The OL has been in transition with the new positions of Lepsis and Foster. Against some of the best Running defenses their timing was off and They were not winning the individual battles. Most people assumed that the Tackles would struggle with pass blocking more than the Running game. In fact, the opposite has been true.
The only thing Aikman misses on is that timing is critical in the zone blocking system. Witness the number of false starts v. Denver over the years. When the timing breaks down, the OL starts making mistakes in adjustments and loses its discipline. Its not complicated, but the timing IS critical.
OL have to be disciplined and Neil's False starts in INDY last year show how critical being out can effect the timing and effectiveness of the system. Indy's pathetic run defense was able to penetrate the line consistantly in Neil's gaps. As he worried about this he began to try and get a head start and the penalties started flying.
The same thing has happened with the OL consistancy this year. The Chiefs were simply not ready to defend the scheme in the first game. That attributed to the high number of rushing yds. The next few weeks saw the lack of timing and cohesion on the line. They also were playing against the JAGS DL at full strength and SD revamped run 3-4. SD totally commited to stop the run and Denver did not take full advantage of open WR's all day long to open the running game up.
Now, their timing has been vastly improved. The scheme has been adjusted. And, most importantly, Reuben is breaking tackles at an alarming rate. Very few first contacts have stopped Reuben. Add to the fact that he falls forward for an extra yd or two and the running game is back to working on all cylinders.
This week will be a different test as the Broncos get the luxury of playing the absolute worst run defense in the league. They absolutely have to dominate this team on the ground to continue to be consistant. They also have to pass more if the Bengals commit to stopping the run like SD did. Throw early to open up the running game later.
The real test for the OL will come against ATL the next week. Jim Mora has completely retooled their run "D" and they have also rushed the ball effectively. Now the OL has to go out and continue to improve each week.