Through three weeks of the 2018 NFL season, it has not been pretty for the Arizona Cardinals.
One of the main reasons, at least to the folks over at Pro Football Focus, is the fact that the Arizona Cardinals offensive line is the worst in the NFL.
From Mike Renner of PFF:
If you’re looking for a bright spot on the Arizona line, it’s going to be hard to find. D.J. Humphries leads the unit with a 58.0 overall grade. The most disappointing aspect of the offensive line, though, has been the performance of their guards. Mike Iupati and Justin Pugh were both, at their peak, top-10 graded guards in the NFL. Injuries have taken their toll in recent years, and neither looks close to that form at the moment.
This is an issue for the Cardinals as their starting offensive line has grades as follows:
- Left Tackle: D.J. Humphries, 58.0
- Left Guard: Mike Iupati, 46.7
- Center: Mason Cole, 50.7
- Right Guard: Justin Pugh, 51.3
- Right Tackle: John Wetzel, 63.7
Wetzel’s grade obviously is not as complete as the other four, but his play has been the best thus far, but he had his worst game last week against against Khalil Mack and Akiem Hicks, who were both scary.
The lack of high level play from the offensive line is likely two-fold.
- The Cardinals have been playing from behind quite a bit, meaning they are having to throw the ball, with an immobile quarterback and an admittedly bad pass protecting line.
- The interior has really, really struggled, make life harder on the edge blockers.
Will we see an uptick in offensive line play with the switch at quarterback, or is this likely to cause problems for Josh Rosen early in his career?