Bye week breakdown: Branden Albert and the offensive line

Denny Medley-US PRESSWIRE

Taking a look at how the Kansas City Chiefs offensive line has faired through the first six games of the season.

It's been mentioned several times before but we'll go ahead and say it again, Branden Albert is having himself a pretty good season for the Chiefs through the first six games. He's in a contract year and he's an important piece to this offensive line and this team moving forward.

Expectations

The expectations were very high for this group coming into the 2012 season. With Rodney Hudson taking over at center and the free agent acquisition of former Houston Texans right tackle, Eric Winston, optimism was high as well. Much of the questions surrounding this group were focused around Hudson taking over at center and how Lilja would fair after an off-year in 2011.

Highlight

New Orleans Saints game

I think the highlight of the season for the offensive line kind of mimic's the running game as the Chiefs dominated the line of scrimmage against the New Orleans Saints. It must be noted that the Saints currently sit as the 2nd to worst rush defense in the entire NFL. But hey, it doesn't take away the fact that we did dominate those guys on that day. The Chiefs finished the day with 275 yards on 45 carries.

Lowlight

The Buffalo Bills game.

Jamaal Charles finished the day with 6 carries for 3 yards, but had a run of 8 yards. What...how? Shaun Draughn and Peyton Hillis did help pick up the slack and give the Chiefs pretty decent rushing numbers by the end of that game, but the Bills finished the game with 5 sacks. Without starting a blamestorming session that would inevitably just swing back around to blaming the quarterback for these numbers we should agree this was a bad game by the offensive line.

Synopsis

Branden Albert is the man and deserves a new deal. Jeff Allen has done an adequate job while looking great at times, and looking completely overmatched at other times. Ryan Lilja has done a better job at center than I thought he would and seems to be having a better season than he did in 2011. Jon Asamoah (see Jeff Allen), and Eric Winston, welp, all that people are going to remember about him are his comments on the Cassel injury and the fans reaction to that injury.

There has been a lot of criticism of Winston's pass blocking ability around here recently. Maybe it's because he has a target on his back after those comments, who know's? But the same Pro Football Focus article that showed Branden Albert being among the best tackles in the NFL in pass blocking efficiency also showed the 15 worst in the NFL, and guess who's name was on it?

Barry Richardson. Winston's name wasn't listed among the best 15 tackles or the worst 15 tackles in this article. He's somewhere in the middle which isn't bad necessarily, but it's not where we were led to believe he'd be at this point either. He was pegged by a lot of knowledgable people as one of the top right tackles in the NFL when he was signed by the Chiefs this past off-season. The combination of playing below expectations and questionable comments has put a target on his back. It'll be interesting to see how he and this group respond the rest of the season.

The Chiefs are currently 3rd in the NFL in rushing by averaging 164 yards per game through the first six games and 19th in the NFL in sacks allowed with 13. There are other factors that go into these numbers that affect the offensive line, like the awesomeness that is Jamaal Charles and the opposite of awesomeness that has been our quarterback play.

But how do you feel about the offensive line through the first six games?

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