Patriots top offensive line rankings
Posted Aug. 14 at 12:30 PM
Offensive lines. You can’t live with them, and you can’t live without them.
They might not be as important as they’ve been in the past; nowadays it seems like if you have a marquee quarterback who gets rid of the ball quickly, you can get by with a lesser line. But they’re still important.
A team with a great offensive line will have some success running and passing – regardless of the skill guys.
Below are the updated offensive line rankings. We’ve had a chance to see each of the teams play, and there have been a few injuries and signings.
Cincinnati drops a few spots. It’s lost guard Travelle Wharton (its big free-agent pickup) for the season. But that’s not necessarily a huge deal. Guards aren’t as important as tackles, and second-year guy Clint Boling might be just fine as a fill-in. Boling for a fourth-round pick a year ago.
The top offensive lines – New England, Carolina, Tampa Bay, Houston – don’t look like knockout groups. There’s no crushing, dominating line in the league right now. There’s no group that’s simply blowing open huge holes for any ordinary running back to run for 100 yards per game behind. (Or for any passer to stand in the pocket for ages, picking apart defenses.)
Andrew Luck looked great in his preseason debut; he’s one of those quarterbacks (like the guy who preceded him in Indy) who might be OK behind a lesser line. But the Rams got to Luck awfully quickly on a few plays on Sunday. We’re leaving the Colts down at the bottom for now.
To see player-by-play grades (of all 160 projected starters) go to our Facebook page. I’ve got the whole deal in a color-coded chart so you can see where we believe each offensive line is strong and weak. The only individual grade that’s out of date is for guard Chris Kuper of the Broncos. He’s got a broken forearm that should sideline him until October, so that position for Denver goes from “average” to “below average”.
Feel free to let me know in the comments section where you believe I’m wrong on a player or team ranking.
OFFENSIVE LINE RANKINGS
1. New England
3. Tampa Bay
5. Kansas City
7. New Orleans
8. NY Jets
9. San Francisco
11. NY Giants
14. Green Bay
28. San Diego
29. St. Louis
Posted by Scott Anderson | Aug. 14 at 12:42 PM
Hmm. Looking at this, have you taken Dallas' weakness up the gut into account in your player rankings? (Romo, Murray, Austin, etc.) I did notice that they had no running room vs. OAK when the #1s were out there last night..
Posted by IAN ALLAN | Aug. 14 at 12:51 PM
That's a problem. If you look at the Facebook page, you'll see I have the lowest grades possible on them at center and right guard. But I'm not putting too much weight in the Oakland game. They did not have their starting center or left guard in that game. Tackles are more important, and I believe Dallas will be above-average at those spots. Tyron Smith might soon become a top-10 left tackle.
Posted by ANDY RICHARDSON | Aug. 14 at 01:06 PM
Rough outing for New England's Nate Solder last Thursday. We've got him as an average left tackle right now, but maybe we'll need to revisit that one if he continues to struggle.
Posted by Augie Cerdan | Aug. 14 at 06:59 PM
Thanks for this good piece of the puzzle info, but this list really needs to be redone after the 3rd preseason game to accurately reflect this season. The 1st preseason games were marred with missing guys, inconsistent play and no game planning. i believe good offensive lines are a huge fantasy advantage, but forecasting up-to-date accurate performance evaluation on O-lines is tough. O-lines are like a sub-teams within their teams which rely not only on individual talent but on a ton of chemistry and team work. The best offensive lines usually produce good fantasy performers.
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