Offensive line play making and breaking teams already

4 of 4

Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks are another team with a major worry regarding their offensive line play. Pinned as a Super Bowl favorite to come out of the NFC in preseason, this team has struggled mightily on offense thus far.

As a result, Russell Wilson has had to call on all his houdini-esque powers to extend drives. Even those famed abilities haven’t been enough to put points on the board in a significant way.

It took them eight quarters to score a touchdown when they finally breached the end zone late in the game against San Francisco. The offensive line has failed to establish a running game and that has left Wilson with it all to do.

Unless offensive line play improves in both run and pass blocking, Seattle’s offense will remain stale and predictable all year. And, this will prevent them from contending a third Super Bowl in 5 years.

Bottom line

The struggles of two of the NFC’s premier defensive teams, and preseason favorites, highlights the importance of a strong offensive line. Both the Seahawks and Giants are under achieving considering the talent they have on the field.

More from With the First Pick

Correcting their respective issues on the O-Line would go a long way to improving both teams.

Eli Manning and Russell Wilson need time and protection to make plays. The kind of time that Derek Carr is getting.

Carr and the Raiders are excelling behind one of the best lines in football, much like Dallas did in 2016. It is simply not possible for skill players to operate at their highest level with a defective O-Line.

How can quarterbacks getting hit 10 times a game win week in week out? They need time to make throws, just as running backs need open lanes to make up significant yardage for the most part.

So it is increasingly obvious that success as a team owes a lot to the big guys up front. Franchises with coherent units are thriving.

Those with holes and concerns are fretting over the safety of their quarterbacks and hoping their defenses can snag a score or two.

Next: Projecting the 2018 NFL Draft Order: Week 3 Update

They aren’t the glamour men of the league, but top offensive linemen are as valuable as ever. Developing a rapport between five adequate starters is harder than ever though.

The collective bargaining agreement signed back in 2011 limits practice time. This could be a reason that more and more lines are struggling and only increases the value of good ones.