After painting the current offensive line continuity landscape earlier, this piece will reveal how stability year-over-year in the trenches relates to rushing, run blocking, and total offense.
A year with condensed training camp will see more offensive lines lose continuity than gain it. The 2020 season also sets a high-water mark over the past five years in the number of rookie linemen projected to start Week 1.
This will update my findings from previous articles to show that significant differences remain between high- and low-continuity teams.
The Impact of Offensive Line Continuity on Rushing and Run Blocking
Avoiding turnover at multiple spots on the offensive line has tied closely to springing a top rusher, while the opposite has shown up in some of the worst run-blocking offenses.
Teams with new head coaches seemed to confound the study. Since 2012, new coaches have bucked the continuity trend by producing top rushers behind new starting offensive linemen. Perhaps it’s noise, or maybe there’s an immediate advantage in unveiling a fresh approach for a team, as with Sean McVay and Todd Gurley in 2017.