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In The Trenches: Matchups for Week 1

Co-written by Matt Bitonti and Justis Mosqueda. Comparing offensive and defensive lines to find the best matchups for the week.

Welcome to the first official regular season attempt at "In The Trenches." 

Every week we will take Bitonti's offensive line rankings and compare them to Mosqueda's defensive front rankings, and combine the two with the goal of isolating and discussing the choicest matchups.  All of the matchups are listed at the bottom of the article. 

Let's get after it! 

MATCHUPS OF THE WEEK

TRUST

Pittsburgh Steelers @ Cleveland Browns 

PIT 4th offensive line @ CLE 32nd defensive front (PIT +28)

JM: Myles Garrett may be out of the game for a month after a high ankle injury puts his Week 1 in serious doubt. The first overall pick had a great preseason, but there's a reason why he was drafted first overall. Cleveland was 29th in sack percentage, 29th in yards per carry and 30th in tackle for loss percentage last season. That was one loss that they couldn't afford.

BIT: The Steelers' offensive line has built trust between the players by keeping the lineup stable for multiple seasons.  We call that variable "cohesion" in the model, and it is a key to the success of any line. The Steelers have elite talent in center Maurkice Pouncey and right guard David Decastro. The tackles and Ramon Foster are not amazing but they have built something special together, greater than the sum of the parts. This summer offensive line coach Mike Munchak (a Hall-of-Famer in his own right) asked the question where this unit ranks among the best Steelers' offensive lines in franchise history. It should be a juicy matchup against a Browns' defensive front missing their first overall pick. 

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