Well, there’s not a lot to hang your hat on following the Atlanta Falcons and their Week 1 performance, but at least the offensive line came out okay?
Are ... are we reading that correctly?
Pro Football Focus ranked Atlanta third for all offensive lines after a week of play, even though it seems like the Philadelphia Eagles defensive line ate them alive as the game wore on.
Here are the grades and the explanation.
Left Tackle: Jake Matthews, 81.3
Left Guard: Andy Levitre, 72.8
Center: Alex Mack, 87.4
Right Guard: Brandon Fusco, 69.4
Right Tackle: Ryan Schraeder, 68.1
The Falcons offensive line was overpowered on the last drive last Thursday night, but there’s no shame in losing the battle to the league’s top pass-rushing defensive line from 2017. The good news is, newly-extended left tackle Jake Matthews wasn’t among those getting his butt handed to him. Matthews allowed only two pressures on 52 pass-blocking snaps all night.
The left side of the line and the stalwart center all graded out quite nicely. New guard Brandon Fusco didn’t do so hot per PFF in his debut, and as folks have noted, right tackle Ryan Schraeder took his lumps. Don’t expect the latter to stick, and Fusco won’t have to worry about blocking Fletcher Cox every week.
It’s great to see Matthews in particular do so well after he struggled against Philly in January. He was challenged in the offseason to make strides, and it’s mightily encouraging to see that he’s answered the call in the rematch. This could bode well going ahead if the team finally has an improved version of Matthews waiting on them.
The Panthers have a pretty stout defensive front, led by Kawann Short and Julius Peppers, so we’ll see how Atlanta’s OL fares Sunday when Carolina comes calling.
For now, this is a definite boost to take away from that abysmal Philly trip. Here’s hoping the offensive line continues to impress the right people and that it translates into more points sooner than later.