We are past the quarter point in the season, giving us more data to pore over. How much can we look at when it comes to offensive lines? While pancake blocks are statistics best left for Madden, each lineman's ability to keep his quarterback clean is as good as it gets.
A few weeks ago, I created a metric based on how many quarterback pressures—sacks, hits or hurries—they have given up to measure the quality of play among linemen, specifically as it relates to pass blocking. Here is an explanation of the metric:
Not all pressures are created equal, however. A lineman might give up plenty of hurries, but if he keeps his quarterback clean he will get more credit than one who puts his own quarterback on his back.
As such, the metric is weighted more heavily toward hits and sacks, and it is based on opportunity—if Player A has 30 fewer pass-blocking opportunities than Player B, Player A is going to have his score more adversely affected by a single sack than Player B.
The lower the score, the better. Anything below 1.0 is elite. Different positions offer different scoring ranges—tackles are going to give up more pressures as a whole than centers—so the range of poor scores varies.
It is important to note these rankings are strictly based on statistics. There is no subjectivity here, just data.
Data courtesy of Pro Football Focus.
5. Brian De La Puente, New Orleans
The Saints center has only given up one sack, but he has gotten Drew Brees roughed up a few times. New Orleans passes the ball a ton, but that is taken into account; De La Puente gives up quarterback pressures at a relatively high rate among centers.
Turnstile Score: 1.41
4. Brad Meester, Jacksonville
The funny thing about this ranking is that Meester was in the top five just a few weeks ago. He has since given up some hurries, dropping him all the way to the bottom.
It might be easier for these types of swings to happen among centers over a few weeks' time because of the nature of the position; they generally give up less quarterback pressures on average than other positions, so each one counts more.
Turnstile Score: 1.47
3. Matt Birk, Baltimore
The most consistent performer here is Birk, who was ranked in the same exact position a few weeks ago. The 36-year-old center might just be showing his age.
Turnstile Score: 1.50
2. Todd McClure, Atlanta
Also showing his age, perhaps, McClure has given up three sacks, second-most to the man below.
Turnstile Score: 1.60
1. Ryan Wendell, New England
The fourth-year lineman has done a good job in the run game for the Patriots. He has given up four sacks and hurries apiece, however, which has netted him the worst ranking in the Turnstile Awards thus far.
Turnstile Score: 2.00
Biggest Surprise: Nick Mangold, New York Jets
That the perennial Pro Bowler is ranked so low is a bit of a surprise. He has certainly not helped the cause in New York, where Mark Sanchez is under fire on and off the field.
Turnstile Score: 1.26 (19th)
5. Dominic Raiola, Detroit
As part of a Detroit line that has improved upon their 2011 performance, Raiola has given up just one hurry and one quarterback hit thus far this season. Considering how many times Stafford has dropped back to pass thus far, that is not bad.
Turnstile Score: 0.42
4. Jonathan Goodwin, San Francisco
Goodwin is PFF's top-rated center to date, and this is a big reason why. He has given up just one quarterback hurry this season. He is also a good run blocker.
Turnstile Score: 0.21
3. Will Montgomery, Washington
Montgomery has been stable for rookie Robert Griffin III, moving up two spots from his original ranking after Week 2.
Turnstile Score: 0.19
2. Mike Pouncey, Miami
Much like Matt Birk, Pouncey finds himself in the same position he did a few weeks ago. Unlike Birk, though, that is a good thing.
Turnstile Score: 0.18
1. John Sullivan, Minnesota
As with Pouncey, Sullivan is at the top of the list once again. This is just the beginning for the Vikings, who have built a great offensive line to protect Christian Ponder.
Turnstile Score: 0.00
Biggest Surprise: Roberto Garza, Chicago
For all the trouble Chicago's offensive line gives Jay Cutler, Garza is not part of the problem. He just missed the top five here.
Turnstile Score: 0.57 (6th)
5. Steve Hutchinson, Tennessee
The decline for Hutchinson as a pass-protector has been precipitous, getting worse over the past few weeks as he enters the bottom five. Two sacks, three quarterback hits and eight hurries are not a good look for the veteran.
Turnstile Score: 2.71
4. Wade Smith, Houston
This is an improvement for Smith, who was by far the worst guard in terms of total quarterback pressures given up a few weeks ago. He has improved by nearly two whole points since then, but he is still not out of the muck.
Turnstile Score: 2.78
3. Mackenzy Bernadeau, Dallas
Perhaps this is the reason Tony Romo has had turnover issues in recent weeks. Bernadeau has given up three sacks and 11 total pressures on the season.
Turnstile Score: 2.81
2. Leroy Harris, Tennessee
The statistics aren't in for the Thursday night tilt against Pittsburgh, but Harris' positioning might improve after the decent protection Matt Hasselbeck had against the Steelers. Thirteen total pressures to that point had him near the absolute bottom here.
Turnstile Score: 3.08
1. Shawn Lauvao, Cleveland
His score has improved by over one point, but Lavao has been brutal for Brandon Weeden and the Browns in pass protection. He has only given up two sacks, but 10 hurries have him pinned at the bottom of the pile at guard.
Turnstile Score: 3.13
Biggest Surprise: Harvey Dahl, St. Louis
Dahl was one of the bigger names in free agency a few years back, but he has been rather mediocre for the Rams.
Turnstile Score: 1.71 (27th)
5. Charlie Johnson, Minnesota
The Vikings line is turning out to be pretty good. They already have the top pass-protecting center and a top-five guard. Matt Kalil is no longer in the top five as a tackle, but he is in the top 10. Things are looking up in Minnesota.
Turnstile Score: 0.84
4. Mike Iupati, San Francisco
Iupati replaces teammate Alex Boone in the top five here. The San Francisco line has done a good job protecting Alex Smith thus far.
Turnstile Score: 0.73
3. Jahri Evans, New Orleans
Considering Jermon Bushrod has been pretty bad and Brian De La Puente was in the bottom five, it is nice for Drew Brees to have at least one lineman who has done a good job protecting him.
Turnstile Score: 0.54
2. Rob Sims, Detroit
Much like in Minnesota, the Lions have put together a good offensive line to protect Matthew Stafford. If only they could help receivers catch the ball instead of drop passes.
Turnstile Score: 0.50
1. Marshal Yanda, Baltimore
The league's best guard is back where he belongs: at the top of the Turnstile Awards for guards. He was the best pass-protecting guard last season, so this should come as no surprise.
Turnstile Score: 0.42
Biggest Surprise: Josh Sitton, Green Bay
This is mostly a surprise because of the porous nature of the Packers offensive line. They have given up a ton of sacks, though Aaron Rodgers has been holding on to the ball too long at times. Sitton, however, has not been a big part of the problem, it seems.
Turnstile Score: 0.96 (10th)
5. Austin Howard, New York Jets
After a strong start to the season, things have gotten rather abysmal for Howard. The third-year tackle has tapped into his inner Wayne Hunter for the Jets, surrendering 19 total quarterback pressures, mostly after doing a good job against the Bills in Week 1.
Turnstile Score: 4.58
4. Barry Richardson, St. Louis
The St. Louis line is a bit of a mess, and Richardson is the biggest culprit. This was not unexpected—Richardson was near the bottom of the league as a pass-blocker last season.
Turnstile Score: 4.82
3. Gabe Carimi, Chicago
The sophomore tackle has been brutal on the right side of the line, allowing 25 total pressures. Only three of them have resulted in sacks, but he's getting Cutler hurried quite a bit.
Turnstile Score: 5.71
2. Bobby Massie, Arizona
The mid-round rookie has shown why he fell so far in the draft. He has been thrown into the fire due to injuries and a dearth of talent at the position, and he has given up the most sacks in the league with nine.
The past couple of weeks have been particularly bad against Cameron Wake, Robert Quinn and Chris Long.
Turnstile Score: 6.29
1. D'Anthony Batiste, Arizona
What a terrible situation for Kevin Kolb and/or John Skelton in Arizona. Batiste was the worst pass-blocking tackle a few weeks ago, and he has not improved. That the Cardinals sport the two worst pass-blocking tackles is telling; it is a wonder they get anything going on offense.
Turnstile Score: 6.37
Biggest Surprise: Eric Winston, Kansas City
Though Winston is better known for his run-blocking ability, the big-name free agent has been pretty bad in pass protection.
Turnstile Score: 3.15 (31st overall)
5. Joe Thomas, Cleveland
There is little surprise here. Thomas is one of the best in the business, and he is doing a good job of protecting Brandon Weeden's blind side.
Turnstile Score: 1.33
4. William Beatty, New York Giants
If it wasn't obvious why Beatty's health was important to the Giants heading into the season, this serves as evidence enough.
Turnstile Score: 1.24
3. Jeff Backus, Detroit
This marks three Lions in the top five, one at each position. If they can keep this up, Stafford's turnaround will be that much easier.
Turnstile Score: 1.08
2. Ryan Clady, Denver
Another one of the best in the business, Clady has kept Peyton Manning nearly completely clean. He has not allowed a sack, but five total pressures prevent him from a top ranking.
Turnstile Score: 0.95
1. Andrew Whitworth, Cincicnnati
The top ranking goes to Whitworth. While he has allowed two sacks, he has allowed little else. Andy Dalton can rest easy knowing his blind side is pretty much covered.
Turnstile Score: 0.88