College and NFL games are cylindric. Right now, both leagues seem to be ruled by the offensive line. If you have a good one, it doesn't seem matter much if your quarterback is young or old, good or mediocre. The offensive line is the great equalizer of talent. Have a good one and you look like Tom Brady*, have a bad one and you look Brock Osweiler.
However, I think it goes beyond that. A tight end may be the real unsung hero. Look at Tom Brady*. He doesn't possess a great talent, if he did, his team would lose without him and they don't, they win. He's a system quarterback who's played with the best head coach and teams because of him. What he has in his waning years, are special tight ends. Remove them and Brady* flounders if his offensive line isn't bang on.
Look around the league. Last season, I believe the Chiefs had one TD from a WR. This year, only 2 WR’s have scored against us. TE’s are making things tough all over the NFL.
Through week 7, 69 TDs had been recorded by 39 TEs . 209 TDs by 103 WR’s.
These TEs aren't just using their hands, they're blocking for the run and pass. Want to see a QB having a good year or a good game? Go look at their TE’s. It's no coincidence that the top two ranked TEs are in front of Brady*.
Alex Smith, the guy we think as the checkdown dink and dunk King, was on fire the previous two weeks, averaging the most air yards. His top TE, Travis Kielce has 34 receptions and one drop. He’s catching 75% of any balls thrown his way. Guess which TE is ranked third? Kelce now has a sidekick who’s starting to climb up the charts: Demetrius Harris. Instead of using him as a back-up, they played he and Kelce together. Caught Indy without an answer for this 6’7” giant. Denver needs to be ready for them using not only two, but three TEs.
The teams who have top ranked TEs, but their offense is struggling have TEs who are only good in one category, not all three, which includes, receiving, pass block and run blocking. Case in point is Greg Olsen. He's ranked number one; however, he's ranked 23rd in pass protection out of 43 ranked. What's happening with Newton?
Tyler Eifert is ranked third, but his pass blocking is down in the land of danger, danger code red. How’s his red headed QB doing?
Denver. Our defense is carrying our offense and it might have to do with our TE situation. Virgil Green is 3rd in pass protection, allowing Siemian to complete his quick hops. Remove Green, and Siemian struggled getting passes off. Where our TEs are struggling is in run blocking, which not so coincidentally is the same area our OL needs improvement on. While Jeff Heuerman and John Phillips have slightly climbed the charts, we need more. Hence the addition of AJ Derby. If our run blocking could equal our pass protection, we may see an offense that can compliment the defense.
NE* Rob Gronkowski and Martellus Bennett have remarkable and fairly even numbers in all three categories. These two are far and away the best in the league. Which team is ranked number one in the Power Rankings week in and week out even with four different QB’s? Both those guys are 91 and 84 overall.
His evilness, Belichick himself, is always ahead of the rest of the league. If BB* is doing something, if he has players excelling in a certain category, then you better believe he hit a secret formula. Can AJ Derby be our Bennett? Not saying Gronk for obvious reasons, because Negan* wouldn't have traded him away if he was a future Gronk. Could he be a Bennett, though? I'll take it!
Want to know why San Diego keeps scoring points? Hunter Henry. Teams have to focus on him. He has given life to Antonio Gates because of this. The two teams with WRs who've scored on us both have TEs we have to focus on. That's another thing we’re seeing, teams having two tight ends that are killing it.
When Atlanta was on fire, 12th ranked Jacob Tamme was in no small part, why. Make no mistake, teams played Atlanta with an eye on him. His catching is ok, but it’s his run blocking in helping Devonta Freeman and Coleman, that is helping Matt Ryan's offense fly.
Minnesota isn't last in rushing just because of missing that one RB, it could also have to do that Kyle Rudolf is ranked 42nd out of 65 at run block. Down in the 40’s are names you've never even heard of. Coincidently, Minnesota has a whole, is ranked 32 at run blocking. Hmm
Tennessee, who for weeks, had Marcus Mariotta as a bottom ranked QB, now has the number one rushing stats. Guess who has a TE ranked best at run blocking? Anthony Fasano may not be great at catching, but blocking? He's a beasty beast, followed closely by his pass protection. Now the Titans are winning. Marcus is doing better, too.
Geoff Swaim and Jason Whitten are ranked in the top 15 in run blocking. What's keeping Dallas chugging and giving its rookie QB a chance? The run game. I dare say, even Ryan Fitzpatrick could be plugged back there and do well. I won't say Brock Osweiler because his ego would kill that OL.
Speaking of the odoriferous BO, go look at Fiedorowicz. He keeps saving his QB from himself. He's averaging 11 yards a catch. The fact the Texans have any wins is in spite of, not because of, BO. Fiedorowicz is the eighth best TE. Hed be higher if his run blocking were better.
If you want to see which teams are clicking offensively, look at their TEs and their OL. The WR numbers don't correlate to the success of their teams, but TE and OL play sure do.
The top five receivers are AJ Green, Julio Jones, TY Hilton, Marvin Jones and Odell Beckham, Jr. Cincinnati (3-4) , Atlanta (5-3), Indy (3-5), Detroit (4-4) and the Giants (4-3). Not exactly burning up the top power rankings. What are those teams missing? Good TE’s who can do more than one thing. Jack Doyle is a good example of a one dimensional TE. He’s great at catching, but really bad at pass and run block. Maybe they'd be able to take that next step up, if they had better TE’s. That and a defense might help.
As far as our OL, we've allowed 11 sacks, the same number as Dallas. Their passing flags have only accumulated 34 more yards lost, than Dallas. So, we are making strides. Our TE’s have improved, too. However, if we want to build a strong offense, that’s not solely resting on the backs our OL, we may want to use our TE’s more.
A WCO offense with six WRs and barely using its TE’s isn't a recipe for success. If we want this team to have a chance, it needs to make more use of all its weapons. Starting with the overlooked big guys with numbers in the 80’s. Go Broncos!