Penei Sewell: Stats show moving him to right tackle was the right move

  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
·2 min read
In this article:
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.
  • Oops!
    Something went wrong.
    Please try again later.

The 2021 Detroit Lions offense was an exercise in changes. Between a new offensive system, myriad injuries and a midseason coordinator change, it was a maelstrom of chaos in the offensive locker room.

Not all of the changes worked well, but one definitely paid off. Moving Penei Sewell from left tackle to right tackle once regular left tackle Taylor Decker was healthy proved to be a fantastic decision.

Even though Sewell had played left tackle in college at Oregon, his power-based game and lack of ideal length translated better to the NFL as a right tackle. Sewell struggled some in his eight games at left tackle while filling in for Decker, especially in pass protection. But on the right side, Sewell quickly proved to be among the NFL’s best right away. The Pro Football Focus grade splits from the left to the right highlights the discrepancy.

Breaking the grades down a little further, Sewell’s four highest-scoring games came at right tackle, while his three worst were on the left side. He allowed four of his five sacks and 17 of his 22 QB pressures in the eight games at left tackle, too. Meanwhile, Decker ranked No. 3 in pass protection grades amongst left tackles in his nine games.

The rushing offense further shows the positive impact of Sewell at right tackle. In his eight starts at left tackle, Detroit averaged 93.1 yards per game on the ground. When Sewell started at right tackle, the Lions posted 130.3 per game on the ground. That’s almost 40 more rushing yards per game with Sewell on the right side!