Philadelphia Eagles had Eighth-Ranked Offensive Line in 2016
If you were going to rank the strengths of the 2016 Philadelphia Eagles, the offensive line would have to be near the top of the list.
Injuries and suspensions forced the Eagles to start eight different players, including two rookies, along their offensive front, but they still were able to keep it together. The right side of the line was especially affected. Head coach Doug Pederson was forced to use two different starting right guards and four different right tackles. Only center Jason Kelce and left tackle Jason Peters were able to start all 16 games.
Even with all the injuries, changes, movement, and rookies getting time and Lane Johnson missing 10 games, the Eagles’ O-line finished in the top-10, finishing eighth, in Pro Football Focus’ unit rankings for the 2016 regular season.
The Eagles line would have been far higher on this list if RT Lane Johnson could avoid getting himself suspended. Johnson is arguably the game’s best right tackle, but was suspended for 10 games, forcing the team to use fifth round rookie Halapoulivaati Vaitai, Allen Barbre and then Matt Tobin at right tackle as injuries prevented a settled unit. New import Brandon Brooks was excellent in his first season with the Eagles, allowing just one sack all season at guard and narrowly missing out on a spot on the PFF All-Pro team. Between injury and suspension, the Eagles were disrupted pretty significantly up front, and this unit has the potential to be better than they showed overall this year.
Despite being ranked ninth, the Eagles didn't have the top offensive line in the NFC East, according to PFF. The Washington Redskins came in one spot ahead of them at seventh, and the division champion Dallas Cowboys ranked second in the league,behind only Tennessee. The New York Giants line came in 20th.
Peters was Philadelphia's best overall lineman, earning a rating of 88.3 on the year, good for seventh among NFL left tackles. Peters was also the team’s top pass blocker while Lane Johnson, who missed 10 games due to suspension, graded out as the top run blocker.