Writers of Pro Football Prospectus 2008

DEFENSIVE LINES 1999

Regular season totals, through Week 17

Revised as of 8/8/2012

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 10+ 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 10+ 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 10+ 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 BAL 3.10 2.87 62% 16 26% 2 0.70 1 0.24 1 DEN 1 50 10.2%
2 SD 3.25 3.04 65% 22 23% 16 0.85 5 0.25 2 JAC 2 57 9.3%
3 STL 3.39 3.34 60% 12 24% 8 0.83 3 0.38 6 MIA 3 39 8.8%
4 NYG 3.41 3.66 53% 7 25% 5 0.87 6 0.79 26 DET 4 50 8.7%
5 JAC 3.48 3.61 65% 20 22% 19 0.89 7 0.49 8 ATL 5 40 8.6%
6 MIN 3.49 3.88 53% 6 26% 4 1.04 19 0.79 25 NO 6 45 8.5%
7 TEN 3.50 3.89 50% 4 26% 1 0.95 11 0.81 27 TEN 7 55 8.4%
8 KC 3.51 3.79 64% 19 26% 3 1.07 23 0.66 16 OAK 8 45 8.4%
9 MIA 3.51 3.66 46% 2 25% 7 0.97 14 0.59 13 NE 9 42 8.1%
10 DET 3.66 3.94 64% 17 24% 9 1.06 21 0.76 24 PIT 10 41 8.0%
11 BUF 3.72 3.36 68% 27 21% 23 0.83 4 0.32 4 BAL 11 51 7.9%
12 SF 3.76 3.86 61% 14 25% 6 1.10 25 0.61 14 STL 12 56 7.9%
13 PHI 3.80 3.74 60% 13 23% 12 0.97 13 0.58 11 MIN 13 46 7.5%
14 TB 3.83 3.88 65% 21 21% 21 0.91 9 0.59 12 BUF 14 38 7.3%
15 OAK 3.86 4.07 67% 25 23% 13 1.14 29 0.68 18 PHI 15 37 7.1%
16 NE 3.86 3.84 59% 8 21% 24 1.03 17 0.53 10 TB 16 42 7.1%
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 GB 3.92 3.87 44% 1 23% 15 0.98 15 0.67 17 WAS 17 40 7.1%
18 CHI 3.95 4.25 53% 5 22% 20 1.12 28 0.91 30 SD 18 41 7.0%
19 SEA 3.95 4.02 59% 9 23% 11 1.05 20 0.68 19 IND 19 41 6.8%
20 DEN 3.95 4.16 61% 15 23% 14 1.04 18 0.92 31 SEA 20 39 6.6%
21 CIN 4.00 3.86 59% 10 23% 10 0.95 10 0.70 21 KC 21 39 6.5%
22 WAS 4.02 4.37 68% 26 23% 17 1.14 30 0.84 28 DAL 22 36 6.5%
23 PIT 4.03 4.39 64% 18 22% 18 1.12 27 0.87 29 ARI 23 32 6.5%
24 ATL 4.09 4.22 68% 28 21% 22 1.02 16 0.74 23 NYG 24 32 6.4%
25 CAR 4.10 4.23 82% 31 19% 26 1.06 22 0.72 22 CIN 25 35 6.3%
26 NYJ 4.15 3.57 66% 23 13% 31 0.79 2 0.29 3 SF 26 32 6.0%
27 DAL 4.15 3.79 67% 24 16% 28 0.90 8 0.34 5 NYJ 27 26 5.8%
28 NO 4.24 4.16 71% 30 20% 25 1.16 31 0.64 15 CAR 28 35 5.7%
29 IND 4.35 4.10 50% 3 17% 27 1.07 24 0.44 7 CHI 29 37 5.4%
30 ARI 4.49 4.11 60% 11 14% 30 0.95 12 0.50 9 CLE 30 26 5.1%
31 CLE 4.72 4.49 69% 29 15% 29 1.11 26 0.69 20 GB 31 29 5.0%
x NFL x 3.89 61% x 22% x 0.99 x 0.62 x NFL x 40 7.2%

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 31 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 BAL 3.97 16 3.33 6 3.00 2 3.23 5 2.63 5
2 SD 4.54 25 3.38 8 3.67 10 3.70 11 3.54 14
3 STL 3.85 12 3.87 17 2.82 1 4.06 17 4.33 26
4 NYG 3.59 10 3.01 3 3.51 6 4.24 22 2.57 4
5 JAC 2.71 2 4.78 28 3.46 4 3.57 8 1.56 1
6 MIN 2.87 4 4.48 24 3.55 7 2.99 3 3.04 9
7 TEN 2.53 1 2.84 1 4.03 19 3.12 4 2.81 6
8 KC 3.26 5 3.35 7 3.67 9 2.82 1 5.90 31
9 MIA 2.79 3 3.03 4 3.43 3 4.87 31 3.63 16
10 DET 3.43 7 3.50 9 3.90 13 4.12 20 3.20 10
11 BUF 3.86 13 3.71 12 3.80 12 3.27 6 4.47 28
12 SF 4.38 23 3.59 10 3.56 8 3.97 13 3.60 15
13 PHI 4.51 24 3.73 14 3.47 5 3.67 9 4.11 21
14 TB 4.05 18 4.21 23 3.97 15 4.34 27 4.13 22
15 OAK 4.17 19 5.37 30 3.74 11 2.85 2 4.14 23
16 NE 4.24 22 3.79 15 3.96 14 3.68 10 3.28 11
LEFT END LEFT TACKLE MID/GUARD RIGHT TACKLE RIGHT END
TEAM ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank
17 GB 4.71 26 3.71 13 4.18 22 4.06 16 3.85 19
18 CHI 3.84 11 4.01 20 4.30 24 3.86 12 4.07 20
19 SEA 5.39 29 3.15 5 4.39 29 4.74 29 2.37 3
20 DEN 3.94 14 3.00 2 4.34 25 3.98 14 2.18 2
21 CIN 4.23 21 4.56 26 3.98 17 4.06 15 3.67 17
22 WAS 3.46 8 4.65 27 4.15 21 4.24 23 2.97 8
23 PIT 6.00 31 3.64 11 3.98 16 4.32 26 2.96 7
24 ATL 5.61 30 3.93 18 4.18 23 3.51 7 3.39 13
25 CAR 3.41 6 3.99 19 4.35 27 4.28 25 3.39 12
26 NYJ 4.76 27 4.15 22 4.01 18 4.09 19 4.22 25
27 DAL 4.22 20 4.08 21 4.08 20 4.26 24 4.37 27
28 NO 3.49 9 3.82 16 4.62 30 4.20 21 3.75 18
29 IND 4.05 17 5.12 29 4.35 28 4.07 18 4.54 29
30 ARI 3.95 15 5.43 31 4.35 26 4.78 30 4.15 24
31 CLE 5.04 28 4.50 25 4.68 31 4.53 28 5.50 30
x NFL 4.08 x 3.93 x 3.95 x 3.95 x 3.72 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 STL 282 17% 17% 50% 7% 8%
2 TB 311 13% 11% 51% 11% 11%
3 TEN 317 5% 17% 52% 21% 5%
4 JAC 318 7% 14% 55% 18% 4%
5 BAL 331 9% 15% 54% 14% 7%
6 OAK 344 13% 15% 44% 13% 10%
7 DET 350 15% 11% 50% 13% 10%
8 IND 359 9% 11% 53% 15% 12%
9 BUF 360 5% 16% 58% 16% 5%
10 DAL 360 11% 13% 51% 13% 12%
11 KC 362 12% 8% 63% 8% 6%
12 MIA 362 12% 15% 48% 14% 11%
13 MIN 364 7% 11% 61% 9% 9%
14 SF 370 15% 7% 58% 7% 10%
15 PIT 380 8% 14% 59% 14% 5%
16 CAR 383 14% 13% 54% 11% 7%
Team RB
Carries
LEFT
END
LEFT
TACKLE
MID/
GUARD
RIGHT
TACKLE
RIGHT
END
17 SD 386 12% 9% 51% 8% 11%
18 WAS 386 12% 9% 57% 13% 9%
19 NO 387 14% 14% 54% 13% 6%
20 NYJ 387 11% 16% 46% 17% 10%
21 CHI 395 13% 11% 50% 13% 11%
22 DEN 397 5% 12% 64% 13% 6%
23 NYG 399 18% 15% 51% 8% 8%
24 CIN 406 16% 11% 54% 8% 10%
25 ATL 418 9% 11% 58% 10% 10%
26 NE 424 10% 12% 56% 15% 7%
27 GB 428 15% 11% 50% 14% 7%
28 SEA 434 8% 13% 51% 13% 11%
29 PHI 450 18% 18% 40% 14% 10%
30 ARI 485 11% 13% 52% 14% 11%
31 CLE 523 15% 17% 41% 15% 10%
x NFL x 12% 13% 53% 13% 9%