Sig Stat Snapshot: Pass Blocking Efficiency

Who are the most efficient pass protecting tackles in the league? Khaled Elsayed runs the numbers to tell you.

| 4 years ago

Sig Stat Snapshot: Pass Blocking Efficiency

What are numbers without context? That was the driving force behind our signature stats section and it’s why I’m able to write about things like the Pass Blocking Efficiency.

It’s a simple enough concept. If you judge an offensive linemen just by how many times they get beaten for a sack, then you’re really not judging them at all. You need to take into account how much total pressure they give up, how many snaps they’re in pass protection for, and how quickly the pressure comes.

Now this stat doesn’t take into account how quickly the pressure comes (that’s what our grading is for), but it does the other things so I can, without any doubt, say that this stat beats all the others when it comes to measuring the performance of offensive linemen in pass protection.

The formula is simple enough. You add all sacks with three quarters the worth of hits and hurries, divide by snaps in pass protection, take away from 100 and just like that you’ve got an efficiency formula.

Let’s see who the best and worst are.

No Ordinary Joe

It’s easy to forget with Joe Thomas playing for a perennially losing team like the Cleveland Browns, but he’s a lockdown left tackle. He’s given up just two sacks, two hits and eight hurries, averaging out to just one quarterback disruption per game. It helps he’s had four games where he hasn’t given up a single pressure and only four where he’s given up more than one. You can question how much a left tackle should earn, but you can’t question that right now none deserves to be paid more than Thomas.

One man who may test that is Ryan Clady. He’s ranked number two after giving up his first sack of the year this past week. Still with only 14 quarterback disruptions allowed on 431 dropbacks, he’s benefited at exactly the right time from the switch to Peyton Manning. Last year Clady was only 40th of all tackles while blocking for the unorthodox Tebow.

The sack Clady allowed this week meant that D’Brickashaw Ferguson is now the only tackle in the league not to have surrendered one. But it’s all the offensive line’s fault for the struggles of Sanchez right? Ferguson is a player who never gets his due as a consistently top notch tackle. Here’s the top 20.

RankNameTeamPass Block SnapsTotal Pressure AllowedPBE
1 Joe ThomasCLV4261297.8
2 Ryan CladyDEN4311497.5
3 D'Brickashaw FergusonNYJ3851497.3
4 Andrew WhitworthCIN4111497.2
5 Duane BrownHST3991597.1
6 Russell OkungSEA3021396.8
6 Orlando FranklinDEN4291796.8
8 Matt KalilMIN4111896.7
9 Branden AlbertKC3601696.6
10 Sebastian VollmerNE3871896.4
11 Trent WilliamsWAS3411696.3
11 Michael RoosTEN4011996.3
13 William BeattyNYG3721896.2
14 David StewartTEN4312296.1
15 Jared VeldheerOAK4782496
16 Jeff BackusDET4472495.9
17 Winston JusticeIND3862295.7
17 Eugene MonroeJAX4242395.7
19 Marshall NewhouseGB4442495.6
20 Gosder CherilusDET5423195.5


One of the things that stands out there is that rookie left tackle Matt Kalil finds himself up in 8th spot. That’s an impressive achievement for any player, let alone a rookie. It should be noted that he is coming off his worst game of the year after giving up six hurries to the Bears.

The implication of some of the performances we’re seeing this year could have a huge bearing come the end of the year. We’ve mentioned Ryan Clady, and he, along with others, will find themselves at the negotiating table once the season is done. He’s helping his stock in much the same way that Duane Brown already helped his, and Branden Albert is helping his. But for the former first overall pick from the same draft class? Well Jake Long (21st) is raising questions with his performance right now and it’s fascinating to see how his contract situation plays out. Will he get a contract based on his play since the beginning of 2011? Or will his deal recognize his ceiling and how good he was before that?

Turn over the page for the worst

  • LightsOut85

    I wrote a fan post (with the help of PFF info) for a Charger blog recently, and it’s sad how bad the rest of the OL plays when Harris is in (compared to Gaither) as well. Even though Gaither had a negative pass-grade so far, he did it on his own, not needing help/sliding-protection from everyone else. Fingers crossed Chargers can take care of the LT spot this off-season (Gaither has tons of potential, but I don’t think he’s the answer).

  • TheBigC

    When your doing PBE how do you factor in the type of drops they are doing. Quick drops, and 3 steps are going to increase PBE so teams that use a mostly short passing game are going to be masking exactly how efficient their tackles are. Teams that feature an expanded passing attack with lots of 5 and 7 step drops are going to be asking their tackles to do more.

    • Joe Soriano

      They don’t, it’s a straightforward efficiency statistic that gives a raw scope based on pressures, hits, and sacks allowed. I assume they save that stuff for how they grade tackles.

    • MaineSkin

      Also, mobile QBs draw unnecessary sacks as well as avoid them, but do they cancel each other out? Trent Williams is a great run blocker, has great feet and his upper body is much stronger and an asset. But, the #Redskins scheme is very PBE friendly with quick drop/read play calls all game.
      If like to see a SoS for Ts and how the top hold up against the best pass rushers.

    • LightsOut85

      They do keep track of time taken to throw (/be sacked/run) by QBs, so if you desired (& were a subscriber), you could add up the time for all QBs each team, to find the team-#s, and then compare those to each T. Such as, “OT “A” was 5th in PBE & OT B was 9th, but A’s team got the ball out 3rd fastest, and B was 3rd slowest”, where B’s situation might be more impressive.

  • Trey

    What about Rodger Saffold I thought he was having a really good season?

  • Derrick

    Would Carimi be better off moving inside to guard, where the Bears can still take advantage of his top notch run blocking?

  • Texan_pedro

    Excellent article. Just wanted to say the call letters for houston is HOU not HST.

    • MaineSkin

      This is the 2nd time this week I have seen “HST” used to hyphenate Houston. Hopefully, it’s not a trend, but an explanation probably backs their decision.

  • scituguy

    D’Brickashaw Ferguson is having a good yr this season but he’s totally overrated. I remember seeing him give up 4 sacks to Andre Carter last season. No quality tackle gives up that amount of sacks in a game in any season.

    • Tropical Gene

      Geesh guy has a bad day, did you see Brees throw 5 picks? That mean he’s massively overrated?