After seeing the Kansas City Chiefs almost get quarterbacks Matt Cassel and Tyler Palko killed, one might think the offensive line was one of the worst in the NFL. However, take a closer look and you’ll see a unit that was underrated.
The folks at Pro Football Focus have ranked every line in the league (without factoring in injuries) and the Chiefs came in at a respectable 16th. They would be pushing top 10 if not for one Barry Richardson, the worst right tackle in football.
16. Kansas City Chiefs
Run Rank 27th, Pass Rank 9th, Penalties Rank 13th
How much better would this line have been without one player letting them down? Aside from the right tackle spot, the entire line graded positively, doing a particular good job of protecting whoever was behind center. Without Jamaal Charles, the line’s inability to consistently open up decent-sized running lanes came to the fore all too often. This remains a key area that the Chiefs need to improve on.
There is a lot of praise for left tackle Branden Albert, something that should continue to keep quiet those that are always in a rush to change his position.
The Chiefs could get younger at center and guard (second-year lineman Rodney Hudson should fit the bill) but otherwise simply replacing Richardson and getting Charles back will be enough to get this line back into the upper echelon.
A very interesting side note to these numbers is the New York Giants won the Super Bowl with the second-to-last ranked unit. I wouldn’t want to try to repeat that part of their success, but there is something to be said for being able to scheme around your biggest weakness, a huge problem for the Chiefs with Richardson the last two years.