Wednesday, March 31, 2010
A look at some 'ole!' O-linemen
One of the biggest criticisms of Buffalo Bills quarterback Trent Edwards is that he holds onto the ball too long.
"I took some hits I probably should have tried to avoid," Edwards admitted Tuesday, when speaking with reporters for the first time since November.
But research from Football Outsiders managing editor Bill Barnwell suggests Edwards and Ryan Fitzpatrick absorbed more unavoidable hits than any other team allowed. For an ESPN Insider article, Barnwell passes along some unsurprising data: The Bills' offensive line led the NFL with 28.5 blown blocks that led to sacks.
Somewhat surprising is that Fred Jackson led all running backs with four blown pass blocks that led to sacks.
The Bills allowed 46 sacks. Three teams surrendered more, but the Bills attempted only 27.6 passes a game, second-fewest in the league to the New York Jets.
That makes Barnwell's findings about Jets left guard Alan Faneca all the more fascinating. Faneca, a perennial Pro Bowler, was rated as the worst left guard when it came to pass blocking. He was charged with seven sacks and three hurries for 10 blown blocks.
Bills center Geoff Hangartner rated the worst at his position in pass blocking. He was flanked by rookie guards Andy Levitre and Eric Wood for most of the year, which didn't help. But Barnwell blamed Hangartner for five sacks and one hurry.
Also of interest to Bills fans is their former left tackle, three-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters, graded as the worst at his position. Peters, an elite run blocker, struggled against the NFC East's superstar edge rushers, allowing seven sacks and four hurries.