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New ESPN metric ranks Los Angeles Rams’ tackle duo best pass-blocking pair in NFL

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Andrew Whitworth + Rob Havenstein = #1

NFL: Minnesota Vikings at Los Angeles Rams Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

ESPN has a new metric they’ve developed for the 2018 season that measures pass blockers and pass rushers:

Our new Pass Block Win Rate metric tells us the rate at which linemen can sustain their blocks for 2.5 seconds or longer. Likewise, our Pass Rush Win Rate metric tells us how often a pass-rusher is able to beat his block within 2.5 seconds. Our model of pass blocking harnesses player tracking data from NFL Next Gen Stats.

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Now we finally have objective individual stats for linemen for their most critical tasks -- defending and attacking the passer. We can also know who is blocking whom on every snap, who was double-teamed, who got pressure from the edges and who got pressure by collapsing the pocket. The end result is that we can assess individual performance and team-level performance in the trenches separate and apart from the performance of the quarterback, receivers and secondary.

So now that they’ve developed this metric, they’re ready to tell us what we already know:

The Los Angeles Rams have the best offensive line in football in 2018.

A new piece looks at offensive tackle duos and ranks each team’s pair based on pass blocking. Not surprisingly, the Rams come in at #1:

Left Tackle: Andrew Whitworth (93 percent)
Right Tackle: Rob Havenstein (90 percent)

The Rams are on another planet. And it’s not only these two tackles -- who rank first and fourth in PBWR at the position -- but the entire offensive line. Todd Gurley and Jared Goff deserve plenty of credit, but they are fueled by an offensive line that is doing something amazing.

It shouldn’t surprise any of us. The Rams line and their anchors on the outside are playing phenomenal football enabling Goff and Gurley to shine.

Here’s hoping they can keep it up as the Rams begin the push to nail down a first-round bye in the playoffs.