It all starts up front.
Or so the saying goes. Sure, it’s a little more complicated than that but essentially it’s pretty hard to run the ball when you’re line is getting smashed at the point of attack, and there isn’t a quarterback out there who fares better when he is pressured.
So this is where we pay respect to those guys with our updated Offensive Line rankings after Week 11 — along with their First Quarter rank.
32. Arizona Cardinals: -61.0 (First Quarter Rank — 27)
Stud: The team has got the usual solid play out of Lyle Sendlein but the best of the bunch remains Daryn Colledge (+6.9). He’s picked up just three negative grades all year and can be happy allowing just 14 quarterback disruptions.
Dud: There’s a competition brewing with the right side of the line just falling short to Bradley Sowell (-19.7). He’s moved into the starting lineup since the trade of Levi Brown, and while his grade is horrible he has rebounded somewhat in his last three outings (-2.5).
Summary: Remains a work in progress. Losing Jonathan Cooper did hurt but the move for Eric Winston just hasn’t worked out, with them actually getting worse at the spot following the play of Bobby Massie down the stretch.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars: -55.3 (30)
Stud: The best of a generally bad bunch? Well, that’s Austin Pasztor (+0.5) who has proved a quiet revelation since being moved into the starting lineup at right tackle. A useful player to have on the roster.
Dud: Not many have come out with credit, but none looked as bad as Will Rackley (-21.4). Many a play would break down (particularly in the run game) with Rackley being the reason front and center. Time to end that experiment.
Summary: Of the many problems the Jaguars have their offensive line is right up there. The unit has failed to open up running lanes and not one of the eight players used have got a positive grade in that regard. Consistent if nothing else.
30. Seattle Seahawks: -51.5 (31)
Stud: It’s hard to find a stud with the team having to deal with injuries left, right, and center, but backup right tackle Michael Bowie (+5.9) held his end up well, even if he has been replaced this week.
Dud: Safe to say the team will be working on a plan going forward that doesn’t involve using Paul McQuistan (-25.1) at left tackle.
Summary: This is something of a false ranking. The team has got back both it’s starting tackles and will be better for it, while the hope is switching McQuistan back to guard and getting the line that played last year on the field will kick Max Unger out of his funk.
29. New York Giants: -50.9 (29)
Stud: Do we have to pick one? A premier line in it’s time, now it’s lacking a bright spot. At least rookie right tackle Justin Pugh (-3.7) hasn’t looked too out of place.
Dud: David Diehl (-22.6) has been kicked to right guard and the results have been predictable. Not very good at all.
Summary: You can’t completely blame the Giants for the state of their line. But it’s impressive how they’ve really failed to address the gradual decline. We are encouraged that the man pretending to be Will Beatty at the start of the year has been replaced by the real thing recently.
28. Oakland Raiders: -41.7 (17)
Stud: Center Stefen Wisniewski (+8.6) has taken his time becoming the center many thought he would, but now it seems to be happening.
Dud: Lucas Nix (-36.4) is in prime position to earn the lowest grade we’ve ever given a guard.
Summary: It’s been better than expected. Tony Pashos and Matt McCants have come in and done admirably well, but the rebuilding of this line is going to take more than just one offseason.
27. New York Jets: -33.4 (25)
Stud: It’s hard to pick on a line that hasn’t coped with teams keying in on it’s run game. At least Austin Howard (+5.7) has handled his business in pass protection.
Dud: The left guard spot has proved to be a problem all year. Brian Winters (-13.1) has struggled with four negative grades on the bounce.
Summary: This line used to be the best in the business. It’s not now. They do a good job of giving their quarterback time, but they don’t do a good job of opening up the kind of running lanes their backs need on a consistent basis.
26. Atlanta Falcons: -32.2 (28)
Stud: It remains Justin Blalock (+9.8), but the concerning thing is that it owes more to his pass protection than consistent movement he’s getting in the run game. The kind of player you want on your line, but not someone you expect to be the standout player on it.
Dud: To be fair to Lamar Holmes (-22.0) there’s every possibility that Sam Baker (-14.4 grade on 190 snaps) would have been this guy if not for injury. But that doesn’t excuse how bad Holmes has looked on both sides, even if his recent performances have been better.
Summary: The Falcons understand what they’ve got. It’s why you’ve seen their attack go screen heavy and put an emphasis on getting rid of the ball quickly to protect their quarterback. It’s an extremely limited unit that doesn’t look like opening up holes or allowing plays to develop and there doesn’t appear a quick fix.
25. Baltimore Ravens: -29.6 (32)
Stud: He’s been with the team for only 365 snaps, but Eugene Monroe (+11.0) has shown he adds something to the outfit that Bryant McKinnie didn’t. He has been beaten for one too many sacks (four) but he’s proved a real asset so far.
Dud: It’s been hard for A.Q. Shipley (-13.5) switching from center to guard to replace the injured Kelechi Osemele. His first three games went badly but the team will be happy with his improved display against the Bears.
Summary: They’re lower than I would have imagined them being come the end of the season. The new rushing attack is starting to click and an ability to pick up yards off zone plays and power runs will keep many teams off guard.
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