Patrick Mahomes can make up for a lot, but that shocking day in Tampa confirmed the existence of limits, as both his stalwart protectors at offensive tackle yielded to their understudy. Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz bookended an offensive line that had returned a majority of starters in every season since the Chiefs traded up for Mahomes in 2017. Now both free agents recover from season-ending injuries.
Now Kansas City lands at the bottom of the league in offensive line continuity — only out-shuffled by the Chargers, who end up in this position just about every year. I would trust Mahomes and Andy Reid to deal with this challenge as successfully as anyone. However, as my work over the years and at RotoViz indicates, OL continuity is a meaningful layer in offensive production.
This article is the first in my latest offseason series on projected offensive line continuity. In this metric, incumbent starters qualify by taking a majority of snaps the previous season or entering that previous season as a starter. Through my past articles and ongoing tweets on the subject, we can compare across the league since the 2011 collective bargaining agreement.
My first 2021 post on the matter will look at the pre-draft landscape and then identify starting spots that are still likely to see change this offseason. Here’s the current offensive line continuity outlook: