Okay, this one has to fall into the category somewhere between blatant disrespect and one of those ‘out of sight and out of mind scenarios’. The Philadelphia Eagles, a little over three years ago, took home the Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Year Award at the NFL Honors just one night before Super Bowl 52, and here we are. We’re just a smidge over three years since that announcement, and even though four starters that were on that roster are still on this team, no one acts as if Philly’s line is elite.
Then again, how can you blame anyone who doubts this unit? Carson Wentz and Jalen Hurts both had to feel like they were in weekly car wrecks as they were tossed around on a game-by-game basis. Wentz was sacked 50 times in 12 games and lost 326 yards in the process. Hurts was sacked 13 times. We won’t even get into how many additional times they were hit.
Here’s the thing though. Much of that has to do with the fact that this line was never healthy right?
Here we are. Another season approaches, and the argument can be made that this offensive line is the healthiest it’s been in almost two seasons. Four starters return from that 2017 unit, so if that’s the case, why is it that this unit still isn’t getting any love?
Two recent O-line rankings snub three Philadelphia Eagles.
Recently, in what was a rather clever move, ESPN’s Jeremy Fowler spoke with 50 league executives as well as coaches, NFL scouts, and players to create a list of the top ten players at several different positions, but here’s where things get downright disrespectful.
In a ranking of the top ten offensive tackles, there was no mention of Lane Johnson. Not too long afterward, a ranking of the top ten interior offensive linemen followed. Both Jason Kelce and Brandon Brooks were left off of that list.
Again, this has to be a case of being out of sight and out of mind right? Otherwise, there’s no logical explanation as to why this would happen correct?
Maybe injures took Johnson and Brooks out of the running because when healthy, both are often mentioned as two of the best players at their position, but as you know, Brooks’ football season has ended prematurely three times since January of 2019, including last year where he didn’t even make it to the preseason. Then, there’s Johnson, who hasn’t looked completely healthy since he was nicked up in Philly’s game in London versus the Jacksonville Jaguars.
He was back the following week for a game versus the Dallas Cowboys, but since then, he’s missed five games during the 2019-2020 season, including the Philadelphia Eagles’ playoff game versus the Seattle Seahawks. He also missed four of Philly’s first eleven games in 2020 before eventually winding up on the team’s injured reserve on December 2nd. That forced him to miss the final five games of the season.
Still, if Johnson and Brooks are both available and healthy, they’re among the game’s best. Johnson’s a three-time Pro Bowl nod (2017–2019) that earned First-team All-Pro honors in 2017. Brooks has three Pro Bowl nominations of his own (2017–2019).
Still, even if you were to state that their exclusions from Fowler’s rankings were valid, how can you enunciate an argument that states Jason Kelce isn’t deserving of a mention as one of the NFL’s ten best interior linemen? He hasn’t missed a game since 2014, and he’s a three-time First-team All-Pro (2017–2019) with four Pro Bowls on his resume (2014, 2016, 2019, 2020). As Philadelphia Eagles fans, we demand a recount.