Offensive Line Rankings and Notes: Week 9

Offensive line related news, injuries and updates, prior to week nine of the regular season.

Did someone order two tons of meat? No, it's just the weekly #offensiveline report. 

It was the most active trade deadline in recent memory and even the line got in the action. This article is for fans of the big men and observers of the road graders. Let's get after it! 

UPGRADES

 

JAX +15

The Jaguars' offensive line received good news this week as both center Brandon Linder and left tackle Cam Robinson returned to practice. Both are expected to be in the starting lineup for this week's contest at Cincinnati.  Robinson was rehabbing an ankle sprain, which, as we all know, is a relatively common injury. But Linder missed three games with an undisclosed illness. That is something to keep an eye on, as we were never actually told what the problem was and the flu doesn't keep someone out for three games. Still, assuming everyone is back to health, the power running Jaguars' offensive line soars up the latest rankings.  

SEA +12

This week, Pro Bowl left tackle Duane Brown was traded from Houston to Seattle. Brown held out all season and made his season debut last week in Seattle. Brown played like a man possessed, and actually incurred two personal foul penalties along the way.  His performance must have made an impression as Brown will be the new starting left tackle over Rees Odhiambo. To call Brown a massive upgrade is an understatement. The Seattle offensive line has gotten way better as the season progressed and this latest move should make them legit. The line has gone from the worst in the league in the week one ranking to just inside the top tier by week nine. 

BAL +11

With Marshal Yanda, Alex Lewis and several others on injured reserve, the Ravens' offensive line is still very much a makeshift unit. But they've come together in recent weeks and this upgrade is based on two factors: 1) the return of right guard Matt Skura from injury (sending Jermaine Eluemunor to the bench and 2) the improved play of center Ryan Jensen. Jensen is easily identifiable as the only offensive lineman in the league with a shock of bright red hair hanging out the back of his helmet. Jensen is a tough guy who has shown mobility getting to the second level. Jensen has also been dominant pull blocking, leading the charge on toss and stretch plays.  The Ravens' line is still not good, but they have been getting closer to average in recent weeks.  

IND + 8 

The Colts' offensive line remains low-tier but there are signs of life. Last week, right guard Le'Raven Clark was benched at halftime in favor of Kyle Kalis. Kalis is a rookie undrafted free agent out of Michigan who was on Washington's practice squad earlier this season. Center Ryan Kelly and Kalis formed a bruising duo on run downs. The Colts lost last week's game but the offensive line found success for most of the day. Pass protection remains a work in progress; the key play of the game was when defensive end Carlos Dunlap tipped an interception to himself to score the game-winning touchdown.


DOWNGRADES

 

NE -1

Right tackle Marcus Cannon left last week's win over the Los Angeles Chargers with an ankle injury. LaAdrian Waddle took Cannon's place. Waddle is a veteran with experience, and he struggled against Chargers defenders Joey Bosa and Melvin Ingram III. Waddle gave up 5 quarterback pressures in 51 total snaps. Even before this injury, the Patriots' line had been a little shaky in pass protection recently. Cannon's injury results in a small downgrade to the Patriots' offensive line in the near term. 

MIN -11

Right tackle Mike Remmers suffered a concussion in the first quarter of last week's win over Cleveland. Although a return is possible, comments from the coaches appear to indicate that Remmers will miss some time. Rashod Hill took Remmers' place in the contest.  In addition, these rankings were a little premature in including left guard Nick Easton in last week's rankings. Easton traveled to the UK but did not play. Top backup Jeremiah Sirles was also out with an injury, leaving Danny Isidora to get the start at left guard.  Luckily, the Vikings do not have a game this week and the offensive line will get a bye week to get these two starters back to health. 

HOU -11

This trade of left tackle Duane Brown doesn't really impact the Texans as greatly as this drop in the rankings might seem. Brown was only in the lineup for one game, last week in Seattle. In that one game, Brown exhibited dominant form and was able to create demand on the trade market. Technically there is a huge drop off from Brown to Chris Clark (and if Clark is injured, to Kendall Lamm).  From a cohesion perspective, the Texans have been productive most of the year without Brown. The Texans' should be treated as a below average line without Brown, but that doesn't stop them from creating fantasy points. 

WAS -24

Washington's offensive line is in shambles. Left tackle Trent Williams missed last week's loss against Dallas and he could be out again against this week in Seattle. Even if he does play, Williams' injury is serious enough to require season-ending surgery. In his current condition, Williams' effectiveness as a blocker is low. Usually, veteran Ty Nsekhe would replace Williams but Nsekhe has been dealing with an abdominal injury for multiple weeks. Right guard Brandon Scherff also missed the Dallas game with multiple injuries (back and MCL) and his status for this week's game is also up in the air. Center Spencer Long is week to week with knee injuries. Left tackle Shaun Lauvao suffered a stinger, he also could miss time. The team acquired Orlando Franklin and re-signed Arie Kouandijo. Franklin only played special teams last week, but those two could actually start this week. To predict this weeks' lineup would be an absolute guess. Last week the lineup at the end of the game was T.J. Clemmings, Arie Kouandijo, Chase Roullier, Tyler Catalina, and Morgan Moses. It's not clear who will start this week but the safe move is to consider Washington a low-tier unit until proven otherwise. 

SF -12

Last week in the loss at Philadelphia, left tackle Joe Staley suffered a broken orbital bone in his face and will miss several weeks. Staley's injury is the latest in a long line. Right tackle Trent Brown is still unavailable with a concussion, and his replacement in the game Garry Gilliam was also injured. The 49ers were forced to play two guards, Zane Beadles and Erik Magnuson, at tackle for the rest of the game. Right guard Brandon Fusco is playing through his biceps injury. With injuries taking their toll, the 49ers' offensive line currently grades out as the worst in the league.

OTHER NEWS 

DET - Signed former GB OL Don Barclay

DET - LT Taylor Decker resumed practice from IR list (probably not playing this week)

KC - RG Laurent Duvarnay-Tardiff was inactive on MNF (Zach Fulton replaced) 

NYJ - RT Ben Ijalana closed out last weeks game for Brent Qvale

PIT - RT Chris Hubbard playing well for Marcus Gilbert (5 starts and counting)

FULL RANKINGS

  Rank Team Old Diff Score Overall Run Pass Notes                               
TOP TIER 1 DAL 1 0 34.23 A++ A+ A+  
2 ATL 2 0 31.05 A+ B+ A  
3 OAK 3 0 31.03 A+ A+ A  
4 CHI 4 0 30.15 A A B+  
5 TEN 5 0 30.13 A A B+  
6 BUF 6 0 29.98 A A B+  
7 PIT 8 1 29.65 B+ B+ B+ RT Gilbert (Hubbard). 
8 LAR 9 1 29.4 B+ A- B  
9 JAX 24 15 29.4 B+ A- B LT Robinson & C Linder to return.
10 NO 10 0 29.28 B+ B+ B+ RG Warford (Kelemete). 
11 SEA 23 12 29.13 B+ B A- Traded with HOU for LT Brown.
MID TIER 12 GB 15 3 28.85 B B- B+ LG Taylor (McCray). 
13 AZ 16 3 28.83 B B- B+  
14 NE 13 -1 28.78 B B B RT Cannon (Waddle)
15 TB 17 2 28.78 B B+ B-  
16 MIA 18 2 28.68 B B- B+ LG Steen (Davis).
17 KC 14 -3 28.65 B B+ B- RG Duvernay-Tardiff (Devey).
18 CAR 19 1 28.6 B B+ B- C Kalil (Larsen)
19 BAL 30 11 28.53 B- B C+ RG Skura returns. C Jensen upgrade.
20 DET 21 1 28.48 B- B- B-  
21 PHI 22 1 28.33 B- B C+  
LOW TIER 22 MIN 11 -11 28.1 B+ B+ B+ RT Remmers (Hill) & LG Easton (Isidora).
23 HOU 12 -11 28.1 B- B C+ Traded  LT Brown to SEA.
24 IND 32 8 28 C- C D+ RG Clark benched (Kalis).
25 NYJ 25 0 27.98 C+ C+ C+ RT Shell (Qvale/Ijalana).
26 NYG 26 0 27.98 C+ C+ C RT Pugh (Hart). 
27 DEN 27 0 27.93 C+ C+ C+  
28 LAC 28 0 27.9 C C C RT Barksdale (Schofield) .
29 CIN 29 0 27.9 C C+ C-  
30 CLE 31 1 27.85 C- C- C-  
31 WAS 7 -24 26.93 D+ C- D LT Williams (Clemmings), LG Lauvao (Kouandijo), RG Scherff (Roullier), C Long (Catalina). Signed Franklin.
32 SF 20 -12 26.48 D+ C- D LT Staley (Beadles), RT Gilliam to IR.

If there are any questions about a team or lineman not specifically talked about in this article, please feel free to contact me via Twitter.


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