The Green Bay Packers have had a few unknowns along their offensive line this summer, specifically, who would be playing at right tackle, along with uncertainty around Josh Myers as the starting center. But regardless, this unit played very well during the preseason, especially in pass protection.
In the Packers’ first two preseason games, Love had 19 dropbacks and was pressured only two times but wasn’t sacked on either play. In the preseason finale against Seattle, Love was again kept clean. The Seahawks did not record a sack or a quarterback hit, even though Love had to hold on to the ball at times because he had nowhere to go with it.
"“I think they did a great job the whole preseason,” said Love after the game. “I don’t think I got hit in the pocket at all. I could be wrong, but I think they did a really good job just keeping me clean. The run game also was really clean. There was a lot of holes opening up, but I’m proud of the O-line. They battle and they did a really good job.”"
It’s not only the starters that kept Love clean but Sean Clifford and Alex McGough were barely touched as well throughout the preseason. Seattle failed to record any quarterback hits or sacks on Saturday. In the first two games, PFF credited the Green Bay offensive line with just nine collective pressures amongst the group over the seven-plus quarters of action.
On the ground, meanwhile, the Packers running backs over the three preseason games behind a variety of offensive line combinations, averaged 4.6 yards per attempt. For some context, this would have ranked as the 11th best in the NFL in 2022.
What the Packers starting offensive line configuration will be Week 1 in Chicago still is not set in stone, but the starting unit in each preseason game has consisted of Elgton Jenkins at left guard, followed by Myers, Jon Runyan, and Tom, with of course, David Bakhtiari being the left tackle for the regular season.
This has also been the combination utilized for the bulk of snaps that took place in training camp. There were two or three instances where we saw Tom taking snaps at center with the starters, but unless the Packers are going to make a last-minute adjustment – which is possible with this team, as we’ve seen in the past – that more so may have been done to experiment with different lineups in case injury or poor play strikes during the season.
Naturally, all eyes have been and will continue to be on Love and the Packers’ young pass catchers, but success for this offense begins with the offensive line. If Love doesn’t have consistent time in the pocket, things probably aren’t going to end well. If the run game can’t get going, and this offense is in constant second and third and long situations, again, things probably won’t end well.
With that said, while it’s only the preseason, this offensive line unit has the potential to be one of the best in football. GM Brian Gutekunst has emphasized adding to this unit over the years, while the scouting department has been very good at finding talent, and from the top to pretty far down the depth chart, that all shows.
"“It’s something that we take pride in, keeping the quarterback clean,” said Tom after the Seattle game. “Obviously, having two straight games where we don’t allow a sack, or I don’t even know if we had any QB hits, it’s something that we take pride in, and we are really proud of.”"