There has been one thing that you can count on year in and year out for the Arizona Cardinals.
A bad offensive line.
No matter what they have thrown at it, serviceable has been the highest praise, and new forms of expletives the common way to describe their play.
They again have overhauled the offensive line heading into the 2019 season, the first under Kliff Kingsbury.
Steve Keim has tagged a group with a history of poor play, a litany of injury issues and short-term contracts to protect his prized rookie, Kyler Murray.
Now, Pro Football Focus has weighed in with their thoughts on each teams 2019 offensive line and maybe a bit unexpectedly, the Arizona Cardinals are not the worst, but they are not far off either:
30. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals’ offensive line was a shambles last year. They allowed the league’s second-most total pressures (218), the fourth-most hurries (142), the second-most hits (42) and the second-most sacks (34), all while they ranked dead last among teams in snaps played per pressure (2.6). And even though they added J.R. Sweezy and Marcus Gilbert over the offseason, you shouldn’t be surprised to hear that they’re still pretty thin upfront. Center Mason Cole allowed the second-most pressures among centers as a rookie, while J.R. Sweezy has allowed pressure on 5.7% of his snaps since 2016, which is tied for 60th among the 98 guards who have played at least 500 pass-blocking snaps in that three-year period.
Only the Houston Texans (31) and Miami Dolphins (32) are graded as worse.
Yet, there are two things that stand out for the Cardinals.
- They have little talent in the wings.
- They continue to address the offensive line in an odd way.
The second one is one I’ll expound on more later, but the basis of it is, they continue to look for road graders, maulers inside and then prefer pass protectors outside at tackles.
This is an archaic way of building an offensive line, as some of the premier pass rushers, including the most dominant in the NFL Aaron Donald, rush from inside.
Yet, the Cardinals are here.
We’ll see how the overhaul 7.0 goes this year with a new offensive scheme, but Pro Football Focus does not seem to excited.