Through all the turmoil and struggles and change there is one unfortunate reality for the Arizona Cardinals.
They are not doing a good job along the offensive line.
Despite copious amounts of resources being used on the offensive line in Steve Keim’s six seasons as GM, there is little to show for it.
We’ve discussed the fact that the Cardinals OL is the worst in the NFL according to Pro Football Focus and it showed on the national stage, as Von Miller, Bradley Chubb and the Denver Broncos pass rush completely obliterated the Cardinals.
Quarterback Josh Rosen left the game needing a walking boot and it left fans questioning the sanity of Head Coach Steve Wilks for leaving the rookie in the game to take such a beating.
Well, according to ESPN, it should not come as a surprise.
The Arizona Cardinals offensive tackles are the second worst in the NFL in pass protection according to E$PN Insider:
Let’s rank the OT combos from 32 to 1 using PBWR -- read the explainer on how it works here. In cases in which tackles have been benched or gotten injured, we’re using the players who are expected to be the starters for the rest of the season. Another note: Some tackles haven’t played enough snaps yet to qualify.
31. Arizona Cardinals
Left tackle: D.J. Humphries (71 percent)
Right tackle: Andre Smith (67 percent)
In Thursday night’s blowout loss at the hands of the Broncos, Arizona’s offensive line posted the fourth-worst team PBWR of the season. Both Humphries and Smith posted below-average PBWRs in the loss. To be fair to Smith, though, he had to contend with Von Miller.
Smith’s struggles are not a surprise, in fact it was why most fans seemed more than comfortable with John Wetzel remaining at the right tackle position, however, to see the low ranking for Humphries is a bit more concerning.
In order to understand Humphries grade, and if you do not have ESPN Insiders, Humprhies 71% is only better than two other players.
Nate Solder of the New York Giants who is at 66%, Taylor Decker of the Detroit Lions is at 70% and Humphries is tied along with rookie left tackle Kolton Miller of the Oakland Raiders. Josh Walker of the Jaguars is lower as well, but he is a backup so I did not figure that into the starter metrics.
The rest of the NFC West?
The San Francisco 49ers are 16th in the NFL, with Joe Staley at 84% and rookie Mike McGlinchey at 80%.
Everyone’s favorite offensive line punching bag, the Seattle Seahawks have the fifth best offensive tackle duo in the NFL, with Duane Brown scoring an 87% and Germain Ifedi at 83%.
The top spot in the NFL belongs to the Los Angeles Rams who have Andrew Whitworth at 93% and Rob Havenstein at 80%.
It clearly is a problem for the Cardinals, can Byron Leftwich scheme around it?