One of the major strengths of the 2020 Green Bay Packers has been the strength of the offensive line through three weeks. Even though they were hit by the injury bug to start the season, has bounced back to allow Aaron Rodgers and Aaron Jones to have the hot starts they’ve gotten off to.
Next Offensive Lineman Up
Billy Turner started the season with a knee injury that kept him inactive in Week 1’s win over the Minnesota Vikings. In that same game, Lane Taylor suffered a knee injury that saw him leave the game.
Most teams would panic when two starting players the caliber of a Turner and Taylor wouldn’t play on the line, but not Green Bay.
Matt LaFleur inserted rookie sixth-round draft pick Jon Runyan Jr. and if you weren’t paying attention to the changes, you would’ve never have noticed based on Rodgers start against the Vikings that week.
Newly acquired tackle Rick Wagner also saw some action that, overall, saw a pretty clean pocket for Rodgers — who has only been sacked twice this season, and once of them being admitted by Rodgers to his fault for being sacked by Demario Davis of the New Orleans Saints in Week 3.
Veteran Offensive Line Presence
David Bakhtiari since 2014 vs. Detroit Lions:
— PFF GB Packers (@PFF_Packers) September 18, 2020
The offensive line has faced some premium pass rushers in three weeks including Eric Kendricks and Yannick Ngakoue of Minnesota, Jamie Collins and Trey Flowers of Detroit, and Davis and Cameron Jordan of New Orleans. Only Davis and Collins got home on Rodgers.
Green Bay’s line has opened up early MVP chatter for Rodgers as the protection they’ve provided has turned into 887 passing yards, nine touchdowns, and zero interceptions.
In addition, Jones has also benefitted greatly from his beefy teammates rushing for 303 yards and five total touchdowns.
Death, taxes, and Aaron Jones touchdowns pic.twitter.com/Lmt5Bz2WJO
— PFF Fantasy Football (@PFF_Fantasy) September 28, 2020
The strength of this year’s offensive line could be the key to Green Bay going on a deep run. Keeping Rodgers healthy is obviously an crucial call. However, a strong line helps in both the passing attack and rushing attack — and as already defined. As a result, this offense has put up 35+ points in three-straight games.
Even as the defense continues to find its footing through three weeks of the season, its been Green Bay’s offense that has dictated the game flow. The offense has a time of possession averaging 35:54.
Offensive Line Grades
According to PFF, four of the five linemen — Bakhtiari, Jenkins, Linsley, Patrick all have been graded with a score of at least 83. This ranks them all in the top ten in football. Wagner is not far off ranked as the No. 35 OT with a score of 72.6.
The bottom line is that the Green Bay offensive line has been a major strength for them this season. If this unit can continue to hold down the fort as they have, then it’ll benefit both sides of the ball. They will know they can provide protection and provide time for the offense.
Packers' offensive line pass blocking grades according to @PFF:
Bakhtiari: No. 6 OT (86.7 grade)
Jenkins: No. 4 OG (86.9 grade)
Linsley: No. 4 C (83.6 grade)
Patrick: No. 8 OG (83.1 grade)
Wagner: No. 35 OT (72.6 grade)
Rodgers has been great because he's had the time to be. pic.twitter.com/tpMJMXDey2
— Dan Plocher (@DanPlocher) September 29, 2020