16. Philadelphia Eagles: -0.6
Stud: That monster again, Evan Mathis (+14.9). His work in pass protection has dropped off a tad but he’s really enjoying the Chip Kelly offense.
Dud: He’s a rookie so you have to take your lumps, but you’d like to see fewer than the 21 quarterback disruptions Lane Johnson (-8.9) has allowed.
Summary: They’d be higher but for the meltdown endured by Jason Kelce against the Giants in the run game. He was our top-ranked center until that abomination. Still, a good athletic line that is a big part of the success of LeSean McCoy.
15. Pittsburgh Steelers: -0.5
Stud: It’s the right guard David DeCastro (+4.8) who is the one to keep an eye on.
Dud: He’s been benched for now and it’s not really a surprise. Mike Adams (-9.7) was struggling out there.
Summary: From snap to whistle there’s be no real drop off with Fernando Velasco on the field as the interior of this line has done a nice job. It’s as good a Steelers line as we’ve seen in a while, which admittedly isn’t saying much.
14. San Francisco 49ers: +1.3
Stud: He’s not reached the heights of last year but Joe Staley (+5.2) is still playing well.
Dud: You have to wonder if the team will re-sign Jonathan Goodwin (-3.9) after the year. He’s serviceable, but do they think they can do better?
Summary: The best line in the league last year hasn’t been the best in 2013. They’ve not got the same level of play out of Mike Iupati and Anthony Davis and it’s hurting their production on offense.
13. New Orleans Saints: +3.5
Stud: You rarely notice Zach Strief (+9.1), who is the model of consistency in pass protection with just a sack, hit and five hurries allowed on the year.
Dud: The right guard spot has been troubling. It was worse when Tim Lelito had to stand in, but it has to be worrying how much Jahri Evans (-4.9) has struggled.
Summary: A line that just keeps getting the job done. They haven’t been let down by Ben Grubbs since he joined, and Brian De La Puente has been a very nice find. Would be higher but for the massive downgrade Lelito earned in his start.
12. San Diego Chargers: +4.7
Stud: It looks like Nick Hardwick (+6.8) is somewhere near back to being his best.
Dud: The idea to move Jeromey Clary (-7.6) to guard has gone about as well as expected. As in to say, it has not gone well.
Summary: They’ve made moves to get better and the proof is in the pudding. Philip Rivers is happier and his pocket is a lot cleaner. The tackles are doing a nice job and they’ve got better than expected play out of fill-in Johnnie Troutman. They’re young and on the rise.
11. Minnesota Vikings: +5.9
Stud: Last year he was the weak link but Brandon Fusco (+6.0) has turned it around exceptionally well.
Dud: The strength in this line this year isn’t so much that they have stars, but that nobody has been that bad. The worst of the bunch is Charlie Johnson (-1.5).
Summary: A drop off from last year but they’ve avoided the kind of catastrophic performance that can cripple. They just need to take things to the next level, and a lot of that is down to players like John Sullivan and Matt Kalil moving up a gear.
10. Detroit Lions: +6.3
Stud: It’s the rookie revelation Larry Warford (+8.3) who could stand with being more consistent in the run game, but has had a fine start to his NFL life.
Dud: We’ve been a little bit disappointed by Rob Sims (-3.7) and his poor work in the run game.
Summary: They’ve taken a step forward this year even after losing their top tackles from last year. That largely comes down to some better play from the inside, but the tackles have held their own.
9. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: +6.6
Stud: It’s gone unnoticed largely, but Donald Penn (+9.1) is playing rather well. He’s mauling people in the run game like few tackles can.
Dud: He never looked great before the injury, but Davin Joseph (-9.2) looks worse now.
Summary: You expect more given how much the team has invested in the line. As it is, their star players (the tackles) are both undrafted free agents, though the team will be better for getting Carl Nicks up to speed.
8. Carolina Panthers: +9.9
Stud: This could be his last year with the team and in the league, so it’s good to see Jordan Gross (+8.7) playing so well. As reliable as ever.
Dud: The team probably didn’t expect Chris Scott (-7.1) to have to play 248 snaps. He has and it has not gone well.
Summary: The good news is this line was getting good performances from its key players. The bad news is that one of those, Amini Silatolu, just went down and is out for the year and that’s a big blow. They need every advantage they can get.
Continue reading to find out who sits at No. 1