In today's fantasy-obsessed football world, it's easy to overlook the contributions of one position group: offensive line. Well, NFL Network analyst and former Pro Bowl center Shaun O'Hara is here to fix that. Following each batch of games, O'Hara will revisit the O-line performances of all the teams that played and ultimately select that week's top five units, headlined by a Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Week.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The rankings that you see below reflect O'Hara's pecking order for Week 16 and Week 16 alone. This is NOT a running O-line Power Rankings for 2018. This is NOT a projection into the future. The goal of this weekly column is to answer one simple question: Which five offensive lines stood out above the rest in last week's action?
Without further ado, the Week 16 winner is ...
The Ravens continued their hot streak with rookie Lamar Jackson under center, having now won five of the last six games. Saturday's victory definitely made a statement as it came on the road and on a short week. Baltimore's offense amassed 361 total yards with 159 coming on the ground. Gus Edwards led the rush attack with 14 carries for 92 yards (6.6 yards per carry), while Jackson had 39 rushing yards.
The most impressive aspect of the Ravens' performance was the offensive line wasn't credited with a single sack against a very good Chargers front, according to Pro Football Focus. (All three sacks in the game were attributed to Jackson.) Chargers pass rusher Melvin Ingram didn't have a sack or quarterback hit, while Joey Bosa was limited to one quarterback hit and one tackle for loss. Ravens studs Ronnie Stanley and Marshal Yanda continued their stellar play by not allowing a pressure. Stanley, a third-year tackle, hasn't allowed a sack or QB hit in nine straight games, and Yanda hasn't given up a sack this entire season. Rookie right tackle Orlando Brown has followed their lead as he kept Jackson clean against Los Angeles and hasn't allowed a sack in his nine starts. This offensive line was rightfully ranked the second-best pass-blocking unit of Week 16, per PFF.
The rest of the top O-lines from Week 16
Cleveland Browns: I can't say enough about how phenomenal the Browns' O-line has been for Baker Mayfield. The unit, PFF's third-best pass-blocking unit this week, had yet another game without giving up a sack or quarterback hit. Right tackle Chris Hubbard has played really well down the stretch and hasn't allowed a sack since Week 7, while right guard Kevin Zeitler didn't allow a pressure against the Bengals and has given up only one sack in the last eight games.
Los Angeles Rams: The Rams' much-needed victory came behind 461 yards of total offense, including 269 yards on the ground. You would think Todd Gurley had a lot to do with those kind of numbers, but the star running back was sidelined with a knee injury. That left C.J. Anderson, who signed with the Ramsfive days before getting the start in Week 16, to carry the load against the Cardinals. The fact that he had 167 rushing yards (8.4 yards per carry) speaks volumes about the Rams' offensive line, which was PFF's top-ranked run-blocking unit this week. Right tackle Rob Havenstein had his best performance of the year in the ground game, and the group didn't allow a sack. In fact, it gave up just four total pressures in the pass game. The outstanding effort was led by left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who didn't allow a pressure, and right guard Austin Blythe, who has yet to give up a sack this season.
New England Patriots: The Patriots dominated the Buffalo Bills at the line of scrimmage and held the ball for 11 more minutes by leaning on 273 yards from the run game. Behind PFF's fourth-best run-blocking unit, rookie running back Sony Michel led the charge with 18 carries for 116 yards (6.4 yards per carry). Right guard Shaq Mason and right tackle Marcus Cannon excelled in the run game, while Cannon and center David Andrews didn't give up a pressure to lead the team in pass protection.
Philadelphia Eagles: The magic of St. Nick (Foles) continued against the Houston Texans to keep the Eagles' playoff hopes alive. The reigning Super Bowl MVP set a franchise record with 471 passing yards and added four touchdown passes. It's remarkable that he was able to do it without nine-time Pro Bowler Jason Peters, who exited the game after just five snaps. Halapoulivaati Vaitai stepped in at left tackle and didn't allow a single sack or QB hit on 54 pass plays. Right tackle Lane Johnson followed suit and kept J.J. Watt at bay for a majority of the game. Johnson didn't give up a sack or hit on Sunday, giving him nine games this season without allowing a sack.