Dallas Cowboys (Previous Rank: 1) – The Cowboys 4-1 start has people buzzing about the Cowboys as a potential Super Bowl contender, and the primary reason has been the play of the offensive line. This is the rare offensive line that is playing at an elite level in both the run game and in pass pro. The Cowboys could have three pro-bowlers by season’s end in Tyron Smith, Zach Martin, and Connor Williams. Smith and Martin both lead their positions in pressures allowed and pressures allowed % for players that have played at least 200 snaps. A case can be made that Smith has been the best tackle and Martin the best guard so far this season. Williams is tied for 6th in pressures allowed and is 5th in PA% and is on pace to price himself out of being able to return to Dallas next season because they probably won’t be able to afford him. Steele has made an impact all year as a run-blocker since taking over for La’el Collins in week two. However, he’s now starting to come along in pass pro coming off his best pass-blocking performance of the year vs. the Giants in which he allowed no pressures or sacks. Even Biadasz had his first quality pass pro game of the year as he too allowed no sacks or pressures vs. the Giants. The Cowboys offensive line only allowed two pressures vs. the Giants, a performance that propelled them to first in PA% as a team (16.2%). The o-line also helped the team accumulate over 200 yards rushing and continues to dominate in that aspect as well.
Cleveland Browns (Previous Rank: 2) – The Browns lost a thriller in LA but the offensive line was superb as usual. They had another masterpiece run-blocking game and paired it with their best pass-pro performance of the season as they only allowed three pressures and no sacks. And all this despite being beat up at the tackle positions. Wills was out of the lineup and Conklin got hurt during the game. Both are currently listed as questionable for next week’s game. If both must miss, the o-line won’t be as good, but Blake Hance looked good filling in for Wills so they could be ok at one tackle spot. The Browns will need to rely on strong play from their interior while their tackles get healthier, and it’s a good thing it’s one of the best interior groups in the NFL. Both Bitonio and Teller are playing at high levels at the guard positions, and Tretter has been one of the better centers this season. The Browns are one of just seven teams allowing pressure on less than 20% of pass snaps and may be the best run-blocking group in the NFL.
Washington Football Team (Previous Rank: 4) – Washington had their worst game of the year upfront as well. They allowed double-digit pressures (13) for the first time all season. Perhaps the injury of Samuel Cosmi early in the game and Branon Scherff missing it entirely hurt this group some but down games by some of their better performers also hurt. Leno Jr. had been one of the best pass-blocking tackles all season, but against the Saints he allowed six pressures (he only allowed four in the first four games). They struggled more in the run game. Despite them being number one in run-block win rate according to ESPN, it didn’t show up Sunday. Their RBs only had 72 yards rushing on 26 carries (2.7 YPC). That being said, we’re at the point in the season where body of work will outweigh a performance in one game, good or bad. Washington is still second in PA%, first in sacks allowed, and is a good run-blocking group. They also played most of Sunday’s game down two starters. At full strength, WSH has proven to be an elite offensive line.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Previous Rank: 5) – Tampa’s offensive line was impressive vs. the Dolphins. When adjusted for degree of difficulty, the Bucs probably have been the most impressive pass-blocking offensive line in the NFL. They throw the ball over 70% of their plays, and often look to throw down the field more than other teams. Their offensive line is being tasked with having to hold up in pass pro with an immobile QB and with opposing defense not having to worry about the run game and are still third in PA% and second in sacks allowed. The offensive line only allowed four pressures on Sunday, and this group is mostly benefiting from Wirfs and Smith being one of the best tackle duos in the NFL.
Los Angeles Rams (Previous Rank: 6) – The Rams leaned on a balanced attack to top the Seahawks on TNF and the Rams being able to block well in both phases contributed to the success of their gameplan. They only allowed seven pressures, no sacks, and contributed to a 100 plus yards and two TD performance on the ground. Havenstein and Whitworth are battling it out for best Rams offensive lineman so far with Whitworth playing slightly better in pass pro, but Havenstein having the edge as a run-blocker. Edwards, Allen, and Corbett have all taken turns looking like the best interior player in the group, and all are having good seasons. This unit is allowing the fifth-fewest sacks and are 13th in PA%. Despite what any numbers say, this group’s performance all season has exceeded what the stats on this site or other metrics from other publications say. This group has two things that the numbers can’t always properly measure, chemistry and a high football IQ.
San Francisco 49ers (Previous Rank: 3) – The 49ers offensive line played their worst game of the season in their 17-10 loss to the Cardinals. They were fine in pass pro, but they weren’t very good in the run game. The legs of Trey Lance helped mask what was a pedestrian run-blocking effort by this team. Mike McGlinchey, who has garnered a reputation as one of the elite run-blocking tackles looked especially off as he allowed two TFL and found himself on the losing end of his battle with J.J. Watt. Trent Williams remains a model of consistency as he had another strong game. Laken Tomlinson and Alex Mack both had good games in pass pro as neither allowed a sack or pressure. Brunskill struggled in both phases and remains this unit’s weak link. Overall, the 49ers are fine upfront. They are still top five in PA% and penalties, tied for first in sacks allowed, and one of the most physical run-blocking teams when on their game.
Arizona Cardinals (Previous Rank: 7) – The Cardinals are the league’s last remaining undefeated team after another big division win over the 49ers. Their offensive line continues to play well, and they got a welcomed addition with the return of Kelvin Beachum back at RT. Expect he and Humphries to be one of the best pass pro duos at tackle all season. Hudson remains the only lineman to start every game without allowing a pressure so far, but he left the game with a rib injury. Justin Pugh has been one of the better pass-blocking guards this season as he has only allowed five pressures on the season. Josh Jones returned to RG with Beachum back in the lineup. He’s looked better playing tackle this season, and overall, Max Garcia has been better in pass pro than him on the year. The Cardinals rank fourth in PA% and have only allowed five sacks on the season. However, run-blocking is still not a strength of this group as they are too inconsistent.
Kansas City Chiefs (Previous Rank: 8) – The Chiefs didn’t look good in their loss to the Bills, but the offensive line wasn’t the problem. The Chiefs never committed to the run game, and that’s a shame because the Chiefs have been better run-blocking than pass-blocking this season. KC threw it 70 times on Sunday night, and considering the volume, their offensive line played well in pass pro with the exception of Lucas Niang. Niang had his worst game of the season as he allowed eight pressures in the game. The rest of the o-line did fine allowing only six pressures. Thuney had the best game followed by Brown which is a great sign for the Chiefs because those two need to be their best players upfront. The Chiefs are top 10 in PA% (20%) and sacks allowed (4), and their fourth in run-block win rate.
Philadelphia Eagles (Previous Rank: 12) – Despite the injuries and Lane Johnson missing multiple games due to a personal matter, this offensive line continues to play well. It all starts with the consistency of Jason Kelce. He seems to never get hurt and just goes out each week and thrives in the run game. Jordan Mailata returned to the lineup vs. the Panthers, and while he looked a little rusty, he was solid and has been one of the best tackles in the NFL overall. Andre Dillard has looked like a first-round pick when called upon at the other tackle. With both of their starting guards out for the year, it's probably inevitable that Dillard moves to guard once Johnson returns, and an offensive line that includes Mailata, Johnson, Kelce, and Dillard all playing at a high level is still one of the best o-lines in the NFL.
Los Angeles Chargers (Previous Rank: 10) – Despite the bad news that Oday Aboushi was most likely lost for the season with a torn ACL, the Chargers offensive line looks like a top-10 unit and should still be able to play well in his absence. Michael Schofield played 70 snaps in their win over the Browns in relief of Aboushi and was solid. Also, keep in mind that Bryan Bulaga should return at some point as well. Regardless, the Chargers are worthy of a top-10 spot because they have three players playing at a high level in Rashawn Slater, Corey Linsley, and Matt Feiler. Slater has been one of the top-performing rookies from the 2021 class and looks like an early candidate to be the best tackle from his class. He’s already a complete player giving the Chargers productive play in both the run and pass game. Linsely has been one of the best centers in the league after his play has picked up after a so-so start. Feiler has had his troubles in pass-pro, but he’s been so elite as a run-blocker that he’s still having an impact year upfront. Norton has been bad in pass pro overall this season, but he has his best game of the year only allowing two pressures in 53 pass snaps on Sunday. The Chargers are 11th in PA% and have allowed the second-fewest TFL on run plays.
Baltimore Ravens (Previous Rank: 13) – Despite trading Orlando Brown, Ronnie Stanley only playing in one game, and one of the worst single-game performances of the season in week one, the Ravens offensive line has done a good job overall. Lamar Jackson deserves all the credit in the world for his improvement as a passer, but the Ravens have gotten a lot better in pass-pro since the start of the year, and that has helped him as well. This o-line is like a lesser version of the Rams group. The numbers don’t quite scream top-11 offensive line, but at this point in the rankings, everyone else has flaws too. This group has gotten it done when called upon, and that is the mark of a good o-line. While the Ravens 29.2 PA% ranks 25th, a good chunk of that has been the result of one player (Villanueva). And while Villanueva has had some awful performances, his play can better be described by volatile inconsistency instead of just consistently bad play week in and week out (i.e. Austin Jackson and Alex Leatherwood). Villanueva has also been a good run-blocker this season. ESPN has Baltimore ranked fifth in pass-block win rate and sixth in run-block win rate so there are some numbers to support this group being a good unit. Bozeman has been the best Ravens offensive lineman and has played like a top-10 center so far. The rest of this group has just been solid in both phases. Mekari has filled in admirably at RT while Stanley’s absence has forced Villanueva to go to LT. Zeitler and Powers have been one of the better pass-blocking guard duos in the NFL. The Ravens are one of only seven teams with two starting guards whose PA% is less than 4%.
Green Bay Packers (Previous Rank: 11) – The Packers offensive line looked like a group that was playing primarily with back-ups for the first time all season vs. the Bengals. However, Bakhtiari will be eligible to play after week 6, and hopefully, Jenkins and Myers will be back by then too, and then we can see what this offensive line can do.
New England Patriots (Previous Rank: 14) – A combination of injuries and players on the Covid-19 list left the Patriots without four starters upfront vs. the Texans. Despite Andrews being the only active starter, the Pats offensive line played arguably their best game of the season. Bill Bellichick’s post-game praise notwithstanding, it’s going to take a little more than playing well against arguably the worst NFL team for OLS to start looking at this offensive line like one of the better groups in the NFL again.
Cincinnati Bengals (Previous Rank: 17) – The Bengals weren’t as sharp in pass-pro vs. the Packers as they have been in previous weeks as they allowed a season-high 12 pressures. However, half of those came via Jackson Carman who has been up and down since filling in for Su’A-Filo. Hopkins has also been up and down at C. However, Williams and Spain both played well vs. GB, and Reiff was solid. As long as those three play well, the Bengals have a quality offensive line.
Tennessee Titans (Previous Rank: 21) – The Titans o-line has been up and down this season but on Sunday vs. the Jags, they were mostly up. It was their best performance of the year. All five guys played well, and if they can get more performances like this, they’ll be in the top-10 conversation. Now let’s see them do it against a good team and do it in back-to-back games because a lack of consistency has been this group’s biggest problem.
New York Jets (Previous Rank: 22) – The Jets offensive line has come alive in recent weeks. They’ve put together back-to-back good games and have played well three out of their five games this year. Connor McGovern looks like one of the most improved players in the NFL and has arguably been this group’s best player. Vera-Tucker has been the best rookie guard, and they’re getting solid tackle play from both Moses and Fant.
Chicago Bears (Previous Rank: 20) – The Bears finally put together back-to-back good games and now look like a solid mid-tier offensive line. They only allowed three pressures in their week five victory over the Raiders. While I don’t like to overreact to one game, the Raiders came into week 5 with the best pass-rushing d-line in the NFL, and the Bears held up.
Buffalo Bills (Previous Rank: 15) – The Bills moved back in the ranking from last week, but that was more a product of the teams behind them needing to move up. The Bills didn’t perform poorly to move back. As a matter of fact, they’ve played well the past two weeks. The Bills allowed 57 pressures in their first three weeks but have only allowed 13 over the past two weeks.
New Orleans Saints (Previous Rank: 16) – The Saints offensive line should be better than it’s played. They haven’t been terrible, but the interior group is underachieving, and so is Ramczyk in pass pro. The good news is that they’ve been able to weather the storm of Armstead’s absence thanks to the play of James Hurst who has been their best lineman in his absence.
Seattle Seahawks (Previous Rank: 9) – The Seahawks are struggling and so is their offensive line. Brown looked great the first two weeks of the season and hasn’t looked as good since. Seattle was top 10 in PA% earlier in the year, but after five weeks they’ve fallen to 24th.
Atlanta Falcons (Previous Rank: 18) – The pro-bowl caliber play of Lindstrom and excellent pass-blocking of Matthews continue to keep the Falcons afloat as a lower-tier middle of the pack line, but the Falcons need a third player to step up to move up in the rankings. McGary, Mayfield, and Hennessy have all been liabilities in the passing game.
Indianapolis Colts (Previous Rank: 23) – Despite being without Nelson for a second straight game, the Colts played their best game of the season upfront. Fisher is still struggling, and Kelly didn’t play well in the run game, but the Colts got big games from Glowinski, Pryor, and Reed. However, one game doesn’t make up for the multiple bad games from this group, and the Colts are still last in the NFL in PA%.
Houston Texans (Previous Rank: 19) – The Texans haven’t allowed double-digit pressures since week one and had another solid outing in pass pro vs. the Patriots. They only allowed five pressures, and the Texans had their best offensive game since Mills took over at QB. However, Cannon missed the game after being placed on IR after week 4, and now Tunsil is projected to miss four weeks with a thumb injury. This offensive line isn’t going to be the same for the next month or so.
Pittsburgh Steelers (Previous Rank: 28) – The Steelers had their best game of the season in their win over Denver. They’ve been solid in most of their games in pass pro, but they finally had a good game run-blocking, and Najee Harris took advantage to get his first 100-yard rushing game. While Steelers fans shouldn’t expect the trend of 100-yard rushing performances on 5 YPC to become the norm. This game was a step in the right direction for a young offensive line that has gotten predominately negative headlines from the media all season.
Denver Broncos (Previous Rank: 25) – The Broncos have lost two straight, and their offensive line has also had back-to-back poor games. They were ok in pass pro vs. the Steelers but were a disaster in the run game. Take away a 49-yard run, and the Broncos backs rushed for 46 yards on 16 carries (2.8 YPC). They don’t have good enough QB play to be effective on offense without a complimentary run-game, and if this o-line struggles in that aspect, they’ll struggle to win games.
Carolina Panthers (Previous Rank: 24) – The Panthers offensive line has struggled to protect Darnold all season, and it’s starting to hurt the quality of the offense. They rank 28th in PA% and have allowed 36 pressures in the past two games. Moton has been their most consistent player, but his play has dropped off somewhat in the past two games compared to the first three.
Minnesota Vikings (Previous Rank: 29) – The Vikings haven’t been able to consistently protect Cousins. The biggest problem is the fact their worst pass-blocker has been their starting LT Rashod Hill, who is one of only 11 players in the NFL that have allowed 20 or more pressures.
New York Giants (Previous Rank: 30) – The Giants offensive line struggled without Andrew Thomas in the lineup. He could be back next week, and they need him because Nate Solder had to move over to LT in his absence and had his worse game of the year in the midst of a season that already wasn’t going well.
Jacksonville Jaguars (Previous Rank: 26) – The Jags are in trouble now that Brandon Linder has been placed on IR. They are now down two starters between him and Cann, and Linder may have been the unit’s best player. That leaves Norwell as this group’s lone reliable player left. Unless Cam Robinson and Jawaan Taylor pick it up, things could get even worse for Jacksonville offensively.
Detroit Lions (Previous Rank: 27) – The Lions anticipate that Frank Ragnow (arguably the NFL’s best center) will miss the rest of the season with a toe injury. Between that and Penei Sewell’s regression, this offensive line now is in contention for the worst line in the NFL. They desperately need Taylor Decker back in the lineup.
Las Vegas Raiders (Previous Rank: 31) – Another shaky performance from this group has the Raiders losers of two straight. Alex Leatherwood has been a disaster. So much so that they moved him to RG, and he was bad there as well. His replacement at RT, Brandon Parker, was also bad at RT. The Raiders offensive line has also been called for 20 penalties (2nd most in the NFL).
Miami Dolphins (Previous Rank: 32) – The Dolphins offensive line played their best game of the year, but that’s not saying much. Their total body of work has still been the worst of any offensive line. They’ve allowed the most pressures of any team and are 30th in PA%.