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Smed1065
07-03-2008, 06:51 PM
http://www.nfl.com/fantasy/story;jsessionid=97630BADBF74C0CC1EB7E0B0A3B0C44B?id=09000d5d8081c55d&template=with-video&confirm=true

Success in the NFL can be difficult to achieve unless a team works together as a cohesive unit. After all, pro football is the ultimate team sport. In the world of fantasy football, we cheer for heroes such as Tom Brady, Peyton Manning, LaDainian Tomlinson and Randy Moss to fill the stat sheets and lead our teams to victory.

But even the most prominent players can't be productive all alone.

Down in the trenches, where contests are won and lost, lie the athletes who don't receive much media attention but are some of the most valuable assets on the field -- the offensive linemen. Without effective pass protection or holes to run through, even the best players can struggle to produce -- just ask owners who drafted Larry Johnson.

As a result, we've taken a look back at this season and ranked each team's pass and run lines. Since the goal of the offensive line is to afford quarterbacks and running backs the time and space to produce numbers, our breakdown includes four important statistical categories: touchdowns per carry, yards per carry, yards per pass attempt and sacks allowed per pass attempt.

Much like Rotisserie baseball, we've assigned point values for all four of our categories: 32 points for the best line, 31 points for the second-best line, 30 points for the third-best line and down to one point for the worst line.
Team Analysis

1. New England Patriots
(108.5 points) The fact that the Patriots are atop our list shows how important an effective offensive line is to statistical success. The P-Men fielded the best offensive attack the NFL has ever seen in 2007, and it all started at the line of scrimmage. New England was fifth as a run line based on our parameters, and the pass line was second behind Green Bay. That effectiveness was the foundation for the record numbers of Tom Brady and Randy Moss.
Offseason additions: None


Team Analysis

2. Green Bay Packers (104.5 points) The Packers ranked 18th among offensive lines in 2006 based on our parameters, so their improvement last season should be evident. Green Bay led all NFC lines with 104.5 points, which was an important part of the success of Brett Favre and Ryan Grant. Favre had tremendous protection as he was sacked once for every 30.4 pass attempts in 2007, which is good news for Aaron Rodgers heading into this season.
Offseason additions: T Josh Sitton (R), T Breno Giacomini (R)


Team Analysis

3. Dallas Cowboys
(99.5 points) The addition of G Leonard Davis and G Kyle Kosier proved to be positive moves for the Cowboys last season, whose offensive line finished as the third-best unit in the league. The Patriots were the lone team to average more yards per pass attempt than Tony Romo and the Boys, who finished with 7.7 in 2007. The Dallas run line was a bit less effective, but it still came in at a solid 10th based on our statistical examination.
Offseason additions: None


Team Analysis

4. Jacksonville Jaguars
(96.5 points) One of the more underrated offensive lines in the league, Jacksonville finished with the second-best run line based on our research (the offense scored one touchdown every 29 carries), which was evident in the success of Fred Taylor and Maurice Jones-Drew. The Jaguars weren't as effective as a pass line but still finished 11th based on the points from our four categories. That's good news for David Garrard in 2008.
Offseason additions: None


Team Analysis

5. Cleveland Browns
(96 points) The addition of T Joe Thomas and G Eric Steinbach did wonders for the Browns, who finished with one of the better offensive lines in the league. Cleveland ranked seventh as a pass line and ninth as a run line, which had a lot to do with the success of Derek Anderson and Jamal Lewis. Anderson was sacked once for every 28.6 pass attempts, which was one of the better ratios, so the quarterback was well protected.
Offseason additions: None


Team Analysis

6. Indianapolis Colts
(94.5 points) The Colts were not as effective a pass line compared to their rank after the 2006 season (first overall), but this unit still finished fifth last season based on our numbers. Where Indianapolis did improve was in touchdown production, as runners found the end zone once for every 23.4 carries. Just one offensive line (Minnesota) had a better ratio. That bodes well for Joseph Addai, who will no doubt be a top-10 selection in drafts.
Offseason additions: T Mike Pollak (R), C Steve Justice (R), C/G Jamey Richard (R)


Team Analysis

7. San Diego Chargers
(91 points) The Chargers ranked fourth as a run line last season, as runners scored one touchdown for every 25.5 carries. That will continue to boost the value of L.T., who will be one of the top three players (if not No. 1 overall) taken in all drafts. The Chargers weren't as effective as a pass line, however, ranking 13th based on our research. That could hurt the value of Philip Rivers, who also faces a hard pass schedule in 2008.
Offseason additions: T Corey Clark (R)


Team Analysis

8. Minnesota Vikings
(85.5 points) Based on the success of Adrian Peterson and Chester Taylor, it's no shock that the Vikes had the best run line in the NFL in 2007. No team averaged more touchdowns per carry (22.4) or yards per carry (5.3), as C Matt Birk, G Steve Hutchinson and T Bryant "Mount" McKinnie opened huge holes for A.P. and Taylor to dash through all season. Their pass line wasn't nearly as effective, but Tarvaris Jackson doesn't hold much value.
Offseason additions: C John Sullivan (R)


Team Analysis

9. Denver Broncos
(85 points) The Broncos have long been praised for the success of their offensive line, so it's no surprise to see them ranked in the top 10. While not overly impressive in our four categories, Denver did finish 13th as a run line and 10th as a pass line. That's a positive for Selvin Young and Michael Pittman. Should the unit continue to provide adequate protection for Jay Cutler, he could be on the verge of a breakout season in 2008.
Offseason additions: C Casey Wiegmann, T Ryan Clady (R), G Kory Lichtensteiger (R)


Team Analysis

10. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
(82.5 points) The Buccaneers finished the 2006 season with one of the league's worst offensive lines (30th), so the improvement last season is obvious. While its pass line finished a middle of the road 15th, Tampa Bay's real strength came in the running game. The Buccaneers had the sixth-best run line, as runners scored one touchdown for every 29.9 carries. That bodes well for Earnest Graham, Warrick Dunn and Cadillac Williams in 2008.
Offseason additions: C Jeff Faine, G Jeremy Zuttah (R)


Team Analysis

11. New Orleans Saints
(81 points) Head coach Sean Payton seems to have become the new Mike Martz, as his offense throws the football a ton. As a result, the fact that no offensive line finished with fewer sacks allowed per pass attempt (40.7) is a real testament to the unit's effectiveness. That's also a positive for the value of Drew Brees and Marques Colston in 2008. The run line ranked 19th, but the loss of Deuce McAllister and Reggie Bush hurt that number.
Offseason additions: G Matt Lehr, T Carl Nicks (R)


Team Analysis

12. Houston Texans
(80 points) The Texans offensive line finished an awful 26th in the NFL in 2006, but it vaulted to 12th last season and finished a solid seventh in the AFC. While Matt Schaub did take numerous hard hits, his line allowed a respectable one sack for every 24 pass attempts. Quarterbacks also averaged 7.0 yards per pass attempt, which tied for fifth overall. The Houston run line wasn't as effective, however, as it finished 22nd in the league.
Offseason additions: C Chris Myers, T Duane Brown (R)


Team Analysis

13. New York Giants
(79 points) The Super Bowl champions finished last season with one of the better run lines in the NFL, as it ranked fourth based on our research. The G-Men scored one touchdown for every 31.2 carries and averaged 4.6 yards per carry, which was tied for third overall. That helps the value of Brandon Jacobs and Ahmad Bradshaw in 2008. Their pass line wasn't as effective, however, as it allowed a sack for every 19.4 pass attempts.
Offseason additions: None


Team Analysis

14. Cincinnati Bengals
(74.5 points) The Bengals offensive line proved to be one of the better pass units in the league last season, as New Orleans was the only team to allow fewer sacks per pass attempt. That's good news for the value of Carson Palmer, who will remain an attractive option in all 2008 drafts. The run line wasn't as solid, though, as it ranked 26th in the league overall. That makes Rudi Johnson, Kenny Watson and Chris Perry a bit less valuable.
Offseason additions: OT Anthony Collins (R)


Team Analysis

15. Philadelphia Eagles
(71.5 points) It's a great advantage to have a versatile runner like Brian Westbrook, who is difficult to tackle and can gain yards even out of the most difficult situations. The line did well to create space for runners, as backs averaged 4.8 yards per carry. Philadelphia's pass line was far less effective, as its quarterbacks were sacked once for every 20.4 pass attempts. That needs to improve if Donovan McNabb is to bounce back in 2008.
Offseason additions: T Mike McGlynn (R), T Mike Gibson, T King Dunlap (R)


Team Analysis

16. Detroit Lions
(68.5 points) The Lions showed some improvement on their offensive line, as the unit went from 25th in the 2006 season to 16th in 2007. Their runners scored one touchdown for every 24.9 carries, which was the third-best total in the NFL behind Minnesota (22.4) and Indianapolis (23.4). Detroit did allow the third most sacks (54) and finished 21st as a pass line, so improvements need to be made in that area if Jon Kitna is to find success.
Offseason additions: T Gosder Cherilus (R)


Team Analysis

17. Washington Redskins
(66 points) While injuries did have an affect on their personnel, the Redskins offensive line still finished 17th overall last season. That was a serious decrease from the 2006 season, when the unit was a much more impressive eighth based on our research. Despite the success of Clinton Portis, the run line struggled as runners averaged just 3.8 yards per carry. The pass line was a little bit better (but not much), as it ranked 14th overall.
Offseason additions: T Chad Rinehart (R)


Team Analysis

18. Tennessee Titans
(64.5 points) The Titans offensive line didn't produce tremendous results in any of our four categories last season. Where Tennessee took the greatest hit was as a run line, as it finished 15th based on our research. That's a grand fall from the 2006 season, when it was fourth in the entire league. It's also not an attractive statistic to have when a mobile quarterback such as Vince Young falls to a defensive sack for every 15.4 pass attempts.
Offseason additions: G Jake Scott


Team Analysis

19. Arizona Cardinals
(63.5 points) There were high hopes that the Cardinals would see improvement on their offensive line after the addition of coach Russ Grimm and rookie T Levi Brown. While the unit did move from 23rd in 2006 to 19th in 2007, Arizona was still porous as a run line as backs found the end zone once for every 44.6 carries. The pass line remained solid, as it allowed just one sack for every 24.5 pass attempts. That's an advantage for Matt Leinart in 2008.
Offseason additions: T Brandon Keith (R)


Team Analysis

20. Miami Dolphins
(57.5 points) The Dolphins finished 28th as a pass line last season, as it allowed one sack for every 13.2 pass attempts. Quarterbacks also averaged a mere 5.4 yards per pass attempt, which was one of the worst totals based on our research. That should improve with the addition of No. 1 overall selection Jake Long. It did find success as a run line, however, as it ranked 12th in those categories. That's good news for Ronnie Brown in 2008.
Offseason additions: G Justin Smiley, T Jake Long (R), T Shawn Murphy (R), G Donald Thomas (R)


Team Analysis

21. Seattle Seahawks
(57.5 points) The Seahawks used to have one of the better offensive lines in the league, but that was before it lost G Steve Hutchinson to Minnesota. It did move up from 28th in 2006 to 21st in 2007 based on our parameters, but it fell a few places in its effectiveness in the ground attack. In fact, Seattle runners found the end zone just once for every 47.7 carries. The pass line was much better, though, as it finished 12th in the league last season.
Offseason additions: G Mike Wahle


Team Analysis

22. Pittsburgh Steelers
(56.5 points) The Steelers offensive line was productive in yards per carry (4.2) and yards per attempt (9.4) in 2007, but San Francisco (9.3) was the lone team to allow more sacks per pass attempt than Pittsburgh (9.4). What's more, its touchdown to carry ratio (one score for every 56.7 carries) was at the bottom half of the NFL even with departed G Alan Faneca. Still, Ben Roethlisberger managed to have a career season for fantasy footballers.
Offseason additions: C Justin Hartwig, T Tony Hills (R)


Team Analysis

23. Buffalo Bills
(53 points) The Bills made several moves to improve their line last season, as G Derrick Dockery and T Langston Walker were brought in to bolster a porous line. Based on our research, however, these additions didn't bear statistical fruit. Buffalo was no better than a middle-of-the-road pass line (16th in the NFL), and it was worse as a run line (23rd in the NFL). Numbers such as these need to improve if Marshawn Lynch is to break out in 2008.
Offseason additions: T Demetrius Bell (R)


Team Analysis

24. Baltimore Ravens
(46 points) Despite the additions of T Marshall Yanda and G Ben Grubbs and the return of T Jonathan Ogden for another season, the Ravens line still fell short in 2007. Baltimore averaged an awful 5.4 yards per pass attempt, and its quarterbacks were sacked once every 14.2 pass attempts. The Ravens were not much better as a run line, as runners scored one touchdown for every 40.5 carries. Still, Willis McGahee had a huge season for owners.
Offseason additions: G Oniel Cousins (R), T David Hale (R)


Team Analysis

25. Oakland Raiders
(45 points) While the Raiders offensive line did move from 32nd in 2006 to 25th in 2007 based on our numbers, this unit still failed to help its offensive skills position players find success. Quarterbacks averaged just 5.8 yards per pass attempt and were sacked once for every 11 pass attempts, which isn't good news for JaMarcus Russell. The run line also needs to improve if rookie phenom Darren McFadden is to make an immediate impact.
Offseason additions: T Kwame Harris, C John Wade


Team Analysis

26. Atlanta Falcons
(40.5 points) The absence of Michael Vick had a serious affect on the Falcons run line, as it went from sixth in 2006 to 24th in 2007 based on our parameters. Atlanta runners found the end zone once for every 55 carries and finished with an average of 3.9 yards per carry. That needs to improve for Michael Turner to find success. The team's pass line improved from 31st to 24th, but this unit still needs some real improvement for 2008.
Offseason additions: C Alex Stepanovich, T Sam Baker (R)


Team Analysis

27. Carolina Panthers
(38 points) The Panthers offensive line fell to 27th in the league last season based on our research. Carolina's runners scored one touchdown for every 64.4 carries (third-worst in the NFL), and its quarterbacks were sacked once for every 15.3 pass attempts. If Jake Delhomme, rookie Jonathan Stewart, DeAngelo Williams and Steve Smith want to find statistical success this season, these numbers need to improve across the board.
Offseason additions: G Milford Brown, G Keydrick Vincent, T Jeff Otah (R), T Geoff Schwartz (R), G Mackenzy Bernadeau (R)


Team Analysis

28. San Francisco 49ers
(33.5 points) There were high preseason hopes for the Niners in 2007 after the addition of rookie T Joe Staley to an offensive line that made strides in 2006, but this unit turned out to be fool's gold. It went from 15th in the league in 2006 to a dreadful 28th in 2007, as it finished dead last in yards per pass attempt (4.5) and sacks per pass attempt (9.3). It was effective as a run line, however, which is positive news for the value of Frank Gore.

Offseason additions: G Chilo Rachal (R), T Barry Sims, C Cody Wallace (R)


Team Analysis

29. Chicago Bears
(33.5 points) The fact that the Bears offensive line ranked 19th in 2006, when the team reached the Super Bowl, and fell to 29th last season, when it failed to make the postseason, tells a real tale. Chicago's pass line surrendered one sack for every 13.2 pass attempts, so it didn't matter who was under center. The run line was even worse, as it ranked 29th in the league. The team hopes rookie T Chris Williams can help that number in 2008.
Offseason additions: T Chris Williams (R), G Chester Adams (R), T Kirk Barton (R)


Team Analysis

30. St. Louis Rams
(26.5 points) It's no surprise to see a line like the Rams, which was riddled with injuries, finish 30th in the NFL in 2007. St. Louis lost T Orlando Pace for most of the season and was without G Richie Incongnito, T Todd Steussie and C Brett Romberg at times as well. With an offseason to heal and a healthier line headed into the 2008 season, look for Marc Bulger and Steven Jackson to rebound from what had to be a frustrating 2007 campaign.
Offseason additions: G Jacob Bell, T John Greco (R), G Roy Schuening (R)


Team Analysis

31. New York Jets
(23 points) The future of the Jets offensive line seemed bright after the addition of T D'Brickashaw Ferguson and C Nick Mangold, but the opposite occured. New York finished 20th in our look at offensive lines in 2006, but it fell to 31st last season. The Jets' offense scored one touchdown for every 74.3 carries, averaged 3.8 yards per carry and allowed a sack for every 9.6 pass attempts. G Alan Faneca and D Damien Woody should improve those numbers.
Offseason additions: G Alan Faneca, G Damien Woody, OT Nate Garner (R)


Team Analysis

32. Kansas City Chiefs
(16 points) The loss of Hall of Fame caliber linemen Willie Roaf and Will Shields has turned the Chiefs line to dust, as it finished dead last in the NFL based on our research. Kansas City backs scored one touchdown for every 63.6 carries and averaged 3.3 yards per carry. What's more, the pass line surrendered a sack every 10.2 pass attempts. There needs to be serious improvement if Larry Johnson is to return to elite status this season.
Offseason additions: C Wade Smith, G Branden Albert (R), OT Barry Richardson (R)

Surely we will not be last 2 years in a row.

I just wanted to add some Chiefs news and hope this is not a RP. I searched the last 2 days.

LiL stumppy
07-03-2008, 07:04 PM
No suprise, I expect us to move up some this season though.

Smed1065
07-03-2008, 07:07 PM
Long post I know but the one thing that makes me think the Patriots might fall down some this year-
Is the fact that they added no one to the offensive line this year.

We know a little about not adding anyone after being #1 because of defensive concerns.

1. New England Patriots

Offseason additions: None

If correct.

Lonewolf Ed
07-03-2008, 08:07 PM
The Chiefs line gave up a sack every 10.2 pass attempts, but it seemed like a lot more. Maybe that is because of how many times the QBs ended up on the ground, too. Sacks and knockdowns combined, I bet, was every 5 pass attempts. :doh!:

TEX
07-03-2008, 10:18 PM
Most who trusted their own eyes saw this coming, but some here (actually more than will admit) thought the line would be better with Black gone and Welbourn at his "natural" guard position rather than Shields with diminishing skills. IDIOTS! (Keg - sorry I had to call you out on this one)

The Chiefs OL was pathetic in mini camp, training camp, and during the preseason. However, the coaching staff didn't seem to be bothered by it. No way they actually thought they could get by with what they had going into last season. Or did they? :hmmm: