Welcome back to another week "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!
DEFENSIVE FRONT MATCHUPS TO TRUST
Seattle @ Los Angeles (N) - Sunday 4:05 PM ET
JM: The Los Angeles Rams have the best defensive lineman in football in Aaron Donald, even if they may not have him for much longer. Robert Quinn is showing flashes as a pass-rusher, but Michael Brockers is now firmly the second-best line of scrimmage player in Los Angeles. The team has 1.5 stars and a bunch of functional rotational bodies who make it hard for offensive lines to catch their breath. Expect carnage vs Seattle.
BIT: Left tackle Rees Odhiambo played every snap but after last week's game he had to go to the hospital with a bruised sternum. Assuming Odhiambo is out against the Rams, Matt Tobin would likely be the next man up. The Seahawks traded a fifth-round pick to the Philadelphia Eagles, so assume they want some kind of return on that investment. Isaiah Battle, the one time Rams' supplemental draft pick is another option. The Seahawks offensive line has talent but due to injuries, the lineup has been in disarray.
Buffalo @ Cincinnati - Sunday 1 PM ET
JM: After a 3-1 start, the Buffalo Bills' defensive line is finally starting to get recognized. Kyle Williams is likely the most underrated defensive tackle of the last decade. Jerry Hughes is the least-talked-about elite pass-rusher in the sport. Marcell Dareus is the quietest former top-five pick turned super contract player in the NFL. Shaq Lawson's contributions, when healthy, are going unnoticed as a former first-round pick. Jerel Worthy's comeback in Buffalo isn't on anyone's radar, despite the fact that he's a former second-round pick. Eddie Yarbrough is known by maybe 1% of NFL football fans. This may be the deepest defensive line in the sport, and it will take staying atop the AFC East for people to realize that.
BIT: Right tackle Jake Fisher was added to the injury report on Thursday with a back ailment. Fisher had already been quasi-benched for veteran Andre Smith last week. Prior to that Smith had been starting for left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi, so either way, the team is counting on Smith's reps to increase. Unfortunately, the Bengals have only one competent tackle and the rest of the line isn't doing the bookends any favors. Look for Buffalo's stout defensive front to manhandle this Bengals' offensive line.
Los Angeles (A) @ New York (N) - Sunday 1 PM ET
JM: This week the Giants' offensive line faces one of the best three pass-rushing tandems in the league in Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram. Inside of those two will be Corey Liuget, a faceless $51 million defensive tackle, and Brandon Mebane, a nose tackle you likely know from his Seattle Seahawks years. Los Angeles' run defense is poor, which is due to their linebackers (thanks, Gus Bradley!) but expect the Giants' taped up offensive line to have a long day against this front four.
BIT: It is usually a great matchup when a West Coast team flies cross country for a 1 o'clock kickoff on the East Coast. This week we are going against that logic, as the Chargers' defensive front is red hot while the Giants' offensive line is reeling. Center Weston Richberg will likely miss the contest due to a concussion. Right tackle Bobby Hart will be a game-time decision. D.J. Fluker is ready to face his former team but overall there's not much to like about this matchup from the Giants' side, other than the time zone.
OTHER GOOD MATCHUPS
Pittsburgh has an excellent matchup at home against Jacksonville. We have discussed the Pittsburgh defensive front in both Week 2 and Week 4 of this article. They are still very good, but we wanted to give other defensive lines some coverage.
Houston has a favorable matchup hosting the Kansas City offensive line, who will likely be without right guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardif. Jordan Devey will likely take Duvernay's place while the starter rehabs his sprained knee.
OFFENSIVE LINE MATCHUPS TO TRUST
Arizona @ Philadelphia
JM: Last year, the Arizona Cardinals had the best pass-rush in football between Chandler Jones, Markus Golden, and Calais Campbell. Though the likes of Josh Mauro and Corey Peters are underrated by the general football community, the loss of Golden (injured reserve) and Campbell (free agency), along with the lackluster beginning of 2016 first-round pick Robert Nkemdiche's NFL career, has decimated the Cardinals' line of scrimmage. Haason Reddick, a former walk-on defensive back at Temple who was drafted to play inside linebacker in Arizona, is now moving to a primary pass-rushing role in-season this week.
BIT: The Philadelphia Eagles' offensive line continues to click through the first quarter of football. Left tackle Jason Peters continues to play at an elite level. Lane Johnson looks much better at right tackle than he does at left. Center Jason Kelce has regained his form from two seasons ago. Left guard Stefan Wisniewski has been solid in the running attack and has shored up a spot where Isaac Suemalo and Chance Warmack had been weak spots. Overall this is a favorable matchup against a banged up Cardinals' defensive front far from the friendly confines of Glendale.
DEFENSIVE FRONT MATCHUPS
|Los Angeles (N)||defensive front||8||vs||Seattle||offensive line||32||DEF||LAR +24|
|Pittsburgh||defensive front||1||vs||Jacksonville||offensive line||24||DEF||PIT +23|
|Houston||defensive front||5||vs||Kansas City||offensive line||25||DEF||HOU +20|
|Buffalo||defensive front||6||@||Cincinnati||offensive line||26||DEF||BUF +20|
|Los Angeles (A)||defensive front||10||@||New York (N)||offensive line||30||DEF||LAC +20|
|Kansas City||defensive front||4||@||Houston||offensive line||20||DEF||KC +16|
|Philadelphia||defensive front||16||vs||Arizona||offensive line||29||DEF||PHI +13|
|Seattle||defensive front||2||@||Los Angeles (N)||offensive line||10||DEF||SEA +8|
|Jacksonville||defensive front||3||@||Pittsburgh||offensive line||8||DEF||JAX +5|
|Cincinnati||defensive front||11||vs||Buffalo||offensive line||16||DEF||CIN +5|
|Oakland||defensive front||22||vs||Baltimore||offensive line||27||DEF||OAK +5|
|Cleveland||defensive front||24||vs||New York (A)||offensive line||28||DEF||CLE +4|
|New York (N)||defensive front||19||vs||Los Angeles (A)||offensive line||22||DEF||NYG +3|
OFFENSIVE LINE MATCHUPS
|Philadelphia||offensive line||5||vs||Arizona||defensive front||29||OL||PHI +24|
|Cleveland||offensive line||2||vs||New York (A)||defensive front||19||OL||CLE +17|
|Tennessee||offensive line||7||vs||Miami||defensive front||20||OL||TEN +13|
|San Francisco||offensive line||14||@||Indianapolis||defensive front||26||OL||SF +12|
|Miami||offensive line||18||@||Tennessee||defensive front||30||OL||MIA +12|
|Dallas||offensive line||1||vs||Green Bay||defensive front||12||OL||DAL +11|
|Tampa Bay||offensive line||21||vs||New England||defensive front||32||OL||TB +11|
|Oakland||offensive line||3||vs||Baltimore||defensive front||13||OL||OAK +10|
|New England||offensive line||13||@||Tampa Bay||defensive front||21||OL||NE +8|
|Minnesota||offensive line||11||@||Chicago||defensive front||18||OL||MIN +7|
|Carolina||offensive line||19||@||Detroit||defensive front||23||OL||CAR +4|
|Detroit||offensive line||15||vs||Carolina||defensive front||17||OL||DET +2|
|Green Bay||offensive line||26||@||Dallas||defensive front||28||OL||GB +2|
|Chicago||offensive line||6||vs||Minnesota||defensive front||7||OL||CHI +1|
FULL DEFENSIVE FRONT RANKINGS
|8||Los Angeles (N)|
|10||Los Angeles (A)|
|19||New York (N)|
|31||New York (A)|
Looking for the Offensive Line Rankings? Click Here: Week 5 Offensive Line news and full rankings
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