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PFF: Ravens offensive line ranks fourth best

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NFL: Baltimore Ravens at Miami Dolphins Steve Mitchell-USA TODAY Sports

Yesterday, PFF ranked all 32 teams’ offensive line by their average grade. This ranking placed the Baltimore Ravens fourth best in the NFL.

The best team was the Philadelphia Eagles, with an overall score of 76.0. Baltimore was less than five points lower, standing at 71.8. The lowest ranking: Arizona Cardinals, 44.5.

Average offensive lineman grade: 71.8

While guard Marshal Yanda’s injury is among the most devastating injuries for an offense this season, the Ravens are compensating for it with strong performances from their tackles and their center. In fact, center Ryan Jensen ranks third in the NFL with an overall grade of 86.1 as his run-blocking grade of 88.8 is also third at his position. Furthermore, right tackle Austin Howard is having one of his best seasons as he has yet to give up a sack and ranks first among tackles with a run-blocking grade of 87.3. As a result, the Ravens are having success running the ball, ranking fifth in the NFL with an average of 2.10 yards before contact on carries.

— Zoltán Buday

I think these numbers are heavily skewed, as Marshal Yanda is known for recording impressive grades week in and week out. Going forward, the Ravens will experience his loss and I don’t expect Jermaine Eluemunor to play Hall of Fame caliber instantaneously.

It’s rather strange, as the past few years Baltimore was desperate for a good center and tackles, while their guards were borderline best in the NFL. Now, they’ve lost three guards to season-ending injury and are receiving impressive play from both tackle spots and the center position.

Once more, it’s awesome to watch Ryan Jensen become a key player for the Ravens. In his fifth year with the Ravens, he earns the starting role and is posting the third best grade among centers. The Ravens sure are capable of developing linemen.

There are reasons the Ravens are ranked this high. The passing game has been rather short in Marty’s scheme. Also, the running game has been relied upon heavily. In two games now, the Ravens have bullied defenses, which keeps Joe away from the ball, and the creativity of Roman to keep players guessing on which gap the run game will flow through. Alex Collins is also helping this team and these stats. His speed and vision is getting him into the gaps before teams can make contact, which inflates the 2.10 yards before contact.

Nonetheless, the Ravens are ranked high and we are all excited with this. The emergence of Ryan Jensen and Austin Howard have led this team to victory on multiple occasions this season, certainly against Oakland on Sunday.