Nearly four years ago, the NFL responded to its disastrous handling of the Ray Rice domestic violence case by beefing up the Personal Conduct Policy, and by huffing and puffing about a new six-game baseline suspension for any player who is found to have committed similar offenses. On multiple occasions since then, the NFL has failed to impose a six-game suspension for a player who has committed similar offenses, and the league has failed/refused to explain the reason(s) for the departure from the six-game benchmark.
The NFL possibly decided that mitigating factors justified a reduction from six games to three, like they initially did when dropping former Giants kicker Josh Brown’s suspension from six games to one. (MDS has listed other similar instances that didn’t result in a six-game suspension.) Without sharing the information as to why the reduction was made, however, it’s impossible for anyone to assess whether the reduction was sensible or justified.
The analytics site tracks every player one every play of every game throughout the course of an NFL season, and they recently released their ranking of each team’s pass-blocking efficiency – the number of pressures allowed on a per-snap basis. In this measurement, the Falcons’ offensive line ranked 12th among the 32 NFL teams with a pass-blocking efficiency grade of 79.7.
The Falcons offensive line took a small step back in 2017 and allowed 18 sacks, 32 hits and 98 hurries on their 568 passing plays, PFF’s Mark Chichester writes. Throughout the year, the Falcons saw good pass-blocking performances from guard Andy Levitre, who ranked 13th among guards with a PBE of 97.6, right tackle Ryan Schraeder, who ranked sixth among tackles with a PBE of 97.1, and center Alex Mack, who ranked 14th among centers with a PBE of 97.9. Heading into the 2018 season, the new addition of Brandon Fusco could prove to be an upgrade for the team at right guard as Fusco’s PBE of 96.5 bettered the marks of fellow Falcons guards Wes Schweitzer (96.0) and Ben Garland (92.9) last year.