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Offensive Line of the Week: Saints run over Bills in Buffalo

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 10 and Week 10 alone. This is NOT a running O-line Power Rankings for 2017. 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 10 winner is ...

1) New Orleans Saints

Let me start off by noting that none of the five O-lines honored this week gave up a single sack, according to Pro Football Focus. (In a perfect world, this would be the case every week, but we all know how tough that is to do against the freakish pass rushers in today's NFL.) That said, the Saints' offensive line was in a league of its own last week.

On top of not allowing a sack in the blowout win at Buffalo, New Orleans' O-line didn't give up a single pressure all game. It's a remarkable feat on its own, but even more so considering the unit snapped Bills defensive tackle Kyle Williams' streak of 32 straight games with a QB pressure. A job well done by the right side of the line, from center Max Unger to guard Larry Warford to rookie tackle Ryan Ramczyk.

The Saints were PFF's top run-blocking unit of Week 10, and paved the way for a 300-yard rushing performance -- before two snaps in victory formation took away 2 yards. Sean Payton's offense has morphed from a pass-happy unit to one that revolves around the legs of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara, who were two of just three NFL running backs to earn at least 100 rushing yards last week. Ingram finished with 21 carries for 131 yards (6.2 yards per carry), while Kamara ran the ball 12 times for 106 yards (a whopping 8.9 ypc). The Saints set a franchise record by posting six rushing touchdowns in a single game, with Ingram (three TDs), Kamara, Trey Edmunds and Drew Brees (one each) getting in the end zone.

After this performance, it's no wonder the Saints are in the middle of the "best team in the NFC" conversation.

The rest of the top five O-lines from Week 10

2) San Francisco 49ers: Not only did Kyle Shanahan earn his first win as an NFL head coach, but his team thrashed the Giants' defense with 474 yards of total offense. It was the 49ers' best offensive game of the season, as San Francisco recorded season highs in total yards, rushing yards (186) and yards per play (8.2). The ground game was led by Carlos Hyde's 17 carries for 98 yards, while rookie Matt Breida added nine runs for 55 yards and a touchdown.

The 49ers didn't just dominate in the run game, either. Rookie QB C.J. Beathard was only touched twice in the contest, as the O-line allowed a single quarterback hit and one hurry. Beathard notched the first victory of his NFL career, showing signs of improvement in almost every category. The third-round pick completed 19 of 25 passes for 288 yards and two touchdowns (against one interception). That equaled a 123.4 passer rating -- the highest mark for a 49ers starting QB since Colin Kaepernick's 128.2 in Week 6 of 2015. One major area of improvement Sunday: The offense converted on eight of its 12 third downs -- pretty impressive, considering San Francisco ranked 30th on the money down entering last week.

3) Carolina Panthers: In a 45-21 mauling of the Dolphins on "Monday Night Football," Carolina racked up a franchise-record 548 yards of total offense. The Panthers put on quite an offensive show, as they also posted 200-plus yards rushing and four-plus TD passes in the same game for the first time as a team. Over the past two weeks, Carolina's piled up 495 yards on the ground alone. Talk about imposing your will on the opponent ...

I thought the Panthers got a particularly good performance from left tackle Matt Kalil, who didn't allow a single pressure while protecting Cam Newton's blind side. Left guard Andrew Norwell also played a fine game, blowing open holes for Carolina ball carriers.

The Panthers completely controlled this game, as evidenced by their 11-minute advantage in time of possession.

4) Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings traveled east and outlasted the Redskins, 38-30, for their fifth straight win. Minnesota's offense hit all the right offensive notes: eclipsing 300 yards passing and 100 yards rushing, while also converting 66 percent of third-down attempts and going a perfect 5-for-5 in red-zone efficiency.

Case Keenum was red hot in the first half -- taking a perfect passer rating into the break -- and although he threw a pair of picks in the second half, he still finished with four touchdown passes and a sparkling 72.4 completion percentage. Of course, Keenum got a little help from his friends, as the O-line yielded just one QB hit and zero sacks.

With Mike Remmers out (concussion), Rashod Hill got the start at right tackle -- and didn't allow a single QB pressure. Real nice job by the second-year man.

5) New England Patriots: For the second week in a row, the Broncos' defense became fodder for an offensive line's placement on this list. Last week, the Eagles earned top billing after shredding Denver's D. This week, I have the Patriots in the five hole following a 41-16 win in the Mile High City.

New England's offensive line didn't give up a single sack to Von Miller and Co. (Yes, the Pats did allow a sack, but it wasn't the O-line's fault.) What did Tom Brady do with this kind of protection? Toss up an easy 266 yards and three touchdowns.

I'd like to give a special shout-out to Joe Thuney. I think this was the left guard's best game of the season. Going up against a ferocious front, he didn't allow a single pressure.

Follow Shaun O'Hara on Twitter @ShaunOHara60.

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