What was believed to be a strength in 2017, the Detroit Lions’ offensive line isn’t living up to the hype. Injuries and lack of chemistry haven’t helped.
No doubt about it, the Detroit Lions’ offensive line has been downright disappointing. 12 sacks given up in the past two games is unacceptable. What’s even more unacceptable is how much money is being invested in that position and yet there is no justification for that money being spent.
14.65% of the salary cap is invested in the offensive line. Not a terribly high number compared to the rest of the league. All of the cap figures are for the 2017 season.
The next paid highest offensive linemen ($3.3 million+) would be Greg Robinson. His cap hit amounts to 2.06% which is 13th overall on the roster.
Wagner hasn’t played like the highest paid right tackle and has surrendered more sacks (3) than he ever has over an entire season in just five games plus two holding penalties. Robinson, the injury fill-in at left tackle for Taylor Decker, has been a disaster. Right guard Lang has been downright stupendous.
The other starting components on the offensive line that are cheaper side money-wise, still came at a cost. Both center Travis Swanson (2014) and left guard Graham Glasgow (2016) were third round picks in their respected draft classes. Neither have played well at all in 2017.
Proof of this dismal start to the year is in the ranking Detroit has in total offense, which is 29th. A good assumption would be the Lions offensive line is mostly to blame.
In due time, chemistry should help bring these players together and performing better. If they don’t, their biggest expenditure, quarterback Matthew Stafford, could end up on the side lines and their running game will continue to stink it up. With how things are trending now, let’s hope it doesn’t happen or get worse.