Speaking of that Horrible O-line

In the comments to day, while searching for something irrelevant the interwebs graced me with a website called Advanced NFL I do not know how I have never come across it before, but I am glad I uncovered it.

During my travels, I learned much about various different sports stats from certain players (i.e. Derrick Morgan being second in the NFL in DE solo tackles with 15 and tied for 5th in TFL = BUST, DUH!). One stat that really stood out to me though was Offensive Line Grades and that is where we'll begin.

As MCM has drilled into our weak minds, our O-line is garbage, worse then garbage... it is !!GARBAGE!!, or is it? Currently our Offensive Line grades out at the 9th best overall O-line in the NFL. Surprised? Well we actually grade out very well in the passing game with 0.29 Pass-WPA (Win Probability Added) that gives us an overall pass blocking grade of 5th in the NFL. Seeing how as we have only given up 7 sacks (tied for 3rd) and only 15 QB hits (tied for 7th), it is a very deserving grade. So we still do some great work keeping the QB upright.

What really jumped out at me was our Run-WPA or O-line Running Success grade regardless of running back, so the pure form of O-line Success with the run. We currently grade out as the tied for 13th most successful team with the run, which I am sure most of you are surprised the number is that high... which is what caught my eye. So I started looking to the success rate of running backs at and/or around our grade in the running game:

Colts, tied with us in O-line running success at 13, finished with a 0.11 Run-WPA. Running behind their line is Donald Brown, who has 60 carries for 239 yards with a 4.0 ypc and 1 TD. Interesting, O-line has the same success against the run, but running back is significantly more successful running then ours.

Ok, how about Chicago and Matt Forte/Michael Bush. Chicago's line graded a shade above ours with 0.13 Run-WPA, yet Forte has ran 58 times with 270 yards, 4.7 ypc 1 TD - Bush was 58 times 206 yards 3.6 ypc 3 TDs... graded a little better, but far more success with their running backs.

Now to make sure this isn't a fluke I looked into Detroit's run grade, who graded out with a horrid grade of -0.71 Run-WPA. Their O-line is a mess against with the run anyway you put it (pretty decent with the pass, but Stafford is actually really good at getting the ball out on time with only 9 sacks and 18 QB hits), but Leshoure actually does a really great job with 39 attempts 126 yards with a 3.2 ypc and a TD. Add to that Kevin Smith who has 29 carries 115 yards with 4.0 ypc and a TD.

Now, all that being said, we have the Titans. We are 13th in O-line Run Success yet our star running back is the 52nd worst running back in the league. Averages 2.9 ypc (got a nice boost with a big game in Houston) off of 73 FREAKING CARRIES for 210 YARDS!!!! Zero TDs, at all... and some of the worst fumbles I have ever seen. Where is the problem here? I know the O-line is not ideal and some plays just do not work with them, but they are AT LEAST middle of the pack doing their job. I know the stats do not tell the whole story, this was more of just an informative post, but that being said:


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