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Offensive Line Review & Ratings: NFC Teams
John Tuvey
August 17, 2012
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Arizona Cardinals

Year Sacks Allowed Sacked Rank RB Rush Yards Rush Yards Per Game Per Game Rush Rank Per Carry Average Per Carry Rank
2009 26 6 1,423 88.9 23 4.3 12
2010 50 30 1,274 79.6 29 4.3 12
2011 54 32 1,396 87.3 26 4.1 24

Year Left Tackle Left Guard Center Right Guard Right Tackle
2009 M.Gandy R.Wells L.Sendlein D.Lutui/B.Keith L.Brown
2010 L.Brown A.Faneca L.Sendlein D.Lutui B.Keith
2011 L.Brown D.Colledge L.Sendlein D.Lutui B.Keith
2012 L.Brown D.Colledge L.Sendlein A.Snyder J.Bridges
* Pro Bowler; (r) Rookie

Arizona completed another awful year of line play. How bad? According to Pro Football Focus, the best pass blocking score among the projected starters was Lyle Sendlein's -3.2. Give Beanie Wells some credit, he earned everything he got as the line didn't help in the ground game either; they ranked 30th in difference between running back yards and adjusted line yards, according to Football Outsiders. But really, you don't need the stats to tell you how bad this line is. They bring back four starters and add ex-49er Adam Snyder; why would you expect a dramatic turnaround?

FANTASY SPIN: You can get giddy about Ryan Williams stealing carries from Beanie, but they're both still running behind a bad line. Kevin Kolb isn't likely to last behind this pass protection (or lack thereof); it's a good think Larry Fitzgerald can catch balls from any Arizona QB.

RUN BLOCKING: D
PASS BLOCKING: D
RETURNING REGULARS: 4
OVERALL GRADE: D

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Atlanta Falcons

Year Sacks Allowed Sacked Rank RB Rush Yards Rush Yards Per Game Per Game Rush Rank Per Carry Average Per Carry Rank
2009 27 8 1,761 110.1 11 4.3 11
2010 23 3 1,772 110.8 8 4.0 20
2011 26 6 1,697 106.1 13 4.2 20

Year Left Tackle Left Guard Center Right Guard Right Tackle
2009 S.Baker J.Blalock T.McClure H.Dahl T.Clabo
2010 S.Baker J.Blalock T.McClure H.Dahl T.Clabo*
2011 S.Baker J.Blalock T.McClure M.Johnson T.Clabo
2012 S.Baker J.Blalock T.McClure G.Reynolds T.Clabo
* Pro Bowler, (r) Rookie

The Falcons return four starters plus Garrett Reynolds, who started five games himself last year. There's also decent depth behind this group, who have held up very well in pass protection and carved out more than enough room on the ground. One interesting stat: the Falcons ranked 31st in stuffs--running plays stopped at or behind the line of scrimmage. Perhaps that's more of an indictment of Michael Turner, and a reason Atlanta is moving away from 25 Turner carries and more towards throwing and getting Jacquizz Rodgers involved.

FANTASY SPIN: Three straight seasons in the top 10 of fewest sacks allowed suggests this line is more than ready to make that switch from three yards and a cloud of rubber pellets to a more vertical passing game. So if you're looking for justification for that early pick of Julio Jones or Matt Ryan, this line has your back.

RUN BLOCKING: B-
PASS BLOCKING: A-
RETURNING REGULARS: 5
OVERALL GRADE: B+

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