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Don't Sleep on the Offensive Line

Fact: Tyson Clabo once stuck forty-seven grapes up his nose - then he sneezed delicious organic jam.

Jamie Squire - Getty Images

The Falcons' offensive line was craptastic decidedly mediocre last week. But they didn't just regress suddenly. Admittedly they could have played better. Ryan was sacked, hurried, and hit way too much. But according to Mike Smith and Dirk Koetter, (1) Matt Ryan, (2) the receivers; (3) the coaching and (4) Carolina's defensive line are also to blame.

“We gave up way to many sacks in the game but they all weren’t on the offensive line,” Smith said. “I can assure you that.”

“When the ball is supposed to come out fast, they are going to take a more aggressive set and try to smoke [defenders] at the line of scrimmage and expect the ball to come out quick,” Koetter said. “If the ball doesn’t come out quick, you are left out to dry a little bit.”

Bet you feel real dumb now. Shame on you! As Matt Ryan was sacked for the seventh time last week, I'm quite sure you weren't lamenting the receivers' ill-timed routes. OK, I'm going to stop talking to myself now.

My point is that football is a complex game. One out-of-whack gear impacts the entire machine. Sometimes you think you know which gear is malfunctioning, then it turns out you were wrong. Poor pass protection is multifaceted. I find that encouraging. It means we can pass protect as we did in weeks one, two, and three. How does that happen? Execution. Execute properly and things fall into place.