The Eagles Offensive Line has been overly disappointing since week one. Sure there have been some improved performances along the bumpy road that has turned out to the 2015 season, but for the most part they have fell short in just about every aspect of the game. But we learned something new in the Sunday Night matchup against the Panthers, something that could well plague the Line for the rest of the season.
Early on in the game, arguably the best player on the entire Offense went down with a non-contact injury. Jason Peters was carted off the field and x-rayed and would sit the rest of the game out..meaning Matt Tobin would enter the game and share responsibilities with Dennis Kelly. What ensued, was a game of no communication on the line, complete misdirection and the lack of ability to make a push.
This play is almost a perfect summary for the rest of the game.
The frantic and inconsistent play of Tobin continued..
The problem here is that Tobin doesn’t really put up a fight. He looks slow and tends to push a player then drop his hands..thus allowing the pocket to collapse. Whether this is a technical issue, something that can be ironed out or just a bad habit remains to be seen. But we can almost see an identical play against the Redskins.
Allen Barbre ( LG ) & Matt Tobin ( LT ) 💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩💩 #Eagles pic.twitter.com/oxA6xN5R2O
— NUBY (@iamnubyy) October 7, 2015
It’s been present all season, here we can see hem swallowed up by a ferocious Jets Defense.
Matt Tobin gets killed here. https://t.co/n1bun2sTAU
— Jonny Page (@JonnyPage9) September 29, 2015
Now whilst it’s clear that Tobin is NOT the main reason the Line has buckled under pressure, what can be established is this. We know the Offensive Line lost key talent this off-season and it’s thrust backups into starting roles. What this means is that there isn’t a lot of depth…at all. So when someone who can control the line, be a leader, force opposing linemen to remain on the outside and make a push for the running backs goes down with an injury..things don’t look particularly great.
Jason Peters is not the only man on the Offensive line. But when his replacement allows 3 sacks and four hurries according to PFF with Kelly allowing five hurries and a hit on the Quarterback. This is an Offensive line that has struggled at the best of times but if you take the engine out of a car, it won’t move. Without a leader, the Offensive Line crumbled and seemed to lose any direction it had just moments before the injury.
Worryingly, Peters has quite a deep injury history..one dating back for at least three years which mean if problems persist or he is unable to stay healthy..we could be in for a long second half of the season. It also somewhat re-enforces our opinion on Sam Bradford. That despite everything else falling around him, he didn’t throw a single pick (that was his fault) and was able to throw for over 200 yards.
The line is almost like Jenga. As Defenses poke and prod sure it will wobble, but it will never fall. Once you take out the piece that holds the entire tower together, get cleaning.
Photo Credit: Matthew Emmons-USA TODAY Sports