This group of players probably frustrated Mike McCarthy the most this season. When asked what the team needed to work on he would often answer "fundamentals" and say that they needed to run the ball better. Still there were a number of things they did very well this season. One of the biggest concerns might be the starters health because all of them missed some time during the season. Here are their rankings from Football Outsiders:
|Adj. Line Yards||3.95|
The interior of the offensive line struggled last season. OL Jason Spitz was tried at both guard positions and center while Junius Coston started at both guard positions. Daryn Colledge was benched near the end of the season but returned to the starting lineup when Coston was injured in week 17. The one bright spot was C Scott Wells. It might not have been obvious that he had a solid season, but the offensive line was noticeably worse when he missed a couple games with an illness and a broken eye socket.
Football Outsiders says that when the adjusted line yards are less than the RB yards, it is an indicator that the offensive line is letting the running back do most of the work. Another sign is that the Packers had the 3rd most runs over 10 yards, but their power rank (the rate at which the Packers convert on 3rd and short with a running play) was 30th. The offensive line doesn't get a lot of push off the line, and isn't very good at making a block on a linebacker or defensive back further down the field. The Packers are certain to bring in some more options at guard via free agency or the draft this offseason.
On the other hand, the tackles did an outstanding job this season. LT Chad Clifton is heading to his first Pro Bowl. Although the Giants defensive line led them to a Super Bowl upset victory, Clifton and RT Mark Tauscher shut down their defensive ends in the NFC Championship game. DE Michael Strahan had only 2 tackles, while DE Osi Umenyiora had no tackles or any other recorded stats in the game. They also helped the Packers record the lowest sack rate in the league, but a lot of that has to do with QB Brett Favre and his quick release to avoid the sack.
The offensive line has the potential to be one of the best in the league, but GM Ted Thompson has to upgrade at guard, or hope that two of the current players are ready to take a step forward in 2008, before that can happen.