It's fun to look back at the success of the 2013 Eagles and see all the offensive records that were broken. A number of offensive players had career years, especially in the case of the league leader in passer rating, Nick Foles, and the league's leading rusher, LeSean McCoy. But let's not forget the guys up front in the trenches who paved the way for success: the Eagles offensive line.
Pro Football Focus, one of the few available resources for offensive line stats/grading, recently released their offensive line rankings for all 32 NFL teams. The Eagles finished 9th overall:
When you factor in that they started a rookie at one tackle spot and a veteran coming off two Achilles tears at the other, it’s miraculous they finished so high. By the season’s end no line created as much at the point of attack as this unit with three All-Pro candidates on board, and but for their sometimes porous pass protection they’d have waltzed to the top spot. It’s an area for improvement.
PFF was very high on the offensive line's run blocking (1st), but the pass blocking ranked below average (18th). The line's top performer was (surprise) Evan Mathis
Stud: Another season, another year of Evan Mathis (+46.7) putting on a clinic at guard. You don’t see linemen win as consistently as he does and it’s remarkable to think of his early career when you look at what he’s done these past three years.
...and the lowest graded blocker was none other than rookie right tackle Lane Johnson.
Dud: It’s never bad when you’re dud, Lane Johnson (+0.2) earns a positive grade. The rookie right tackle started off slowly, giving up too much pressure but came on strong to finish the year.
Here's each individual player's PFF grade:
Jason Peters +30 (4 out of 76 tackles)
Evan Mathis +46.7 (1 out of 81 guards)
Jason Kelce +18.9 (1 out of 33 centers)
Todd Herremans +6.2 (26 out of 81 guards)
Lane Johnson +0.2 (39 out of 76 tackles)
The Eagles offensive line is certainly talented, but except for 2013 rookie Lane Johnson, it's not necessarily very young. Jason Kelce is on the "right side of 30" at 27 years old, but Peters (31), Herremans (31), and Mathis (32) are older than 30. The Eagles will have to replace this talent in the future, but for now they can enjoy the benefits of success.
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