Assessing the OL

Posted: October 31st, 2015 | Author: | Filed under: Philadelphia Eagles | 54 Comments »

The Eagles O-line has been erratic this season. I think even the guys on the line would agree to that description. That said, I think some people are exaggerating the OL’s struggles. Let’s talk about the good and the bad.

Anyone who thinks the OL is awful or terrible or anything like that is just flat out wrong. Use the stats. Use the eye test. Whatever you want. This group is better than most people give them credit for.

Right now the Eagles are 9th in the NFL in rushing. They are down at 16th in yard per attempt, but 4.2 ypc is solid. The running game really struggled early on. In the first two games, the Eagles ran 33 times for 70 yards. Since then, the run game has really come alive. In the last five games, the Eagles average 146 yards per game, which would lead the league. The average per carry goes up to 4.66, which would be 5th or 6th in the league.

The line is a big reason why the run game is so good now. Check out these plays. 

Check out The Kellystrator as Chip shows the OL getting big push vs the Giants.

What about pass protection?

Sam Bradford has been sacked 13 times. That is 15th in fewest sacks for the season. That’s even more impressive when you consider that the Eagles have thrown the 8th most passes in the league.

To be fair, the Eagles do throw a lot of play-action passes. That can slow down the opposing rush. When the Eagles are in known passing situations, the blocking has been more up and down. They especially struggled late against the Skins and Panthers. At the same time, they had Matt Tobin at LT and Dennis Kelly at RG in those situations  Few teams are going to thrive with two backups on the field in such extreme situations.

The O-line has not played as well as hoped. No one disputes that. However, this notion that the OL has been awful and is the key reason the team is struggling is way off. This group is getting better as the season goes along. They are starting to get some real push in the run game.

If Jason Peters is healthy, this group can be solid over the final nine games. If Peters is out, the line is going to have a much tougher situation. That takes away chemistry and depth. When Tobin and Kelly played, the line was functional until end of game desperation situations

The bye week gave Peters and Lane Johnson a chance to get some rest and to hopefully get healthy. If the Eagles are going to make a strong run down the stretch, it would help a lot to have the tackles play at a high level. They have been too erratic to this point, just like the rest of the offense.

One thing that would help quite a bit is to eliminate the penalties. False starts, holding on run plays and some other bonehead penalties have hurt the Eagles this year. Cut those out and you make life easier on the whole offense. The line has been more sloppy than bad this year, and that’s a big part of the disappointment. The talent is there for the group to be good. They make too many mistakes.

I remember watching Leon Lett go against Guy McIntyre back in 1995. McIntyre was a good run blocker, especially on the move. But he had no chance to block Lett 1-on-1. Lett destroyed him over and over (which led to the drafting of Jermaine Mayberry). The other day we saw Tobin and Kelce both leave a defender alone on a pass play. They had the talent to block that player, but made a mistake.

Clean that stuff up and this line will look a lot better.


54 Comments on “Assessing the OL”

  1. 1 Media Mike said at 5:52 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    All in all, not an unfair rundown of the line play…………….but I think some additional ripping of Kelce is needed.

  2. 2 Media Mike said at 6:08 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Also not a shock that both of those runs featured Murray with his shoulders square to the line of scrimmage. The fewer sweeps the better.

  3. 3 Buge Halls said at 6:15 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Couldn’t agree more

  4. 4 Media Mike said at 6:16 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    With all of the screaming done at my TV due to Bryce Brown and Shady trying to bust too many runs outside over the years, I’ve been flabbergasted to see how many times we were doing it this year.

  5. 5 Nelson ALGore said at 8:16 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    I think the sweeps are more designed to wear out the Defense. Thats the only logical thing I can see why they would call it so many times without “success”

  6. 6 JoeBlow said at 11:03 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    That is exactly what their plan is. Would be more effective if the offense gained more yards with that and were able to convert 3rd downs through the air, or just flat out sustain drives period.

  7. 7 Tumtum said at 8:22 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    The sweeps seemed to be what got the ground game on track a few games ago. After the Saint and. Giants they have been less effective I agree

  8. 8 daveH said at 6:21 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Got a mullet wig & a Synndegaard jersey on right now

  9. 9 Media Mike said at 6:22 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Ew. Why? We need to Royals to win that series.

  10. 10 daveH said at 6:23 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Fuuuuck the Royals since the 70s

    And th cheifs..hate their coach. .ahh im over it

    I was at Game 6 in 86

  11. 11 Media Mike said at 6:24 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    F all of NY since forever. I have no love for the Royals, but all any New York team (or fans) deserves to win is an early death from a horrible sexually transmitted infection. There really is no reason to ever support a New York team if you’re an across the board Philly fan.

  12. 12 daveH said at 11:20 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Lived here too long.i hate bud selig and every thing about the liars & cheaters in baseball. Sinnegaard is cool. Was at game 6 in 86 that was sick. Was at a wedding with Mr Met he rocked the place. Was in the Phillies lockroom n 84 was it-was the ther for the sixers championship..been at a yankeee world seies win.

  13. 13 Tumtum said at 8:21 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    I’m an Os fan so I’m biased… But yeah F the Royals.

  14. 14 The original AG said at 10:35 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Since I’ve moved to the area, I’ve slowly started a rooting interest with the Os. I don’t think it’s cheating on the Phils since they are AL.

  15. 15 daveH said at 11:19 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Its tough to hate all your local teams. You never lose the Philly love but ive built a respect for certain teams and my buds who follow em.. doesnt mean i like the giants but since they beat jerry’s cowboys in playoffs a few yrs back and i watched em steal a super bowl from brady at my buds house, i just dont hate them as much

  16. 16 DanJ3645 said at 6:40 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    I’m most disappointed in Kelce’s consistent mental errors.
    It’s so jarring when he keeps screwing up, especially given how good he has been for us previously.
    That play where both Kelce and Tobin left the Panther a free Rush was so frustrating as they should have cleaned up the communication issues by now.

    At least it looked like Tobin was serviceable at LT against the Panthers for most of the game.

  17. 17 Will:↑↑↓↓←→←→BA said at 6:48 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    More stuff going North/South. I think we should cut down on some of those sweeps, esp against a D that isn’t going to give up the edge.

  18. 18 Nelson ALGore said at 8:18 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    I thought we would see more counters and mis direction plays last week. Works really well against such a fast team at LB

  19. 19 Tumtum said at 8:16 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    9th in rushing. That was shocking.

  20. 20 Ark87 said at 9:23 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    So I’m fairly devastated that Grantland got shut down. Used to go there for just about everything. This after Sheil left to never write about the Eagles again. My browsing rotation is starting to get pretty small. Hopefully no matter what happens, Tommy will continue to write about the Eagles for years to come.

  21. 21 ChoTime said at 1:03 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Yep, losing Sheil and Grantland has been hard on the fans of good sportswriting.

  22. 22 Media Mike said at 7:57 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Grantland, in spite of the tendency of most of the writing staff to trash and underrate Philadelphia teams, was a quality site. I hate to see good journalists out of work. ESPN should just fire Screamin A Smith and Skip Brainless and keep the people who produce good content.

  23. 23 Ark87 said at 12:00 PM on November 1st, 2015:

    Was pretty much the only place on the internet you could go to find talented writers writing about just about anything, sports, movies, TV, even occasionally video games, wrestling, and wacky pieces. And podcasts to match. I think Barnwell and Robert Mays will continue to work at ESPN in some form. I heard most of the sports writers got swallowed up by the parent company (though some might be joining Bill Simmons at his next project). I’ll really miss the pop culture guys. Some of those guys were really great, kept me pretty informed on non-football things too.

  24. 24 BobSmith77 said at 10:27 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    Any break out on the Eagles’ production when they have used 2 TEs sets vs 1 TE?

  25. 25 John Dunkerley said at 4:39 PM on November 4th, 2015:

    You mean breakdown? I’d like to hear more about that also. I’d like to see the stats on those 2 TE set plays. Success ratio, etc.

  26. 26 kajomo said at 11:58 PM on October 31st, 2015:

    I’m curious of what you guys think of Jared Goff from Cal.

    I’m one that thinks Bradford was put in a very difficult situation to succeed and could benefit greatly from an injury free offseason. Chip may disagree and try to draft a QB.

    When I watch Goff I think he would be a great fit in this system. I love his footwork, he is an accurate passer, and a quick decision maker. He has struggled some with picks recently, but I think part of that is him trying to do too much. He has to carry that team on his back every week. If anything those picks are what could possibly make him available when we pick.

  27. 27 Nelson ALGore said at 1:55 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    I think he should draft a QB even if he still believes in SB. I agree an off season where he could do OTA’s and mini camps and then training camp would really help him.

    Draft pick needs would be Oline,DB,QB,WR

    Im ok with BPA at any of those positions but we really need depth at DB/OL so that should be the drafts focus (or free agents)

  28. 28 Media Mike said at 7:54 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    We should totally draft a QB even if Bradford plays much better to end the year. Sanchez is only here for one more year, so why not get another guy in the pipeline. We just need to make sure we draft a passing prospect, not some dumb fool of a scramble bum.

  29. 29 kajomo said at 12:38 PM on November 1st, 2015:

    If we go outside the first for a back up QB I am intigued by Sak Prescott and Carson Wentz.

  30. 30 kajomo said at 12:35 PM on November 1st, 2015:

    I agree with BPA except when it come to QB. The chance of landing a Franchise QB outside of tge first round is more rare than other positions. If a guy is there that we think can be that player he’s the pick regardless if who is on the board. The question is Goff the guy

  31. 31 Media Mike said at 7:53 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Goff is the man. He’s 100% the type of QB that I’d like to see. I doubt he’d be there for us however.

  32. 32 TypicalDouche said at 10:31 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Overrated, he’s the best QB in a weak class. Lacks NFL arm strength and too often locks on 1st read. I’d much rather them take a shot on Connor Cook if they decide to draft a QB.

  33. 33 kajomo said at 12:36 PM on November 1st, 2015:

    He certainly does have an elite arm, but its good enough to be a starter in the NFL. I’m not saying he is the guy, but he looks like the best fit. Cook just looks like a bust to me for some reason.

  34. 34 D3FB said at 5:48 AM on November 2nd, 2015:

    I’m not down with Cook at all. His teammates fucking hate him.

  35. 35 Iskar36 said at 4:32 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    I miss the days where we argued when people were way to freely using “great” to describe players. Now the argument is we are using awful way to freely.

  36. 36 Media Mike said at 7:51 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    For the record I’ll be rooting for:

    KC over Detroit in a shootout (need fantasy points for a lot of guys / Eagles need Detroit to keep losing)
    Atlanta over Tampa (F U Winston)
    San Diego over Ravens (I find Baltimore losing funny for a lot of reasons)
    Vikings over Bears (I need my pick of Vikings wild card to still pay off)
    Cardinals over Browns (I find Cleveland losing funny for a lot of reasons, but I know a lot of you guys hate Arians)
    Titans / Texans – no rooting interest here (but continued losing by the Titans would be funny if only for the nonsense “Chip Kelly is going to the Titans” rumors to start up)
    Saints over Giants (Continued misery for New York fans, hopefully a few offed themselves after last night’s Mets choke loss!)
    Bengals over Steelers (watching Pittsburgh fans lose is also great fun!)
    Rams over Niners (Really enjoying watching Gurley get his career rolling, hate Kaepernick)
    Jets over Raiders (Go Todd Bowles!)
    Seahawks over Cowboys (no brainer, hopefully Dez re-breaks his foot. He has a moral obligation to be out as long as Embiid with that injury)
    Green Bay / Denver – no rooting interest, but what a great game!
    Indy over Carolina (No brainer, I want to see that grinning overrated piece of garbage low passer rating Newton lose)

  37. 37 The original AG said at 10:33 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Yeah F Arians. I hope the Browns win.

    I’ll give you my picks, not on rooting interests, but on gut.

    Detroit over KC – Detroit is a mess, but KC is all over the place.
    Atlanta over Tampa – We agree. F U Winston.
    SD over Ravens – It’s like karma city in Baltimore
    Bears over Vikings – I think the Vikings are overrated
    Cardinals over Browns – I f’n hate Arians
    Titans over Texans – Texans are struggling this year and I don’t see that ending with the Titans
    Saints over Giants – Giants aren’t a very good team
    Steelers over Bengals – Division upset special this week
    Niners over Rams – Gurley will be a beast, Foles will not
    Jets over Raiders – Jets are a playoff team this year
    Seahawks over Cowboys – Dez will eat Cary Williams up, but it’s not enough
    Green Bay over Denver – Manning isn’t what he used to be; GB vs NE for 19-0, the first Superbowl of unbeatens
    Carolina over Indy – Indy isn’t good at all

  38. 38 P_P_K said at 12:09 PM on November 1st, 2015:

    Lots of free time on bye week so:

    Detroit over KC – I’m still pissed we don’t have Maclin.
    Atl over Tampa – agree with your FU
    SD over Ravens – SD is my Eagles bro 2nd team
    Bears over Vikings – my brother and nephews live in Chi
    Browns over Cards – the wife of another Eagles bro is from Clev
    Texans over Titans – I’m down with Chip rumors
    Saints over NYG – Obvious
    Bengals over Steelers – Pitt shouldn’t be the only PA team with a Lombardi trophy
    Rams over Niners – Go Nick!
    Jets over Raiders – Go Todd!
    Seahawks over Dallas – Your line about Embiid is genius.
    GB/Denver – Some of my best buds root for GB but my bro-in-law lives in Col.
    Indy over Carolina – Luck over Newton all the time.

  39. 39 Fletcher's Cox said at 4:46 PM on November 1st, 2015:

    -nailed the first one
    -tampa won, which is actually kind of funny to me. don’t like winston, but don’t like ATL either
    -i’m actually glad the ravens won, it’s extra depressing living here this year already. also, very sad if today was steve smith sr’s last game 🙁
    -got the vikes right
    -got cards right, too
    -if the titans and texans play, but no one is around to witness it, did it actually happen?
    -what an excellent win by the Saints. absolutely crushing for NY, 2 days in a row. eat your heart out, MM
    -pitt lost a similar heartbreaker at the end, what a horrible last throw
    -you nailed the rams as well, Gurley is awesome

    here’s hoping you’re spot on w/ the later games

  40. 40 Media Mike said at 10:14 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    6th rounder?

  41. 41 TypicalDouche said at 10:29 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Offensive guard possibly?

  42. 42 Media Mike said at 10:37 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    I hadn’t considered player for player.

  43. 43 TypicalDouche said at 10:39 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    It’s more wishful thinking then something I think may actually happen. What are the Eagles most glaring needs? Guard and maybe a WR?

  44. 44 Media Mike said at 10:41 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    I could see being able to add a higher salaried WR from another team, but teams rarely move O-linemen who can actually play.

    But if you believe the rumors about Cleveland trying to unload Mack and Thomas………..

  45. 45 TypicalDouche said at 10:47 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    I think if they did trade for an olineman it would be a backup who they think has the potential to be a quality player. WRs is a definite possibility as teams unload wideouts all the time.
    As for the Cleveland rumors I do believe them but I don’t see the Eagles pulling the trigger on either. I’d love either player though but if they trade for Thomas you’re basically telling Peters he’s done. Mack is different, if he can play guard then I’m sure they’d be all about it but this comes to my same point on Peters, you won’t trade for Mack without sending a message to Kelce.

  46. 46 Media Mike said at 10:49 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Yeah, I don’t see us as a legit landing spot for the Cleveland guys.

  47. 47 TypicalDouche said at 10:50 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Agreed brother.

  48. 48 Mr. Magee said at 6:41 PM on November 1st, 2015:

    And a QB. I’m sure Vinny Curry will net you a good one

  49. 49 The original AG said at 10:33 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    Hmmmm. Interesting.

  50. 50 Mr. Magee said at 6:40 PM on November 1st, 2015:

    6th rounder? No thanks…

  51. 51 Gary Barnes said at 11:42 AM on November 1st, 2015:

    I agree the OL has looked better in recent games compared to the awful performances early on, however, being better than awful is certainly still far away from being good. As you point out, the OL is still making a lot of mistakes and has many areas to clean up.

    Also, I think much of the improvement has come from Chip altering the scheme and blocking assignments to help the OL. These changes help mitigate some of their flaws which is good, but does not mean the flaws are no longer there.

    The OL can only be fully addressed in the off-season; we need better starting OG and a C and OT to challenge Kelce/Peters or take Johnson’s place if he flips over to LT. Again, the OL is the core foundation for a good offense and should receive the most resources to make sure it is great. If the OL is dominant, that helps QB, RB, TE and WR execute their jobs at a high level. When the OL is mediocre, as we’ve seen this year so far, all those other positions suffer the repercussions and the offense struggles.

  52. 52 Mr. Magee said at 6:53 PM on November 1st, 2015:

    All common sense, and way more legit than the original post. We’re not winning a super bowl this year, so the question becomes, who can we keep / build an OL around? Count me amongst those who think Peters is all but done… He’s certainly not bad at the moment, but you’re seeing the last gasps of a truly great O lineman. If I were advising him, I’d tell him to get out after this season with this health and his wits about him.

    Lane is a keeper. Kelce is a huge question mark, as far as I’m concerned. Depends on who you put around him, I suppose. But putting aside the penalties and other communication / mental mistakes, he’s not a ‘power’ center, and will always be a liability in short yardage situations (which is especially important in playoff football). The rest of ’em I’m not sure about either, but we can’t replace 4 guys in one offseason, so a few at least will have to be good enough for several more years.

  53. 53 Headlines: Back From The Bye | We Only Live Once said at 10:33 AM on November 2nd, 2015:

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    […] Lawlor of assesses the play of the Eagles’ offensive line […]