I saw an interesting stat today courtesy of Pro Football Focus. According to their figures, the Raiders guard tandem of Kelechi Osemele and Gabe Jackson were two of just four starting NFL guards last season to not five up a single sack.
Many already knew that Osemele didn’t give up a sack and some knew Gabe Jackson didn’t either. But the fact that those two make up HALF the total of starting guards to do that last season is a stunner.
It’s especially impressive considering Osemele was new to the team and Gabe Jackson was new to the right guard position.
Even with Jackson taking the first part of the season to acclimate to his new view of the defense from a run blocking standpoint, he was clearly doing work as a pass blocker from day one.
Osemele joined the team on a monster contract that pays him $11 million per season — well above the next highest paid guard in the league ($8 million). He earned his money, being named to his first Pro Bowl as well as first team All Pro.
Along with their super pass blocking, they were the driving force behind the team’s 6th ranked rushing attack.
Jackson was a Pro Bowl alternate and had he been added as a replacement, would have been the fourth Raiders offensive lineman in the Pro Bowl, joining Osemele, left tackle Donald Penn, and center Rodney Hudson.