% 13% 6%
30 ATL 267 13% 12% 46% 13% 15%
31 TEN 293 12% 18% 49% 10% 10%
32 OAK 294 10% 15% 53% 13% 9%
x NFL x 11% 13% 52% 13% 11%