The Falcons offensive line has largely been disappointing through two weeks of the 2021 season. Matt Hennessy has struggled in his first season as a starter, Kaleb McGary looks like he’s a rookie again in his pass sets, and Jalen Mayfield has been notably horrendous in his first two appearances as a professional. Even Jake Matthews has struggled in the run game, but there is a glimmer of hope along the Falcons offensive line — Chris Lindstrom.
Against the Eagles, Lindstrom was the only offensive player to put up a respectable performance outside of Cordarrelle Patterson. Among players who played the majority of the snaps, he was the second-highest graded offensive player in the season opener, according to Pro Football Focus. McGary, Hennessy, and Mayfield combined for 16 pressures, nine hurries, four hits, and three sacks. Lindstrom only surrendered two pressures in between Hennessy and McGary, which is incredible because an offensive line relies on the man to their left and right.
In the Week 2 matchup against the Buccaneers, Lindstrom — along with the entire team — played better. The former first-round pick was magnificent in all phases and was the highest-graded offensive player, which just solidifies the premise of this piece — Chris Lindstrom is the Falcons best lineman.
Pro Football Focus has Lindstrom’s overall grade at 78.3 through two weeks, just confirming what I have been seeing. Every pass set, Lindstrom has to account for deficiencies on his left and right (Hennessy and McGary) and yet hasn’t surrendered a sack against two ferocious defensive fronts in Tampa and Philly. The only other player across the offensive line that can even hold a candle to him is the veteran Jake Matthews.
Matthews is an underrated tackle in this league and has long been one of the most consistent members of the Falcons, but his inability to consistently provide positive run blocking is becoming apparent. In comparison, Lindstrom is reliable in both phases. The only valid point that could be made is that left tackle is a much more valuable position than right guard. Even still, Lindstrom will finish this season as one of the premier guards in the league and establish himself as the leader of the Falcons offensive line.