This morning an interesting point was brought up in one of the threads: Does offensive line play influence the success of a rookie QB? That answer is obviously an easy one: Yes. However, in briefly researching this phenomenon, the results are much less pronounced than just that anecdotal observation.
Recently, Pro Football Focus has been giving offensive line grades for pass blocking during the 2010 season, which is what really piqued my curiosity on this topic to begin with. Interestingly, the Titans stack up at 14th in the league. This differs from Football Outsider's grade of 9th. Best I can tell, this is due to the fact that Football Outsiders gives a heavier weight to sack percentage. I prefer PFF's method, as it also takes into account the number of blockers, but for the purpose of this study I will be using FO's metrics as they have information available that dates back to the 1996 season.
Given this information, I pondered, will Jake Locker suffer if he only has average offensive line play? Or, more specifically, has recent history shown that rookie QB's only have success in the presence of an above average to great offensive line?
I suspect this post should be relatively simple and short. I intend to look at every rookie QB since 1996 that has started at least 8 games. I'll rank these by QB rating. Also included in the chart will be the QB's offensive line ranking.
|Rk||Player||Year||Tm||GS||Att||Cmp%||Yds||Rate||Sk||FO OL Rk|
|Rk||Player||Year||Tm||GS||Att||Cmp%||Yds||Rate||Sk||FO OL Rnk|
Worth noting: A QB that holds the ball too long can skew this data. Big Ben was not likely playing with the 28th worst line in football. He just happens to hold the ball too long. The flipside of that is a guy like Peyton Manning. Indy may not have had the best O-line that year, but Peyton always gets the ball out on time.
As you no doubt can tell, there is practically zero correlation between the two. So, what have we learned today? Well, nothing really. But, I spent the time compiling the data, so I figured I mine as well share it.