(The webosphere continues to look back at the 2010 NFL season because, well, there's little else to look at. The lockout is making looking ahead to 2011 pretty darn hard.)
One thing you’ve likely been able to tell from reading me the past few years is I’m a stats nut. I realize they don’t tell the whole story, but they certainly paint a good bit of the picture.
So, looking at the Pro Football Focus team pass protection rankings kind of threw me off a little bit. Here’s PFF’s explanation and rankings 1-16 and 17-32. Also, check out these links for a better understanding of what PFF used for analysis: surrendering pressure, pressure into sacks and extra blockers.
Your New Orleans Saints came in at No. 12. The explanation – the tackles (Jermon Bushrod and Jon Stinchcomb) are holding back the team.
I mean, I understand people think they’re the weak link on the offensive line. But when you’ve got the league’s two best guards, it’s hard not to be the “weak” link.
Regardless, going to the numbers, I’m still a little flummoxed.
The Saints allowed the fifth-least sacks in the league in 2010, and are second-best in that category since 2006.
New Orleans’ offense led the NFL in third-down conversions percentage (48.8 percent) and are second-best in the past five seasons (46.6 percent).
And here’s the thing that seals it for me that No. 12 is too low – New Orleans was the third-best passing offense in the NFL in 2010, totaling 4,441 yards and 277.6 yards per game.
A lot of the success is thanks to Drew Brees and his understanding of the offense, where everyone is and how long he has to hold onto the ball.
And to be fair, looking at the articles on surrendering pressure, pressure into sacks and extra blockers does give you a better understanding as to why the Saints are No. 12. Still, I find it hard to believe.
What are your thoughts?
--Bradley Handwerger, WWLTV.com Sports Writer