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NFL Offensive Lines: Best 5 and Worst 5

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Five best, worst NFL offensive lines: Cowboys shine, Jets a mess

Which teams are fielding the league's best offensive lines, and which clubs are suffering from not being able to rely on the front five? Around The NFL's Chris Wesseling identifies the five best and five worst O-lines through Week 5 of the regular season.

 

TOP FIVE O-LINES

1) Cowboys

2) Saints

3) Ravens

4) 49ers

5) Colts

BOTTOM FIVE O-LINES

1) Falcons

2) Bengals

3) Titans

4) Jets

5) Dolphins

 

http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap3000001063936/article/five-best-worst-nfl-offensive-lines-cowboys-shine-jets-a-mess

 

 

What I find interesting is 4 of the 5 bottom ranked offensive lines (according to the author) are Bills opponents this year. We've already faced three of them (Bengals, Titans, Jets) and will face the Jets again and the Dolphins twice later in the season. So much about this season is lining up in the Bills favor, and this is another piece of the puzzle. It's my opinion that the hardest weakness to overcome for a team is a bad oline. That's why we'll dominate the Dolphins after the bye week, and probably again later when we face them. Same with the Jets.

 

Another thing to consider is the strength of the Bills oline. Last year we were surely in the bottom 5. While we probably aren't in the top 5, our oline is worlds better than it was last year. The best thing about it, though, is the depth. There is not a huge drop off when the backups come in or when guys are forced to switch positions. Our starters are probably average, but having great depth is a huge luxury that a lot of teams don't have.

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Bills will have their hands full with the Cowboys line. Doesn’t it seem like they always have a good o line? 

I would probably put the Bills line right up there. IF they can stay healthy and progress as a unit, the Bills line will be dominant.

Ford needs to keep getting better. As the author pointed out talking about the Falcons line, rookies often struggle on the line. Ford will get better. Is it me or does Ford look like he has slimmed down some since the draft?

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1 minute ago, atlbillsfan1975 said:

Bills will have their hands full with the Cowboys line. Doesn’t it seem like they always have a good o line? 

I would probably put the Bills line right up there. IF they can stay healthy and progress as a unit, the Bills line will be dominant.

Ford needs to keep getting better. As the author pointed out talking about the Falcons line, rookies often struggle on the line. Ford will get better. Is it me or does Ford look like he has slimmed down some since the draft?

I don't really think our line will be dominant. I think we have some good pieces, but no dominant players on the line. What really sets our apart, however, is the depth. Not a huge drop off when the backups come in.

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If we could get improved play at RT, I'd put us in the mix, or just outside, the top 5. 

 

Allen holds onto the ball at times, which makes some of the pass pro issues look worse than they are.  Typically, he has time to throw.

 

Our run game is solid, and should get better as we add Singletary to the mix and teams have to defend the edge instead of just Gore's A/B gap runs.

 

Also factor in depth and the fact that they should only get better as the season goes on.  We all hoped they could get through the first quarter of the season given all the new pieces... Well, they did, and should only improve from here on out.

 

Edited by SCBills

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3 minutes ago, atlbillsfan1975 said:

 Is it me or does Ford look like he has slimmed down some since the draft?

 

If so, he went from gigantic to still really huge.

He's listed as:

Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 329 lb (149 kg)

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16 minutes ago, SCBills said:

If we could get improved play at RT, I'd put us in the mix, or just outside, the top 5. 

 

Allen holds onto the ball at times, which makes some of the pass pro issues look worse than they are.  Typically, he has time to throw.

 

Our run game is solid, and should get better as we add Singletary to the mix and teams have to defend the edge instead of just Gore's A/B gap runs.

 

Also factor in depth and the fact that they should only get better as the season goes on.  We all hoped they could get through the first quarter of the season given all the new pieces... Well, they did, and should only improve from here on out.

 

That's a great point. I know there are some posters here that don't believe continuity is important, or that team members need time to "gel". But if there is a position group where that is important, it's the offensive line.

 

Hopefully injuries don't continue to hamper the group.

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2 minutes ago, Bring it said:

Partly the reason that the Jets, Titans and Bengals are on the bottom 5 is because they played against our defense!

 

Only partly, though. Going into each of those games it was a major concern for those teams before we even played them.

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Bills will be top 5 by season end now that they have played together longer. RT has been my only concern on our line while trying to develop Ford. 

 

 

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2 minutes ago, MJS said:

 

Only partly, though. Going into each of those games it was a major concern for those teams before we even played them.

Partly, but to be fair all of those teams have encountered a few excellent D-lines and front 7s. Not just us. They’re bad lines, but have multiple games against top front 7’s and D-lines might make a few look worse than they are. Bengals for instance: Bills, Seahawks, 49ers; Jets got Bills, Pats, and Eagles. 

 

Bengals have a shot to improve once injuries heal and that new offense gets easier. 

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Traditionally, it takes an offensive line a decent amount of time to gel together, longer than training camp and preseason, unless it's the same starting 5 year to year. In the Bills case with 4 of 5 starters new this year, my expectation is that it should take even longer. I've always thought that you have to give a line the first 4 games to get things figured out, before they really start playing as a cohesive unit, and (barring injuries) they generally get better as the season goes on.

 

It's not surprising to me that the Bills line is better than they were, but still not yet a great unit. If they can get healthy and stay healthy, I think they will become very good -- not top 5 good, but possibly top 10 or 12. But my guess is that it will take at least until mid-season to see them at this level.

 

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16 minutes ago, MJS said:

 

Only partly, though. Going into each of those games it was a major concern for those teams before we even played them.

True enough! It was nice to see us play the Pats tough even though their oline was banged up. 

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51 minutes ago, Buffalo Junction said:

Partly, but to be fair all of those teams have encountered a few excellent D-lines and front 7s. Not just us. They’re bad lines, but have multiple games against top front 7’s and D-lines might make a few look worse than they are. Bengals for instance: Bills, Seahawks, 49ers; Jets got Bills, Pats, and Eagles. 

 

Bengals have a shot to improve once injuries heal and that new offense gets easier. 

 

For the Jets, at least, the oline was a concern before the start of the season. They chose to upgrade other positions and didn't focus on the oline. Not sure about the other teams though. I think we all knew the Dolphins would be terrible at everything, so they are in the same boat.

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1 hour ago, BuffaloBillies said:

 

If so, he went from gigantic to still really huge.

He's listed as:

Height: 6 ft 4 in (1.93 m)
Weight: 329 lb (149 kg)

I get what he is listed at. Just a couple of still shots I have seen make me believe he has lost some weight. The one where he is spiking the ball in particular. 

1 hour ago, MJS said:

I don't really think our line will be dominant. I think we have some good pieces, but no dominant players on the line. What really sets our apart, however, is the depth. Not a huge drop off when the backups come in.

I agree the Bills have solid depth at o line, which can make or break an offense. I really do believe this line can be a top five unit. We have already heard this offense is complicated that Daboll is running. I believe that means line assignments also are complex. The line is five guys acting as one. Blitz pickups are huge for linemen. It has to be an unspoken change many times. 

We all can agree this line is light years better than last years.

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1 hour ago, Real McCoy said:

Bills will be top 5 by season end now that they have played together longer. RT has been my only concern on our line while trying to develop Ford. 

 

 

 

Im not seeing Top 5, but I think they will be Top half of the League which is a dramatic improvement from last year...

 

They need another piece this offseason to move into the Top 5..

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All you have to do is be willing to give up a 1st for Trent Williams and you have a top 5 line.  Dawkins Feliciano/Spain Morse Ford Williams.  I know Williams is a LT but Dawkins has been playing well and I don't want to mess with that.  I think there would be more of a drop off in Dawkins play from left to right than there would be for Williams.  Re-sign Feliciano and Dawkins when his time comes and you have at least 3 years after this one of a dominant offensive line.  

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2 hours ago, Aussie Joe said:

 

Im not seeing Top 5, but I think they will be Top half of the League which is a dramatic improvement from last year...

 

They need another piece this offseason to move into the Top 5..

I agree. I could see us upgrading at LG and RT.

 

With so many guys on one year deals it will be interesting to see who the Bills bring back next year.

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7 hours ago, atlbillsfan1975 said:

Bills will have their hands full with the Cowboys line. Doesn’t it seem like they always have a good o line? 

I would probably put the Bills line right up there. IF they can stay healthy and progress as a unit, the Bills line will be dominant.

Ford needs to keep getting better. As the author pointed out talking about the Falcons line, rookies often struggle on the line. Ford will get better. Is it me or does Ford look like he has slimmed down some since the draft?

 

I think Ford has been looking more and more like he is getting into NFL shape.

 

If he has come as far as he has on just natural ability, the kid will have an amazing ceiling as he puts on more muscle.

 

I thought looking at his college clips he would struggle with speed rushers on the outside so I am not as disappointed in him as some. They have put him out there on a limb when he has been more suited to guard while he develops.

 

I think his future is bright though if he stays healthy. He just needs to keep working on his power/explosiveness out of his stance and his kick slide... The Bills strength training staff will get him where he needs to be.

 

 

 

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7 hours ago, MJS said:

 

Only partly, though. Going into each of those games it was a major concern for those teams before we even played them.

Thanks alot for rekindling my concern about the Dline pressure issue we discussed ad nauseam!

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3 minutes ago, LSHMEAB said:

 

Thanks alot for rekindling my concern about the Dline pressure issue we discussed ad nauseam!

Sacks are overrated.

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9 hours ago, SCBills said:

If we could get improved play at RT, I'd put us in the mix, or just outside, the top 5. 

 

Allen holds onto the ball at times, which makes some of the pass pro issues look worse than they are.  Typically, he has time to throw.

 

Our run game is solid, and should get better as we add Singletary to the mix and teams have to defend the edge instead of just Gore's A/B gap runs.

 

Also factor in depth and the fact that they should only get better as the season goes on.  We all hoped they could get through the first quarter of the season given all the new pieces... Well, they did, and should only improve from here on out.

 

 

I wouldn't be surprised to see the Bills go OT in round 1 next Spring.

1 hour ago, WideNine said:

 

I think Ford has been looking more and more like he is getting into NFL shape.

 

If he has come as far as he has on just natural ability, the kid will have an amazing ceiling as he puts on more muscle.

 

I thought looking at his college clips he would struggle with speed rushers on the outside so I am not as disappointed in him as some. They have put him out there on a limb when he has been more suited to guard while he develops.

 

I think his future is bright though if he stays healthy. He just needs to keep working on his power/explosiveness out of his stance and his kick slide... The Bills strength training staff will get him where he needs to be.

 

 

 

I say go OT in round 1 and move Ford to RG.

Edited by GreggTX

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