Something is happening on the Eagles’ offensive line that hasn’t happened in a long, long time.
They’re staying healthy.
There are a lot of reasons the Eagles’ offense has been rolling the last few weeks. Nick Sirianni’s play calling has improved, Jalen Hurts has been more efficient, the running game has been massive.
But all of it goes back to the offensive line, which for the first time in 2 ½ years has stayed together for more than two games.
Jordan Mailata, Landon Dickerson, Jason Kelce, Jack Driscoll and Lane Johnson have started the last four games after the Eagles used 23 different offensive lines and 15 different starters in their previous 28 games.
This is the first time since the first five weeks of 2019 that the same five offensive linemen have started four straight games.
Stability is important at any position, but on the offensive line, where communication, chemistry and teamwork are so important, it’s huge.
“The cohesiveness, having the continuity of the same line, really helps building that connection that you need,” Jordan Mailata said before practice Wednesday.
“You really need that playing next to the same guy. Is he going to cover my back on a play? The more and more experience we get to play with the same five guys up front, the connection – one of our core values – is going to rise.”
Since Mailata moved back from right to left tackle, Dickerson settled in at left guard, Driscoll came back from an injury to solidify right guard and Johnson returned to action at right tackle, this offense has been rolling.
The first six weeks of the season, the Eagles ranked 19th in scoring [22.8], 20th in yards , 15th in rushing yards , 23rd in 1st downs , 18th on third down [39 percent] and 13th in sacks allowed [2.0 per game]
These last four games, finally settled up front, they’ve improved to 3rd in scoring [30.0], 5th in yards , 1st in rushing yards , 1st in 1st downs , 2nd on third down [52 percent] and 4th in sacks allowed [1.0 per game].
Obviously, there are other factors, like play calling, quality of opponent and execution by Jalen Hurts and the other skill players.
But the difference is hard to ignore. The last month, this offensive line has been exceptional both run blocking and pass blocking.
They’re crushing people.
Seems a little continuity can go a long way.
“It all goes back to communication,” Johnson said. “When you have the same guys, you have less chance of having mental errors, the more snaps you have with each other. You’ve got beasts out there on the left, me and Jack there on the right, Kelce in the middle and we’re slowly picking up steam.”
The Eagles have been unsettled for so long on the offensive line it’s hard to believe.
The last time they started the same five offensive linemen in more than six straight games was the last seven games of 2015 – Jason Peters, Allen Barbre, Kelce, Matt Tobin and Johnson.
The last time the same group started at least eight straight games was 2013, when Peters, Evan Mathis, Kelce, Todd Herremans and Johnson started all 17 games.
Seumalo is out for the season, but there’s a chance Brandon Brooks will return to take his old spot at right guard. Brooks has been out since Week 2 with a pec strain.
And as welcome as stability and continuity are, an offensive line of Mailata, Dickerson, Kelce, Brooks and Johnson would be very hard to top.
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