Well… 2012 was a lot worse, but we already know that. For the sake of putting numbers behind it, I went to data compiled by ProFootballFocus, using their snap counts, penalties, sacks allowed, and hits allowed. (PFF calls it a “hit” if the QB is knocked down, but not sacked). I then added them all up and broke it down into 3 more metrics:
- Snaps per penalty
- Snaps per sack
- Snaps per hit
The higher the number of snaps per penalties/sacks/hits, the better.
Just to note, in 2011, PFF had the OL down for 10 sacks allowed. You might ask, “Wait, how can that be accurate if Michael Vick was sacked 24 times in 2011?” The answer is that they will place blame on the QB for holding on to the ball to long, or if there simply wasn’t anyone on the OL to blame (sacks allowed by TEs or RBs), QB scrambled when nothing was open, etc. I charted all of Michael Vick’s sacks in 2011, and while I came to a couple different conclusions on which offensive lineman was to blame, I also came up with about 10 sacks that you could blame on the OL. In other words, even if there are a few disagreements here and there on the “who” aspect, the overall numbers are going to be very close. Got it? Good.
And here’s what it looks like when you put the bottom line in 2011 up against the bottom line in 2012:
In other words, in 2011, the Eagles’ offensive linemen played more than double the snaps in between giving up sacks and hits than in 2012. Obviously, that is a huge difference.
Oh, and instead of getting plays like this…
You got plays like this…
And then there was this:
It can’t be overstated enough had badly injuries along the Eagles’ OL wrecked the 2012 season. Jason Peters, Todd Herremans, and Jason Kelce will all be returning from serious injuries, although they will all likely be ready to go for the start of training camp in 2013. While it’s perhaps unrealistic to expect Peters to return to 2011 form when he was arguably the best offensive lineman in the game, the return of those three players will be enormous upgrades over the mess that was the Eagles’ 2012 OL.