With seven weeks of the 2021 NFL season in the books, which offensive lines sit atop our rankings so far? Below we will rank all 32 offensive lines so far in 2021 based on their performance in the run and pass game.
2021 Offensive Line Rankings
Let’s take a look at how the offensive lines around the NFL have fared so far through the 2021 NFL season.
OL Rankings | 21-32
32. Houston Texans
31. New York Jets
30. Baltimore Ravens
29. Miami Dolphins
28. New York Giants
27. Carolina Panthers
26. Pittsburgh Steelers
25. Denver Broncos
24. Seattle Seahawks
23. Las Vegas Raiders
22. New England Patriots
21. Indianapolis Colts
The biggest surprise in this group is the Baltimore Ravens. Viewed as one of the better offensive line units coming into the season, they have suffered from the loss of both of their starting tackles from 2020. With Ronnie Stanley at left tackle, this group would likely be significantly higher. However, Alejandro Villanueva has struggled throughout the year, and the rest of the group has not performed up to preseason expectations.
Injuries have left the Indianapolis Colts sitting below their potential this season. Any line missing Quenton Nelson for large periods would struggle. Combine that with Braden Smith, Mark Glowinski, and Eric Fisher missing the first couple of weeks, and it has been an ugly start. Nevertheless, if they can get healthy, they could be a top-10 unit in the second half of the season.
Offensive Line Rankings | 11-20
20. Minnesota Vikings
19. Green Bay Packers
18. Chicago Bears
17. Tennessee Titans
16. Atlanta Falcons
15. Detroit Lions
14. Arizona Cardinals
13. Cincinnati Bengals
12. Philadelphia Eagles
11. Los Angeles Chargers
The Cincinnati Bengals’ offensive line has been somewhat of a pleasant surprise this season. They have been particularly good in the run game, with both Joe Mixon and Samaje Perine able to have a reasonable amount of success behind the line. They still have work to do in the passing game, and they need rookie guard Jackson Carman to perform with more consistency.
Who are the top 10 offensive lines in 2021?
Which units sit in the top 10 in terms of the best offensive lines in the NFL through the first seven weeks of the 2021 season?
10) New Orleans Saints
The Saints have not been overly convincing in the passing game, with Jameis Winston being sacked on 6.6% of his dropbacks. However, some of that has been due to the relative lack of talent at WR and Winston holding the ball.
Despite their overall rank, the Saints’ offensive line has blocked reasonably well in the running game. The problem is that Alvin Kamara is not a traditional between-the-tackles runner. Kamara ranks in the top 10 at the position for yards before contact but is among the worst in the league in terms of yards after contact.
9) Washington Football Team
Despite the troubles under center for the Washington Football Team, they have been a very good pass-blocking unit — for the most part — this season. Washington’s struggled more so when run blocking and this has been reflected in inconsistent performances for Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic when carrying the ball.
8) San Francisco 49ers
While they have not been incredible in either area, the 49ers’ OL has been above average in both the run and pass game. However, with the possibility of a rookie QB under center in the coming weeks, more pressure may get loaded onto this unit.
7) Kansas City Chiefs
The struggles of the Chiefs’ offensive line in last year’s Super Bowl have repeatedly been highlighted this past offseason. While there has been plenty made of their line again this year, the overall performance has been solid.
Kansas City’s OL ranks right around the top 10 in terms of the best offensive lines in the NFL in both the run and pass game. Nothing incredible, but the line has certainly not been to blame for their struggles this season.
6) Cleveland Browns
The Browns’ offensive line has been something of an enigma this year. In the running game, they are one of the best units. However, the passing game has been a completely different situation. Cleveland’s sack rate of 8.3% is among the worst in the league. Not all of that is due to the line, but they have certainly been culpable for part of the problem.
5) Buffalo Bills
The Bills are the first of five teams on this list to rank inside the top 10 both in terms of the run and pass game. They are a marginally better unit against the run compared to the pass, but they’ve been solid this season in both.
Their numbers in the passing game are somewhat elevated by the escapability and mobility of Josh Allen. Nevertheless, it’s clear on tape that the OL has stepped up significantly from last season.
4) Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars’ last performance in London was somewhat of a struggle for the offensive line. However, they were without Brandon Linder and A.J. Cann, who are both out on injured reserve. Hopefully, Tyler Shatley and Ben Bartch have gotten up to speed in the bye week or the Jaguars could end up tumbling down these rankings.
3) Los Angeles Rams
The Rams’ offensive line has done a superb job of keeping Matthew Stafford clean and supporting the run game this year. Stafford has only been sacked 7 times on 250 dropbacks.
Their biggest flaw has been the boom-or-bust nature of the running game. While they have managed to spring the backs for big plays, they’ve also allowed them to be stuffed in the backfield at a regular rate. That has impacted the offense’s yards per attempt, especially with a back in Sony Michel who struggles to make defenders miss.
2) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
After struggling to get anything going in the run game in the first few weeks, the Buccaneers’ offensive line has really started to make a big difference as of late. In each of the last four games, the Buccaneers have rushed for at least 100 yards.
In the passing game, they have kept Tom Brady upright for most of the season. Brady has been sacked on just 2.8% of his dropbacks for a total of 9 sacks this season. It has been another good, strong performance from a Buccaneers line that has been one of the most reliable in the past two seasons.
Which team tops the list of the best offensive lines so far in 2021?
Through the first seven weeks, one offensive line has dominated both in the pass and run game.
1) Dallas Cowboys
The Cowboys’ offensive line is performing exactly how we hoped it would this year. In Zack Martin, Tyron Smith, and La’el Collins, they have one of the best trios of any offensive line. Connor Williams and Tyler Biadasz have provided solid support, even if Biadasz does have some highlight plays made against him this season.
The strength of the offensive line has set the Cowboys up to have the first two 1,000-yard rushers on the same team since the Carolina Panthers in 2009. Additionally, Dak Prescott has been sacked just 9 times on his 226 dropbacks this season. Across the two elements of this offense, the Cowboys’ OL has performed well this season.