I've been hearing many differentiating opinions on the O-line recently. Most agree on a couple of things: Backus has regressed, but might have another year on him, Raiola has been below average, and Peterman needs to go. The jury is out on Gosder, and most seem to like Sims. Yes, there are other opinions, but these are the ones I'm hearing the most. I took it upon myself to research this, and here's what I've found.
Gos been arguably our best guy on the O-line, maybe sans Sims. I don't get the hate against Gosder. He's cut down on the penalties drastically too.
Rushing (easily our worst offensive statistic) to the right (Peterman and Gos' side) had yielded 17 10+ yard runs which is 13th in the league. Not awesome, but above average. They've only allowed 9 rushes for negative yardage, tied for 3rd BEST in the league.
Dom has been below average at run blocking this year. He's 8th in the league with 14 10+ yards runs, and tied for 16th for allowing negative runs. This factors in Sims and Peterman though, so they've helped out. However, in total, the middle runs rank 28th in the league.
The surprising statistic is the left side. Backus and Sims have allowed only 9 rushes of 10+ yards on the season. The negative rushes are low, but that means that basically running to the left side has been extremely mediocre.
So Gos and Peterman have been our best run blockers this year. Considering how much we suck at running the ball, it would not be a good idea to get rid of Gos. Backus has been our worst run blocker according to the stats (which I got here. Or you could look here, and it says the same thing (look at the second graph for the individual positions). It's not saying that Gos is GOOD at run blocking, but he's certainly been better than Dom and Backus.
But once again, the line has been above average together at pass blocking, ranking 11th in the league. Backus has been (statistically) awful. He ranks 29th in the league in pass blocking efficiency (through the first 13 games, although he's been better in the last 3). Dom has been above average in pass blocking according to PFF, grading out at a +4.8, so I'll give him that. Peterman has been 9th best among ALL Guards in the NFL in pass blocking. Rounding up, Sims has been 14th best, and Gos has been 27th. I got these stats from Pro Football Focus.
Basically what I'm saying is this: Dom gets punished in the run game and holds up decently in the pass game, but so does everyone else on our line. Gos has been our best run blocking lineman, and is average in pass blocking. Backus has been worse than Gosder has been in both categories. So if you're going to call for someones head, it certainly shouldn't be Gosder's. Another fun fact: Peterman has been our best pass blocker, and paired with Dom and Gos, has been just as good in the run game. Think about that when you call for his head next time.
I know some of grading out the O-line comes from the eye test, I get that. But eye test IMO = Backus(gone) Sims(stay) Dom(long gone) Peterman(stay) and Gos(stay). I've held the opinion that Dom needs to go first and foremost for awhile now. I know the O-line is always a touchy opinionated subject, but what else are we going to discuss until Sunday? I'd really like to hear everyone else's opinions on this throughout the week.
Last, but not least, I think these next couple of games could be really telling. Who steps up in the playoffs could be a deciding factor in who week keep, considering we should expect to be in the playoffs for years to come.