This offseason I've been curious to see the value of Mankins, how the OL might play without him etc.
And in realizing this could be an issue, I also realized I was not aware of a true measure of a good offensive line in the NFL.
To me it seems Oline success, is dictated by the # of sacks they allow or # of 1k rushers the block for.
But these seem like generalized stats to me. Sacks can be as much the fault of the QB as the line, if not more. And regardless of how the line creates running lanes if the back isn't fast enough or doesn't have the vision - the yards just won't be there. So to me it appears the majority of Oline conversations are predicated by the talent around them.
So I recruited the power of google and founds a pretty interesting site. I'm not sure if this is the best site, if this is an annual update or if they will update during the season but it at least breaks things down further in an attempt to really value what the Oline is doing, regardless of who is around them:2009 OFFENSIVE LINES - Football Outsiders
Some interesting stats for the Pats Oline there:
Ranked 10th in Power Rank.
Ranked 2nd in Stuffed Rank.
Ranked 5th in Sacks
Ranked 26th in Open Field Rank.
Specifically I like the definition and measurement of the "Power Success" and "Stuffed"
tracking how a team performs in the 'must run' down and distances, 3rd and 1 or 2 yards, is a great measure of the true strength of an online in the run game. When you add to these rankings for the Pats the open field ranking near the bottom of the NFL you sort of get the feeling that the Oline can lead the camels to the water, but they can't make 'em drink.
So while this does make me feel a bit better about Mankins holding out and Kazur legitimately needing pain meds now (talk about irony) - it also makes me realize the Pats really need more out of their RBs.