OL rankings week 7

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    from Ranking the NFL’s best, worst offensive lines

    KC Joyner
    ESPN Insider

    The impact that blocking has on offensive performance cannot be overstated. Over a decade of research I’ve done in measuring run blocking indicates that ball carriers are four to five times more productive on plays with good run blocking versus plays with bad run blocking. The passing game also displays a huge disparity, as quarterbacks are roughly three times as productive on a yards-per-dropback basis with a clean pass pocket as they are on dropbacks when pass-rush pressure is impacting the pocket.

    Since we’re now at roughly the one-third mark of the 2017 NFL season, it’s a good time to take a look at how every NFL team’s blocking wall (a term that includes anyone who blocks on a play) grades out at this time.

    The details of the grading system can be found here, with the nutshell explanation being that it uses a wide variety of advanced blocking metrics to come up with an A-F grade for every platoon.

    Now that we have the preliminaries out of the way, let’s take a look at the top five and bottom five blocking walls, predict if those blocking paces will continue, and review some interesting metrics being posted by a couple of AFC playoff contenders.

    Top five offensive blocking walls

    1. Los Angeles Rams
    Grade: A

    Head coach Sean McVay deserves a lot of credit for his highly creative playcalling, but a big part of why those plays are succeeding is the elite performance of the Rams’ blockers. They rank tied for first in my good blocking rate (GBR) metric that measures run-blocking consistency, as they are giving their ball carriers quality run blocking on 50.4 percent of planned rushing plays. This group is nearly as adept in pass blocking, as the 2.5 seconds average time in pocket (TIP) they are giving Jared Goff on pass plays is a league-leading rate.

    Outlook: The Rams have placed first or second in GBR every week this season, but that could change given that three of their next four matchups (Arizona, Houston and Minnesota) all have front sevens that have a B or higher grade in my front-seven grading system.

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