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 17 and Week 17 alone. This is NOT a running O-line Power Rankings for 2018. 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 17 winner is ...
In what was essentially a playoff game, the Colts' offensive line dominated the line of scrimmage to help Indianapolis secure a wild-card spot in the postseason. The unit was named the No. 1 pass-blocking and No. 3 run-blocking O-line of Week 17 by Pro Football Focus. This was exactly the performance the Colts needed in the season finale.
Now 11-0 against the Tennessee Titans, Andrew Luck and the Colts' offense took advantage of a defense without its leader, Jurrell Casey, to amass 436 yards (278 passing, 158 rushing) and score 33 points, marking just the third time this season the Titans allowed 30 points or more. Indy's O-line yielded one quarterback hit and four hurries, as Luck was the second-least pressured starting quarterback of the week. Left tackle Anthony Castonzo and right tackle Braden Smith excelled against a defense that typically thrives on third down and in the red zone, while Castonzo and left guard Quenton Nelson were the week's highest-graded players at their respective positions by PFF. Center Evan Boehm continued to do well filling in for Ryan Kelly to round out the phenomenal effort.
The rest of the top O-lines from Week 17
Baltimore Ravens: Behind a whopping 296 rushing yards, the Ravensbeat the Browns and clinched the AFC North title for the first time since 2012. Their rushing yards total was the third-most in franchise history and second-most by any team this season. While rookie Lamar Jackson gets a ton of credit for the offense's surge in the second half of this season, the line has done a great job in the run and pass games. Baltimore's ground game gained 100 yards when running on either side of rookie RT Orlando Brown, who helped the O-line become PFF's fifth-best run blocking unit of Week 17. In pass pro, four of the five starting linemen -- Brown, Marshal Yanda, Matt Skura and James Hurst -- didn't give up a pressure, and there were two just two pressures allowed in the game. After missing most of the 2017 campaign with a fractured ankle, Yanda has played more snaps (1,162) than any other guard this season and hasn't allowed a single sack. Now that's what I call a comeback.
Chicago Bears: In a do-or-die game for Minnesota, the Bears took it to the Vikings and ended their season. Boosted by RG Kyle Long's return, in which he didn't allow a pressure on 14 pass plays, the offensive line played a phenomenal game up front and didn't give up a sack against a very good defensive line. Center Cody Whitehair didn't allow a pressure, while Bradley Sowell stepped up as the extra lineman/fullback for 17 snaps. The Bears' offense converted 57.1 percent on third down, the highest percentage allowed by the Minnesota defense all season. Chicago also excelled in the run game, as Jordan Howard carried the ball 21 times for 109 yards and two touchdowns.
Los Angeles Rams: The Rams quietly put up 48 points -- L.A.'s second-highest point total of the season -- against San Francisco to clinch a postseason bye. Behind a solid O-line effort, Jared Goff threw four TD passes in a game for the third time this season, while C.J. Anderson continued to dominate as Todd Gurley's fill-in at running back. The veteran RB had 23 carries for 132 yards behind PFF's top-ranked run-blocking unit of the week, logging back-to-back 100-yard games for the second time in his career. The offensive line gave up three total pressures and was led by Rodger Saffold, Rob Havenstein and Austin Blythe. Although Blythe allowed two pressures Sunday, he still has yet to give up a single sack this season. One concerning note heading into the playoffs is the health of left tackle Andrew Whitworth, who exited Sunday's game with a knee injury.
Philadelphia Eagles: With a playoff spot on the line, the Eagles handled their business in Washington by holding the ball for 43 minutes (more than two-thirds of the game). Philly amassed 360 yards on offense (231 passing, 129 rushing) with the help of its offensive line. The Eagles' unit, which was PFF's second-best run-blocking group last week, helped the offense gain at least 100 rush yards for the ninth time this season. The O-line was also successful in pass pro and boosted Nick Foles' fine day, as the reigning Super Bowl MVP tied an NFL record for most consecutive completions (25) in a game. Philly did allow one sack, one quarterback hit and three hurries, but got nice performances across the line. Jason Peters was solid after missing the previous week with a quad injury, while Jason Kelce and Lane Johnson didn't give up a pressure. Brandon Brooks has been phenomenal all year, but allowed his first sack of 2018 in Sunday's game.