first_img The 5: Takeaways from the Coyotes’ introduction of Alex Meruelo If you were going to rank the strengths of the 2016 Arizona Cardinals, offensive line play wouldn’t be at the top of the list.Injuries forced the Cardinals to start 10 different players along their offensive front, which is less than ideal. The right side of the line was especially affected. Head coach Bruce Arians was forced to use five different starting right guards and four different right tackles. Only center A.Q. Shipley was able to start all 16 games. Derrick Hall satisfied with D-backs’ buying and selling Arizona Cardinals’ A.Q. Shipley lines-up before an NFL football game against the Seattle Seahawks, Saturday, Dec. 24, 2016, in Seattle. (AP Photo/John Froschauer) Former Cardinals kicker Phil Dawson retires Grace expects Greinke trade to have emotional impactcenter_img The team’s overall offensive line ranking fell from 9th last season. 0 Comments   Share   As a result of injuries and performance, the Cardinals’ O-line came in 26th in Pro Football Focus’ unit rankings for the recently completed regular season.Arizona is another team that owes much of its poor ranking to injury. Evan Mathis played just 199 snaps over the first few weeks of the season before injury forced him to be shut down for the year, opening up a hole on the line. Had the Cardinals been able to play Mathis all season, this line likely would have been solid, but every option the team turned to was worse than the last. D.J. Humphries, Earl Watford, John Wetzel and Ulrick John combined to surrender 22 sacks and 145 total QB pressures covering for essentially two positions on the line, causing the right side to bring a constant deluge of pressure down on QB Carson Palmer for much of the year.Despite being ranked 26th, the Cardinals had the top offensive line in the NFC West, according to PFF. The Los Angeles Rams came in 27th, the San Francisco 49ers were 28th and the division champion Seattle Seahawks ranked dead last in the league for the second straight year.Shipley was Arizona’s best overall lineman, earning a rating of 82.4 on the year, good for 15th among NFL centers. Left tackle Jared Veldheer, who spent the second half of the season on injured reserve, was the team’s top pass blocker while Mathis graded out as the top run blocker. Top Stories last_img