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Yards per drive and addressing team needs: The AFC

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Charles LeClaire-USA TODAY Sports

Note: See my post on the NFC here.

The Background Information:

After the end of the 2013 season, I sought to find the yards-per-drive figures for all NFL teams more specifically than what Football Outsiders provides. (They give offensive and defensive yards per-drive statistics, and they update those numbers on a weekly basis throughout the regular season, it's awesome). I went to's stat page and took the total number of yards gained or allowed via the run and pass for every team and divided those totals by the number of drives for every team — both on offense and defense — from FO's page.

I've found those per-drive statistics to be super useful and telling, but instead of simply having overall yards gained or allowed per drive, I wanted to calculate:

Yards gained or allowed per drive via the run and via the pass for all 32 teams. The result was this four-page Google Drive spreadsheet. I've included the tables below:









You’re certainly welcome — or maybe encouraged is the better word — to check out the spreadsheet, but I've organized the rankings for all four categories for each team below.

Sure, a handful of teams strengthened a strength, and that’s fine. But this project was meant to clearly and objectively identify the "needs" of all 32 NFL teams, look through their offseason additions, and come to a conclusion whether or not their "needs" were addressed.

Lastly, I understand that yards-per-drive aren't the be all end all when it comes to success or failure in professional football — scoring touchdowns is — but these figures almost always give a very good idea of how effective or ineffective a team is in the four main areas.



Pittsburgh Steelers

Run O: 27th | Pass O: 9th |  Run D: 22nd | Pass D: 11th

The Steelers probably weren't too pumped about their No. 27 ranked ground game heading into the offseason, so they prioritized the running back position. Logical decision by GM Kevin Colbert.

LeGarrette Blount was a monster for the Patriots at the end of the regular season and in last year's playoffs, and Pittsburgh brought him in to be paired with the large but nimble Le'Veon Bell. In the draft, Dri Archer, the fastest man in this year's class, was selected in Round 3. Also, underrated OT/OG Wesley Johnson, a Vanderbilt product who held his own against Jadeveon Clowney last year, was picked in Round 5 to strengthen the line.

ILB Ryan Shazier was Pittsburgh's first-round pick, and his combination of incredible speed and power should result in a more sound run defense. The 650+ combined pounds of Stephon Tuitt and Daniel McCullers juuust might bolster the Steelers' defensive front as well. Priority undrafted free agent, DL Josh Mauro from Stanford, could make the team and contribute right away.

The Steelers correctly identified their needs and Colbert undoubtedly addressed them.


Cincinnati Bengals

Run O: 20th | Pass O: 10th | Run D: 3rd | Pass D: 4th

Despite a sparkling rookie campaign from Gio Bernard, the Bengals finished with a less-than-spectacular run-game ranking. Therefore, in Round 2, Cincinnati drafted bulldozer Jeremy Hill out of LSU to add some pop to the offense.

I would have waited until the later portions of the draft to pick C / OG Russell Bodine, but the Bengals grabbed him in Round 4 as an immediate depth guy with future starter potential.

The rest of Cincinnati's club was very solid last season, but long and sturdy DE Will Clarke out of West Virginia was added to lessen the sting of losing Michael Johnson in free agency.


Cleveland Browns

Run O: 28th | Pass O: 12th |  Run D: 12th | Pass D: 6th

Most importantly, the Browns needed to find the "right" quarterback, but for the sake of this study, Cleveland had to boost the running aspect of its offense.

Draftnik favorite Joel Bitonio, who played LT at Nevada but will play OG in the NFL, was selected in Round 2 after RG Ben Tate was signed in free agency.

RB Terrance West was picked the round after Bitonio, and the Towson alum may see 8-10 touches per game as a rookie. No Josh Gordon will really hurt the passing offense, but Miles Austin, Andrew Hawkins and interesting undrafted free agents Chandler Jones and Willie Snead could become a nice amalgamation of receivers for the Browns.


Baltimore Ravens

Run O: 31st | Pass O: 26th | Run D: 8th | Pass D: 7th

Despite an offseason ravaged with player arrests, Ravens astute GM Ozzie Newsome diligently attempted to strengthen the running game.

Well-built RB Lorenzo Taliaferro was ultra-productive at Coastal Carolina, and he'll have an opportunity to show his talents right away with Ray Rice suspended the first two games of the season.

LT Eugene Monroe was re-signed and OG John Urschel  and OT James Hurst were added in Round 5 and in undrafted free agency.

To enhance the No. 26 ranked passing offense, sleeper TE Crockett Gillmore, a prospect with a rather well-rounded game, was snagged in the third round after former Houston Texans TE Owen Daniels followed Gary Kubiak to Baltimore.

The defense was above average against the run and pass last year, but DT Tim Jernigan and CJ Mosley were drafted early to bring much-needed youth to the front seven on that side of the ball.



Buffalo Bills

Run O: 8th | Pass O: 32nd | Run D: 20th | Pass D: 2nd

By adding WRs Sammy Watkins and Mike Williams along with OLs Cyrus Kouandjio, Chris Williams, Cyril Richardson and Seantrel Henderson, the Bills certainly addressed their most glaring weakness, the passing offense. Also, tight end Scott Chandler was re-signed.

The 20th-ranked run defense needed to be bolstered as well, and it was. Brandon Spikes, the league's premier run-stopping MLB was inked in free agency, and SLB Keith Rivers, who's much more impactful as a run-plugger than anything else, was signed away from the New York Giants.

Also, Louisville standout LB Preston Brown was drafted in Round 3, and he's a guy who'll play a big role for the Bills as a rookie due to Kiko Alonso's ACL tear.

Mammoth DL Alan Branch agreed to a new deal after he played the run well in 2013 for Buffalo.

[Hat tip for GM Doug Whaley]


New England Patriots

Run O: 12th | Pass O: 11th | Run D: 29th | Pass D: 15th

How early will first-round DT Dominique Easley be on the field coming off a torn ACL? He and sixth-round DL Zach Moore should help the run defense when they're available, but New England didn't do anything else to strengthen its most glaring weakness.

In all likelihood, however, the Patriots are banking on a step forward from flashy rookie LB Jamie Collins, and they will welcome DT Vince Wilfork and LB Jerod Mayo back from 2013 injuries with open arms.

The rest of the team was relatively effective last year, but Bill Belichick went ahead and signed Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.


Miami Dolphins

Run O: 26th | Pass O: 19th | Run D: 25th | Pass D: 18th

To add some electricity to the run game, the Dolphins agreed to a deal with RB Knowshon Moreno in free agency, although the talented Lamar Miller is expected to be the lead back in 2014.

Also, LT Branden Albert was grabbed in free agency, and RT Ja'Wuan James was selected in the first round of the draft - I have to applaud new GM Dennis Hickey's aggressiveness to solidify the edges of the offensive line, something that should benefit Moreno and Miller and keep Ryan Tannehill upright more often. Starting the season with center Mike Pouncey on PUP will hurt, though.

As the No. 25 ranking indicates, the Dolphins weren't stellar stopping the run in 2013, and they failed to address the front seven besides fifth-round pick, OLB Jordan Tripp. Then again, the Montana product is a very fluid mover and could be eventually be the club's most productive LB.

CB Brent Grimes was re-signed, Cortland Finnegan - though not the same pesky and effective player he used to be - was added in free agency. Another corner, Walt Aikens, was snagged in Round 4 of the draft. The pass defense could finish higher than 18th this year.


New York Jets

Run O: 7th | Pass O:  31st | Run D: 2nd | Pass D: 23rd

Let's see, the Jets brought in Eric Decker during the free-agent signing period then drafted TE Jace Amaro and WRs Shaq Evans, Jalen Saunders and Quincy Enuwa.

There's no questioning it - GM John Idzik made a concerted effort to upgrade the passing offense. Props for that. OG Dakota Dozier was acquired in the fourth-round of the draft. He could compete with Oday Aboushi for the starting RG spot. Geno Smith desperately needs a clean pocket to develop.

By drafting S Calvin Pryor and adding Dolphins cut Dimitri Patterson, New York showed it realizes it needs to be stingier in the secondary. Overall, Idzik did a nice job.



Indianapolis Colts

Run O: 16th | Pass O: 15th | Run D: 28th | Pass D: 19th

GM Ryan Grigson has taken some heat for the personnel decisions he's made outside of drafting Andrew Luck No. 1 overall in 2012, but he actually did an OK job addressing the team's most glaring vulnerability this offseason - stopping the run.

ILB D'Qwell Jackson is an above-average yet unspectacular defender, but he gives the defense an experienced and respected leader in the middle.

Zack Kerr is the ideal situational NT who can rotate with Josh Chapman, and LB Andrew Jackson can be groomed behind Jackson and Jerrell Freeman.

OT Jack Mewhort was Indianapolis' first pick in the 2014 draft - made in the second round - and he should eventually help to keep Luck from running for his life every other down.

How much does S Mike Adams have left? At least he's a wily veteran on the backend.


Houston Texans

Run O: 22nd | Pass O: 18th | Run D: 23rd | Pass D: 3rd

First things first - the Texans needed to rejuvenate the run game and the run defense, and GM Rick Smith did just that this offseason.

Andre Brown's a talented runner when healthy, he's just dealt with a rash of injuries in his NFL career. RB Alfred Blue was an intriguing selection in Round 6 and should provide adequate backfield depth.

Up front, Xavier Su'a-Filo, the most fleet-footed OG in the 2014 draft class, was nabbed in Round 2 after Houston picked Jadeveon Clowney No. 1 overall.

DT Louis Nix III adds even more beef and athleticism to the defensive front, and he was selected at great value in Round 3.

Don't be surprised if sixth-round choice, FB Jay Prosch makes an impact on the Texans running game, as well.

The 18th ranked passing game could use some enhancement, and, obviously, that starts at the quarterback position. Is Tom Savage the savior? Probably not. But at least there'll be a legitimate signal-caller battle during training camp between Savage, Case Keenum and Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Beyond that, though, TE CJ Fiedorowicz is NFL-ready and could quickly become a favorite target of whoever is throwing the football in Houston.


Jacksonville Jaguars

Run O: 32nd | Pass O: 25th |  Run D: 26th | Pass D: 22nd

The Jaguars were dead last in running offense last year,  so what did GM David Caldwell do? Signed hefty, low-milage RB Toby Gerhart, an underrated producer who's roamed in Adrian Peterson's shadow in Minnesota for years.

Caldwell also picked up Denver Broncos OG Zane Beadles and drafted OG Brandon Linder in Round 3 - a bit early for me, but the addition alone is what counts here.

It didn't stop there. Storm Johnson from UCF, a bulky but agile RB was stolen in Round 7.

All in all, the Jaguars got much better as a ground team.

The pass offense needed work, too, and Blake Bortles was grabbed No. 3 overall to be the quarterback of the future. After that, WRs Allen Robinson and Marqise Lee were the team's Round 2 selections - both, Robinson in particular - have major potential.

Essentially, Jacksonville was in dire need of improvement across the board, and although the secondary wasn't addressed outside of some priority undrafted free agents, guys like DE Chris Clemons, DTs Red Bryant and Deandre Coleman, and LBs Chris Smith and Telvin Smith should greatly bolster the run defense and add some pass-rush as well.

For such a vast rebuilding project, Caldwell is doing an admirable job.


Tennessee Titans

Run O: 14th | Pass O: 16th | Run D: 19th | Pass D: 12th |

How weird is this? Tennessee, a relatively bland, 7-9 team was rather strong in every phase of the game in 2013.

If anything, the 19th ranked run defense could have been upgraded, and it was.

ILB Wesley Woodyard was signed in free agency and Avery Williamson, another ILB, was drafted in Round 5. Beyond that, DE DaQuan Jones was Tennessee's fourth-round selection and former Denver Broncos DE/OLB Shaun Phillips agreed to a deal.

RB Chris Johnson is now a member of the New York Jets, but assertive runner Bishop Sankey was the Titans pick in Round 2. With a bulky and talented offensive line in front of him, he could be in for a productive rookie campaign. First-round OT Taylor Lewan will directly impact Tennessee's new feature RB in a positive way.

Can HC Ken Whisenhunt save Jake Locker's career, or will this be Zach Mettenberger's team by midseason?



Denver Broncos

Run O: 18th | Pass O: 2nd |  Run D: 5th | Pass D: 16th

Jeez, Broncos...get better at running the football. [Re-read with imaginary sarcasm font] However, staying true to his article's focus, Denver could improve the effectiveness of its run offense despite its prolific passing attack.

Following the departure of LG Zane Beadles in free agency, John Fox's club simply needed to re-shuffle its offensive line - switching 2013 LT Chris Clark to RT and scooting 2013 RT Orlando Franklin to LG - to shore up the group paving holes for running backs and protecting Peyton Manning.

Michigan product Michael Schofield, a 6'6", 300-pound OL, was drafted in Round 3. Beyond that, though, the run game wasn't reinforced whatsoever.

The secondary, well, yeah, the secondary was fortified in a huge way. CB Aqib Talib was signed to a monster contract in free agency - taking him away from the AFC rival Patriots serves as an added bonus.

Top-flight SS T.J. Ward was also nabbed in free agency, and the Broncos made springy CB Bradley Roby their first-round pick.


San Diego Chargers

Run O: 3rd | Pass O:  3rd | Run D:  17th | Pass D: 32nd

The Chargers were time of possession mongers in 2013, and - ha! - it worked. [WHAT NOW, CHIP KELLY?!?]

Philip Rivers revitalized his career with Mike McCoy at the helm and Ken Whisenhunt calling the shots on offense.

But, um, San Diego's passing defense was awful.

CB Jason Verrett, a pesky defender with fabulous ball skills, was the easy choice in Round 1. Veteran corner Brandon Flowers was brought in following his somewhat surprising release from the Chiefs.

GM Tom Telesco might only be 41, but he knows what he's doing.


OLB Jeremiah Attaochu was picked a round later to bring some explosiveness to the pass rush, which, as we all know, has a direct impact on the play of the cornerbacks and safeties.


Kansas City Chiefs

Run O: 10th | Pass O: 24th |  Run D: 17th | Pass D: 13th

In 2013, Alex Smith did a masterful job managing the game, limiting his mistakes and letting his run game and defense lead the Chiefs to victories.

And they were victorious often - starting 9-0 and finishing the season 11-5.

But, according to their per-drive yardage figures, they could get more prolific through the air to compete with the Broncos, Patriots and Colts in the AFC.

GM John Dorsey added, well, essentially nothing to the passing attack in terms of skill position players. No wide receivers. No tight ends.

Depth QB Aaron Murray was drafted in Round 5 and waterbug RB De'Anthony Thomas was picked a round earlier. Overall, though, minimal changes were made to the team's greatest weakness.

OLB Dee Ford was selected in Round 1 for his pass-rushing prowess, so the No. 17-ranked run defense didn't specifically see any renovation, either.


Oakland Raiders

Run O: 13th | Pass O: 27th | Run D: 15th | Pass D: 27th

Passing offense and passing defense - the two areas in which the Raiders desperately needed to develop the most.

GM Reggie McKenzie began his rebuilding by signing WR James Jones in free agency and scooping Greg Little off the waiver wire.


On the offensive line, OTs Donald Penn and Austin Howard were signed, as was OG Kevin Boothe.

In the draft, somewhat raw but talented QB Derek Carr was picked in Round 2 and massive but nimble Gabe Jackson was picked in Round 3.

To give Carr time to grow into the starting role, McKenzie targeted and obtained veteran QB Matt Schaub.

While another WR or TE would have helped, McKenzie did a pretty admirable job given the circumstances.

On defense, OLB Khalil Mack should directly benefit the secondary, and it'll be interesting to see how former 49er CBs Tarell Brown and Carlos Rogers fare in Silver and Black.

He's currently on the PUP, but 6'3" Keith McGill is in the Seahawks mold of physically intimidating CBs.

Keep an eye on seventh-round S Jonathan Dowling - he needs to bulk up, but he's a fluid ball-hawk.