Was Commanders Offensive Line Good Value in 2022 Season?

Was Commanders Offensive Line Good Value in 2022 Season?
Fact Checked by Jim Tomlin

Offensive linemen often get overlooked by fans focused on watching the ball, but quality line play remains a critical factor for offensive success. BetVirginia.com, as part of our continuing VA sports betting coverage, decided to examine which offensive lines provided the most value to their team last year. Our numbers are based on a combination of production and salary cap hit.

We obtained the number of sacks allowed by each team in 2022 from Pro-football-reference.com and awarded teams points based on their league ranking, awarding 32 points to the team with the fewest sacks allowed to 1 point to the team allowing the most sacks. We then collected the site’s approximate value metric for each team’s top 10 offensive linemen by games played and added them together – again giving 32 points to the team with the highest cumulative AV, down to 1 point for the lowest.

Then BetVirginia, your source for the Virginia sportsbook promos, found the combined cap hit of each team’s top 10 offensive linemen from Spotrac.com. We divided that figure by their total points accrued from the other two categories. This produced a dollar per point total amount, the basis for our unit rankings. These are the teams whose offensive lines generated the least value:

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NFL’s Most Overvalued Offensive Lines

RankTeamPoint TotalO-Line Cap Hit$ Per Point Total
32 Indianapolis Colts 8$40,736,011$5,092,001
31 Denver Broncos 8$40,388,867$5,048,608
30 Los Angeles Rams 6$16,255,031$2,709,172
29 Tennessee Titans 11$28,152,022$2,559,275
28 New York Jets 18$41,702,565$2,316,809
27 Arizona Cardinals 20$41,627,217$2,081,361
26 Washington Commanders14$27,904,356$1,993,168
25 Houston Texans 48$37,225,167$1,772,627
24 New York Giants 23$27,387,909$1,089,293
23 Baltimore Ravens 35$31,529,483$710,443

Commanders Regressed On O-Line in 2022

Last season’s line performance could be part of the reason that the Washington Commanders are +8000 longshots to win the Super Bowl for those using the BetMGM bonus code VA.

Offensive line was a Commanders team strength for several years, but in 2022 the unit took a significant step back. Rated as the league’s sixth-best line in 2021 by Pro Football Focus, the Commanders line fell to 20th in those rankings last season. Washington finished in the bottom 10 in both pass and run blocking grades.

The Commanders allowed a sack on 8% of all dropbacks in 2022, surrendering 48 total sacks, the seventh most in the NFL. Additionally, the team averaged a mere 4.0 yards per carry, the sixth worst mark in the league, despite running the ball more than all but three other franchises (all of whom averaged at least 0.6 yards per carry more than Washington).

This season, Washington has +1300 odds to win the NFC East at Caesars Sportsbook VA as of Tuesday morning.

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Injuries Played Factor For Washington

Injuries plagued the group as 11 different players recorded starts along the offensive line for the Commanders last year, with left tackle Charles Leno the only one to start in all 17 games. Left guard Andrew Norwell made 16 starts and missed only three snaps before sitting out the finale against Dallas with a hip injury, but no other Washington linemen exceeded 12 starts or two thirds of the team’s offensive snaps.

Six linemen played between 20% and 65% of the team’s snaps as the Commanders regularly shifted their personnel and injuries piled up. Issues at center in particular hampered Washington as the team started four players at the position last season, none for more than eight games.

Washington, which has not made the playoffs since the 2020 season, still went 8-8-1 in 2022. Track the Washington Commanders playoff chances all season with us.

First-string center Chase Roullier appeared in only two games in 2022 before tearing his MCL, sending the Commanders scrambling to fill the spot of their longest-tenured offensive linemen. A series of replacements failed to replicate his steadying presence.

Offseason Changes on Commanders Line

Roullier, who also dealt with injuries in 2021, was released in May and subsequently retired in July. Now rookie third-round draft pick Ricky Stromberg and veteran free-agent signing Nick Gates will compete to see who is tasked with anchoring the Washington line in 2023.

The rest of the line will have a different look this season, too, which is something to look for while tracking the Washington Commanders Super Bowl odds. Norwell was released in an expected offseason move. Two other guards, Trai Turner and Wes Schweitzer, signed with new teams after their contracts expired.

To fortify the unit, Washington added Andrew Wylie on a three-year, $24 million deal, bringing him over from the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs where he started every game last year.

Because of this reorganization, expect to see three or four new starters along the Commanders’ offensive line this season, with Leno the only holdover penciled into the same position as 2022. Leno led all Washington linemen in both approximate value and cap hit last season.

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Josh Markowitz is a freelance writer for BetVirginia.com. He is a lifelong sports fan with an emphasis on basketball, football, baseball and the scouting/evaluation process. A graduate of Elon University's School of Communications, Josh also has experience in television production.

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