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 week's games, O'Hara will revisit the O-line performances of all the teams that played and ultimately select a Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Week. And the Week 10 winner is ...
Week 10 gave us some of the best games we've witnessed this season. The Eagles topped the Falcons and the Dallas-Pittsburgh matchup was epic; however, the Titans made a true statement with their blowout win over the Packers. What looked like a great matchup on paper between Tennessee's third-ranked rushing offense and Green Bay's top-ranked run defense was thrown out the window on the Titans' first snap of the game, when DeMarco Murray ran untouched for a 75-yard touchdown.
But on their second snap, the offensive line was dealt some adversity, as left tackle Taylor Lewan was ejected for making contact with an official. Stepping in was Dennis Kelly, whom the Titans welcomed earlier this season in a acquisition that head coach Mike Mularkey said in the postgame "was as big a trade as we had this year." Prior to Lewan's ejection, the Titans already had Brian Schwenke in at left guard for Quinton Spain, who is battling a knee injury, and Josh Kline in at right guard for Chance Warmack, who's on IR. But the group handled the change well and helped the offense score 35 first-half points (the most by any team this season) and rack up 446 yards of total offense.
The Titans rushed for 162 yards and were led by Murray's 17 carries for 123 yards (a whopping 7.2 yards per carry). Tennessee has rushed for 120 yards or more in eight of its 10 games and led the league in Week 10 with 107 rushing yards before contact, according to Pro Football Focus. Murray also threw for a touchdown to Delanie Walker. Meanwhile, quarterback Marcus Mariota started out red hot, completing his first 10 passes, and ended up completing 19 of his 26 throws for 295 yards and four touchdowns. It was Mariota's third career game with four touchdown passes and zero interceptions (already the most in franchise history). The second-year QB was basically untouched, as the offensive line didn't give up a sack or QB hit (but did allow eight hurries).
The Titans might not have the best offensive line in the league, but the way this unit handled adversity and dominated the NFL's No. 1 run defense really stood out. Tennessee's O-line had the stiffest challenge this week in terms of matchups, and the unit delivered in a big way.
Other notable O-line units in Week 10
Dallas Cowboys:This game in Pittsburgh was about as exciting as you can get, with the great Super Bowl history between these two franchises. The Cowboys' offensive line was very physical and the guys certainly blocked for the biggest gains at the most crucial times. The Cowboys answered every time the Steelers scored, and when the game was on the line, they looked to the O-line to provide a hole for rookie sensation Ezekiel Elliott. Well, they did and Zeke clinched the win with a game-winning TD. The Ohio State product finished with 114 yards and two touchdowns on 21 carries and two receptions for 95 yards and a receiving touchdown. He is the third player in NFL history to earn 1,000 rushing yards in his first nine NFL games, joining Eric Dickerson and Adrian Peterson. The O-line got a boost when Dallas brought in Joe Looney as an extra lineman to really pound a Steelers defense that has struggled against the run.
The Cowboys have recorded seven straight games with 400 or more offensive yards and are the only team with 100 or more rushing yards in every game this season. The O-line was the fourth-best run-blocking unit in Week 10, according to PFF. Dallas gave up one sack and one QB hit, and the lone sack was credited to Zack Martin when his cleats slipped in the grass at Heinz Field. With a clean pocket, Dak Prescott continued to impress and show poise as he had his first 300-yard passing game.
Philadelphia Eagles: The Eagles followed a perfect flight plan to beat the Falcons by running the ball and keeping Matt Ryan on the bench. The Eagles, who are undefeated at home (4-0), were extremely balanced on offense with 208 of their 429 total yards coming on the ground. They were ranked by PFF as the No. 1 run-blocking offensive line in Week 10. Ryan Mathews finally surfaced after only having nine carries in the last two games combined. Sunday, Mathews led the way with 19 carries for 109 yards and a pair of touchdowns, his first 100-yard rushing game of the season.
Rookie Carson Wentz was hurried 11 times, but not hit too often. Jason Peters was solid and Jason Kelce did a great job pulling in the run and screen games.
Washington Redskins: The Redskins took down a stout Vikings defense that ranked No. 3 in total D coming into Sunday's contest. Washington racked up 388 total yards, with 128 coming from the run game. Robert Kelley did most of the damage, with 22 carries for 97 yards. Kirk Cousins threw for two touchdowns, and the offensive line gave up one QB hit but no sacks, which is impressive considering the Redskins had to replace Trent Williams with Ty Nsekhe at left tackle. Washington graded out as the third-best run-blocking unit by PFF.