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 6 and Week 6 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 6 winner is ...
Exceptional from the start, the Steelers were Pro Football Focus' No. 1 run-blocking unit of Week 6. They paved the way for another big day from James Conner, who had 19 carries for 111 yards and two touchdowns and added four catches for 18 yards. The O-line created lanes and controlled the line of scrimmage all game, as 62 of Conner's 111 rushing yards came before contact.
The offensive line also excelled in pass protection and kept Ben Roethlisberger clean against a solid Bengals pass rush. The veteran quarterback, who is the league's passing yards leader through six weeks, had plenty of time in the pocket as the O-line didn't give up a single sack or quarterback hit. Tackles Alejandro Villanueva and Marcus Gilbert were stout and dominated their matchups. Neither player allowed a quarterback hit or pressure on 51 pass plays, per PFF. Gilbert held Carlos Dunlap at bay for his best performance of the season. Right guard David DeCastro also had one of his best outings.
The reward for this outstanding performance? A Week 7 bye and the hope that Le'Veon Bell reports soon.
The rest of the top O-lines from Week 6
Dallas Cowboys: The Cowboys continue to ride the momentum created by Ezekiel Elliott and the big boys up front. Dallas got off to a fast start against the Jaguars by scoring on all four first-half possessions. PFF's fourth-best run-blocking unit of the week helped the 'Boys amass 206 rushing yards thanks to big days by Elliott (106 rushing yards) and Dak Prescott (82). In total, the Cowboys recorded 58 yards before contact against a really good Jaguars D.
With all of the offensive success, Dallas controlled the time of possession and had the ball for 17 MORE minutes than Jacksonville. Think about that -- that's more than a full quarter more! The O-line played a big role in making that happen, as it helped lengthen drives and keep Prescott clean. The third-year quarterback was sacked three times but no sack was attributed to the O-line. Tyron Smith and Zack Martin enjoyed solid outings against one of the best defensive lines (aka Sacksonville) in the league.
Los Angeles Chargers: Thanks to 449 yards of total offense against the Browns, the Chargers (4-2) are off to their best start through six games since 2014. The offense has received a tremendous boost from the O-line this season, just ask the guys in the backfield. Fourth-year running back Melvin Gordon led the way offensively with 18 carries for 132 yards (7.3 yards per carry) and three touchdowns. The Chargers were dubbed PFF's third-best run-blocking offensive line of Week 6.
You know it's a pretty good day when the Chargers throttle their opponent with Philip Rivers completing just 11 passes. Even with the small amount of passing attempts (20), the O-line didn't give up a sack to a good Browns defense. Left tackle Russell Okung allowed one QB hit, while right guard Michael Schofield recorded one of his best games of the season.
Miami Dolphins: Give credit to Adam Gase and Brock Osweiler, who had a trio of TD passes when filling in for an injured Ryan Tannehill, for getting rid of the ball quickly against a Bears defense that ranked second in sacks coming into the matchup. Not to mention, the offensive line didn't allow a single sack or quarterback hit to the Khalil Mack-led unit. Notably, Laremy Tunsil, who was back on the field after clearing the concussion protocol over the weekend, and Ja'Wuan James didn't allow a sack or hit.
New England Patriots: In very dramatic fashion, the Patriots got Tom Brady his 200th career victory with the help of 43 points and 500 yards on offense (both season highs). The O-line gave up only one sack and allowed just one other QB hit. The unit gashed the Chiefs on the ground for 173 yards, led by rookie Sony Michel's big day of 106 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries. One of the more impressive takeaways, though, was that New England didn't commit a penalty all night.