By Jeff Merron
Page 2

You want numbers? We've got them. Check out how the AFC and NFC's offenses and defenses stack up, according to average weight and yards per game.

There are some interesting things here. For instance, the AFC's two heaviest offenses (Bills and Ravens) are the worst offenses in the conference -- but the NFC's heaviest offense (Vikings) is also its second-best (thanks Daunte). Plus, the Broncos, despite having the lighest offensive unit in the AFC, have the third-best offense in the conference.

And on the other side of the ball, the heaviest defenses in each conference (Raiders and Lions) are also two of the poorest (13th and 12th, respectively). Meanwhile, the lightest defense in the NFC (Buccaneers) is very strong (2nd), while the lightest defense in the AFC (Colts) is ranked dead last.

Take a look for yourself.

AFC offense
At 360, Mike Williams anchors the AFC's heaviest offense, while Reuben Droughns runs behind the AFC's lightest unit.

AFC OFFENSIVE UNITS
Team Average weight Weight rank Unit rank (YPG)
Bills 278 1 15
Ravens 273 2 16
Bengals 269 3 12
Raiders 269 4 11
Jaguars 268 5 9
Patriots 267 6 4
Steelers 266 7 8
Dolphins 264 8 14
Titans 264 9 10
Chargers 263 10 5
Colts 261 11 2
Texans 260 12 6
Jets 259 13 7
Browns 258 14 13
Chiefs 256 15 1
Broncos 254 16 3




AFC defense
Warren Sapp (99) anchors Oakland's heavy D. The Colts, meanwhile, are easy to push around.

AFC DEFENSIVE UNITS
Team Average weight Weight rank Unit rank (YPG)
Raiders 253 1 13
Patriots 252 2 11
Ravens 248 3 2
Texans 246 4 15
Bills 245 5 3
Titans 245 6 7
Browns 244 7 9
Chargers 243 8 8
Jets 242 9 6
Chiefs 240 10 14
Steelers 240 11 1
Jaguars 239 12 10
Broncos 237 13 4
Dolphins 234 14 5
Bengals 232 15 12
Colts 231 16 16




NFC offense
With a 260-pound QB, it's no wonder the Vikes have the NFL's heaviest offense. Mike Vick's Falcons are light on their feet.

NFC OFFENSIVE UNITS
Team Average weight Weight rank Unit rank (YPG)
Vikings 279 1 2
Cowboys 276 2 6
Cardinals 272 3 13
Bears 268 4 15
Buccaneers 263 5 12
Giants 262 6 8
Rams 262 7 3
Lions 260 8 16
Saints 260 9 7
Redskins 260 10 14
Panthers 257 11 9
49ers 257 12 11
Seahawks 257 13 4
Eagles 255 14 5
Packers 254 15 1
Falcons 252 16 10




NFC defense
The Detroit defense tips the scales, while Booger McFarland (92), Greg Spires (94) and the Bucs are thinking thin.

NFC DEFENSIVE UNITS
Team Average weight Weight rank Unit rank (YPG)
Lions 251 1 12
Seahawks 250 2 4
Vikings 246 3 14
Giants 246 4 3
Cardinals 245 5 6
Redskins 245 6 1
Saints 244 7 16
Falcons 242 8 8
Bears 242 9 11
Packers 242 10 7
Eagles 242 11 5
49ers 240 12 9
Rams 240 13 15
Panthers 238 14 10
Cowboys 237 15 13
Buccaneers 233 16 2




The Fat Fives
Is big better? Not necessarily. The Broncos, who historically have the lightest offensive lines in the NFL, once again have the lightest line in the AFC -- and a powerful running game. The AFC's heaviest lines all anchor some of the conference's weakest offenses.

A look at the starting offensive lines from Week 11, with average weight, and rushing and passing yards per game:

AFC OFFENSIVE LINES
Team Average weight Weight rank Rush avg. (YPG) Pass avg. (YPG) Total YPG
Ravens 327 1 9 16 16
Bills 323 2 12 15 15
Bengals 315 3 14 11 12
Dolphins 315 3 15 10 14
Chargers 315 3 5 8 5
Texans 315 3 12 3 6
Browns 311 7 11 13 13
Steelers 309 8 1 14 8
Titans 309 8 7 9 10
Colts 309 8 6 1 2
Chiefs 309 8 2 2 1
Raiders 308 12 16 6 12
Jaguars 305 13 8 5 4
Patriots 305 14 8 5 4
Jets 301 15 3 12 7
Broncos 295 16 4 4 3

NFC OFFENSIVE LINES
Team Average weight Weight rank Rush avg. (YPG) Pass avg. (YPG) Total YPG
Vikings 331 1 5 1 2
Cardinals 326 2 8 12 13
Cowboys 325 3 11 6 6
Eagles 322 4 10 4 5
Saints 320 5 14 5 7
Lions 318 6 16 13 16
Bears 317 7 6 16 15
Redskins 313 8 9 14 14
Packers 313 8 4 2 1
Giants 311 10 3 11 8
Rams 311 10 7 3 3
Bucs 305 12 13 10 12
Panthers 305 12 12 8 9
Seahawks 305 12 2 9 4
49ers 301 15 15 7 11
Falcons 295 16 1 15 10


 



NFL team weights
Apparently, it's better to be light. Of the 10 heaviest teams in the NFL (using starting lineups), only the Patriots and the Ravens are among the top 10 teams in this week's ESPN Power Rankings. Each of those teams has been built around strong defenses.

On the other hand, the three lightest teams -- the Broncos, Falcons, and Colts -- are ranked 7, 4, and 5, while two other 10 lightest teams -- the Eagles and the Packers -- are also among the top 10 in the Power Rankings.

LIGHTER IS BETTER
Team Average weight Weight rank ESPN power ranking Fattest city ranking*
Vikings 262.5 1 11 33
Bills 261.5 2 17 n/a
Raiders 261.0 3 30 34
Ravens 260.5 4 8 23
Patriots 259.5 5 2 44
Cardinals 258.5 6 23 18
Cowboys 256.5 7 29 3
Lions 255.5 8 20 1
Bears 255.0 9 22 5
Titans 254.5 10 19 27
Giants 254.0 11 16 15
Jaguars 253.5 12 12 38
Seahawks 253.5 12 13 45
Steelers 253.0 14 1 20 (2001)
Chargers 253.0 14 6 37
Texans 253.0 14 18 2
Redskins 252.5 17 27 25
Saints 252.0 18 25 22
Browns 251.0 19 26 9
Rams 251.0 19 14 5 (2003)
Bengals 250.5 21 21 n/a
Jets 250.5 21 10 15
Dolphins 249.0 23 31 15
Eagles 248.5 24 3 7
Chiefs 248.0 25 24 14
Bucs 248.0 25 15 n/a
Packers 248.0 25 9 30 (Milwaukee)
Panthers 247.5 28 28 29
49ers 248.5 28 32 49
Falcons 247.0 30 5 11
Colts 246.0 31 4 17
Broncos 245.5 32 7 47

 

* Among 50 largest cities, as ranked by Men's Fitness

Source: Starters and weights from Weeks 9 and 10, according to NFL.com's Gamebook.




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Jeff
Merron
NFL WEIGHT RANKINGS