Denver pass protection best in the league
The Broncos' offensive line had a strong performance against the Jaguars, albeit in a losing effort. The line was strong in the running game, as the offense ran for 131 yards on 23 carries (5.7 YPC), including a 100-yard game by Michael Pittman. Pass protection continues to be the strength of the unit, and after not allowing a sack in 37 pass attempts Sunday, the Broncos are tied with the Titans for fewest sacks allowed this season (two).
Up next: at New England (Monday night). The Patriots' defense has struggled this season, but playing at home, in the national spotlight, will no doubt provide motivation for the unit. The Patriots have just seven sacks on the season, giving the Broncos another favorable matchup up front, especially in pass protection.
Lions making a push towards top spot in sacks allowed
The Lions' offensive line had an uneven performance against the Vikings in Week 6. The line had some success in run blocking, thanks in part to a long Kevin Smith run. The offense ran for 100 yards on 24 carries (4.2 YPC). However, the line allowed six sacks, in just 21 pass attempts, and now trails the 49ers by one, in total sacks allowed this season with 22.
Up next: at Houston. The Texans' pass rush has little outside of defensive end Mario Williams and the Texans have just seven sacks on the season. Still, look for those numbers to increase significantly against the Lions in Week 7, as the pass protection woes will likely continue for the Lions' offensive line.
Carolina has uneven performance with two starters out
Left tackle Jordan Gross was back, however the Panthers' offensive line was without two starters, center Ryan Kalil and right tackle Jeff Otah. Overall, it was a mixed performance against the Bucs, as the Panthers were unable to muster anything in the running game, while providing excellent pass protection. The offense ran for just 40 yards on 20 carries (2.0 YPC), while the line did not allow a sack in 39 pass attempts.
Up next: vs New Orleans. The Saints' defense presents a decent, yet not overpowering matchup for the Panthers offensive line. The Saints have a serviceable pass rush with 13 sacks on the season, while allowing just over 100 YPG on the ground. If the Carolina offensive line gets Kalil and Otah back, upgrade your Panthers for Week 7.
Bucs have another strong performance
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The Bucs' line continues to be one of the best in the NFL following another great performance against the Panthers in Week 6. Although it was not overly efficient, the offense ran for 142 yards on 37 carries (3.8 YPC). The line provided excellent pass protection, not allowing a sack in 20 pass attempts. Tampa Bay is in first place in the NFC South and the play of the offensive line is at the center of the team's promising start.
Up next: vs Seattle (Sunday night). The Seahawks have a solid pass rush (13 sacks), but they allow 126.2 YPG on the ground. Jeff Garcia will likely be back under center for Tampa Bay in Week 7, so look for the Bucs to establish the running game early and maintain their conservative approach.
Colts continue to rank last in rushing
The Colts' offensive line continues to struggle despite the team's Week 6 victory over the Ravens. The Colts continue to rank dead last in rushing YPG, and lost starting running back Joseph Addai to a groin injury early in the game. Backup Dominic Rhodes filled in, as the offense ran for 76 yards on 30 carries (2.5 YPC), against the NFL's best run defense. Pass protection continues to be adequate, but it's still not what is expected of the typical Indianapolis offensive line, as the unit allowed two sacks in 28 pass attempts.
Up next: at Green Bay. The Packers are struggling against the run (allowing 153.3 YPG), and this appears to be the perfect chance for the Colts' running game to get on track. This game has shootout potential, and if the offenses get into a back and forth game, pass protection will be key against a Green Bay defense that has 12 sacks in six contests.