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2011 Offensive Line Review and Ratings: AFC Teams
John Tuvey
August 18, 2011
 
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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
2008 33 18 2,084 130.3 6 4.0 23
2009 26 6 2,080 130.0 4 5.0 3
2010 40 23 1,685 105.3 10 3.9 25

Year Left Tackle Left Guard Center Right Guard Right Tackle
2008 J.Gaither B.Grubbs J.Brown M.Yanda A.Terry
2009 J.Gaither B.Grubbs M.Birk M.Yanda/C.Chester M.Oher (r)
2010 M.Oher B.Grubbs M.Birk M.Yanda J.Gaither
2011 M.Oher B.Grubbs M.Birk M.Yanda O.Cousins
* Pro Bowler, (r) Rookie

The swap of Michael Oher to the blindside didn’t go nearly as well as planned; the Ravens surrendered 14 more sacks and rushed for 25 fewer yards per game at more than a yard per carry under the previous season. Oneil Cousins and rookie Jah Reed are battling to replace Jared Gaither, but the key to this line could be the health of Matt Birk, who underwent arthroscopic knee surgery early in the preseason.

FANTASY SPIN
The Ravens want to run more, and a healthy Birk between Marshall Yanda and Ben Grubbs is a great interior wall for Ray Rice to run behind. The tackle play must improve, especially when you consider that Joe Flacco gave up the second-most “quarterback-invited” sacks in the league, according to Pro Football Focus.

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
2008 38 22 1,612 100.7 15 4.2 14
2009 46 28 1,568 98.0 19 4.3 16
2010 34 14 1,399 87.4 24 4.0 18

Year Left Tackle Left Guard Center Right Guard Right Tackle
2008 J.Peters* D.Dockery M.Fowler B.Butler L.Walker
2009 L.Walker A.Levitre (r) G.Hangartner E.Wood (r) B.Butler
2010 D.Bell A.Levitre G.Hangartner E.Wood C.Green
2011 D.Bell A.Levitre E.Wood K.Urbik E.Pears
* Pro Bowler; (r) Rookie

Buffalo’s line was adequate at best last season, though 2009 picks Andy Levitre and Eric Woods are developing nicely and help form a solid interior. Tackles Demetrius Bell and Erik Pears are still a work in progress—and that’s putting it nicely; the sack numbers weren’t brutal, but only four teams’ QBs were hit with more frequency.

FANTASY SPIN
A strong interior blocking game—and Buffalo’s league-high 65% of their rushing attempts between the guards—favors Fred Jackson over last season’s rookie disappointment, C.J. Spiller. One reason Lee Evans was superfluous is that Ryan Fitzpatrick didn’t have time to wait for him to come open downfield, so he may be missed less than many expect.

RUN BLOCKING: C
PASS BLOCKING: D+
RETURNING REGULARS: 3
OVERALL GRADE: C-

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