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Offensive Line Review & Ratings: AFC Teams

John Tuvey
Updated August 16, 2013
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AFC North AFC South AFC East AFC West NFC North NFC South NFC East NFC West
Baltimore Houston Buffalo Denver Chicago Atlanta Dallas Arizona
Cincinnati Indianapolis Miami Kansas City Detroit Carolina New York St. Louis
Cleveland Jacksonville New England Oakland Green Bay New Orleans Philadelphia San Francisco
Pittsburgh Tennessee New York San Diego Minnesota Tampa Bay Washington Seattle

Baltimore Ravens

Year Sacks Allowed Sacked Rank RB Rush Yards Rush Yards Per Game Per Game Rush Rank Per Carry Average Per Carry Rank
2010 40 23 1,685 105.3 10 3.9 25
2011 33 12 1,851 115.7 4 4.5 11
2012 38 20 1,768 110.5 10 4.5 8

Year Left Tackle Left Guard Center Right Guard Right Tackle
2010 M.Oher B.Grubbs M.Birk M.Yanda J.Gaither
2011 M.Oher B.Grubbs* M.Birk M.Yanda* O.Cousins
2012 B.McKinnie B.Williams M.Birk M.Yanda* M.Oher
2013 B.McKinnie K.Osemele G.Gradkowski M.Yanda M.Oher
* Pro Bowler, (r) Rookie

UPDATE: Bryant McKinnie showed up for camp out of shape; so what's new? Marshall Yanda is still recovering from shoulder surgery and Gino Gradkowski has not yet officially claimed the starting center job from A.Q. Shipley, but for the most part this unit is right where it expected to be--and that's a good thing.

This unit gelled in the postseason, when rookie Kelechi Osemele slid from right tackle to left guard, Michael Oher once again abandon the blind side for the right side, and Bryant McKinnie played like the first-round pick he once was. Now the question is, can it all happen again? The lynchpin here is McKinnie, who when properly motivated can be one of the best left tackles in the game; when not motivated, his weight balloons and he focuses more on the party scene than the playbook. Baltimore has the depth to adapt if McKinnie relapses--some sort of shuffle involving Osemele, Oher, and Jah Reed--but they're definitely better when McKinnie is on. Marshall Yanda is a rock star at right guard; he and Osemele in the middle should help the Ravens transition from the Matt Birk era to the Gino Gradkowski era.

FANTASY SPIN
The key to Joe Flacco living up to his contract--okay, coming somewhat close to living up to his contract--is McKinnie. Oher is overmatched on the left side, but if McKinnie is on his game everything else lines up and Flacco has time to throw; for proof, see his postseason numbers. No one will miss Birk more than Ray Rice, as Birk and Yanda both finished among Pro Football Focus' top-ranked run blockers. Oher, on the other hand, graded out surprisingly poorly--bottom 20--in the ground game, meaning there's little margin for error for the transition to Gradkowski.

RUN BLOCKING: B
PASS BLOCKING: B
RETURNING REGULARS: 4
OVERALL GRADE: B

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Buffalo Bills

Year Sacks Allowed Sacked Rank RB Rush Yards Rush Yards Per Game Per Game Rush Rank Per Carry Average Per Carry Rank
2010 34 14 1,399 87.4 24 4.0 18
2011 23 1 1,603 100.2 16 5.1 2
2012 30 10 1,908 119.3 6 5.1 2

Year Left Tackle Left Guard Center Right Guard Right Tackle
2010 D.Bell A.Levitre G.Hangartner E.Wood C.Green
2011 D.Bell A.Levitre E.Wood K.Urbik E.Pears
2012 C.Hairston A.Levitre E.Wood K.Urbik E.Pears
2013 C.Glenn C.Brown E.Wood K.Urbik E.Pears
* Pro Bowler; (r) Rookie

UPDATE: Looks like Erik Pears will hold off Chris Hairston at right tackle and Colin Brown is winning the battle at left guard.

Losing guard Andy Levitre stings, but the Bills still return plenty of talent--plus, with the new scheme Doug Marrone is installing the Bills will need all the depth they can get to keep the pedal to the proverbial metal. Cordy Glenn emerged as a solid left tackle, pushing Chris Hairston to the right side where he'll compete with Erik Pears. Eric Wood locks down the middle, flanked by a pair of Pittsburgh castoffs--Kraig Urbik on the right side and Doug Legursky on the left. Sam Young and Colin Brown could push Legursky for playing time, but at minimum they'll give Marrone plenty of line depth when the big fellas start sucking wind in the no-huddle.

FANTASY SPIN
Individually the Bills' o-line didn't grade out particularly well in run-blocking, yet they've topped five yards a carry in back-to-back seasons. Losing Levitre shouldn't ding C.J. Spiller's prospects, and if Marrone's scheme is successful in getting his big guys out in space they could actually be looking up. Pass protection remains solid, so long as Hairston stays on the right side, which bodes well for E.J. Manuel's development--and, in turn, the fantasy prospects of Stevie Johnson, Robert Woods, and the rest of the Buffalo passing game.

RUN BLOCKING: B
PASS BLOCKING:B
RETURNING REGULARS: 4
OVERALL GRADE: B

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