The Atlanta Falcons travel to face the Jacksonville Jaguars on Sunday, and they're taking one of the league's worst offensive lines with them.
Falcons head coach Arthur Smith has made a habit early in his tenure to protect individuals in terms of mentioning players in media sessions, but he won't rule out changes against the Jaguars.
When asked about the problems the offensive line has had in recent blowout losses to the Dallas Cowboys and New England Patriots, he blamed difficult situational football, even if it was the offensive line that put the offense in difficult situations.
"Well, I think a lot of it, we became obvious," said Smith. "There are several factors to it, but if we can stay balanced and stay on track, it certainly makes the job of the offensive line easier."
"f you go back and look at the history of the (Houston) run-and-shoot offenses that put up prolific numbers ... talking to Mike Munchak and Bruce Matthews - you’re talking about Hall-of-Fame linemen they had inside – and they gave up high volume sack numbers."
And something else: "We've got to play smarter,'' he said.
Pro Football Focus had offensive linemen as the three worst Atlanta performers last week against the Patriots, making note of left guard Jalen Mayfield, center Matt Hennessy, and right tackle Kaleb McGary.
Backup right tackle Jason Spriggs performed admirably in a spot start in a win against the Miami Dolphins. Could there be other options for change on the offensive line? Smith wouldn't rule it out.
“We’re going to see how the week plays out," said Smith. "Everything’s on the table."
After getting beat by a combined 68-3 the last two weeks, everything needs to be on the table. A shake-up on the offensive line would, we say, be welcome against the 2-7 Jaguars on Sunday.
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