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 14 and Week 14 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 14 winner is ...
What a performance for the Derrick Henry-led Tennessee Titans in prime time. The third-year pro almost outgained the Jacksonville offense by himself on just 17 carries, finishing with 238 yards (a ridiculous average of 14 yards per carry) and four rushing touchdowns. The highlight of Henry's career day was the stiff arm-filled, 99-yard touchdown rumble that tied Hall of Famer Tony Dorsett's NFL record for the longest run from scrimmage.
He got a tremendous boost from the Titans' offensive line, which put on a run-blocking clinic and manhandled a physical Jaguars defense. The interior O-line -- featuring Josh Kline, Ben Jones and Quinton Spain -- played really well in the run game, creating substantial movement inside. It wasn't just the run game where the unit excelled, though, as the group shut down a Jaguars pass rush coming off a big performance against the Coltsin Week 13 by not giving up a single sack or quarterback hit, according to Pro Football Focus.
Taylor Lewan, who possesses some of the best hands/punch of all tackles, had the premier performance of the group this week. Jack Conklin played well against the Jags until a knee injury sidelined him (and eventually landed him on IR Tuesday). Dennis Kelly filled in for Conklin and didn't give up a single pressure in 21 snaps. That's a promising sign for the Titans and Kelly, who will likely start at right tackle the remainder of the year.
The rest of the top O-lines from Week 14
Chicago Bears: The Bears' offensive line shut down the Los Angeles Rams' defensive front en route to a big win in prime time. The unit didn't give up a sack on 34 pass plays with Defensive Player of the Year candidate Aaron Donald across the way. Nobody has been able to completely stop Donald this season, but the Bears limited him to one quarterback hit and two tackles. According to Pro Football Focus, the Bears had the fifth-best run-blocking and pass-blocking unit in Week 14, and Cody Whitehair earned the honor of highest-graded center. Tackles Charles Leno Jr. and Bobby Massie performed well on the edges, while rookie guard James Daniels did a phenomenal job holding his own when matched up against Donald.
Cleveland Browns: The Browns' offensive line has really played well together of late and put together another top-notch effort against the Carolina Panthers. Aiding an offense that amassed 348 yards (232 passing, 116 rushing), the O-line wasn't credited with a sack or quarterback hit in the win. Rookie quarterback Baker Mayfield deserves some credit, too, for buying time in the pocket to help his line secure blocks. Left guard Joel Bitonio, who was PFF's highest-graded guard of the week, and center JC Tretter didn't give up a pressure, while right tackle Chris Hubbard allowed one pressure on 31 pass plays.
Detroit Lions: The Lions have to be the biggest surprise on this week's list. Although they managed just 218 total yards of offense -- quite a low figure for a winning team -- the Lions rushed for 100 yards in a third straight game. The ground game was led by Zach Zenner's 12 carries for 54 yards and a touchdown, his first of the season. Rookie Tyrell Crosby, who was pressed into action when starting right tackle Rick Wagner suffered a concussion, didn't give up a single pressure in 35 snaps. Right guard Kenny Wiggins was also stout in protecting Matthew Stafford, as he didn't allow a sack or quarterback hit.
New York Giants: Who would've thought the Giants would find a way to play meaningful games in December, given how the season started? Definitely not this guy! But the offense's recent performance has been night and day compared to the first half of the season, and the unit continued to thrive in Week 14 during a 40-16 beatdown of Washington. Big Blue piled up 402 yards of total offense withoutOdell Beckham, as rookie Saquon Barkley carried the load. He had a career-high 170 rushing yards on just 14 carries -- that's a whopping 12.1 yards per attempt, aided by a career-long 78-yard touchdown scamper in the second quarter. The O-line helped the Giants' running backs gain 129 yards before contact, according to PFF -- that includes Barkley's big run on which he went untouched. The Giants' pass protection has steadily improved since Jamon Brown began starting at right guard in Week 10. He did give up two pressures Sunday, including a sack, but the O-line relinquished a total of just five pressures. This protection allowed Eli Manning to have one of his best games of the season.