Philadelphia Eagles: Recent Struggles Are Due to Offensive Line Injuries

Matt SchreiberAnalyst IIINovember 7, 2012

PHILADELPHIA, PA - NOVEMBER 27:  Offensive lineman Jason Kelce #62 of the Philadelphia Eagles centers the ball at the line of scrimmage agaist the New England Patriots at Lincoln Financial Field on November 27, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)
Patrick McDermott/Getty Images

Philadelphia Eagles fans have watched their team struggle week in and week out. It's so easy to put the blame on the team's playmakers and head coach, but they are not to blame one bit. 

The Philadelphia Eagles have a depleted offensive line. They have seen four of their five starting linemen go down to various injuries.

Left guard Jason Peters tore his Achilles tendon on two separate occasions this offseason and has not seen a snap this year. Center Jason Kelce tore his ACL back in Week 2. Right guard Danny Watkins is out with a sprained ankle.

To make matters worse, the Eagles announced today that right tackle Todd Herremans has been placed on the season-ending injured reserve list due to ligament and bone damage in his right foot.

The lone standing starting offensive linemen is right guard Evan Mathis.

The Philadelphia Eagles sit at 3-5 on the year and have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL for the remainder of the season. It won't matter who they're playing if they don't have guys who can protect their quarterback.

Once Herremans went down on Monday night in New Orleans, all hope pretty much went down the drain for Eagles fans. Thereafter, the Eagles watched their quarterback Michael Vick get sacked seven times. 

I can't begin to tell you how difficult it must be to get under center every single offensive snap and have no confidence in your offensive line. For Vick, it's almost as if he is lining up every play praying he doesn't get sacked. He already knows the blitz is coming.

We saw New Orleans Saints interim head coach Joe Vitt call numerous blitzes against Vick. The Saints blitzed more times than they didn't on Monday. 

Everyone keeps ripping on Vick for not having success this year, but you have got to give the guy a lot of credit for actually getting in there with the adversity to actually try and win games given the unfortunate circumstances. He consistently fights the media and criticism on a daily basis and directs no blame towards anyone but himself. 

It is so easy to see. Vick goes out there and works his tail off trying to make up for the poor protection. Sure, he has thrown nine interceptions this year and has lost five fumbles. Most of the interceptions he has thrown were while he was under extreme pressure. Three out of the five fumbles he has lost were on blindside blitzes where he had no idea the defense was even coming after him.

The poor protection due to injuries doesn't just affect Vick, it affects the entire Philadelphia Eagles roster—from offense to defense. It undoubtedly rubs off on everyone.

Put it this way: If you're a defensive player and have no confidence in your offense to make plays, how are you going to go out there and make plays yourself? 

The woes will just continue to get worse. I don't care what quarterback you put under center in Philadelphia. Whether it's Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Aaron Rodgers or Matt Ryan, no quarterback will be successful with no one blocking for them.