In the last month as the Eagles have turned around their season, they’ve done it behind the strength of their offensive line.
More specifically, as Nick Sirianni pointed out, behind the strength of their two best players on that line.
“When I look at our offensive line it's led by 62 and 65,” Sirianni said. “I know Jason sets the table for everything of what we're going to do, where we're going with the point, everything like that. And it’s those two guys really, really carry us.”
Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson are the Eagles’ two best offensive linemen and they’re also the two have have been here the longest. Kelce has been here since 2011 and Johnson since 2013. Together, they’ve made Pro Bowls and All-Pros and won a championship.
But this is Sirianni’s first season getting to coach them. And it’s safe so say the first-year head coach is enjoying it.
Johnson, 31, missed three games earlier this season as he dealt with some personal mental health issues, but since his return, he’s really helped to shore up that Eagles’ offensive line. After a year and a half of different combinations, the same offensive line has started the last five games together.
It’s probably no coincidence that the run game has been humming since Johnson’s return.
“Lane has been playing outstanding. He's just so big and powerful,” Sirianni said. “To me, he's the best tackle that I've been around in my 12, 13 years in the NFL. He's somebody that can lockdown his side in pass protection, is powerful and technically sound in the run game of fitting double-team blocks on his way to the linebacker.
That was on full display yesterday, and it's been on full display for the last four weeks.”
With Kelce, the thing that impresses Sirianni most is his ability to process. He likened him to a veteran quarterback, naming Philip Rivers, who is able to win with his instincts because he’s seen so much in his career.
Watching this offensive line — with Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Kelce, Jack Driscoll and Johnson — over the last few weeks has been fun. Offensive line coach and run game coordinator Jeff Stoutland has the entire unit playing at a high level and the Eagles have rushed for 175+ yards in four straight games.
While run blocking might not seem like the most exciting thing in the world, this unit has made it really fun to watch.
Especially with plays like this one from Kelce on Sunday.
“That's a movie-style block, right?” Sirianni said. “You don't see a guy accelerate through one block and continue on to the next block, throw another block. I think I saw that -- the only other time I've seen that, he made one of those same blocks against Atlanta and I said the same thing.
“I’ve seen Jason Kelce do it against Atlanta, against the Saints yesterday, and I saw Billy Bob on Varsity Blues do it went in West Texas on that.”
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