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Detroit Lions mid season grades: O line

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There are not a lot of measurable stats to tell us how an offensive lineman performs, or how an O line as a unit get the job done. There are a few, but we have to look at what the offense does as a whole and then decide for ourselves how much credit or blame we give he Offensive line. In 2013, the Detroit Lions' O line has been very good. In fact it seems we could argue that they are performing far above expectations.

That is very surprising since he looked like O live was going to be an issue during the 2013 season. There is a lot of youth on this unit for the Lions and before the season began we wondered how long it would take them to gel together. That answer to that so far has been one training camp and half a season, Granted RT Jason Fox has been oft injured and Corey Hilliard has stepped up to lock down the starting five.

The best stat for this unit is that QB Matthew Stafford has only been sacked 10 times. To put that number into perceptive, of the QB's who have started every 2013 NFL game for their team that is the least amount of sacks allowed. That means Stafford has had time to find targets down the field and does not have to worry about his protection. His protection is there, and it is stout.

The offensive line pass protects very well. However, the true test of an O line is in how it run blocks. As a team the Lions average 98.1 yards per game on the ground. That is 21st best in the NFL this season, and game plan arguments aside it an indictment of what this O line is capable of in the run game. They do average 3.8 yards per rush and that is pretty good but also an indication that if this line did a better job run blocking what this offense would be truly explosive. That is the biggest knock on this unit.

At the quarter season mark the O line got a A grade, and given the less than spectacular run blocking abilities it seems tit should drop a bit down to a A-.

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