Coming off a pair of Achilles tears that forced him to miss all of 2012, Jason Peters was predictably rusty when the season started. In his first eight games, Peters gave up 23 hurries and had to come out of several games when he was banged up.
He really turned it up a notch in the second half. Over the final eight games, Peters allowed just five hurries. He was his former All-Pro self as a run blocker. And that earned him his sixth career Pro Bowl selection.
Evan Mathis is as consistent a player as there is in this league.
Check out his yearly rating among all guards, per Pro Football Focus:
This year, Mathis did get beat for two sacks, but he was as terrific a run blocker as this league has seen from a guard in years. On rushes between Mathis and center Jason Kelce, the Eagles averaged a ridiculous 8.0 yards per carry (per PFF, subscription required).
Jason Kelce may have turned into the NFL’s best center. He’s a perfect fit for Chip Kelly’s offense. Kelce is undersized but incredibly nimble. Pro Football Focus rated Kelce as the third-best run-blocking center in the league and the best overall center.
Kelce played in 1,119 of a possible 1,129 snaps this season, and he’s going to get himself a long-term extension in Philadelphia soon.
For the first nine weeks of the season, Todd Herremans really struggled in this offense. He looked older and slower, and didn’t seem to be recovering from the foot injury he suffered late in 2012.
But Herremans really turned it around.
First nine weeks: -2.1 rating per Pro Football Focus, 2.7 hurries allowed per game
Next seven weeks: +8.3 rating per Pro Football Focus, 1.4 hurries allowed per game
That’s good news for Eagles fans who thought he may have begun a career decline.
Lane Johnson was Chip Kelly’s first-ever draft pick as head coach of the Philadelphia Eagles. He’s essentially a younger version of Jason Peters. Johnson is arguably the most athletic offensive lineman to hit the NFL in years. He ran a 4.72 40-yard dash and benched 225 pounds 28 times.
Johnson had his growing pains as a rookie, as all offensive linemen do. After all, Russell Okung and Trent Williams were high draft picks who struggled in their first year in the league. Johnson was one of just eight offensive tackles to allow double-digit sacks, and he committed eight penalties.
As a run blocker though, Johnson was phenomenal. He rated as the 11th-best among 76 qualifiers, per Pro Football Focus’s standards. And Johnson has been much better as a pass blocker too, allowing 10 hurries over his last eight games after giving up 29 in his first eight.