Ranking the NFL's 5 Most Disastrous Offensive Lines
The 2012 NFL season has managed to stick out as one of the worst years for offensive lines in recent memory—the lines at the bottom of the league are just that bad.
A horrible offensive line can singlehandedly ruin the season for a squad. If the quarterback does not have time to progress through his reads and make the throw, a team simply cannot win games.
The worst lines in the league are typically classified as such by examining their offensive rankings as well as counting how many quarterback disruptions the offensive line has allowed—a total of quarterback sacks, knockdowns and hurries.
There are bad lines in the NFL—then there are these five lines. Let's rank the five most disastrous lines in the NFL today.
Editor's Note: All pass and run-blocking efficiency rankings courtesy of ProFootballFocus.
5. Indianapolis Colts
After the Indianapolis Colts lost veteran center Jeff Saturday this offseason, the front office elected to replace him with Samson Satele.
According to ProFootballFocus, the Colts rank 30th in the league in run-blocking efficiency and are also ranked 23rd in penalties.
Rookie quarterback Andrew Luck has struggled at times thanks to players like Satele, right guard Mike McGlynn and right tackle Winston Justice. The running game is nonexistent and Luck is throwing on the run more often than not.
4. Oakland Raiders
The Oakland Raiders utilize a zone-blocking scheme that was supposed to cater to running back Darren McFadden and effectively protect quarterback Carson Palmer.
Back to the drawing board for Oakland.
The Raiders rank close to the bottom of the league in terms of pass and run-blocking efficiency, and the running game ranks next to dead-last behind the mediocre unit.
For a running back as elite as McFadden, the fact that he cannot have big games means the line is simply inadequate. Part of the issue is putting Willie Harris in at right tackle, but others such as Mike Brisiel have failed to step up.
3. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jacksonville Jaguars are a mess along the O-line. The unit ranks dead last in the passing game, points scored and yards per game, along with a No. 28 ranking in rushing yards per game.
While all of the offensive struggles cannot be blamed on the line, it's hard to start with anything else. The line ranks 31st in pass-blocking efficiency and has simply been a turnstile for defenders on the way to quarterback Blaine Gabbert.
Gabbert has taken a lot of heat for his performance these past two seasons, but players such as Eben Britton and Brad Meester need to be called out as well.
Things are bad in Jacksonville, and it starts with the offensive line.
2. St. Louis Rams
The St. Louis Rams have suffered some injuries along the line this year, and have even let go of underperforming players such as Quinn Ojinnaka.
While injuries have hampered the line, the unit pre-injury wasn't much better. The Rams rank near the bottom in points per game and passing yards per game, and the tape shows quarterback Sam Bradford taking an inordinate amount of hits (likely to lead to another injury for the franchise QB).
Players like right guard Harvey Dahl and center Robert Turner have no business starting in the NFL, and the tackle duo of Wayne Hunter and Barry Richardson is laughable.
St. Louis has a plethora of issues, but most pressing is the horrific play happening in the trenches.
1. Arizona Cardinals
The Arizona Cardinals rank no better than 27th in every offensive category, and a large part of that is the struggling offensive line.
In fact, the Cardinals offensive line has been historically bad so far in 2012.
In 300 passing plays, the Cardinals have allowed a jaw-dropping 134 quarterback disruptions, meaning the quarterbacks have been under pressure on 43 percent of their passing plays (h/t ESPN).
It's not surprising that John Skelton was injured earlier in the season, but had to re-enter last week because Kevin Kolb went down with an injury as well. Not only is the offensive line not allowing the offense to score, it's endangering the health of all quarterbacks on the roster.
The worst offensive line in the NFL resides in Arizona. It may also be one of the worst lines of all time with no positive changes in sight.