Stats Show the Chiefs are About Average at Pass Protection

via cdn3.sbnation.com

After watching 2007's travesty of an offense piddle down the field, the 2008 Kansas City Chiefs were a welcome relief from ineptitude.

One of the most notable improvements came on the offensive line. Branden Albert's addition at left tackle proved to be best move of the '08 draft. After only four 100+ yard rushing games in '07, the Chiefs produced nine of them in '08.

There was a big difference from 2007 to 2008 in pass protection as well. The Chiefs allowed 55 sacks two years ago and only 37 last year. Yes, I know. Tyler Thigpen's scrambling ability was a big part of that improvement but I have to say on an anecdotal level the line was much improved in the amount of time they allowed Thigpen to throw the ball.

So the line did pretty well as a unit last year combined with Tyler Thigpen. How did they do individually?

shanyes41 over at Bolts from the Blue posted a fascinating set of statistics a few days ago on individual linemen rankings in pass protection. The result is a ton of information covering virtually every offensive linemen in the NFL.

Here's how he did it:

So I found the total "Pass Plays" run by every team.  This is the number of pass attempts, plus the number of total sacks for the team for the whole year.  It doesn't account for pass plays that ended up in a QB scramble for positive yards.  I couldn't figure out how to count those or even whether it was a positive or negative thing (since it is basically a sack, without the actual sack, if that makes sense)

I knew how many games each guy started, so I could figure out roughly how many pass plays a guy was involved in by taking games started and multiplying it by pass plays per game for the team.  If you take the number of sacks given up and divide by number of pass plays a player is involved in, you get sacks per pass play for a given player.

Sounds easy enough. How did the Chiefs linemen fare? Pretty average overall with some nice surprises. And that average label is not a knock.

Branden Albert came in ranked #13 overall for left tackles in sacks per pass play.

Showing his Pro Bowl form, Brian Waters came in ranked 6th best at the left guard position.

Rudy Niswanger ranks #23 out of the centers. The Chiefs' center last year, Casey Wiegmann, finished #8 and was named to the Pro Bowl as a Denver Bronco.

Kansas grad Adrian Jones just crept into the top ten for right guards. New Chief and former Charger Mike Goff was ranked 23rd. You don't hear people talk much about Adrian Jones. He's a free agent now.

Damion McIntosh, who tied for the 5th most sacks given up by a right tackle, ranked #21.

And now that I'm looking at these again, the Chiefs are little better than average according to these numbers. I know it's been the prevailing wisdom that the addition of veteran Mike Goff will further bolster the line but there are no guarantees. I believe Thigpen's scrambling ability and just athleticism had a lot to do with the statistical improvement of the Chiefs' offensive line. With Cassel, a much more "traditional" quarterback, under center I think this could expose our offensive line as still not quite ready to consistently protect the quarterback.

Thoughts on these numbers?

Click over for the entire table.

Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play
LT Ryan Clady Broncos 0.5 16 632 39.5 0.0008
LT Michael Roos Titans 1 16 465 29.1 0.0022
LT Tra Thomas Eagles 2 16 629 39.3 0.0032
LT Orlando Pace Rams 2 14 565 35.3 0.0040
LT Jake Long Dolphins 2.5 16 517 32.3 0.0048
LT Jammal Brown Saints 3 15 649 40.6 0.0049
LT Tony Ugoh Colts 3 12 599 37.4 0.0067
LT Marcus McNeill Chargers 3 14 503 31.4 0.0068
LT Jared Gaither Ravens 3 15 466 29.1 0.0069
LT DBrickashaw Ferguson Jets 4 16 559 34.9 0.0072
LT Chris Samuels Redskins 3 12 548 34.3 0.0073
LT Jordan Gross Panthers 3 15 434 27.1 0.0074
LT Branden Albert Chiefs 4.5 15 578 36.1 0.0083
LT Joe Thomas Browns 4.5 16 512 32.0 0.0088
LT Walter Jones Seahawks 3.5 12 510 31.9 0.0092
LT Mike Gandy Cardinals 6.25 16 658 41.1 0.0095
LT Todd Weiner Falcons 3 11 451 28.2 0.0097
LT Max Starks Steelers 4 11 555 34.7 0.0105
LT Bryant McKinnie Vikings 4 12 495 30.9 0.0108
LT David Diehl Giants 6.5 16 519 32.4 0.0125
LT Flozell Adams Cowboys 7.25 16 578 36.1 0.0125
LT Matt Light Patriots 7.5 16 582 36.4 0.0129
LT Khalif Barnes Jaguars 7.5 16 579 36.2 0.0130
LT Chad Clifton Packers 7.5 15 575 35.9 0.0139
LT Levi Brown Bengals 5.5 11 564 35.3 0.0142
LT Donald Penn Buccaneers 8.5 16 594 37.1 0.0143
LT Joe Staley 49ers 8.5 16 564 35.3 0.0151
LT Jeff Backus Lions 9.25 16 561 35.1 0.0165
LT John St. Clair Bears 9.75 16 557 34.8 0.0175
LT Duane Brown Texans 11.5 16 587 36.7 0.0196
LT Kwame Harris Raiders 7.5 11 460 28.8 0.0237
LT Jason Peters Bills 11.5 13 517 32.3 0.0274
Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play
LG David Baas 49ers 0 9 564 35.3 0.0000
LG Kris Dielman Chargers 0 16 503 31.4 0.0000
LG Charlie Johnson Colts 0 16 599 37.4 0.0000
LG Carl Nicks Saints 0.5 13 649 40.6 0.0009
LG Todd Herremans Eagles 0.75 15 629 39.3 0.0013
LG Brian Waters Chiefs 1 16 578 36.1 0.0017
LG Josh Beekman Bears 1.25 16 557 34.8 0.0022
LG Reggie Wells Cardinals 1.75 16 658 41.1 0.0027
LG Robert Gallery Raiders 1.75 16 460 28.8 0.0038
LG Ben Hamilton Broncos 2.5 16 632 39.5 0.0040
LG Chester Pitts Texans 2.5 16 587 36.7 0.0043
LG Eugene Amano Titans 2 16 465 29.1 0.0043
LG Jacob Bell Rams 2.5 13 565 35.3 0.0054
LG Pete Kendall Redskins 3 16 548 34.3 0.0055
LG Rich Seubert Giants 3 16 519 32.4 0.0058
LG Chris Chester Ravens 2 11 466 29.1 0.0062
LG Jeff Smiley Dolphins 2.5 12 517 32.3 0.0064
LG Travelle Wharton Panthers 2.5 14 434 27.1 0.0066
LG Justin Blalock Falcons 3 16 451 28.2 0.0067
LG Eric Steinbach Browns 3 14 512 32.0 0.0067
LG Floyd Womack Seahawks 3.5 14 510 31.9 0.0078
LG Arron Sears Buccaneers 4.5 15 594 37.1 0.0081
LG Uche Nwaneri Jaguars 4.5 15 579 36.2 0.0083
LG Logan Mankins Patriots 5 16 582 36.4 0.0086
LG Daryn Colledge Packers 6 16 575 35.9 0.0104
LG Edwin Mulitalo Lions 4.25 11 561 35.1 0.0110
LG Cory Procter Cowboys 4.5 11 578 36.1 0.0113
LG Alan Faneca Jets 7 16 559 34.9 0.0125
LG Chris Kemoeatu Steelers 7.5 16 555 34.7 0.0135
LG Steve Hutchinson Vikings 7 16 495 30.9 0.0141
LG Andrew Whitworth Bengals 5 10 564 35.3 0.0142
LG Derrick Dockery Bills 8.25 16 517 32.3 0.0160
Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play
C Olin Kreutz Bears 0 16 557 34.8 0.0000
C Todd McClure Falcons 0 16 451 28.2 0.0000
C Ryan Kalil Panthers 0 12 434 27.1 0.0000
C Chris Myers Texans 0 16 587 36.7 0.0000
C Kevin Mawae Titans 0 15 465 29.1 0.0000
C Brad Meester Jaguars 0.25 10 579 36.2 0.0007
C Lyle Sendlein Cardinals 0.5 16 658 41.1 0.0008
C Casey Wiegmann Broncos 1 16 632 39.5 0.0016
C Jeff Faine Buccaneers 1 16 594 37.1 0.0017
C Jonathan Goodwin Saints 1 13 649 40.6 0.0019
C Duke Preston Bills 0.75 11 517 32.3 0.0021
C Andre Gurode Cowboys 2 16 578 36.1 0.0035
C Jamaal Jackson Eagles 2.25 16 629 39.3 0.0036
C Nick Mangold Jets 2 16 559 34.9 0.0036
C Shaun OHara Giants 2 16 519 32.4 0.0039
C Matt Birk Vikings 2 16 495 30.9 0.0040
C Jeff Saturday Colts 2 12 599 37.4 0.0045
C Dominic Raiola Lions 2 12 561 35.1 0.0048
C Jason Brown Ravens 2.25 16 466 29.1 0.0048
C Hank Fraley Browns 2.5 16 512 32.0 0.0049
C Nick Leckey Rams 2 10 565 35.3 0.0057
C Nick Hardwick Chargers 2.5 13 503 31.4 0.0061
C Rudy Niswanger Chiefs 3.5 15 578 36.1 0.0065
C Eric Heitmann 49ers 4 16 564 35.3 0.0071
C Eric Ghaiciuc Bengals 4 16 564 35.3 0.0071
C Chris Spencer Seahawks 2.5 11 510 31.9 0.0071
C Jake Grove Raiders 2.5 12 460 28.8 0.0072
C Scott Wells Packers 3.5 13 575 35.9 0.0075
C Dan Koppen Patriots 4.5 16 582 36.4 0.0077
C Samson Satele Dolphins 4.5 16 517 32.3 0.0087
C Casey Rabach Redskins 5.5 16 548 34.3 0.0100
C Justin Harwig Steelers 6.5 16 555 34.7 0.0117
Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play
RG Chris Kuper Broncos 0 16 632 39.5 0.0000
RG Jake Scott Titans 0.5 16 465 29.1 0.0011
RG Max Jean-Gilles Eagles 0.5 10 629 39.3 0.0013
RG Jason Spitz Packers 1 16 575 35.9 0.0017
RG Chris Snee Giants 1 16 519 32.4 0.0019
RG Ikechuku Ndukwe Dolphins 1 15 517 32.3 0.0021
RG Harvey Dahl Falcons 1 16 451 28.2 0.0022
RG Davin Joseph Buccaneers 1 12 594 37.1 0.0022
RG Brad Butler Bills 1 13 517 32.3 0.0024
RG Adrian Jones Chiefs 1 10 578 36.1 0.0028
RG Deuce Lutui Cardinals 2 16 658 41.1 0.0030
RG Jahri Evans Saints 2 16 649 40.6 0.0031
RG Rex Hadnot Browns 1.5 15 512 32.0 0.0031
RG Mike Brisiel Texans 2 16 587 36.7 0.0034
RG Brandon Moore Jets 2 16 559 34.9 0.0036
RG Mike Pollak Colts 2 13 599 37.4 0.0041
RG Roberto Garza Bears 2.5 16 557 34.8 0.0045
RG Stephen Neal Patriots 2 9 582 36.4 0.0061
RG Robbie Williams Bengals 4 16 564 35.3 0.0071
RG Randy Thomas Redskins 4 16 548 34.3 0.0073
RG Leonard Davis Cowboys 4.5 16 578 36.1 0.0078
RG Stephen Peterman Lions 4 14 561 35.1 0.0081
RG Mike Goff Chargers 4.5 16 503 31.4 0.0089
RG Cooper Carlisle Raiders 4 15 460 28.8 0.0093
RG Tony Wragge 49ers 4 10 564 35.3 0.0113
RG Darnell Stapleton Steelers 5 12 555 34.7 0.0120
RG Richie Incognito Rams 6.5 15 565 35.3 0.0123
RG Ben Grubbs Ravens 6.5 16 466 29.1 0.0139
RG Dennis Norman Jaguars 7.25 14 579 36.2 0.0143
RG Anthony Herrera Vikings 7.5 16 495 30.9 0.0152
Position Name Team Sacks Games Started Team Passing Plays Passing plays per game Sacks per Pass Play
RT Jon Stinchcomb Saints 1.5 16 649 40.6 0.0023
RT Ryan Diem Colts 1.5 16 599 37.4 0.0025
RT Ryan Harris Broncos 2.5 16 632 39.5 0.0040
RT Mark Tauscher Packers 2 13 575 35.9 0.0043
RT David Stewart Titans 2 16 465 29.1 0.0043
RT Ray Willis Seahawks 1.5 10 510 31.9 0.0047
RT Tyson Clabo Falcons 2.5 16 451 28.2 0.0055
RT Langston Walker Bills 3 16 517 32.3 0.0058
RT Nick Kaczur Patriots 3 14 582 36.4 0.0059
RT Kareem McKenzie Giants 4.5 16 519 32.4 0.0087
RT Vernon Carey Dolphins 4.5 16 517 32.3 0.0087
RT Kevin Shaffer Browns 4.5 15 512 32.0 0.0094
RT Tony Pashos Jaguars 5.5 16 579 36.2 0.0095
RT Marc Colombo Cowboys 5.5 16 578 36.1 0.0095
RT Jeremy Trueblood Buccaneers 6 16 594 37.1 0.0101
RT Willie Colon Steelers 5.75 16 555 34.7 0.0104
RT John Tait Bears 6 16 557 34.8 0.0108
RT Willie Anderson Ravens 3.5 11 466 29.1 0.0109
RT Jon Runyan Eagles 7 16 629 39.3 0.0111
RT Damien Woody Jets 6.5 16 559 34.9 0.0116
RT Damion McIntosh Chiefs 7 16 578 36.1 0.0121
RT Jeromey Clary Chargers 6.5 16 503 31.4 0.0129
RT Gosder Cherilus Lions 6 13 561 35.1 0.0132
RT Eric Winston Texans 8 16 587 36.7 0.0136
RT Ryan Cook Vikings 6 14 495 30.9 0.0139
RT Alex Barron Rams 7.5 15 565 35.3 0.0142
RT Jeff Otah Panthers 5 12 434 27.1 0.0154
RT Cornell Green Raiders 7.5 16 460 28.8 0.0163
RT Levi Brown Cardinals 11 16 658 41.1 0.0167
RT Jon Jansen Redskins 6.5 11 548 34.3 0.0173
RT Stacy Andrews Bengals 9.5 15 564 35.3 0.0180
RT Adam Snyder 49ers 9.5 13 564 35.3 0.0207

 

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