While the Eagles rushing attack has been steamrolling opponents over the last three weeks, the true stars of the run game have quietly gone unnoticed. Sure, it’s great to see Jordan Howard bouncing off of defenders left and right or Boston Scott blowing by the defensive line, but what about the guys opening up those running lanes?
The offensive line is playing better than expected as of late which has paid off big time for the run game. Seeing the monsters of Jordan Mailata and Lane Johnson toss defenders to the ground so effortlessly has been a blast.
So what’s the key in the resurgence of this offensive line?
How about we start with consistency? After losing both Isaac Seumalo and Brandon Brooks to IR, the coaching staff had to put their trust into the development of the young guys. Mailata went down with a knee injury for a game or two which allowed Dillard to get some starting reps, before Johnson took some time and forced Mailata to move to right tackle.
Ever since Mailata came back from his knee injury and Johnson from his personal time away the line has built upon a chemistry that has been overlooked. With the placement of Landon Dickerson at Left Guard and Jack Driscoll at Right Guard, it seems as if the unite has found their groove.
Driscoll especially deserves some credit. The Auburn product was pretty quiet when working at tackle last season but, like any lineman under Stoutland, has been rebuilt into a versatile weapon who can comfortably go toe-to-toe with opposing defensive tackles.
The offensive line went from allowing 14 sacks during the first seven games to only allowing 3 in the last three. Mailata was shown great strides in his development as he’s only allowed 13 pressures this season. Jason Kelce has been the highest-graded Offensive lineman of the Eagles at 81.9 while the unit as a whole are ranked 8th in PPF’s O-Line rankings.
The offensive line has shined over the last three weeks, pushing the offense to rush for 626 yards in the process. In a league where all teams are focusing on how to beat defenses with the passing game, the Eagles are taking a page out of the Titans’ book and have let the run game become their bread and butter. The Eagles have the third-best rushing attack in the league just behind the Browns and Ravens. The team is averaging 144 rushing yards per game and the credit has to go to the guys up front. The attention to detail from the coaching staff has led to the offense finding their identity now.
They’ll be going up against their biggest test this Sunday as they’ll face the top-run defense in the league. The Saints are only allowing 72.9 rushing yards per game and 3.1 yards per carry. It’ll be a big test for this offensive line but who better to do it than a unit that’s blooming like this.
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