Now I have been breaking down the Steelers offensive line ever week this season and grade each player on a pass or fail for each play. It is not full proof by any stretch, but it gives you a great idea of how each individual lineman does each and every week. Stats Inc. has released a new offensive line ranking and formula sponsored by NY Life and it is called the New York Life Protection Index and it claims it is calculated using a proprietary formula, the fundamentals of which are comprised of the length of a team’s pass attempts combined with penalties by offensive linemen, sacks allowed and quarterback hurries and knockdowns. The New York Life Protection Index is updated weekly throughout the regular season. Let us have a look at a few things.
First is a game by game scoring from this season using their new method:
|1||vs Atlanta Falcons||W 15 – 9||53.8|
|2||at Tennessee Titans||W 19 – 11||-49.2|
|3||at Tampa Bay Buccaneers||W 38 – 13||96.9|
|4||vs Baltimore Ravens||L 14 – 17||9.7|
|6||vs Cleveland Browns||W 28 – 10||79.8|
|7||at Miami Dolphins||W 23 – 22||36.3|
|8||at New Orleans Saints||L 10 – 20||47.1|
|9||at Cincinnati Bengals||W 27 – 21||77.6|
|10||vs New England Patriots||L 26 – 39||66.6|
|11||vs Oakland Raiders||W 35 – 3||43.4|
|12||at Buffalo Bills||W 19 – 16||13.1|
|13||at Baltimore Ravens||W 13 – 10||60.8|
|14||vs Cincinnati Bengals||W 23 – 7||27.2|
Next is the Steelers rating & scoring dating back to 2000. as you can see they won the Super Bowl with the 2005 & 2008 teams ranking in the mid to upper 40\’s. So not all is lost considering how the defense is shaping up this season.
Lastly you will see the Super Bowl Champions dating back to 2000 and their rank to end the season in the NFL using this stat. 5 teams have won with ratings in the 40\’s and twice it has been the Steelers.
|2009||3||New Orleans Saints||16||76.8|
|2007||10||New York Giants||16||71.2|
|2004||7||New England Patriots||16||65.5|
|2003||10||New England Patriots||16||60.3|
|2002||26||Tampa Bay Buccaneers||16||44.7|
|2001||20||New England Patriots||16||48.6|
What the stat does not show you is how long a QB held the football on sacks, runs stuffed and runs thrown for a loss. It mostly seems weighted more to the passing game than the running game. So you have to take that well into consideration. While it is a fun rating to look at it really offers no REAL hard evidence of how the line is or is not doing. We all know Ben Roethlisberger holds the ball for a long time. It leads to sacks as well as big plays. If Ben takes a sack after 3.2 seconds, when a line has presumably done their job, it still gets a demerit. This is an instance of stats lying again. Do I put a ton of weight in this rating moving forward? Not really as there is no hard evidence of it predicting a championship team. Your best bet is to watch the games and break down the line play like I do. Also watch the sack breakdowns as well. All in all, it is just another pretty stat that does not tell the whole story. Only film does that. Here is recent look at the low offensive output that can trace to line play that holds more water stats wise if you ask me.