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 batch of games, O'Hara will revisit the O-line performances of all the teams that played and ultimately select that week's top five units, headlined by a Built Ford Tough Offensive Line of the Week.
EDITOR'S NOTE: The rankings that you see below reflect O'Hara's pecking order for Week 8 and Week 8 alone. This is NOT a running O-line Power Rankings for 2017. This is NOT a projection into the future. The goal of this weekly column is to answer one simple question: Which five offensive lines stood out above the rest in last week's action?
Without further ado, the Week 8 winner is ...
1) Buffalo Bills
The Bills' offensive line had its best game of the season against the Raiders on Sunday. Buffalo put up 331 yards of total offense, including 166 yards on the ground. LeSean McCoy accounted for 151 rushing yards on 27 carries (5.6 yards per carry), with a lot of that coming on a late-game 48-yard touchdown run. As good as the running game looks on paper, it was the Bills' pass protection that vaulted them into the top spot. For the first time this season, they didn't allow a single sack or QB hit all game. The line ranked as the third-best run-blocking and pass-blocking unit this week, per Pro Football Focus. Center Eric Wood had another good game, the third one this season in which he did not give up a pressure. Cordy Glenn had another strong performance; he was one of the best left tackles this week. It's always a good sign when Raiders defensive star Khalil Mack doesn't wreck a game, and the reigning Defensive Player of the Year didn't post a single pressure or sack.
The rest of the top five O-lines from Week 8
2) Carolina Panthers: Carolina continues to play well on the road, improving to 4-1 in away games while beating a Tampa team that swept the Panthers last year. The stats weren't that impressive, numbers-wise -- Carolina posted 100 rushing yards, while Cam Newton threw for just 154 yards. But the quarterback wasn't sacked or hit all game, and the Panthers were the No. 1-ranked pass-blocking unit this week, even with Tyler Larsen playing at center for the injuredRyan Kalil. Left tackle Matt Kalil and right tackle Darryl Williams didn't give up a single pressure all game. The O-line gave up four hurries, but the two tackles didn't give up any.
3) Pittsburgh Steelers: The Steelers held on for what some might consider an ugly win over the Lions. They ran for 75 net yards, while Le'Veon Bell had 76 yards on 25 carries (Bell reached 7,000 yards from scrimmage in his 55th game, tying Eric Dickerson for the fewest games needed to reach 7,000 yards from scrimmage in NFL history). The numbers don't blow you away, but they did a good job in pass protection, as Ben Roethlisberger threw for more than 300 yards and wasn't sacked (though Detroit did register one QB hit). Chris Hubbard again filled in at right tackle for Marcus Gilbert, and although he gave up one QB hit and one hurry, he still played very well in relief. David DeCastro had another strong game, along with Maurkice Pouncey at center.
4) New Orleans Saints: On their seven-play opening drive in Sunday's win over the Bears, the Saints went 81 yards for a touchdown. While this matchup with Chicago wasn't a high-scoring one, New Orleans did total 387 total yards. The Saints eclipsed the 100-yard rushing mark with a mixture of Mark Ingram and Alvin Kamara. Drew Brees threw for 299 yards and was sacked twice in the game -- one was credited to the O-line, per PFF -- and gave up one QB hit.
5) Dallas Cowboys: Dallas was able to hold off its NFC East rivals in Washington thanks to a big day on the ground: Ezekiel Elliott had 150 yards and two touchdowns on 33 carries. The O-line gave up two sacks, which is why they weren't this week's winner. The unit gave up zero QB hits, but both tackles really struggled, combining for nine pressures. Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Jonathan Cooper played well and only had one pressure between the three of them. Of Zeke's 150 yards, 85 came before contact -- that was the second-most this week, and one of the more impressive stats of the week. The Cowboys' O-line was ranked by PFF as the top run-blocking unit of Week 8.