The Philadelphia Eagles are still the team with the best offensive line in NFL
After being convincingly eliminated by the Seattle Seahawks in this past season’s NFC Wild Card Round, the Philadelphia Eagles got to work to push for their second Super Bowl victory. While there are plenty of new faces across the team, one portion of the Eagles has remained the same: their offensive line.
Yet, the unit suffered a bit of a setback after stud offensive guard Brandon Brooks suffered an Achilles tear. But, general manager Howie Roseman made the wise move to bring back tackle Jason Peters to replace him.
Make no mistake about it, the Eagles still have the best offensive line in the entire NFL.
No one can touch the Eagles’ offensive line
Besides Brooks hitting the season-ending injured reserve, the only other Eagles lineman to not return is Halapoulivaati Vaitai, whom signed a five-year, $45 million contract with the Detroit Lions this offseason. Other than that, the band is back together for yet another year.
Right tackle Lane Johnson is regarded as one of the best at his position for a reason. He rarely, if ever, allows his quarterback from feeling defensive pressure from the right side of the line of scrimmage. Even though Johnson missed four games last season due to an ankle injury, he only allowed one sack on 759 snaps, per Pro Football Focus. That’s some impressive work.
Then, there’s center Jason Kelce. Known for his infectious personality, Kelce isn’t cracking jokes while hiking the football to Carson Wentz. Instead, he’s mauling and smacking around defensive tackles to open up Philadelphia’s passing and rushing attacks. Kelce played every single snap (1,163) last season, and only allowed two sacks.
Peters wasn’t originally in Philadelphia’s plans entering the 2020 season, but the injury to Brooks changed that. While he is 38-years-old, Peters is solid when healthy. Despite missing three games with a knee ailment, Peters allowed three sacks to the opposition. Peters’ main concern will be his durability and his penalty issues (10 last season), but if there’s one thing working in his favor it’s his familiarity with the Eagles’ offensive scheme.
Next up is Peters’ replacement in the blindside: Andre Dillard. In the 2019 NFL Draft, Dillard was deemed one of the better offensive line prospects in the entire class. For some reason, the Washington State tackle dropped to the middle of the first round, prompting the Eagles to trade up with the Baltimore Ravens to steal him from the Houston Texans.
When you look at Dillard’s numbers in his rookie season, you can’t account too much for it. First off, he was a backup to Peters and only logged 336 snaps. Secondly, Dillard was a rookie on the o-line, so there’s an adjustment period before he can truly get comfortable. Don’t take Dillards 59.7 overall grade by Pro Football Focus from last season too seriously. With a full NFL season under his belt, Dillard has a chance to drastically improve his game as the Eagles’ new starting left tackle.
Finally, there’s guard Issac Seumalo. His start to the 2019 was pretty brutal, as evidenced by him allowing two sacks and six quarterback hurries against Atlanta Falcons. All in all, Seumalo surrendered five sacks on the year, but that can be attributed to facing top-end competition (i.e. Grady Jarrett of the Falcons). But he improved down the stretch during Philadelphia’s playoff push, where he didn’t allow a single sack in the last eight games of the regular season!
This goes to show how stacked the Eagles’ offensive line unit has been over the years. Even without Brooks and Vitai, Philadelphia’s o-line is still at the top of the mountain in the NFL this upcoming season. Other teams with brutal offensive lines should be taking notes.