TOP TRENCH UNITS: WEEK 16
This was a very good NYG Defense that the GB O-Line not only beat but handled better than any other O-Line in Week 16. Really, the GB OL did better vs the NYG than TB did vs SEA and that's saying a lot! The Pack OL had 19 passing 1st downs, 396 total passing yards with an average per attempt of 10.7. They gave Rodgers ample time to complete not only a high percentage of passes, 67%, but also the time to hit receivers for big gains down the field. GB had 7 completions over 20 yards, one WR with 5+ receptions and only two 3&outs and two sacks. Again, against a very good NYG DL, these are numbers that can take the GB team well into the post season, if not to the Super Bowl.
The Pats continue to shine as we near the close of the regular season and at least one of their trench units ends up getting some ink just about every week. Their Trench Power ranking overall is #11 but it moves up to #1 when we look at just the last 3 games. This past week, the Run O-Line for NE did the job against a decent BUF D-Line. The NE OL had 12 1st downs from the ground game, two 10+ play drives, 217 total rushing yards resulting in an average of 5.3 per carry. They can't expect numbers like this when they play to top teams of the NFL but if they can muster even just half these totals in playoff games, this will give them a balanced attack not many other teams enjoy (read: New Orleans, Green Bay, Chicago).
Cassel's three TD's got all the ink but the D-Line was just as important to this division clinching victory. The KC DL limited TEN to just 57 total rushing yards the entire game. This is a huge stat when you consider the TEN O-Line was #2 in yards per game last season with over 150 per and average a whopping 5.3 per carry all year. Flash-forward to Wk16 this year and they get less than 60 yards in this game versus the Chiefs DL and average only 3.6 per carry with the longest run being just 17 yards. The KC DL had 3 sacks, forced six 3&outs and eight forced punts. Add to this stat line the 235 passing yards, only 14 pass attempts and just one 10+ play drive and you get a DL that's tuning up for the post season where defenses win championships. Cliché, but true.
Although the PIT D-Sec was the top Trench Fantasy scoring unit, it was against the CAR offense so we have to give the ink to the #2 D-Sec, the NO Saints, who put up their numbers 1) on the road, 2) against a division leading opponent, 3) in a place where other teams don't win and 4) when they needed a win to stay alive. Brees gets the ink, as is the custom in the NFL, but the D-Sec from NO held Matty-Ice and the ATL passing attack to some very impressive, or not so impressive if you look at it from ATL's pov, numbers. NO D-Sec held the ATL offense to only 51% pass completion percentage, only 148 total passing yards and just 9.9 yards per catch. They allowed only one passing TD (huge stat line) and didn't give up a pass over 20 yards the entire game. This was one they needed and, if you look at how they won the Super Bowl, showed a return to strength by one of their key trench units.
Week 16 Trench Position Rankings: Top 20
Pass O-Line Run O-Line D-Line Def-Sec
Rank Team Unit Rank Team Unit Rank Team Unit Rank Team Unit Packers Dolphins Chiefs Steelers 1 1 1 1 Buccaneers Patriots Steelers Saints 2 2 2 2 Bengals Cowboys Saints Ravens 3 3 3 3 Texans Ravens Redskins Buccaneers 4 4 4 4 Chiefs Buccaneers Jaguars Patriots 5 5 5 5 Steelers Colts Rams Jaguars 6 6 6 6 Broncos Jets Buccaneers Chiefs 7 7 7 7 Dolphins Broncos Falcons Raiders 8 8 8 8 Jets Chiefs Bengals Browns 9 9 9 9 Saints Bills 49rs Cardinals 10 10 10 10 Rams Browns Patriots Bills 11 11 11 11 Giants Bears Colts Cowboys 12 12 12 12 Chargers Giants Packers Bengals 13 13 13 13 Jaguars Packers Dolphins Lions 14 14 14 14 Browns Texans Ravens Jets 15 15 15 15 49rs Bengals Cowboys Falcons 16 16 16 16 Cowboys Seahawks Panthers Redskins 17 17 17 17 Bills Eagles Cardinals Rams 18 18 18 18 Bears Vikings Broncos Texans 19 19 19 19 Lions Cardinals Jets Packers 20 20 20 20