Patrick Smith/Getty Images
The weight of Baltimore's starting front seven totals a massive 1992 lbs., or approximately as much as a Lotus Exige or a large Cape buffalo. So determined Blogging the Beast, which calculated the aggregate poundage of each team's starting front seven—in some cases, the projected one—and found that the Ravens' D-linemen pack an average of 284.6 lbs. (led by DT Haloti Ngata at a svlete 340), almost five apiece more than the second-ranked Jets (1960 lbs. total, 280 each).
The six heaviest teams (and eight of the top 10) run a base 3-4 defense using a large anchor up front in the middle. The NFC Title Game-losing Atlanta Falcons tipped the scales the least—they combined for 1806 lbs., or roughly 258 each. That relatively meager poundage is equal to the weight of the heaviest players (including offensive linemen) on the flyweight roster of the Super Bowl I champion Green Bay Packers.
So, is there any correlation between the weight of a line and its rushing defense? Not really. Two of the slimmest defenses -- the Bucs (average: 267.1 lbs.) and Steelers (264) -- ranked one and two in rushing D last season, respectively, but other lightweights were far worse off: the Colts (264.6) had the 29th-ranked run-prevention unit, the Jaguars (262) were 30th and the Saints (267) earned the distinction of "most porous line in the league".
And does the mounting corpulence of NFL players pose a problem to the vehicles that transport them? Well, the Boeing 767-300 that many teams use for away games has a maximum takeoff weight of 350,000 pounds, or 175 tons. So no. Not yet.