Analysis

Offensive line struggles: what could the Chiefs do to solve this?

The Chiefs offensive line has been struggling for as long as fans could remember. What could the Chiefs do to solve this heading into the last stretch of the regular season and the playoffs?

The offensive line is THE most important group on the team, and they don’t receive as much credit as they should. Without a great or decent offensive line, teams could forget about having a good rushing attack as, while there are running backs who could make do without one, the majority can’t achieve that. You could also forget about having pocket time as a poor one could lead to the quarterback being hit/sacked more than he should, less pocket time to make key throws, and so on.

An example of this would be in the Chiefs’ recent victory against the New Orleans Saints, where Patrick Mahomes II was sacked four times for 22 yards, and he was hit 11 times as well. This also forced him to rely on short passes and, sadly, abandon the deep passes for most of the game. If you couldn’t tell already, the Chiefs offensive line is struggling and when they’re going to the playoffs, they’ll definitely face top-tier defensive lines and front-sevens. Injuries have burdened this group, and while it’s unavoidable, we still must address what the Chiefs could do to solve these issues:

1. Call-up the practice squad

The Chiefs have two offensive linemen on the practice squad. They have Bryan Witzmann, who is a six-year veteran in the league and who has over 800 snaps recorded in his career, and Darryl Williams who’s a rookie out of Mississippi State who had some impressive blocks and film in college. These two could bring depth that is much needed for the line with Kelechi Osemele out for the rest of the season and Mike Remmers out with a neck/back injury. If the line continues to go down or if they falter, these two must be ready to play!

2. The waiting game

Eric Fisher, let’s be honest, didn’t have his best game, and this due to him coming off a back injury, which meant that he was playing at 50%. Once he does return to his usual form/100%, that is one part of the offensive line fixed, and it’s one of the most important positions on the line as it’s Mahomes’ blindside and with a league full of lethal defensive ends, he has to come back to his usual form. Most people can’t even walk or even play a sport with the amount of pain he has probably in as he was still questionable to play before the game began.

Mike Remmers will also be another player that the Chiefs have to wait for to come off injury. He was doubtful and then ruled out earlier this Sunday due to a back injury, and he’s been taking the place of right tackle (RT) for Mitchell Schwartz, who has been on IR since November 22nd. Schwartz should come back once he’s at full health, but Reid doesn’t want to rush him back:

“Listen, he’s a smart kid and so he’s been around a long time and he knows how he’s feeling. And he’s a good communicator, so he keeps that open with the trainers and doctors, so I think that’s the most important thing right now. Then, when he’s right, then we’ll get him back out there.”

Andy Reid; December 3rd, 2020

Remmers has to come back sooner or later; he has been a serviceable backup for Schwartz. If they don’t, it’ll be torture for Mahomes as he’ll be pressured more than he could count, and the more time he has, the more magic he can create. If the Chiefs play the Steelers or the Dolphins (again) in the playoffs and they’re both not back, there’ll be dividends to pay.

3. Practice

As the saying goes, practice makes perfect, and that’s what the Chiefs have to do. They have to practice holding their blocks, make better blocking schemes, and then some. Mahomes can’t continue to take the hits he’s taking, and he needs more time in the pocket to make the throws he needs to secure wins for the franchise. I’m no expert on blocking schemes, so don’t question what schemes they should do; however, I’m sure the coaches that work for the Chiefs can make something work; that’s what they’re paid to do.

In all honesty, there really isn’t much the Chiefs can do this late in the season. Once the offseason hits, signing capable offensive lineman is their top priority as they need to protect their $500 million investment in Mahomes. The Chiefs must also target the draft as some great prospects are heading into the league this year like Creed Humphrey, Christian Darrishaw, or Deonte Brown (to name a few). Once we have a great line, this team could be unstoppable for many years to come, and the Chiefs’ offense would 10x more deadly than it was beforehand.

What do you think the Chiefs can do with the line they have heading into the latter end of the regular season and the playoffs. Leave a comment down below with your thoughts!

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