Coming into this year the offensive line was the most serious question mark for the Miami Dolphins. Could they protect quarterback Tua Tagovailoa and end the injury concerns? Could they create a run game? Could they give the Dolphins offense enough time to get playmakers into space?
Six games into the 2023 season, and every question has been answered, that answer being yes on all fronts. Even though Tua is averaging a league leading time to throw (2.37), the offensive line is giving him plenty of time on play-action plays and when it’s third and long. Offensive line coach Butch Barry needs to be commended because these boys are bullying guys out there.
That brings us to our unsung hero of the week. This man has had the most significant turnaround on the team and went from a bust that needed to be replaced, to a trustworthy tackle covering Tua’s blindside. He’s none other than Austin Jackson!
Dolphins Best Lineman?
During training camp, I watched an episode of Another Dolphins Podcast with Omar Kelly as a guest and heard the funniest thing. Omar Kelly said during training camp that Austin Jackson looked like the best offensive lineman so far.
That blew me away. Austin Jackson? The bust everyone has been trying to replace the last two years? I mean everyone besides GM Chris Grier who maintained belief in Jackson and scoffed at the idea of needing more starting offensive line help this offseason.
Omar Kelly and Chris Grier must be related to Nostradamus because Austin Jackson has been one of the most consistent tackles in the NFL this year. He’s not just serviceable he’s a DUDE.
Jackson not only has been really good in pass-blocking situations, he’s been flying around as a run blocker. He’s lost some weight in the offseason and added speed to his game.
He gets downfield, blocks at multiple levels, and continues his play into the Carolina Panthers game Sunday. Jackson registered no sacks and barely any pressures. He was a monster in the run game, looking like a truck running over Panthers-colored cones.
Tua sat in the pocket on pass plays and rarely needed to scramble. His backside had no pressure, and Austin Jackson was just a fortress with a moat on that side. No one was getting to his quarterback.
austin jackson paving the way for ahmed pic.twitter.com/xSlDYNf61y— josh houtz (@houtz) October 15, 2023
There were a lot of players who could’ve gotten recognized for their play Sunday, but Austin Jackson’s great play has been flying under the radar for too long. Not only does he look great, but the Dolphins’ offensive line as a whole has been really good and grades well so far.
When Terron Armstead is back the Dolphins’ offensive line could be a top-five unit. Not only do the Dolphins have a full starting five, but backup tackle Kendall Lamm has held his own in Armstead’s absence. Austin Jackson and Robert Hunt have been the most consistent, and I can’t say enough about the renaissance Jackson has had this season. Night, and day type of turnaround for him, and everyone owes him an apology including me.
As Shaq once said, “I owe you an apology. I wasn’t really familiar with your game.”
Dolphins OL pass blocking efficiency rates/positional rank (min. 150 PB snaps, PFF)— Travis Wingfield (@WingfieldNFL) October 17, 2023
Austin Jackson 97.6 (12th)
Kendall Lamm 96.5 (33rd)
Isaiah Wynn 99.3 (t-2nd)
Robert Hunt 99.3 (t-2nd)
Connor Wiliams 99.2 (3rd)
Terron Armstead's PBE is 100. Nobody with a perfect 100 has more…
The Week 6 unsung Hero Of the Week goes to Austin Jackson for another great performance on Sunday and continues to be one of the biggest bright spots on the Dolphins. He’s dependable and keeps Tua on the field.
Let us know in the comments or tweet me @saba12_ who you think could have been the Unsung Hero Of The Week!