An awesome slate of games kept fans entertained during Week one of the NFL's regular season. But there was the usual amount of injuries and an impact on the league's offensive lines. Let's see what Week 2 has on tap, shall we?
Indianapolis plus 5
Left guard Jack Mewhort surprisingly started against the Lions last week. Mewhort had been diagnosed with a knee sprain that was to keep him out 2-4 weeks. Mewhort greatly exceeded that timeline, braced his knee up and gutted it out. It was a true tough guy performance from one the league's better young interior linemen.
Arizona minus 6.
In the loss against New England, right guard Evan Mathis was carted off with a foot injury. After an MRI this week, the injury was announced as a foot sprain (capsule) and it will likely keep Mathis from the lineup from one to four weeks. Mathis appears to be out this week at least, and in his place, Earl Watford will likely get the start. Watford is a bulky run-first player who is probably a smaller drop off from Mathis than people realize. At 35 years of age, Mathis is the oldest starting guard in the league, and it will be interesting to see if his healing process is delayed in any way.
San Francisco minus 1.
In the Monday Night football win against Los Angeles, right guard Anthony Davis did not play and Andrew Tiller got the start. After giving lip service to having no problem being moved to guard, Davis skipped practice earlier in the week, reportedly because he was unhappy about playing guard. The team moved forward with Tiller in the lineup and didn't suffer much of a let-down. Still, Davis is a talented player and the 49ers would likely be better if he was starting.
Buffalo minus 9.
Left tackle Cordy Glenn missed the second half of the loss against Baltimore with an ankle injury. After the game, coaches confirmed that this was the same ankle which gave Glenn trouble during the preseason. Cyrus Kouandijo replaced him at left tackle and he is a big drop off from the superior play of Glenn. It's possible that if this was a Sunday game, Glenn could rehab and get healthy in time for kickoff. However with the game on Thursday night, the Bills' line faces a tough matchup against the Jets defensive front seven getting Sheldon Richardson back from suspension.
Miami minus 14.
Last week at Seattle, Center Mike Pouncey did not play. Pouncey was listed on the injury report with a hip injury but most sources had him going full speed against Seattle. This week the beat writers report that Pouncey's injury is actually a small fracture in his hip and he is still dealing with that rehab process. His healing could take multiple weeks. Anthony Steen got the start in Pouncey's place and actually did a decent job, considering the strength of the Seahawks' line. Still, there is a big drop-off between the Pro-Bowler in Pouncey and the college guard Steen making his first career start at center.
Houston minus 7.
In the contest versus Chicago, the Texans were without their best lineman, left tackle Duane Brown. Brown has been dealing with a torn quad from last season and still has no timetable for rejoining the lineup. Brown was removed from the PUP list just prior to the regular season, which some observers took to mean he would be ready week one. Unfortunately Brown is still likely several weeks away. Chris Clark takes his place, and while he is one of the best backup left tackles in the game, there is still a significant drop-off.
Eagles' RT Lane Johnson still not suspended.
There is still no sign of Johnson's notorious B-sample, and it appears that he will be in the lineup for Week 2.
Vikings' LT Matt Kalil missed practice.
Kalil played every snap during last week's victory over Tennessee, so this is probably nothing. Still, it's a situation to watch as T.J. Cummings did not look steady at LT during the preseason.
Raiders shuffled line during Week 1
The Raiders had a series of injuries during last week's thrilling win in New Orleans. Right tackle Menelik Watson left the game and his injury appeared serious. With Austin Howard not in uniform, Donald Penn slid to right tackle and Kelechi Osemele took the left guard position. Gabe Jackson and Rodney Hudson also missed time with injuries during the game. This week, Austin Howard is starting at right tackle and both Hudson and Jackson are expected to play. No change to the Raiders' top-tier grade at this time.
Bears' RG Kyle Long is playing through a shoulder injury.
Long did not seem slowed down by the injury, which might linger through the season. Long and new addition Josh Sitton were outstanding protecting quarterback Jay Cutler. In other Bears' news, rookie Cody Whitehair got his first career start over Ted Larsen at center and had a mixed afternoon
Packers signed David Bakhtari to a long-term extension.
This news doesn't affect the grade but it is interesting, especially with second round rookie Jason Spriggs supposedly a natural left tackle coming out of the draft.
Saints rotated JAHRI EVANS with Senio Kelemete
After rejoining the team, Jahri Evans did not have any practice time with his teammates this preseason. In the game against Oakland, the Saints' coaching staff gave Senio Kelemete 10 snaps compared to Evans' 60 plus. Look for Kelemete to return to the bench in future weeks.
Week 2 Matchups of Note
- 5th WAS O-line vs 24th DAL defensive front seven (+19)
- 7th CIN O-line @ 25th PIT defensive front seven (+18)
- 15th BAL O-line @ 32nd CLE defensive front seven(+17)
- 10th OAK O-line vs. 27th ATL defensive front seven (+17)
- 2nd PHI O-line @ 19th CHI defensive front seven (+17)
- 30th NE O-line vs. 6th MIA defensive front seven (-24)
- 26th LA O-line vs. 2nd SEA defensive front seven (-22)
- 28th HOU O-line vs. 10th KC defensive front seven (-18)
Week 2 Offensive Line Rankings
|13||AZ||7||-6||30.08||B||B||B-||E. Mathis carted off.|
|17||IND||22||5||29.45||B-||B-||B||Mewhort returned to lineup.|
|19||SF||18||-1||28.98||C+||B+||C||Tiller in for A. Davis.|
|LOW TIER||22||BUF||13||-9||28.85||C+||B-||C||C. Glenn out this week.|
|28||HOU||21||-7||28.1||C-||C||C-||D. Brown out this week.|
|29||MIA||15||-14||28.05||C-||C||C-||M. Pouncey hip fracture.|
Week 2 Defensive Front Seven Rankings
|7||Cincinnati||Burfict sus. 2 games.|
|10||Kansas City||Houston on PUP.|
|15||New York (A)|
|17||New York (N)|
|24||Dallas||McClain sus. 9 games.|
|26||Buffalo||Dareus sus. 3 games.|
|29||San Francisco||Lynch sus. 3 games.|
As usual, if you have a question about a team not specifically talked about in this article, please feel free to contact me via twitter or in the Shark Pool.
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