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The Chiefs' Offensive Line, By the Numbers

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Offensive line numbers? Yes. Take them for what they are- stats from a small sample size.

Here are Football Outsider's offensive line rankings through Week 3. Keep in mind this is only Week 3. At the very least, these numbers will give us some insight into specific situations involving the offensive line and how successful they are in those situations relative to the rest of the league.

Rank Team Adj. Line Yds RB Yds Power Success Power Rank 10+ Yds 10+ Rank Stuffed Stuffed Rank
1 NE 5.15 4.48 60% 23 7% 23 14% 2
2 IND 5.1 4.17 86% 3 3% 29 10% 1
3 PHI 4.98 5.08 67% 17 21% 7 17% 4
4 TEN 4.89 4.64 60% 24 18% 11 17% 5
5 TB 4.83 4.41 70% 13 14% 16 16% 3
31 KC 3.11 2.8 50% 29 1% 32 26% 25
32 SD 3.05 2.57 67% 18 2% 31 36% 32
x NFL x 4.14 67% x 15% x 23% x

Before I get into them, here's a little explanation of the stats:

  • RB Yards: Yards per carry by that team's running backs, according to standard NFL numbers.
  • 10+ Yards: Percentage of a team's rushing yards more than 10 yards past the line of scrimmage. Represents yardage not reflected in Adjusted Line Yards stat.
  • Power Success: Percentage of runs on third or fourth down, two yards or less to go, that achieved a first down or touchdown. Also includes runs on first-and-goal or second-and-goal from the two-yard line or closer. This is the only statistic on this page that includes quarterbacks.
  • Stuffed: Percentage of runs that result in (on first down) zero or negative gain or (on second through fourth down) less than one-fourth the yards needed for another first down. Since being stuffed is bad, teams are ranked from stuffed least often (#1) to most often (#32).
The power success ratio is flat out embarrassing. The Chiefs' have been successful only 50% of the time on 3rd or 4th down when we have two or less yards to go (Fade to Samie Parker, anyone?). And that paltry number puts us almost at the bottom of the league in that statistic. Another name for those types of failures? Drive killers.

The stuffed rank is also another great stat to explain our offensive woes. 26% of the Chiefs' runs have been for zero or a negative gain (on 1st down) or (on 2nd through 4th down) have not gained at least one-fourth of the yards needed for a first. In other words, the Chiefs just aren't getting the necessary yardage they need on a down by down average to achieve first downs. That results in more 3rd and long situations and more obvious passing situations, which hurts any team. The Chiefs are tied for second to last in the league in average first downs per game with 13.7. The only team worse is Buffalo, who is averaging 11.7 first downs per game. New England leads the NFL in first down average, nearly doubling up the Chiefs with 26.7 first downs per game.

All of these stats are just a roundabout way of saying that the Chiefs' offensive line simply isn't playing at an acceptable level for any running back. We're unable to get any sort of push from the o-line in situations where we absolutely need it most (and need relatively few yards at that). Some it's play calling. And some of it is poor play. Unfortunately, I do not see how this line is going to improve as the season wears on. Mark my words. The Chiefs' offensive line will be the albatross around the team's neck the entire season.

Complicated? Yes. Mull over these stats and let me know what you think. Football Outsiders keeps track of some pretty interesting stuff if you're willing to delve into it for a while. I will admit it is satisfying see the Chargers ranked below the Chiefs.