They kept their quarterback clean. They opened running lanes. They were in control.
We saw a dominant game from the Eagles’ offensive line on Thursday night in a much-needed 34-27 win over the Packers at Lambeau Field. Dominant. They finally looked like the unit that ProFootballFocus said was the best in the NFL heading into the 2019 season.
Now, that is the type of performance the Eagles need from their O-line every week.
“I think as a group they played extremely well,” head coach Doug Pederson said. “This was a good defensive front that they played against — 55 (Za’Darius Smith), 91 (Preston Smith), those guys are good players and they did a nice job against them.
“And then it's just a mindset. Going into these games, short week, probably feeling a little bit of pressure of trying to perform and win a game, as we all did probably going into the game. They blocked their tails off and allowed no sacks. They did a great job.”
For the first time all season, all five members of the Eagles’ offensive line played every snap (62 on Thursday), a feat they struggled to accomplish last season.
They didn’t allow a sack against the Packers and gave up just two QB hits on Carson Wentz.
In Wentz’s career, he’s now 6-0 when he doesn’t get sacked. And he’s 13-2 when he’s sacked one or fewer times. Two of those games are the Eagles’ two wins this season. (In their two losses in 2019, they’ve given up three sacks in each.)
The Eagles also rushed for 176 yards on 33 carries behind great run blocking from the five guys up front.
“I think we have found our identity,” Lane Johnson said.
It turns out that when the Eagles’ offensive line has dominant performances, they’re dominant in both phases. In those 15 games when Wentz has been sacked one or fewer times, the Eagles have also been able to run the ball. They are averaging 144.3 yards per game in those 15 contests, compared to 102.9 yards per game in their 37 other games since the start of the 2016 season.
And when the O-line has a game like they did on Thursday night, the Eagles probably aren’t going to lose. Since sacks became an official stat in 1982, the Eagles are 7-0 when they rush for 176 yards and don’t give up a sack.
The Eagles boast four Pro Bowlers in their five positions on the offensive line and Pederson was quick to point out that Isaac Seumalo (the only one without a Pro Bowl on his resume) bounced back from an awful performance in Atlanta two weeks ago.
Sure, the Eagles have plenty of talented skill players on offense. They can be a dangerous offensive team. But make no mistake about it: the strength of this offense is supposed to be its offensive line.
They need more dominant performances like the one we saw Thursday night.
Click here to download the MyTeams App by NBC Sports! Receive comprehensive coverage of your teams and stream the Flyers, Sixers and Phillies games easily on your device.