In The Trenches: Matchups for Week 5

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

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!


LAR +24

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. 


BUF +20

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.  

LAC +20

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 III. 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. 


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. 


PHI +24

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. 


Team                    Unit                          Rank   Team                   Unit                  Rank Favors Diff            NOTES
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  


Team                          Unit                  Rank   Team                Unit                     Rank Favors Diff          NOTES
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  


RANK TEAM                      NOTES                 
1 Pittsburgh  
2 Seattle Cliff Avril.
3 Jacksonville  
4 Kansas City  
5 Houston  
6 Buffalo Shaq Lawson.
7 Minnesota  
8 Los Angeles (N)   
9 Denver  
10 Los Angeles (A)   
11 Cincinnati  
12 Green Bay  
13 Baltimore  
14 San Francisco  
15 Washington  
16 Philadelphia Fletcher Cox
17 Carolina  
18 Chicago  
19 New York (N)  
20 Miami  
21 Tampa Bay  
22 Oakland  
23 Detroit  
24 Cleveland Danny Shelton.
25 Atlanta Vic Beasley Jr.
26 Indianapolis  
27 New Orleans  
28 Dallas  
29 Arizona  
30 Tennessee  
31 New York (A)  
32 New England  

Looking for the Offensive Line Rankings? Click Here: Week 5 Offensive Line news and full rankings

If you have a question about a player, team or matchup not specifically talked about in this article, please feel free to contact us via Twitter.

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