Falcons: Offensive line faces tough test
The Atlanta Falcons offensive line has been the topic of much discussion throughout the year. they have had some struggles, however in recent weeks the line has seen a marked improvement. Rookie left tackle Jake Matthews turned in a -0.4 overall grade in Week 12, his best performance since Week 4. Elsewhere on the line, several starters have graded positively in pass protection this season, with left guard Justin Blalock (+4.8), right guard Jon Asamoah (+3.3), and right tackle Ryan Schraeder (+1.2), all holding their own.
The problem is average play may not be enough this week, as they face off against an exceptional Arizona Cardinals front seven, which includes several players enjoying stellar seasons. Calais Campbell ranks first among qualifying 3-4 defensive ends with a 12.2 Run Stop Percentage (RSP), and fifth with an 8.8 Pass Rushing Productivity (PRP). Opposite Campbell, fellow end Tommy Kelly ranks thirteenth with a 7.3 PRP. Inside that pair, nose tackle Dan Williams is sixth-best among defensive tackles with a 10.8% RSP. Behind that line, inside linebacker Kevin Minter ranks sixth-best at the position with a 12.1% RSP. While pass rushing outside linebackers Alex Okafor and Sam Acho are generating ample pressure, with PSP scores of 10.3 and 9.2 respectively. The Falcons improving offensive line is going to be put to the test this weekend.