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Green Bay Packers Offensive Line: Unsung Heroes of the Offense

The players on the Green Bay Packers offensive line have been unsung heroes in 2016. Their stellar play has helped the Packers offense click this season.

Via Last Word on Pro Football, by Jim Weidner

When you talk about who makes the Green Bay Packers offense so successful, you think of players like quarterback Aaron Rodgers or wide receivers Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb, or even Davante Adams. But the players you aren’t talking about might be the key to the Packers success and that is the Packers offensive line.

Green Bay Packers Offensive Line: Unsung Heroes of the Offense

When football fans bring up an offensive lineman, it is usually because they did something wrong, like commit a penalty or allow the player they are supposed to be blocking to make a tackle. That is just the way it goes for offensive lineman. But in the Packers case, their offensive line should be talked about more and not in a negative way.

Even when the Packers offense was struggling at times this season, the offensive line was doing its job and doing it well. Some have forgotten that right before this season started, the Packers cut their best offensive lineman, Josh Sitton. For some teams, that would cripple the mindset of their offensive line. But for the Packers unit, they didn’t allow the move to ruin their season.

With the departure of Sitton, backup guard Lane Taylor stepped in. Taylor hasn’t played up to Sitton’s past seasons, but he has done what is needed and has done an admirable job filling in for the former Pro Bowl guard. There is no doubt that Taylor’s play has been helped out by playing next to left tackle David Bakhtiari.

Before the season started, the four-year veteran out of the University of Colorado signed a four-year extension. Bakhtiari hasn’t let that money get to his head. In fact, this season has probably been Bakhtiari’s best so far in his young career. Bakhtiari probably has the most important job on the offense, protecting Rodgers’ blindside. Being only 25 years of age, not only does he have four years of starting experience, but he has many seasons in front of him.

Bakhtiari hasn’t been the only tackle that has performed well this season. The Packers spent a first round pick on Bryan Bulaga back in 2010. In his rookie season, he took over for an injured Mark Tauscher at right tackle and helped the Packers win a Super Bowl. Bulaga looked to have a bright future ahead of him, which is why the Packers re-signed him before the 2015 season. But Bulaga has battled injuries throughout his career. In fact, because of the injuries, Bulaga has yet to start a full regular season. This season, he is on track to finally do just that and because he has been healthy, he has been stellar.

Guard T.J. Lang as well as centers J.C. Tretter and Corey Linsley have had to battle through injuries this season as well. Linsley started the season on the physically unable to perform list with a hamstring injury, so Tretter stepped in and the offensive line didn’t miss a beat. Then when Tretter went down during the season, Linsley stepped in for him and again the Packers offensive line kept performing well. Not only do the Packers have depth, but they have depth that have the ability to start.

Lang suffered a broken foot this season, which was a huge loss because with Sitton’s departure, Lang was the leader of this unit. The Packers inserted backup Don Barclay in place of Lang. Barclay didn’t have the same success as Tretter and Linsley did filling in for a starter, so when Barclay suffered a shoulder injury, they put rookie Jason Spriggs in at right guard. Spriggs wasn’t overly impressive, but he was a step up from Barclay and did enough to hold down the fort until Lang came back last week against the Seahawks.

Even with having to play backup at times, the Packers offensive line has given up just 26 sacks this season. Since Rodgers holds on to the ball as long as he can so he can make a play, some of those sacks aren’t on the offensive line. The Packers offensive line might not get the publicity that some units of the Packers get, but the way they are playing this season, they should. Now that Rodgers is battling a hamstring and calf injury, it will be vital for the Packers to continue their strong play. If they do, the chances of making the playoffs this season increases.


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