Struggles on the interior of the line weren’t unique to the offense last year, either.
Davon Godchaux was pretty terrible both as a pass-rusher and against the run, taking a big step back from what we saw in 2021.
You never expect much from Godchaux as a pass-rusher, but a career-worst season against the run makes it really hard to justify keeping him in the starting lineup. If he can’t stuff the run then he’s just going to be a liability.
We saw his role start to decline later in the season last year (didn’t play any more than 58% of the defensive snaps in any of the final five games after playing 58% or more in eight of the first 11), so clearly the coaching staff took notice of the struggles.
Interestingly, it wasn’t Godchaux’s direct backup in Daniel Ekuale getting increased run at the nose during this time, either. Instead the coaching staff was willing to simply lean into the lack of run defense, playing Larence Guy and Christian Barmore inside together, while Ekuale continued to rotate in his normal amount.
If Godchaux doesn’t bounce back as a run defender in 2023, expect the coaching staff to show a lot less patience and to replace him very quickly.
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