Is Ali Marpet the best guard in the NFL?
Based on All-Pro votes and other individual awards, Ali Marpet slips through the cracks, but his performance with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers has been something special to behold. As one of the few consistent pieces on an inconsistent offensive line over the years, Marpet has become a legend in the Tampa area.
Despite playing for numerous head coaches, protecting different quarterbacks, and switching positions several times, Marpet has been the definition of dominant during his time in Tampa.
All of the changes have done little to bring Marpet off his game. Even when passing plays extended far too long with Jameis Winston or when the rest of the line fell flat, Marpet has saved his quarterback from a dire situation on many occasions during his six seasons with the Bucs.
While the individual awards haven’t come with enough frequency yet, hopefully, the renewed interest in the Buccaneers as a playoff team and with Tom Brady at the helm will lead to more recognition down the road.
The good news for Marpet is that he is still playing extremely well despite the disrespect. This is likely something that he has grown too accustomed to during his time with a below-average team, but Marpet hasn’t allowed this to slow him down.
1,075 snaps in pass protection without surrendering a sack
According to PFF on Twitter, Marpet has played 1,075 pass-blocking snaps without allowing a sack. The streak stretches back to last season, and Marpet shows no sign of stopping now.
This streak is almost more impressive than any other accomplishments for the Buccaneers this season other than Mike Evans‘ record. Going over an entire season without surrendering a sack is a massive achievement for an offensive lineman, especially for one protecting an older quarterback.
Guards may not always face the same level of pass rush as the tackles, but this streak is still extremely impressive when compared to the sub-par performances from the Buccaneer offensive line in the past. Marpet is already one of the Buccaneer greats, but this just makes it that much harder to ignore for those who used votes on players from bigger markets for individual awards.
Keeping Ali Marpet in Tampa forever should be a main priority for the coaching staff. Marpet’s skillset and experience have made him arguably the best guard in football, and in many cases, the comparison isn’t particularly close.
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