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!
OFFENSIVE LINES TO TRUST
New England *@ Oakland - Sunday 4:25 PM ET - *Neutral Site - Mexico City, Mexico*
BIT: This game takes place in Mexico City, which should provide a strong showing of both Raiders and Patriots fans. The city also sits at an elevation of 7,382 feet. The Raiders' offensive line are huge maulers but also not the most svelte of humans. The Patriots hope to counter mass with stamina, as they are training at the Air Force Academy this week (7,258 feet). Still, this #offensiveline heavy matchup at plus +30 is among the juiciest of the season to date and it's mainly because of talent. The Raiders' offensve line is comprised of four studs and Marshall Newhouse. Assuming the right tackle can keep his feet on the ground, the offense should find daylight against a sparsely populated Patriots' defensive front.
Chicago vs. Detroit - Sunday 1 PM ET
BIT: From all accounts, third year center Hroniss Grasu had a rough start last week in the loss versus Green Bay. Grasu was in the lineup because usual right guard Kyle Long has been battling left shoulder and finger injuries and Long was deemed too hurt to play last week. But even if that happens again, the Bears' offensive line still has a favorable matchup against Detroit this week. Grasu has 11 career starts and usually is passable. Asuming below average form from Grasu, there's still enough horsepower along the rest of the front to overpower the Lions' defensive front. Guards Josh Sitton and Cody Whitehair are aggressive and Charles Leno Jr. is underrated at left tackle. Quarterback issues may affect the outcome of the game but the line should get the job done this weekend.
Defensive Fronts to trust
Cleveland vs Jacksonville - Sunday 1 PM ET
BIT: The Cleveland offensive line is actually coming off their most productive quarter of the season, that would be the third quarter last week in the loss against Detroit (see above regarding the qualty of the Detroit defensive front). That mirage side, the Cleveland line without Joe Thomas is like Harold Melvin without the Bluenotes. They were an underrated power run blocking unit with their Hall of Famer in the lineup. Left guard Joel Bitonio is still mauling but he has to help Spencer Drango with his assignments. The backs and tight ends have to stay in more for max protect. The offense as a whole is out of sorts. It's to be expected. But there will be no mercy when the Browns' line travels to Sacksonville to face the best front in football. Plus 30 is about as bad as it gets for this model.
Cincinnati @ Denver - Sunday 4:25 PM ET
BIT: The Bengals' offensive line actually played well in the loss to the Titans. Right tackle Jake Fisher underwent emergency heart surgery prior to the game last week and was placed on injured reserve. The unfortunate discovery of a condition in Fisher's heart put an end to the tackle rotation, allowing Andre Smith to start and play all snaps at right tackle. Smith is a veteran and the unit looked better with him in the starting lineup. While the line is trending upward in general, they are still a low-tier unit. Left tackle Cedric Ogbuehi has struggled and the line as a whole face a tough matchup against Denver's talented defensive front.
OFFENSIVE LINE MATCHUPS
|Oakland||offensive line||2||vs||New England||defensive front||32||OL||OAK +30||NEUTRAL SITE - MEXICO CITY|
|Pittsburgh||offensive line||6||vs||Tennessee||defensive front||29||OL||PIT + 23|
|Chicago||offensive line||7||vs||Detroit||defensive front||30||OL||CHI +23|
|Arizona||offensive line||15||@||Houston||defensive front||28||OL||ARZ +13|
|New Orleans||offensive line||5||vs||Washington||defensive front||18||OL||NO +13|
|Miami||offensive line||23||vs||Tampa Bay||defensive front||31||OL||MIA +8|
|New England||offensive line||16||@||Oakland||defensive front||21||OL||NE +5||NEUTRAL SITE - MEXICO CITY|
|Kansas City||offensive line||12||@||New York (N)||defensive front||16||OL||KC +4|
|Seattle||offensive line||11||vs||Atlanta||defensive front||14||OL||SEA +3|
|Baltimore||offensive line||20||@||Green Bay||defensive front||22||OL||BAL +2|
|Washington||offensive line||3||@||New Orleans||defensive front||5||OL||DEN +2|
|Philadelphia||offensive line||22||@||Dallas||defensive front||24||OL||PHI +2|
|Houston||offensive line||26||vs||Arizona||defensive front||27||OL||HOU +1|
|Jacksonville||offensive line||14||@||Cleveland||defensive front||15||OL||JAX +1|
|Atlanta||offensive line||1||@||Seattle||defensive front||2||OL||ATL +1|
DEFENSIVE FRONT MATCHUPS
|Cleveland||offensive line||31||vs||Jacksonville||defensive front||1||DEF||JAX +30|
|Cincinnati||offensive line||30||@||Denver||defensive front||5||DEF||DEN +25|
|Green Bay||offensive line||25||vs||Baltimore||defensive front||6||DEF||BAL +19|
|Denver||offensive line||29||vs||Cincinnati||defensive front||11||DEF||CIN +18|
|Minnesota||offensive line||19||vs||Los Angeles (N)||defensive front||9||DEF||LAR +10|
|New York (N)||offensive line||28||vs||Kansas City||defensive front||19||DEF||KC +9|
|Los Angeles (A)||offensive line||32||vs||Buffalo||defensive front||25||DEF||BUF +7|
|Buffalo||offensive line||13||@||Los Angeles (A)||defensive front||7||DEF||LAC +6|
|Tennessee||offensive line||8||@||Pittsburgh||defensive front||3||DEF||PIT +5|
|Tampa Bay||offensive line||17||@||Miami||defensive front||12||DEF||MIA +5|
|Detroit||offensive line||23||@||Chicago||defensive front||23||EVEN||EVEN|
|Los Angeles (N)||offensive line||10||@||Minnesota||defensive front||10||EVEN||EVEN|
|Dallas||offensive line||4||vs||Philadelphia||defensive front||4||EVEN||EVEN|
FULL DEFENSIVE FRONT RANKINGS
|7||Los Angeles (A)|
|9||Los Angeles (N)||Robert Quinn.|
|16||New York (N)||Damon Harrison.|
|17||New York (A)|
Looking for the Offensive Line Rankings? Click Here: Week 11 Offensive Line news and full rankings
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