On a day in which Matthew Stafford was barely touched and the Detroit Lions ran the ball with more efficiency than they’ve seen in nearly 30 years, it’s time to give the offensive line the credit they’re due.
And it’s perfect timing, because ESPN just dropped brand-new offensive line rankings based on their brand-new stat, something called “Pass Block Win Rate.” According to ESPN, Pass Block Win Rate (PBWR) is a measure of an offensive lineman’s ability to sustain their blocks for 2.5 seconds or more.
So Monday, they ranked all 32 offensive tackle pairings based on their collective PBWR score. Let’s check in on the Lions.
Hmm... not in the top 10. That’s odd. Well, surely they’re in the top half of the league... no? Okay, I must have missed them. Let’s scroll back down to No. 1, maybe I missed them there. Nope. Not there. Well, I guess I’ll keep scrolling... and scrolling... and scro—30TH? They’re 30th?!?
Surely this has to be from a previous season. What? No. Okay, what’s going on here?
“Decker ranked among league’s best tackles in PBWR in his eight games last season, while Wagner was above average,” ESPN’s Seth Walder wrote. “That has not been the case in 2018.”
That’s it. That’s all they give us.
The Lions have allowed a total of just 10 sacks all season (fifth-best), and somehow the tackles are the third worst in the league in pass blocking. While it’s true sack numbers aren’t everything, this statistic just seems bunk.
Looking at Pro Football Focus’ grades paints an entirely different picture of the duo. Taylor Decker has a pass blocking grade of 83.0 (eighth best among all tackles) and Rick Wagner’s grade is 77.6 (22nd).
We’ll give ESPN a pass since the stat is still relatively new, but they may want to work out the kinks.
- Here’s a fun fact to show to your Packers friend:
With 228 career TD passes, Matthew Stafford has passed Aaron Rodgers for the seventh-most TD passes a player has thrown in his first 10 @NFL seasons pic.twitter.com/jbdfo1jNSe— Detroit Lions (@Lions) October 22, 2018
- Lions rookie guard Frank Ragnow got some credit from NBC Sports’ Peter King this week in his
Monday Morning QuarterbackFootball Morning in America column. Ragnow was named one of King’s offensive players of the week due to a perfect block on Kerryon Johnson’s 71-yard run.
- Speaking of Frank Ragnow, here’s a play he’ll certainly enjoy watching in the film room this week:
I’ve never seen a Dolphins defensive tackle get solo blocked 10-yards downfield. This was a holy crap play. pic.twitter.com/MgJNfoK43U— Omar Kelly (@OmarKelly) October 22, 2018
- You know those people who were holding up canopies to keep the Lions out of the sun in Miami? Matthew Stafford is planning on getting them a gift after keeping him noticeably cooler on Sunday. Dave Birkett has the full story on the mystery men.
- Kerryon Johnson has the best caption for his own highlight:
Me vs people who tell me to get a haircut https://t.co/2el4fOOFft— Kerryon Johnson (@AyeyoKEJO) October 21, 2018
- MLive’s Kyle Meinke believes it’s okay to believe in the Lions right now. They’re good.