The Philadelphia Eagles’ offensive line proved to be one of the driving forces behind winning the NFC Championship Game. As we look forward to Super Bowl LVII, winning in the trenches will be just as crucial against the Kansas City Chiefs.
Philadelphia really controlled the line of scrimmage against the San Francisco 49ers. He allowed only five pressures and zero quarterback hits in 27 Jalen Hurts dropbacks, per PFF. Additionally, Landon Dickerson (92.2), Jordan Mailata (87.2) and Lane Johnson (74.2) had single-game best ratings from Pro Football Focus.
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Not to be outdone, the Kansas City defensive line wreaked havoc against the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC Championship Game. Led by All-Pro defensive tackle Chris Jones (8 pressings, 2 sacks), the Chiefs generated 23 pressings with 11 rushes and five sacks.
Let that set the stage for one of Super Bowl LVII’s biggest matchups, with the winning team at the line of scrimmage likely to lift the Lombardi Trophy on Feb. 9.
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Reviewing the offensive line of the Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles are spending the fourth most money ($59 million) on their offensive line and every dollar is worth it. One of the top front offices in the NFL has done an outstanding job of identifying offensive line prospects for draft, and Philadelphia’s coaching staff has an outstanding track record of developing players.
Jordan Mailata, a seventh round pick in the 2018 NFL Draft, is one of the best pound for pound athletes in the NFL. While it took some time for his physical traits to transform into him becoming a fine left tackle, the 25-year-old is now one of the best offensive tackles in the NFC. While he allowed the most rushes (32) and sacks (six) among the Eagles’ offensive linemen, he still posted a pass blocking efficiency of 96.3 and is an even better run blocker despite never playing to football before being drafted.
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Philadelphia left guard Landon Dickerson has become one of the top inside offensive linemen in the NFL since being selected 37th overall in the 2021 NFL Draft. Dating back to Week 1, Dickerson is tied for eighth in PBE (98 ,3), allowing only 20 presses and a sack in 671 pass-block snaps. Lui delivered his best performance in the NFC title game, allowing just two presses and earning a run blocking rating of 91.3 PFF. In the regular season, he had the second-best ESPN pass block win rate (97%) in the NFL.
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In his 35-year season, Jason Kelce earned his fifth first-team All-Pro selection and arguably solidified his status as a future Hall of Famer. He ranked third in run-block winning percentage (75%) and ninth in pass-block winning percentage (96%). Kelce has also allowed just 11 pressures with zero hits or sacks in 19 games this season.
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Selected with the 79th pick in the 2016 NFL Draft, Isaac Seumalo is ending a contract year on a perfect note. The 29-year-old was ranked the ninth-best guard by the PFF this season, largely due to his strength at pass protection (22 presses, 1 sack allowed).
When they’re healthy, there are few better linemen in the NFL than Lane Johnson. The 32-year-old is currently playing with a torn adductor, slightly detracting from his effectiveness. Even at less than 100%, he’s a brick wall in pass protection and he should line up against Jones several times.
Kansas City Chiefs defensive line Chris Jones warming up
Los Angeles Rams defensive forward Aaron Donald will go on to become the best defender of his generation. If Donald is the Patrick Mahomes of defensive tackles, Chris Jones is the equivalent of Aaron Rodgers.
- Chris Jones Career Stats: 146 hits by QB, 65 tackles for loss, 65 sacks in 107 games
The 6-foot-6 defensive lineman is a one-man wrecking crew right now. Of his eight presses against Cincinnati, three led to sacks and the other five forced Joe Burrow to incompletes. Simply underscores his dominance since November, leading all defensive tackles in pressure (44) with second place pressure turnovers (three) from week 10.
It should come as no surprise that Jones led all defensive tackles in pass-rush hitting percentage (21%) during the regular season. He and Donald are the only two infield linemen to generate PRWR above 20 percent in the past two seasons.
As for how Kansas City will field Jones, that’s up to defensive coordinator Steve Spagnulo. While Jones played 71.8% of his snaps at defensive tackle in the regular season, he was lineup on 61.8% of his snaps during the playoffs.
The rest of the Chiefs’ defensive line is a little more patchy. However, Frank Clark (2 sacks, 2 hurries), Carlos Dunlap (5 hurries, 2 QB hits) and rookie George Karlaftis (1 sack, 16.7% pass-rush hitting percentage) seemed to come to life in the NFC Championship Game. Of course, this could be the result of facing a Bengals offensive line that is missing three starters.
Lead: Philadelphia Eagles
While Jones is arguably the best defensive lineman the Eagles have faced all year, the 49ers’ defensive line was better. Philadelphia boasts both the talent and size advantage over Kansas City, with five starters expected to win at the line of scrimmage.