The New Orleans Saints are already having offensive lines issues after Week 1. Is there any hope for the unit in 2022?
Though the Saints came away from the Falcons game with a win, the offensive line did not play a huge role in facilitating the victory.
Jameis Winston was sacked four times and didn't receive adequate pass protection for much of the game; right tackle Ryan Ramczyk was the only consistent performer, earning the best Pro Football Focus grade in the O-line (77.2).
Yet Ramczyk has been one of the best at his position for the last several years -- it's the other offensive linemen that the Saints need to worry about.
Pro Football Focus did give James Hurst a 75.7 overall grade, which is surprising since Hurst got beat by Falcons defenders many times on the edge.
Saints' offensive line set to experience a major regression in 2022
Two guards ended up getting the worst grades on the offense: Cesar Ruiz and Andrus Peat. Both were outmatched in Week 1, and of the two of them, Ruiz needs the bigger jump in improvement.
The right guard is currently straddling the line between draft bust and draft success, and he'll need to put together more productive and consistent performances for the rest of the season.
Some regression was to be expected in the offensive line unit this year after the Saints lost Terron Armstead in free agency, but the biggest concern from Week 1's stats is that Armstead's replacement, James Hurst, isn't the problem.
Ruiz and Peat appear to have at least temporarily declined in form, and though it's only Week 1, the Saints are experiencing a nasty bit of déjà vu to start the 2022 season.
NOLA would be wise to work out its O-line issues earlier rather than later to stay a playoff contender in 2022.