The Incomparable wrote:
Miami was getting so much pressure on Vick the entire game it was scary. Our O-line took a step back today, but part of that is the quality of Miami's D-linemen as 3 of the 4 have been to the Pro Bowl.
I'm going to rewatch the game tape in the coming days, but I disagree. Sure, the Dolphins got pressure, but who hasn't t his year? Our line played at their normal level of play in terms of pass protection. Vick gets hit a lot, and much of the time that's not the OL's direct fault. Vick holds onto the ball a bit longer than your average NFL QB, and he's an easy target outside the pocket.
The OL has been steady, and I'm starting to get tired of the blame they're getting. There have been 3 things this season that have been consistent on the offensive side of the ball: 1) Warrick Dunn 2) Alge Crumpler 3) the offensive line.
In 2004, the average NFL line gave up a sack every 13.7 pass attempts, and about 2.34 per game.
In 2005, the average NFL line gives up a sack every 13.6 pass attempts and about 2.35 per game.
So the NFL is pretty much blocking at the same consistent level. Well in 2004, the Falcons gave up a sack every 7.9 attempts and 3.13 per game.
This year, the Falcons are giving up a sack every 11.4 attempts and 2.25 per game. So we're approaching that NFL average in both regards. So our sacks are down 28% in per game avearge and we're able to make 44% more passes now before giving up a sack. That's very significant improvement. That is not to say that our line has become good all of a sudden, since we're still 25th in the league in terms of sacks given up per pass attempt. But last year, we were 31st, and in fact the Houston Texans line was better in 2004 ranking 29th in the league in that category.
Just by the way Vick plays, we'll probably never sport a line that is going to rank in the Top 10. That would simply be amazing, and short of Vick becoming a phenomenal pocket passer, and us sporting 1 or 2 Pro Bowlers up front, it's probably not going to happen.
Interestingly enough, these are the 10 best protected QBs in the league, based on their OL stats (sacks allowed per attempt):
1. Peyton Manning, Colts, 2.45% sacks allowed
2. Brett Favre, Packers, 3.36%
3. Tom Brady, Patriots, 3.95%
4. Jake Plummer, Broncos, 4.12%
5. Gus Frerotte, Dolphins, 4.46%
6. Eli Manning, Giants, 4.65%
7. Drew Brees, Chargers, 4.78%
8. Donovan McNabb, Eagles, 5.04%
9. Carson Palmer, Bengals, 5.12%
10. Jake Delhomme, Panthers, 5.31%
Here are the 10 worst:
1. David Carr, Texans, 22.4% sacks allowed
2. Culpepper/Johnson, Vikings, 13.48%
3. Smith/Dorsey/Pickett, 49ers, 13.23%
4. Testaverde/Bollinger, Jets, 11.76%
5. Aaron Brooks, Saints, 9.62%
6. Simms/Griese, Bucs, 9.23%
7. Michael Vick, Falcons, 8.74%
8. Drew Blesdoe, Cowboys, 8.57%
9. Byron Leftwich, Jaguars, 8.55%
10. Marc Bulger, Rams, 8.16%
I think we're well on our way to being out of the "Bottom Top Worst Lines". A few more solid draft picks/free agent signings, and we could be there by next year.