You've got 2 backs, Mack and Hines, that have actual roles, and Wilkins that I'm not actually sure why he exists and I'm not sure he is either.
Mack and Wilkins have skillsets that are too similar. You need a RB2 that can give you a different look to keep defenses guessing. A good stable of backs would have Mack or Wilkins trying to run patiently and a downhill runner to bum rush the gap and catch the defense napping if they get complacent, and would run some 2 back sets to allow the offense to create a shell game and force the D to hedge.
The fact that we don't seem to be capable of using a 2 back set, means that the skillset of our "stable" of backs is fairly limited, or it means that Reich and the OC are both extremely bankrupt for creativity in how to use running backs in an offense.
So I question your first premise right off the bat, and posit that this lack of diversity and/or creativity in the run game is a big reason the running game disappears against disciplined defenses.
Jack Doyle will be pleased to know he's been upgraded to "a few." Ebron is inconsistent and Allie-Cox is a decent backup. Doyle himself is solid but not a world-beater.
It's not a bad group, the whole group rounds up to an above average TE unit, but it's only as significant a part of the offense as it is for us this year more or less by default.
Man I really applaud your effort there. You really put in a good honest try at making our WR situation not look like a complete disaster.
The original plan required everyone to stay healthy and play at about the 75th percentile of their ability. If you can't see why that's a bit overoptimistic -- to put it mildly -- then I'm afraid there's nothing more I can do to help you.
We got lucky when Pascal came through. you put these kinds of odds and ends together in the hope that 1 or 2 of them out of the whole group will stick and become solid contributors. Expecting a stable of spare parts to play like a well oiled machine is an incredible exercise in magical thinking just this side of believing in Narnia.
Agreed. The offensive line should be a top offensive line and for the most part it is.
The talent is there to not suck. If not sucking is all you want to accomplish, then sure, the talent is there. Not sure the talent is there to be a top team in the AFC. But hey, if you're in on the not-sucking game, then go nuts, enjoy your 7-9 wins every year. If not, then Ballard needs to do a better job building out the core of this offense -- fewer spare parts, more core components, and if he can't do it we need a better engineer.