Watching Marcus Mariota absorb 9 sacks last night, it occurred that the Titans could really use left tackle Taylor Lewan. He was suspended for the first four games, and the Titans have proceeded to allow 17 sacks in three games. That's a 91-sack pace over a 16-game season, which probably won't continue. Probably.
Now a lot of those takedowns are on Mariota himself; his confidence looks shot, and a benching seems inevitable. And the rest of the line is also struggling. But Lewan is missed, just like Calais Campbell was by Tennessee's line, again and again.
When evaluating lines for these rankings, one of the stats we look at is quarterback hits. Some quarterbacks are better than others at avoiding actual sacks; throwing the ball away and whatnot. But it can be telling to look at the hits quarterbacks are absorbing.
Thus far, though, not surprising. (I removed stats from last night's game, so everyone has 2 games worth of numbers.) The Dolphins lead the league in both sacks and quarterback hits. The Texans, yes despite the Laremy Tunsil acquisition, are right there with them. The Cardinals and Jets are also at the bad end of the spectrum.
Among the teams faring particularly well thus far are a trio of 2-0 teams, the Cowboys, Ravens and 49ers. San Francisco just lost Joe Staley (pictured) to a broken leg, so we'll see if they're able to stay there. Ironically enough, two other teams that haven't allowed many hits on their quarterback -- the Saints and Steelers -- will be without their starting quarterbacks for an extended period, 6 weeks and the full season. Sometimes you're just unlucky.
|OFFENSIVE LINE PLAY|
|Green Bay Packers||7||16|
|New York Jets||8||15|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||6||15|
|Los Angeles Rams||4||12|
|Los Angeles Chargers||5||11|
|New York Giants||2||9|
|New England Patriots||3||8|
|New Orleans Saints||3||6|
|San Francisco 49ers||1||3|
Lewan, at least, will only miss one more game before returning. Will Mariota still be in the lineup when he's back? Ryan Tannehill is similarly sack-prone, so Tennessee's numbers probably won't dramatically improve when he does.
Aside from the Joe Staley injury, some of the other OL news from last week:
Eric Fisher (sports hernia) will be out the next 4-6 weeks. A blow to Patrick Mahomes, but he's pretty good at getting the ball out of his hands and moving around.
Isaiah Wynn (toe) is on IR. New England will likely turn to journeyman Marshall Newhouse, a downgrade.
The Jets coaxed Ryan Kalil out of retirement, but he's struggled and was benched for part of the loss to the Browns. It's possible that will be the case going forward, as well.