One of the things we feel we do better than anyone, is assess offensive line play. We’re watching these maulers on the line getting to the second level, pancaking defensive linemen, and every so often getting beat. And we do it on every single play of every single game.
So as much as anyone can be qualified to rank offensive lines, we feel we’re up to the challenge. Thus, after seven weeks of NFL action, it’s time to unveil some offensive line rankings.
In a rather crude way we’re adding together the cumulative grades for every offensive linemen on a team to give a score for every team. With teams having played different numbers of games this number has been divided by how many games they’ve played to give an average score per game in each area.
Let’s start with the worst shall we?
(PB = Pass Block rank, RB = Run & Screen Block rank, PEN = Penalty rank)
32. Arizona Cardinals
PB = 32nd, RB = 32nd, PEN = 18th
Does this really surprise anyone? When you have two tackles giving up as much pressure as D’Anthony Batiste and Bobby Massie, you’re bound to be in trouble. It hasn’t helped that they decided to invest in Adam Snyder at right guard. That move was always going to end up as subtraction by addition.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars
PB = 31st, RB = 24th, PEN = 17th
What’s gone wrong with the Jags’ line? Well, outside of the excellent Eugene Monroe every player has graded out negatively. Having to use Guy Whimper on 173 snaps has hurt, but the performance of too many guys has been less than stellar.
30. Oakland Raiders
PB = 30th, RB = 28th, PEN = 14th
So how’s that zone blocking scheme coming along? The running game has been out of sync and it’s showing up when Darren McFadden gets the ball. The pass protection hasn’t been great either, with the forced use of Willie Smith proving to be a marked downgrade from Khalif Barnes.
29. St Louis Rams
PB = 29th, RB = 21st, PEN = 29th
While 29th may not seem great, when you consider the injuries this unit as overcome, it’s something of a victory. Guys who have been turnstile tackles elsewhere, Wayne Hunter and Barry Richardson, have held up reasonably well, while the worst-ranked performer (Quinn Ojinnaka) has just been let go.
28. Seattle Seahawks
PB = 27th, RB = 15th, PEN = 32nd
What’s killed the Seahawks rank? Well, the tackles giving up 17 penalties between them didn’t help. Still, at least they had the sense to get J.R. Sweezy out of the starting lineup. His early season work is still being felt in the team’s run blocking grade.
27th. Indianapolis Colts
PB = 17th, RB = 30th, PEN =23rd
Led by Winston Justice, the Colts haven’t actually done a terrible job in pass protection. Run blocking? That’s an entirely different matter, with only Anthony Castonzo and backup center A.Q. Shipley earning positive grades in this area.
26. Carolina Panthers
PB = 19th, RB = 29th, PEN = 13th
While the play-calling deserves its share of blame, the run blocking hasn’t exactly been great this year. That was especially true in the middle of the line, with Ryan Kalil not playing up to his potential before his injury and Geoff Hangartner really struggling.
25. Dallas Cowboys
PB = 24th, RB = 13th, PEN = 31st
The Cowboys’ offensive tackles were able to match the 17 penalties of the Seahawks, while also giving up 40 combined sacks, hits and hurries between them. They have been getting better as the weeks have gone on though.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers
PB = 11th, RB = 31st, PEN = 27th
When you consider how they’ve been riddled with injuries this isn’t too bad. Now, if Mike Adams can continue to play the way he did against the Bengals, they’ll be moving up swiftly.
23. Miami Dolphins
PB = 14th, RB = 26th, PEN = 24th
Not quite what we’ve come to expect from the Dolphins. You can’t blame Mike Pouncey for that, he is putting forward a legitimate case for an All-Pro nod with his play.
22. Chicago Bears
PB = 25th, RB = 7th, PEN = 30th
No player sums this line up like Gabe Carimi. Excellent going forward, he’s something of a liability when he’s on his heels. All things considered, this is a big improvement from a line that was once a laughing stock.
21. San Diego Chargers
PB = 26th, RB = 20th, PEN = 3rd
There’s been too little of Jared Gaither on the field. This entire unit looks a different proposition when he’s fit and healthy. Without him, life seems a lot harder for Philip Rivers.
20. Philadelphia Eagles
PB = 28th, RB = 4th, PEN = 25th
There’s no doubt about it, the loss of Jason Peters has hit this team hard. While Todd Herremans and Evan Mathis continue to play well, the poor form of Danny Watkins, coupled with injuries, has seen a major drop off from 2011.
19. Tennessee Titans
PB = 18th, RB = 16th, PEN = 28th
They’ve come good recently with their tackles particularly impressive. Indeed, Michael Roos seems some way back to his best and he hasn’t even been 100%. The interior isn’t going to scare anyone, with the guards particularly disappointing.
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
PB = 13th, RB = 22nd, PEN = 22nd
As expected the left side of the line is doing a fine job, but they’ve missed Davin Joseph. Not because Joseph is anywhere near the player some make him out to be, but because the guys behind him have been so bad.
17. Green Bay Packers
PB = 7th, RB = 27th, PEN = 16th
A somewhat shaky start to the year for Green Bay who are definitely worse off for replacing Scott Wells with Jeff Saturday. On the plus side, Marshall Newhouse has taken a step forward and Bryan Bulaga is looking like his 2011 self.
Turn the page for 16-1
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