The Chiefs didn't announce this in their postgame notes, and few media types touched on it. But the Chiefs' 24-10 win over the Jets marked a fairly significant tent pole for second-year left tackle Eric Fisher.
For the first time all season, Fisher went an entire game without allowing a sack, quarterback hurry or quarterback hit. To borrow a soccer term, it was a clean sheet, against a strong defensive front, no less.
“He just keeps getting better and better,” Chiefs coach Andy Reid said. “You saw him yesterday, but I thought he just played a heck of a game yesterday.”
As a run blocker, too?
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“It was everything,” Reid said. “He kind of did everything.”
Fisher's Pro Football Focus grade in the game was plus-0.5, which was his second-best grade of the season. And while he still has room to improve — as evidenced by his season grade of negative-14.4, which is well below average — after eight games, Fisher is starting to look more comfortable and assertive on the left side.
Fisher still has plus athleticism, and if he ever gets stronger, nastier and becomes more sound in his technique — all things that can happen provided he finishes the season injury free and gets in a full offseason with the training staff — he just might live up to his lofty No. 1 overall draft status.
Here are some notable plays from Sunday's game that highlight some of those assertions.
Jets OLB Quenton Coples didn't make Fisher look bad often in pass pro Sunday, but this is one occasion he did, as he basically slapped Fisher's arms away and spun him into oblivion. The ball is out long before he can get home, though:
On the plus side, here's an example of sealing Coples outside. This doesn't look like much, but as Fisher gains strength, he'll only win these blocks by a larger margin:
Like Coples, Jets DL Muhammad Wilkerson — who is also pretty darn good — saw plenty of Fisher as well, but most of the time, Fisher battled him to a stalemate. Here's one instance he didn't, which offers proof that Fisher's technique still needs work. He lunges at the goal line and Wilkerson just swims him.
The Chiefs got the best of Wilkerson later in the game, though. Watch tight end Travis Kelce crush him on the chip block, while Fisher and left guard Mike McGlynn clean it up. Nasty:
I like the slight nastiness Fisher shows on this play. Watch him push Jason Babin, then get a little bit more a second or two later:
Also, in the past I've mentioned Fisher's tendency to cut block, with interesting results. Well, Fisher does a nice job of executing the cut block against a linebacker — which I fully endorse in this situation.
Finally, on the Chiefs' last offensive play of the game, Fisher's man, Babin, actually records a sack. But it's hard to blame Fisher for this — that ball needs to come out. You can't ask a left tackle to hold up too much longer.
These are just plays that stood out while reviewing the film from his performance. You saw good and some bad, but I believe that on the whole, we've seeing less bad than we did early in the year.
Whether you agree or not with that assessment — and hey, there’s always room for interpretation in film review — I think we can all agree it will be interesting to watch how Fisher finishes the year during the Chiefs’ playoff push.