Philadelphia Eagles: Jason Peters Is the Key to the Eagles' Future Success

Alexander OnushcoContributor IIIJanuary 30, 2012

Jason Peters earned the title of best offensive lineman this season.
Jason Peters earned the title of best offensive lineman this season.Rob Carr/Getty Images

Without question, left tackle Jason Peters was the MVP of the Philadelphia Eagles during the 2011 season.

Peters' dominance earned him the title of best offensive lineman not only on the team, but arguably in the entire league.  He had shown flashes of his potential throughout much of his eight-year career as both a Buffalo Bill and Philadelphia Eagle, but this year was the year he put it all together into one pretty package.

His play ensured that the team finished once again within the top 10 in total offense, and as long as he maintains his high level of play, it can be expected that the offense will continue to rank among the league's finest.

Which is why Peters is the foundation for the Eagles' success the next few years.

Some may argue that running back LeSean McCoy and his 1,309 yards were the brightest spot this year, but the truth is that "Shady" found much of his success behind the 340-pound body of Peters.  According to Pro Football Focus, McCoy averaged 7.5 yards per carry on his 34 carries behind Peters.  

That average looks all the more impressive when compared to the 4.4 yards he averaged on his remaining 239 carries.  Perhaps the Eagles will take notice of this and design more runs to be executed to the left side of the offensive line.

Most surprising, however, is that the big man was even more dominant in the passing game.

In the 14 games that Peters played in this season, he gave up only three sacks, one hit and 17 pressures on the quarterback.  No other lineman can boast such stats.

Let's put this in perspective.  Every year in the NFC East, the Eagles play against teams that feature the likes of DeMarcus Ware, Justin Tuck and Brian Orakpo along their defensive lines.  Twice.  In fact, the NFC East produced the most sacks in the entire league this season.  

Despite matching up against some of the league's premier pass-rushers, Peters showed he was more than capable of holding his ground.  His combination of sheer size and nimble feet allow him to go toe-to-toe with the best in the business, often times rendering them ineffective for much of the game.  It is fair to wonder just how more impressive Peters' numbers would have been had the Eagles been playing in another division.

But the left tackle's value goes beyond his individual performance.

On a team where the offensive line has been shuffled around constantly in recent seasons, Peters is a constant presence to maintain balance.  He is the glue that holds the line together, and he makes life easier for the rest of the linemen.  

Never was this more true than this season, when the Eagles featured two rookies up front. Though right guard Danny Watkins and center Jason Kelce had their share of struggles, it is almost a certainty that the going would have been much rougher if not for the veteran presence of Peters to keep them in check.

Simply put, the entire offense of the Philadelphia Eagles starts and stops with Jason Peters.  He is an anchor and a leader for the team, and he should be a staple along the offensive line for many more years to come.