Eagles offensive line answers the bell after change at left guard

By: Jesse Larch, Sports Talk Philly Editor 

The Eagles were expected to have an offensive line that would rank in the top of the NFL entering this season. Through the first two weeks the Eagles had not met that expectation – especially in week two against the Kansas City Chiefs.

A major part of the debacle in week two was the play of second-year guard Isaac Seumalo. Seumalo allowed four sacks against the lauded Kansas City defense. Furthermore the team struggled to run the ball in the first two weeks of the season – which falls heavily on the play of the offensive line. 

The Eagles opted to make a change on the offensive line – specifically at the left guard spot – for week three against the New York Giants, and the change paid dividends.

Isaac Seumalo found himself on the sideline in favor of Chance Warmack. Warmack had a very short leash and was pulled in favor of Stefen Wisniewski. 

Wisniewski came into the game and boosted the offensive line considerably. 

In the first two weeks of the season the Eagles' offense combined for 165 yards on the ground. In week three with the change at left guard the Eagles eclipsed their total from the previous two games by rushing for 193 yards against a top defensive unit. 

The Eagles also showed a boost in pass coverage. The Eagles allowed eight sacks in the first two games which translates to four per game. The line allowed three sacks against the Giants to trim that number by one. 

Four of the five members on the Eagles offensive line graded out at an elite level in week three according to Pro Football Focus:

Pro Football focus applies an algorithm to rank a player's performance each week. The Eagles' offensive graded out at an elite level in week three. Jason Peters and Lane Johnson both did not allow a pressure against the Giants, and Johnson graded out as the best right tackle in the NFL in week three. 

Jason Kelce was the top center in the NFL in week three, and he also is rated as the third best center all season behind Alex Mack of the Atlanta Falcons and Rodney Hudson of the Oakland Raiders. Stefen Wisniewski in his first week with the line was the third best guard of the week.

The only player not mentioned is right guard Brandon Brooks who is regularly placed in the upper-echelon when it comes to guard play.

This system of advanced analytics is not perfect, but they do tell part of the story, and it is safe to conclude that the the Eagles offensive line reached their elite billing – at least for one week. 

Wisniewski's addition may not be permanent but the team's production on the ground certainly seems to be in conjunction with his first appearance of the season. 

This week the Eagles will get a new challenge from the Los Angeles Chargers in the form of Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram who are considered a top pass rushing duo in the NFL. It will be interesting to see if the Eagles' offensive line can duplicate their dominant play from week three, and if Wisniewski will keep his spot at left guard.

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