Thursday, November 06, 2014

Should We Be Concerned About The Packers Offensive Line?

Injuries really become a problem for NFL teams when they hit multiple players at the same position. So the timing of injuries to LG Josh Sitton and RG T.J. Lang could leave the Packers in a bind when they play the Bears on Sunday.
I wouldn't count either of them out until game time, but it sure is possible they could miss the game. Sitton is once again their best offensive lineman for the umpteenth season in a row. Lang played poorly against the Seahawks in the opener, but he's been very good since then.

Their replacements would be JC Tretter (who hasn't played a snap this season and just came off of I.R.) and Lane Taylor (who's clearly their worst lineman now that Derek Sherrod's been released). Tretter's been worked mostly at center over the past two seasons and played tackle in college, so it's safe to assume he's least familiar with the guard position. It's likely to be a big step down from Sitton and Lang to Tretter and Taylor.

Unfortunately the Bears could be in good position to take advantage of it. 9.5 of their 20 sacks this season have come from their interior lineman while Stephen Paea and Jeremiah (Jay) Ratliff are currently ranked by Pro Football Focus as their two best pass rushing defenders. Ratliff has looked impressive this season and shaken off the problems that kept him off the field for the Cowboys back in 2012 and 2013. If their tackles can provide a consistent pass rush, they could disrupt the entire offense, as the Lions did back on September 21st when they held the Packers to seven points by stopping the running game and forcing QB Aaron Rodgers into a lot of quick passes because of pressure.

To answer my own question; I'd be very concerned if Sitton and Lang couldn't play on Sunday.

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