Fantasy Football: 8 Offensive Line Takeaways From 2016

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Carson Wentz Needs Lane Johnson

When Carson Wentz came out of the gates with guns blazing early in the season, it seemed like he was destined to be the league's next great passer. Then, we all realized four games is an incredibly small sample, and Wentz came crashing back to Earth in a big way. It's not a coincidence that this regression happened right when Philadelphia Eagles right tackle Lane Johnson began serving a 10-game suspension for performance-enhancing drugs.

We'll get to the overall splits with and without Johnson in a second, but first, just check out this graph of the Wentz's game logs. It shows the Passing NEP he had in each individual game this season, and it shouldn't be hard to spot where things went off the rails.

Carson Wentz's Game-by-Game Passing NEP Output

The orange blocks are games in which Johnson was active, and the gray are games without Johnson. Only one of Wentz's top seven games in the eyes of Passing NEP came without Johnson in the lineup. This dude made a difference.

If you prefer things broken down a bit more simply, here's a look at Wentz's splits with and without Johnson for the season.

Split Drop Backs Passing NEP Passing NEP/P Success Rate
With Lane Johnson 211 50.11 0.24 45.97%
Without Lane Johnson 429 -18.55 -0.04 42.42%

Wentz's Success Rate with Johnson would have ranked 21st among qualified quarterbacks; without it, he would have been 32nd. Overall, Wentz finished 27th in Success Rate and 25th in Passing NEP per drop back, though we can now see that those numbers were a bit tainted by Johnson's absence.

Even when Johnson was available, Wentz wasn't posting top-tier numbers, but you wouldn't necessarily expect him to as a rookie. With Johnson (seemingly) not set for any suspensions during the 2017 season, it's realistic to expect a step forward from Wentz, which would only boost assets like Jordan Matthews, Zach Ertz, and any other passing-game bodies who may join the team throughout the winter.