Defensive line depth
All summer debates came about who would assist Eddie Goldman and Akiem Hicks on the defensive line. The two could not carry the unit, and Goldman had hardly played nickel. The first pleasant surprise has been the impact of Goldman this year. He has been a mauler up front.
However, while many thought he would have had to carry the load on more snaps, he is down to 52% of the snaps played this year, down from 60% last year. How are they able to get Goldman off of the field more while getting a more significant impact from him? Depth.
Is it Jonathan Bullard or Roy Robertson-Harris? Is it the sleeper Bilal Nichols? It does not matter at this point. All three are playing well and providing rotational snaps and chances for the big maulers to rest up.
Bullard has held down his role as a rotational mauler. Robertson-Harris provides a pass rush, and Nichols has been the best of the bunch. This group is a lot better than the one we saw last year with Mitch Unrein seeing a lot of the third defensive end snaps. That definitely has to do with the record being better too.
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