STATS LLC has an index called the New York Life Protection Index (really thought I was reading a stock market report when I saw that- not the Ted kind, the Wall Street kind) that ranks offensive lines throughout the league. The NYLPI ranks O-lines based on a variety of factors ranging from sacks, hurries, knockdowns, and penalties.
Predictably, the Vikings were bad. Not just bad- we were the worst. At -18.9 (yes, that’s a negative symbol there), we were downright awful- the second lowest was St. Louis, with a 25.1 (yes, that’s without said negative symbol).
That’s bad. But it gets worse- the best O-line in the league, according to the NYLPI?
…the Detroit Lions, with 102.1. This one blew my mind, considering it’s been a major liability for them the past few seasons, even while the rest of the team was on the rise.
It’s been said ad nauseum now how the O-line did its job in the first half and let us down in the second. Let’s just hope, as has also been said, that the first half is more indicative of what the season holds for us in that regard. I have long promoted the idea around these parts that without a solid O-line, no football team can truly be successful, regardless of who is under center, what the defense does, etc. And with 35 year old Donovan McNabb being behind that line, we’d really better hope they do their part- like Detroit so far has done with injury-prone Matthew Stafford.
Our other divisional opponents rank as such- Green Bay’s index is 77.9, placing them at a quite respectable number 9. Chicago has it pretty rough, however, at 34.8- placing them at number 26. For the full list, click here.
Just remember one thing- there’s 16 games in a football season, and we’ve just played one. Plenty of time for things to look up.