Will the Kansas City Chiefs’ offensive line be their downfall?
Oct 13, 2013; Foxborough, MA, USA; New Orleans Saints guard Ben Grubbs (66) during the fourth quarter against the New England Patriots at Gillette Stadium. The Patriots defeated the Saints 30-27. Mandatory Credit: Stew Milne-USA TODAY Sports
Projected Starter: Ben Grubbs
Left guard is the only other position where we know who will be the starter going into training camp. Last season the Chiefs had a gaping hole at left guard after starter Jeff Allen was lost to an injury in week one. This offseason the Chiefs sent one of their three fifth round picks to the New Orleans Saints in return for Grubbs. To say that he will be an upgrade over Mike McGlynn and Jeff Linkenbach who starter there last season would be a major understatement. Grubbs may not have played at his previous Pro Bowl level last season, but he enters training camp as far and away the most accomplished and proven lineman on KC’s roster. He instantly becomes the veteran leader of the line and will be counted on to help mentor all the younger linemen both on and off the field, especially with a center next to him that has never started NFL regular season games before.
Here are Ben Grubbs’ career PFF numbers:
2007: 882 snaps, -5.4 overall grade, -0.1 pass blocking grade
2008: 1,308 snaps, -4.5 overall grade, +5.3 pass blocking grade
2009: 1,201 snaps, +19.5 overall grade, +13.2 pass blocking grade
2010: 1,226 snaps, +19.5 overall grade, +1.0 pass blocking grade
2011: 813 snaps, +7.1 overall grade, +1.1 pass blocking grade
2012: 1,134 snaps, +20.6 overall grade, +7.5 pass blocking grade
2013: 1,305 snaps, +16.6 overall grade, +7.5 pass blocking grade
2014: 1,152 snaps, -0.2 overall grade, -0.4 pass blocking grade
You can see just how good Grubbs has been in his career and how last season there was some drop off in his play. KC has to be hoping this was an abnormality and not a sign that he is already in rapid decline. At only 31 years old, Grubbs should have some more left in his tank, even if it’s not at quite the elite level of his 2009-2013 seasons.
So just how much more experienced and productive is Ben Grubbs compared to the rest of the offensive line. If you look at his combined PFF number for his career you get:
9,021 snaps, +73.2 overall grade, +35.1 pass blocking grade
Now compare that with the combined career PFF numbers of Eric Fisher, Donald Stephenson, Jeff Allen, Eric Kush, Paul Fanaika, Zach Fulton, and Derek Sherrod:
7,966 snaps, -172.1 overall grade, -98.3 pass blocking grade
That’s a pretty staggering pair of numbers. Grubbs has played over 1,000 snaps more than the other seven offensive linemen combined and the quality of play is night and day. In fact, those negative grades for the Chiefs other offensive linemen are down right depressing.
Bottom Line: Ben Grubbs is the only proven quality starter the Chiefs have on their offensive line and they will be looking for him to lead the unit this season.
Left Guard Status Compared To Last Season: Significantly Upgraded
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