Welcome back to another week in the trenches.
The recipe is to take Bitonti's offensive line rankings and compare them to Mosqueda's defensive front rankings.
The goal is to isolate and discuss the choicest matchups of the slate, through a "three-point stance" perspective.
All of the matchups are listed at the bottom of the article.
Let's get after it!
OFFENSIVE LINES TO TRUST
Minnesota @ Green Bay - Sunday 1PM ET
BIT: After being limited in practice this week, left tackle Riley Reiff appears likely to make the start this weekend at Green Bay. Reiff had been forced from last week's contest with an ankle injury and actually had not been included in this week's offensive line rankings. Including Reiff could make this already good matchup into a great one. The rest of the line is also in good health, as rookie center Pat Elfein and right tackle Mike Remmers made their returns to the lineup last weekend and appear to have made it through without set back. While other lines are breaking down as the season comes to a close, the Vikings' line is getting stronger.
JM: On the surface, a Green Bay Packers defensive front with Mike Daniels, Kenny Clark, Dean Lowry, Clay Matthews and Nick Perry on the line of scrimmage appears solid. Daniels, Matthews and Perry are among the top-75 line of scrimmage defenders this season in tackles at or behind the line of scrimmage. For a single defense, that is well above average. The problem is that behind those talents, especially on the edge, there is little to no depth. When Ahmad Brooks and Kyler Fackrell come in the game as outside linebackers, expect Case Keenum to have all day to throw the ball.
Atlanta @ New Orleans - Sunday 1PM ET
BIT: Left guard Andy Levitre had missed the last two contests with a partially torn triceps muscle, and had been replaced by Ben Garland in the lineup. Levitre has been back at practice this week and will likely rejoin the starting lineup for this weekend divisional clash against New Orleans. The Falcons' offensive line is actually the top line in all of football this week according to our rankings. A big part of that ranking is other teams getting hurt while the Falcons' offensive line has remained relatively healthy.
RE: PIT +26
This is a very favorable matchup for Pittsburgh's offensive line. Please note this is almost the same favorable matchup Jacksonville faced when they played Houston last week.
However, for the sake of writing new content, here is a link to last week's article, which discusses both the Steelers' offensive front (who is getting right Marcus Gilbert back this weekend) and the Texans' defensive front (beat up pretty badly).
DEFENSIVE FRONTS TO TRUST
Pittsburgh @ Houston - Sunday 4:30PM ET
BIT: With left guard turned left tackle Jeff Allen not practicing this week with a concussion, and Kendall Lamm still in the protocol from several weeks ago, it's not entirely clear who will be the starting left tackle against a tough Steelers' offensive front this weekend. Julie'n Davenport seems the most likely candidate and Greg Mancz will likely get Allen's left guard spot again, but we are talking about potentially the sixth starting left tackle for the Texans' line this season. That's just awful.
Cincinnati vs. Detroit - Sunday 1PM ET
BIT: Right tackle Rick Wagner was spotted at Lions' practice for the first time in two weeks. This is good news on several fronts, as Wagner has been a good player when healthy; Overall this unit has been brutalized with injury this season. However even with Wagner's return, the Lions' offensive line is still undermanned, as right guard T.J. Lang and center Travis Swanson will both likely miss the game this weekend at Cincinnati. Interior protection could be a problem for quarterback Matthew Stafford.
OFFENSIVE LINE MATCHUPS
|Pittsburgh||offensive line||2||@||Houston||defensive front||28||OL||PIT +26|
|Minnesota||offensive line||5||@||Green Bay||defensive front||29||OL||MIN +24|
|Atlanta||offensive line||1||@||New Orleans||defensive front||24||OL||ATL +23|
|Buffalo||offensive line||13||@||New England||defensive front||31||OL||BUF +18|
|Los Angeles (N)||offensive line||6||@||Tennessee||defensive front||21||OL||LAR +15|
|New England||offensive line||15||vs||Buffalo||defensive front||29||OL||NEP +14|
|Los Angeles (A)||offensive line||14||@||New York (A)||defensive front||26||OL||LAC + 12|
|Baltimore||offensive line||12||vs||Indianapolis||defensive front||23||OL||BAL +11|
|Jacksonville||offensive line||4||@||San Francisco||defensive front||15||OL||JAC +11|
|Seattle||offensive line||9||@||Dallas||defensive front||20||OL||SEA +11|
|Carolina||offensive line||18||vs||Tampa Bay||defensive front||27||OL||CAR +9|
|Philadelphia||offensive line||8||vs||Oakland||defensive front||16||OL||PHI +8|
|Cincinnati||offensive line||25||vs||Detroit||defensive front||32||OL||CIN +7|
|Tennessee||offensive line||7||vs||Los Angeles (N)||defensive front||10||OL||LAC + 3|
|Cleveland||offensive line||27||@||Chicago||defensive front||30||OL||CLE +3|
|Dallas||offensive line||3||vs||Seattle||defensive front||6||OL||DAL +3|
|Miami||offensive line||21||@||Kansas City||defensive front||22||OL||MIA +1|
DEFENSIVE FRONT MATCHUPS
|Pittsburgh||defensive front||2||@||Houston||offensive line||31||DEF||PIT +29|
|Cincinnati||defensive front||8||vs||Detroit||offensive line||32||DEF||CIN +24|
|Minnesota||defensive front||7||@||Green Bay||offensive line||26||DEF||MIN +19|
|Denver||defensive front||4||@||Washington||offensive line||23||DEF||DEN +19|
|Carolina||defensive front||11||vs||Tampa Bay||offensive line||29||DEF||CAR +18|
|Jacksonville||defensive front||1||@||San Francisco||offensive line||16||DEF||JAC +15|
|New York (N)||defensive front||13||@||Arizona||offensive line||28||DEF||NYG +15|
|Los Angeles (A)||defensive front||5||@||New York (A)||offensive line||17||DEF||LAC +12|
|Baltimore||defensive front||12||vs||Indianapolis||offensive line||20||DEF||BAL +8|
|Miami||defensive front||17||@||Kansas City||offensive line||24||DEF||MIA +7|
|Philadelphia||defensive front||3||vs||Oakland||offensive line||10||DEF||PHI +7|
|Washington||defensive front||14||vs||Denver||offensive line||19||DEF||WAS +5|
|Arizona||defensive front||25||vs||New York (N)||offensive line||30||DEF||LAC +5|
|Cleveland||defensive front||18||@||Chicago||offensive line||22||DEF||CLE +4|
|Atlanta||defensive front||9||@||New Orleans||offensive line||11||DEF||ATL +2|
FULL DEFENSIVE FRONT RANKINGS
|5||Los Angeles (A)|
|10||Los Angeles (N)|
|13||New York (N)|
|26||New York (A)|
Looking for the Offensive Line Rankings? Click Here: Week 16 Offensive Line news and full rankings
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