News & Analysis

Ranking all 32 NFL offensive lines by pass-blocking efficiency on long-developing plays

By Mark Chichester
Jun 26, 2019

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Outlined in our Signature Stats Spotlight, pass-blocking efficiency has been talked about since we at PFF started tracking every player on every play of every game. Effectively measuring pressure allowed on a per-snap basis, we used this very same metric earlier this offseason to rank all 32 offensive lines on their entire body of work in pass protection.

But that got us thinking, how do things change when we take away the quick passing game? The throws where the offensive line barely has to worry about fending off the pass-rush because they know the ball will be out even before the pass-rusher takes his second step. So we asked, which offensive line is the best at holding up on those often pivotal passing plays, the deep drops that take more than 2.5 seconds from snap to pass?

So, building off our previous study (which can be found here), here is how all 32 NFL teams stacked up last year in terms of PBE on long-developing passing plays.

32. Miami Dolphins

Pass-blocking efficiency: 54.0

It’s fair to say that dialing up a long-developing passing play was almost impossible in South Florida last year. The offensive line allowed nine sacks, six hits and 22 hurries from just 50 pass-blocking snaps on such plays, and the side ranked 32nd among teams in PBE, in pressure rate allowed (74.0%) and in the percentage of snaps that resulted in either a quarterback hit or sack (30.0%).

31. Arizona Cardinals

Pass-blocking efficiency: 60.7

Just when you thought the only way was up for former Cardinals quarterback Josh Rosen, you see that the only team worse than the Cardinals on long-developing passing plays last year were the Miami Dolphins. Last year, Arizona’s offensive line allowed seven sacks, 10 hits and 35 hurries from their 75 pass-blocking snaps. They allowed pressure on a staggering 69.3% of their long-developing passing plays, also the second-worst mark in the NFL.

30. Oakland Raiders

Pass-blocking efficiency: 64.4

All in all, things along Oakland’s offensive line weren’t great last year. The team logged 59 long-developing passing plays in 2018, and their line allowed seven sacks, three hits and 25 hurries. Only the Miami Dolphins (18.0%) allowed sacks at a higher rate on such plays than the Raiders (11.9%).

29. Minnesota Vikings

Pass-blocking efficiency: 69.6

The Vikings tied with the Cleveland Browns for the seventh-most long-developing pass-blocking snaps in 2018 with 158. However, things didn’t often go to plan on such plays. The line allowed eight sacks, 12 hits and 68 hurries from these snaps, and their 20 combined knockdowns (sacks + hits) were the fifth-most allowed league-wide.

28. Los Angeles Chargers

Pass-blocking efficiency: 69.7

The Los Angeles Chargers’ offensive line allowed nine sacks, nine hits and 30 hurries from their 94 long-developing passing plays in 2018, and they did a truly terrible job of keeping their quarterback on his feet. All told, 19.1% of their long-developing passing plays ended in a knockdown, and 9.6% of those plays ended in a sack — both of these marks ranked 29th among NFL teams.

27. Cincinnati Bengals

Pass-blocking efficiency: 71.7

Six different Bengals linemen logged 50 or more pass-blocking snaps on long-developing passing plays last year, and all of them failed to record a pass-blocking grade above 70.0. Combined, they allowed 44 total pressures from their 90 pass-blocking snaps, and they averaged a league fifth-worst 2.5 pass-blocking snaps per hurry allowed.

26. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pass-blocking efficiency: 74.1

Tampa Bay’s offensive line allowed 10 sacks, 14 hits and 37 total pressures from 137 long-developing pass-blocking snaps in 2018. They allowed a knockdown on 17.5% of such plays, which was the league’s fourth-highest rate.

25. New York Giants

Pass-blocking efficiency: 74.5

Continuing a problem that has been with the Giants for a while now, the Giants’ offensive allowed six sacks, four hits and 36 hurries from 102 long-developing passing plays in 2018. And while they performed relatively well when it came to keeping Eli Manning on his feet — they ranked 14th among teams by allowing a knockdown on only 9.8% of their pass-blocking snaps — they weren’t particularly apt at keeping the pressure at bay, as they allowed a hurry once every 2.8 snaps, the league’s sixth-highest rate.

24. Washington Redskins

Pass-blocking efficiency: 75.0

In what now feels like an annual occurrence, injuries decimated Washington’s offensive line last season. All told, nine different offensive linemen played at least 30 long-developing pass-blocking snaps a season ago, and they combined to allow nine sacks, six hits and 40 hurries from 128 total plays.

T-22. Philadelphia Eagles

Pass-blocking efficiency: 75.2

As you’d expect, center Jason Kelce was the standout member of Philadelphia’s offensive line here, as he allowed just two quarterback hurries from 112 long-developing pass-blocking snaps. As a unit, the team allowed six sacks, eight hits and 39 hurries from 119 plays.

T-22. Houston Texans

Pass-blocking efficiency: 75.2

The Texans’ offensive line allowed six sacks, 12 hits and 47 hurries from 143 long-developing passing plays last year. Of their 65 total pressures allowed on such plays, Julie’n Davenport (20) and Martinas Rankin (11) allowed almost half.

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