Innovative Statistics
Football Outsiders exclusive statistics

2019 DEFENSIVE LINES

Regular season totals, through Week 2

Revised as of 9/17/2019

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.

Because it is early in the season, there are currently no opponent adjustments. Opponent adjustments will begin after Week 4.

RUN BLOCKING PASS PROTECTION
Rank 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 2.01 1.56 100% 26 33% 1 0.44 2 0.00 1 NO 1 9 13.4%
2 PHI 2.74 2.93 0% 1 18% 14 0.62 3 0.62 12 CLE 2 8 12.7%
3 NE 2.97 2.60 50% 7 20% 11 0.40 1 0.00 1 IND 3 8 12.0%
4 TB 3.18 2.98 20% 4 33% 2 0.89 6 0.28 6 TEN 4 8 11.1%
5 OAK 3.36 3.12 50% 7 26% 6 0.76 4 0.38 9 SF 5 7 9.3%
6 NYJ 3.52 4.44 50% 7 28% 5 1.61 27 1.22 24 NE 6 8 8.5%
7 CHI 3.56 3.07 0% 1 24% 8 0.88 5 0.14 4 CHI 7 7 8.2%
8 PIT 3.83 4.00 75% 18 20% 11 1.00 9 0.84 16 CIN 8 4 8.1%
9 SF 3.90 3.45 50% 7 29% 3 1.26 17 0.32 7 LAR 9 5 7.8%
10 ATL 3.90 4.28 78% 21 22% 9 1.06 10 1.04 22 BAL 10 6 7.7%
11 SEA 3.91 3.75 67% 16 29% 4 1.11 12 0.64 13 GB 11 6 7.2%
12 ARI 3.96 3.38 50% 7 18% 15 0.91 7 0.16 5 MIN 12 6 7.2%
13 TEN 4.30 5.09 80% 22 15% 23 1.43 22 1.26 25 SEA 13 6 6.9%
14 CLE 4.31 4.04 100% 26 24% 7 1.21 16 0.40 11 HOU 14 5 6.7%
15 BUF 4.47 4.62 100% 26 16% 17 1.51 24 0.68 15 PIT 15 5 6.6%
16 HOU 4.51 5.56 50% 7 12% 30 1.41 21 1.79 30 NYG 16 3 6.4%
17 LAC 4.53 5.06 83% 23 13% 27 1.15 13 1.42 27 ATL 17 4 6.3%
18 WAS 4.53 4.70 89% 25 19% 13 1.58 26 0.91 18 DET 18 6 6.3%
19 CAR 4.61 4.55 100% 26 21% 10 1.55 25 0.89 17 JAX 19 4 6.3%
20 JAX 4.64 4.65 88% 24 12% 28 1.20 15 0.94 20 OAK 20 5 6.3%
21 NYG 4.68 3.90 33% 6 13% 26 1.08 11 0.38 10 ARI 21 5 5.9%
22 DEN 4.76 3.47 56% 13 16% 22 0.96 8 0.12 3 KC 22 4 5.7%
23 LAR 4.80 4.76 75% 18 16% 19 1.34 20 0.92 19 CAR 23 4 5.6%
24 DET 4.94 4.98 60% 14 12% 31 1.33 18 1.00 21 NYJ 24 4 5.6%
25 GB 4.97 6.06 0% 1 14% 25 1.44 23 1.92 31 BUF 25 5 5.4%
26 MIN 5.07 4.22 25% 5 17% 16 1.33 19 0.33 8 MIA 26 3 5.4%
27 CIN 5.09 5.40 100% 26 16% 19 1.75 32 1.19 23 TB 27 4 4.9%
28 KC 5.14 5.94 75% 18 16% 18 1.65 29 1.58 29 DAL 28 2 3.9%
29 MIA 5.17 4.48 62% 15 12% 32 1.17 14 0.67 14 LAC 29 2 3.7%
30 IND 5.21 5.53 100% 26 16% 19 1.68 30 1.37 26 WAS 30 2 3.0%
31 DAL 5.40 6.14 67% 16 14% 24 1.64 28 2.11 32 PHI 31 2 2.4%
32 NO 5.43 5.85 100% 26 12% 29 1.71 31 1.44 28 DEN 32 0 0.1%
x NFL x 4.38 69% x 18% x 1.10 x 0.74 x NFL x 5 6.8%

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
Rank TEAM ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank ALY Rank
1 BAL -5.66 1 -2.00 1 3.69 11 3.04 5 -0.92 6
2 PHI 7.24 29 4.71 16 -0.07 1 5.27 18 1.22 9
3 NE 0.95 6 2.87 8 3.64 9 3.70 9 1.67 10
4 TB 4.43 18 5.20 18 2.26 2 4.56 15 3.23 16
5 OAK 4.08 13 3.57 10 3.35 5 2.39 3 4.10 18
6 NYJ 4.11 14 5.81 22 2.54 3 6.31 26 -1.74 3
7 CHI 0.13 5 3.66 11 3.41 6 5.65 21 -0.61 7
8 PIT -1.72 3 3.88 13 3.64 10 4.54 14 6.47 27
9 SF 1.19 7 5.71 21 4.05 14 0.20 1 30
10 ATL 6.51 25 2.46 6 3.17 4 4.68 16 5.94 24
11 SEA 3.27 10 6.52 25 4.02 12 4.14 11 -5.77 1
12 ARI 32 1.00 2 4.03 13 4.01 10 30
13 TEN 4.40 17 1.47 5 4.22 17 6.32 27 5.25 21
14 CLE 6.18 24 32 3.58 7 6.71 29 7.40 29
15 BUF 5.66 21 1.44 4 3.61 8 7.40 30 4.64 19
16 HOU 3.41 11 3.26 9 5.05 20 6.03 23 30
17 LAC 2.13 8 6.24 24 5.38 29 3.47 7 2.28 14
18 WAS 4.25 16 1.20 3 5.52 32 9.05 31 1.84 11
19 CAR 0.04 4 5.55 20 5.23 26 4.54 13 3.11 15
20 JAX 2.62 9 7.81 30 5.05 21 1.98 2 5.67 22
21 NYG 4.58 19 6.53 26 4.62 18 5.37 19 -1.64 5
22 DEN -4.38 2 6.66 27 5.08 22 2.98 4 -1.73 4
23 LAR 6.59 26 7.30 28 4.20 15 5.42 20 6.13 25
24 DET 5.83 23 7.47 29 5.33 28 3.57 8 3.75 17
25 GB 6.81 27 5.91 23 5.42 30 4.43 12 2.26 13
26 MIN 4.92 20 3.86 12 5.28 27 4.76 17 5.91 23
27 CIN 5.82 22 5.26 19 4.21 16 6.62 28 6.87 28
28 KC 3.54 12 2.73 7 5.21 25 10.36 32 2.23 12
29 MIA 9.77 31 4.50 14 5.02 19 5.66 22 0.41 8
30 IND 4.15 15 5.17 17 5.20 24 6.22 25 5.15 20
31 DAL 7.28 30 8.09 31 5.48 31 6.16 24 -1.76 2
32 NO 7.00 28 4.64 15 5.10 23 3.39 6 6.36 26
x NFL 4.40 x 4.70 x 4.33 x 4.97 x 3.41 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.

Rank Team RB
Carries
LEFT
END
LEFT
TACKLE
MID/
GUARD
RIGHT
TACKLE
RIGHT
END
1 BAL 18 6% 6% 61% 11% 17%
2 NE 25 12% 16% 44% 16% 12%
3 DAL 28 18% 11% 46% 14% 11%
3 PHI 28 14% 14% 32% 14% 25%
3 SEA 28 7% 11% 57% 21% 4%
6 KC 31 13% 6% 65% 10% 6%
7 HOU 34 18% 21% 50% 12% 0%
8 GB 36 14% 17% 39% 11% 19%
8 NYJ 36 17% 19% 50% 8% 6%
10 BUF 37 11% 3% 62% 16% 8%
11 IND 38 16% 13% 42% 18% 11%
11 LAR 38 5% 5% 66% 21% 3%
11 SF 38 8% 11% 79% 3% 0%
14 NO 41 17% 27% 34% 5% 17%
15 CHI 42 7% 38% 29% 21% 5%
15 OAK 42 12% 17% 38% 21% 12%
17 DET 43 14% 9% 37% 16% 23%
18 ARI 45 0% 2% 91% 7% 0%
19 CLE 46 4% 0% 78% 7% 11%
19 MIN 46 24% 13% 33% 11% 20%
19 TB 46 15% 2% 52% 17% 13%
19 TEN 46 13% 2% 76% 2% 7%
23 JAX 49 12% 4% 71% 8% 4%
24 ATL 50 10% 18% 44% 20% 8%
25 DEN 51 2% 8% 82% 6% 2%
26 NYG 52 17% 12% 38% 27% 6%
27 CAR 53 9% 11% 58% 19% 2%
27 LAC 53 15% 11% 53% 15% 6%
27 WAS 53 21% 4% 53% 4% 19%
30 PIT 55 4% 4% 75% 7% 11%
31 CIN 57 19% 16% 49% 7% 9%
32 MIA 69 6% 6% 57% 26% 6%
x NFL x 12% 11% 55% 13% 9%