Chiefs offensive line is nearing top 10 status

Tim Fuller-USA TODAY Sports

Believe it or not, the Kansas City Chiefs offensive line is not part of the problem. In fact, they're part of the solution after finishing the season as the 12th ranked offensive line in the league.

Offensive line is one of those positions where it's hard for the average fan to judge. I'm usually watching the ball, not the line, so I don't always get a good look at the offensive line until I go back and re-watch the game. And what normal fan is actually re-watching these Chiefs games? Not many of them.

So the offensive line is an area that is sometimes unfairly judged. A team sucks? Blame it on the offensive line!

More: Chiefs hire Andy Heck as o-line coach

But it doesn't always work out like that. The Chiefs offensive line in 2012, for example, was fine, even though the team sucked. They were pretty much what we expected, maybe a little lower depending on your preseason expectations. But they absolutely played well enough to win.

In fact, Pro Football Focus calls them the 12th best line in football last year. That's up from 16th last year. The explanation behind it is pretty much what I thought.

Those starters who played all year did well -- Branden Albert, Eric Winston, Ryan Lilja (center) and Jon Asamoah. The problem came, as Pro Football Focus points out, when rookie Jeff Allen replaced Lilja and then rookie Donald Stephenson replaced Albert. Those two were the biggest culprits for the Chiefs struggles.

But, still, that's the 12th best offensive line. There's also the chance that they get better next year: If Branden Albert comes back, if Rodney Hudson is fully healthy and if Jeff Allen can improve ... this could be a top 10 unit.

The Chiefs offensive line group is obviously good enough to win. Unfortunately it's not a sure-fire way to win like quarterback. The lowly Jets were the third best offensive line last year. The Browns were fifth. The playoff Colts were 31st and two other playoff teams were ranked 20th or worst. Oh, by the way, those three teams all had quarterbacks playing in Hawaii last weekend.

So this post fits into the theme of almost every post we'll see this offseason: blame it on the quarterback!

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