Howard Smith-US PRESSWIRE
I say this with very little hesitation and doubt the statement will draw much ire: The Philadelphia Eagles offensive line is the very worst in all of football.
Detractors will say that distinction belongs to the Arizona Cardinals and point to the incredible amount of times Kevin Kolb has been sacked, but I would counter by saying that if Kolb were still in Philly and playing behind this line, those sacks would be much higher.
The reason why the line doesn't give up more sacks is because of Vick's mobility. Were he any less mobile, the sack numbers would be astronomical and most certainly lead the league.
In addition to constantly getting the quarterback killed, this line is unable to open running lanes for LeSean McCoy. It's truly incredible to watch one of the best running backs in the league look close to useless for half his carries because he just has nowhere to go.
A lot of what McCoy has been able to accomplish on the ground can be attributed to his cut-back style of running. Were he a straight-ahead type of guy, the numbers would be very, very ugly.
The biggest problem with the line was the botched evaluation of talent. We're now seeing, without much doubt, that Evan Mathis only looked competent because he was playing next to Jason Peters. Without Peters, he's an average guard at best and certainly not worth the $5 million he's making this season.
Speaking of Peters, the evaluation of his replacements was also off. Demetress Bell was brought in to be the guy to replace Peters and was even given a long-term deal just in case Peters was unable to ever fully recover. But, it hasn't taken long to see the team definitely does not want Bell starting for the next five seasons.
The depth behind Jason Kelce also must be questioned. Dallas Reynolds has played fairly well when we consider the circumstances, but there should have been someone with experience ahead of him to step in for Kelce.
Watkins, even standing as the best lineman of the group, is young (in terms of football years) and still going through some growing pains. With any talent around him, those would likely be inconsequential most of the team. But when the guys to either side of him are also making mistakes, his growing pains stand out and look like incompetence, when that's not true or fair.
Todd Herremans was supposed to be the answer at right tackle for years to come. The team even restructured his deal to pay him like a tackle, and he's now making $7 million per season over the next three years.
After watching him play this season, he's not worth $7 million total for the rest of his playing days.
Herremans was much better as a guard, but again, a lot of that was likely due to who was playing next to him.
That all being said, five average linemen can come together to make an above-average offensive line if they trust one another and develop some chemistry and continuity, so there's still some hope left for this unit.
It's time for Howard Mudd to earn his check and finally show us why we were all excited to have him aboard in the first place.