Ten offensive linemen took snaps for the Colts’ offense in 2013. By my count, they attempted 5,760 blocks. Below are the results of my efforts to chart their successes and failures across those 5,760 blocks. It was a lengthy process, which is why you haven’t heard much from me in the past month. I hope you enjoy it.
Some notes on how this worked:
-I watched every block at least once, and many of them five times or more, and tried to figure out whether the players did what they set out to do. I assigned every block a grade of ‘+’ (good block), ‘-’ (bad block) or ‘/’ (not involved, usually meaning the lineman couldn’t find anyone to block); ‘/’ plays were not scored. I sometimes assigned sacks to two players on the same play, if I felt two blocks were sufficiently heinous and the defenders reached the quarterback at roughly the same time; as such, my numbers sometimes don’t match official sack totals.
-It’s not a perfect process, since I can’t know assignments or what the coaches tell the players to do in any given situation. In the end, I’m just one more jerk trying to reduce an extremely complex series of events to simple numbers. But at least I’m the same jerk using the same system. If someone else did the same thing, he or she would probably end up with different numbers, but I’m confident that person would find the same relative levels of performance.
-As for how those levels of performance compare to those of other teams, I hope to start answering that question next week when I begin a series examining possible free agent targets. Most advanced stats sites put the Colts in the middle of the pack for offensive line play, which feels about right. They’re not an elite line, but they’re better than they were a couple years ago.
-Because these things are so subjective, I like to be as transparent as possible, which is why I included my charting tables in the pieces I wrote during the season. It’s not really practical to include all 18 tables in their entirety here, so you’ll have to take my word for it on the first seven games.no comments