Innovative Statistics
Football Outsiders exclusive statistics

2019 NFL DEFENSIVE LINE RATINGS

Regular season totals, playoffs not included

Revised as of 3/29/2020

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
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 NYJ 3.00 3.16 52% 3 31% 1 1.01 6 0.56 7 PIT 1 54 9.7%
2 TB 3.14 3.02 62% 11 29% 2 0.81 1 0.45 2 SF 2 48 9.0%
3 PHI 3.44 3.72 67% 22 26% 3 1.00 4 0.87 23 CAR 3 53 8.8%
4 OAK 3.89 3.82 70% 25 22% 7 1.12 11 0.56 9 WAS 4 46 8.3%
5 NO 3.94 3.65 58% 5 21% 8 0.95 3 0.51 4 MIN 5 48 8.2%
6 NE 3.99 4.06 60% 10 18% 20 1.00 5 0.68 13 JAX 6 47 8.1%
7 NYG 4.02 3.96 59% 9 21% 11 1.16 17 0.71 15 LAR 7 50 8.1%
8 DAL 4.05 4.05 66% 20 21% 10 1.16 15 0.78 19 NE 8 47 7.7%
9 TEN 4.09 4.01 63% 13 18% 18 1.03 7 0.76 17 NO 9 51 7.7%
10 BAL 4.11 4.41 68% 24 19% 16 1.16 16 1.01 29 KC 10 45 7.7%
11 PIT 4.12 3.89 76% 31 20% 15 1.15 14 0.44 1 DEN 11 40 7.6%
12 BUF 4.15 4.37 59% 8 25% 4 1.32 26 0.90 26 GB 12 41 7.5%
13 SF 4.16 4.23 50% 2 20% 14 1.29 23 0.67 12 BUF 13 44 7.2%
14 ARI 4.17 4.22 57% 4 22% 5 1.29 24 0.74 16 TEN 14 43 7.1%
15 IND 4.24 4.11 83% 32 20% 13 1.18 18 0.65 11 BAL 15 37 7.1%
16 LAR 4.26 4.16 62% 12 16% 24 1.18 18 0.61 10 ARI 16 40 7.0%
17 CHI 4.26 3.89 66% 19 14% 29 0.93 2 0.54 6 PHI 17 43 7.0%
18 DEN 4.28 4.00 58% 6 18% 21 1.08 10 0.56 8 CLE 18 38 7.0%
19 ATL 4.29 4.25 64% 15 22% 6 1.24 22 0.77 18 DAL 19 39 6.8%
20 LAC 4.35 4.29 63% 14 17% 23 1.06 8 0.78 20 TB 20 47 6.7%
21 SEA 4.36 4.28 67% 22 20% 12 1.21 20 0.82 21 IND 21 41 6.6%
22 HOU 4.50 4.62 59% 7 14% 27 1.14 13 1.00 28 CHI 22 32 6.6%
23 DET 4.55 4.09 74% 28 12% 32 1.07 9 0.48 3 NYG 23 36 6.3%
24 CIN 4.55 4.58 66% 20 21% 9 1.36 28 0.88 24 CIN 24 31 6.3%
25 MIN 4.60 4.39 49% 1 16% 25 1.13 12 0.71 14 LAC 25 30 6.2%
26 CLE 4.62 4.96 76% 30 18% 19 1.38 30 1.13 30 NYJ 26 35 6.2%
27 JAX 4.62 5.31 64% 17 18% 17 1.38 29 1.60 32 OAK 27 32 6.1%
28 KC 4.81 4.89 71% 26 14% 30 1.45 31 0.89 25 ATL 28 28 5.8%
29 WAS 4.85 4.71 64% 16 16% 26 1.22 21 0.95 27 HOU 29 30 5.2%
30 CAR 4.89 5.32 74% 29 17% 22 1.49 32 1.41 31 SEA 30 28 5.1%
31 GB 4.96 4.87 71% 27 13% 31 1.32 27 0.84 22 DET 31 28 5.0%
32 MIA 5.00 4.46 65% 18 14% 28 1.32 25 0.53 5 MIA 32 23 4.4%
x NFL x 4.26 64% x 19% x 1.03 x 0.67 x NFL x 40 7.0%

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 NYJ 3.42 8 3.35 6 3.23 2 2.36 2 1.63 1
2 TB 3.21 6 4.24 15 3.01 1 3.15 4 2.24 4
3 PHI 3.80 13 2.86 2 3.44 3 3.79 7 3.32 9
4 OAK 4.18 17 4.25 16 3.45 4 4.19 13 4.97 21
5 NO 4.64 30 3.70 8 3.68 5 4.02 12 5.53 28
6 NE 4.36 20 2.68 1 4.19 11 4.20 14 3.61 12
7 NYG 4.05 16 4.20 14 4.36 14 3.86 8 2.93 7
8 DAL 4.36 21 3.91 11 4.41 17 2.78 3 3.43 10
9 TEN 4.53 28 4.98 27 4.19 9 3.86 9 2.18 3
10 BAL 1.98 2 3.30 5 4.35 13 4.62 22 3.59 11
11 PIT 1.75 1 3.91 10 4.19 10 3.52 6 5.93 29
12 BUF 2.43 3 4.35 18 4.17 8 4.57 19 4.78 20
13 SF 3.97 15 3.64 7 4.33 12 4.84 27 3.03 8
14 ARI 4.31 19 3.84 9 4.43 18 2.16 1 5.29 24
15 IND 3.77 11 4.62 21 4.16 7 4.41 17 4.61 16
16 LAR 4.28 18 4.28 17 4.04 6 4.68 24 5.09 22
17 CHI 4.48 26 3.98 12 4.58 23 4.69 25 2.06 2
18 DEN 2.68 4 4.86 26 4.46 20 4.92 28 2.65 6
19 ATL 4.47 24 3.11 3 4.40 15 4.59 21 5.34 25
20 LAC 3.14 5 4.36 19 4.89 29 4.46 18 2.48 5
21 SEA 4.49 27 4.75 25 4.77 27 3.18 5 3.79 13
22 HOU 3.71 10 4.17 13 4.76 26 3.86 10 5.17 23
23 DET 3.64 9 5.05 28 4.71 25 4.32 16 4.65 19
24 CIN 5.34 31 4.67 23 4.45 19 4.27 15 4.37 15
25 MIN 4.47 25 5.24 31 4.40 16 5.04 29 4.62 18
26 CLE 4.37 22 3.16 4 4.56 22 5.56 31 5.98 31
27 JAX 3.86 14 4.70 24 4.52 21 5.05 30 5.97 30
28 KC 3.79 12 5.22 30 4.67 24 5.66 32 5.35 26
29 WAS 4.56 29 5.38 32 4.91 30 3.94 11 5.36 27
30 CAR 3.41 7 5.13 29 5.16 31 4.57 20 4.62 17
31 GB 4.41 23 4.66 22 5.38 32 4.65 23 4.17 14
32 MIA 6.55 32 4.61 20 4.87 28 4.77 26 6.67 32
x NFL 4.04 x 4.24 x 4.38 x 4.19 x 4.21 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 NO 285 12% 18% 54% 10% 6%
2 BAL 297 5% 10% 63% 16% 5%
3 PHI 299 17% 14% 43% 10% 15%
4 NE 300 9% 10% 61% 10% 10%
4 TB 300 13% 13% 54% 12% 9%
6 SEA 308 13% 17% 43% 18% 9%
7 SF 311 10% 9% 62% 10% 9%
8 IND 321 15% 9% 48% 13% 15%
9 BUF 322 7% 9% 67% 11% 7%
10 DAL 325 11% 17% 52% 11% 9%
11 OAK 333 13% 12% 52% 12% 11%
12 NYJ 335 9% 12% 54% 16% 9%
13 ATL 342 10% 18% 49% 13% 9%
14 HOU 343 10% 15% 58% 11% 6%
15 TEN 344 11% 10% 60% 11% 8%
16 CLE 356 8% 10% 65% 9% 8%
17 KC 357 13% 11% 50% 9% 16%
18 JAX 359 14% 8% 59% 10% 8%
19 GB 361 12% 12% 53% 14% 9%
19 MIN 361 17% 9% 50% 12% 12%
21 LAC 362 13% 12% 57% 10% 9%
22 CHI 371 10% 18% 44% 19% 9%
23 LAR 373 8% 11% 58% 18% 6%
24 DEN 377 7% 14% 64% 7% 8%
25 ARI 378 6% 9% 68% 11% 6%
25 CAR 378 9% 11% 62% 12% 6%
27 PIT 382 3% 10% 72% 10% 5%
28 CIN 389 12% 12% 57% 12% 8%
29 DET 393 14% 15% 47% 13% 11%
29 NYG 393 14% 12% 45% 15% 14%
31 WAS 419 13% 11% 48% 14% 14%
32 MIA 434 6% 12% 62% 15% 6%
x NFL x 11% 12% 56% 12% 9%