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 winner is ...
Week 6 saw a breakout of 100-yard rushers, including the first 200-yard performance this season, making film a lot of fun to watch for this former center. Washington takes the award when you factor in the team's performance against an Eagles defense that ranked second in scoring defense and averaged 3.5 sacks per game prior to Sunday's divisional bout. Washington didn't allow a sack in the game, and while it was without star tight end Jordan Reed, the offense was able to put up almost 500 yards as part of its most balanced performance this season (33 rushing plays and 34 passing plays).
Kirk Cousins threw for 263 yards and two touchdowns in the Redskins' fourth straight win, but most of the damage was done by Matt Jones. He finished with 16 carries for 135 yards (8.4 yards per carry) and one score. On his nine runs running behind the left side of the offensive line -- LT Trent Williams and LG Shawn Lauvao -- Jones averaged 10.2 yards per carry. Williams did a great job at the point of attack and was very crafty when on the back side of some big runs.
One of the toughest things to do as a center is reaching the wide defensive tackles, and Spencer Long, who has filled in for Kory Lichtensteiger after he went down with an injury in Week 3, did that especially well for Washington on Sunday. Right guard Brandon Scherff had one of his best games since the Redskins drafted him fifth overall in 2015, as he more than held his own against Fletcher Cox. Kudos to the Redskins' line this week, as nobody expected them to win the battle at the line of scrimmage. And then, of course, there was the way Washington iced the game -- there is no better feeling than salting away a win with a 57-yard run in your four-minute offense.
Other notable O-line units in Week 6
Buffalo Bills: Like the Redskins, the Bills have won four straight, and they tallied nearly 500 yards of total offense against the 49ers on Sunday. Buffalo, running behind the likes of Cordy Glenn and Eric Wood, had 312 yards on the ground -- the fifth highest total in franchise history -- and dominated in time of possession (35:11). You can bet LeSean McCoy wanted to have a big day going against Chip Kelly, the coach who traded him away when he was in Philly -- and he definitely did, notching 19 carries for 140 yards (7.4 yards per carry) and three touchdowns, with 106 of those yards coming in the first half. He has had at least 110 yards in three of the last four games. In addition, the Bills led the league this week in rushing yards before contact (147).
Having a mobile quarterback certainly helps the offensive line, as Tyrod Taylor contributed 68 yards on the ground. Taylor was actually sacked three times, but all of those sacks came on scrambles, so they were not attributed to the O-line.
Miami Dolphins: The Dolphinscame at the Steelers like a hurricane, rushing for 222 yards on 36 carries. In the three previous games, the Dolphins rushed for a combined 228 yards. The offense was led by Jay Ajayi's 25 carries for 204 yards (8.2 yards per carry). Ajayi's rushing total was the highest in a game by any player this season.
Everybody on the O-line wore their proper shower shoes this week, as the projected starting lineup from the beginning of the season started a game together for the first time in 2016, and it showed. The unit didn't give up any sacks or QB hits, giving Ryan Tannehill plenty of time on play-action passes. In addition, after having the worst time of possession numbers in the league heading into Week 6, the Dolphins held onto the ball for nearly 37 minutes on Sunday.
Dallas Cowboys:The much-anticipated game between the No. 1-ranked rushing offense vs. Green Bay's top-ranked run defense didn't disappoint. But there was a clear winner here. Dallas collected 191 yards rushing and has now surpassed 180 yards on the ground in four straight games -- the first time a Dallas team has done that since 1975. Ezekiel Elliott continued to dash toward the Offensive Rookie of the Year award, picking up 157 yards on 28 carries (5.6 yards per carry), making him the first rookie in NFL history to rush for 130-plus yards in four consecutive games. Dallas' ground performance is especially impressive because Green Bay's D was giving up 2 yards per carry through its first four contests. Quarterback Dak Prescott may have thrown his first career INT, but he also tossed three touchdowns in the win. There were no quarterback hits, but Doug Free allowed a sack in the game.