Prisco: OL rankings | DL rankings
Memo to all players who have the San Diego Chargers on their schedule in 2008: Get ready for a physical 60 minutes, maybe more so than against any team in the league based on our breakdown of the NFL's 32 offensive and defensive lines.
The Chargers, who went to the AFC Championship Game last season, are again considered an elite team heading into this season. A lot of that is because they have the game's best runner in LaDainian Tomlinson, a gutsy passer in Philip Rivers and an elite tight end in Antonio Gates.
They also have the best pair of lines in the NFL.
|No.||Team||OL rank||DL rank||Total|
After studying the offensive and defensive lines of the league's 32 teams the past two days, we crowned the Chargers as the team with the best overall lines. The Chargers, based on our rankings, had the second-best offensive unit and the overall best defensive squad.
Those numbers, a 2 for the offensive line and a 1 for the defensive line, give San Diego a total of 3, the lowest total in the league, making them the best combo group.
The worst line groups belong to the rebuilding Atlanta Falcons. The Falcons were 32nd in the offensive line rankings and 32nd in the defensive line rankings for a combined score of 64.
That's quite a mess Mike Vick and Bob Petrino left behind.
If you're looking for a 2007 non-playoff team that might be ready to make a move based on their line rankings, the Minnesota Vikings are that team. They are in the fourth spot with a combined score of 10, getting an 8 for offensive line and a 2 for the defensive line.
Now if they can only get Tarvaris Jackson to make strides. If not, those power lines will go to waste.
The Philadelphia Eagles, who are tied for sixth with the Seattle Seahawks with an 18, are another non-playoff team from last season that could make a strong push based on their line rankings. The Eagles have the ninth ranked offensive and defensive lines.
It's not hard to figure out which teams might struggle this season. The Falcons are obvious based on their score. Others at the bottom are the Kansas City Chiefs, San Francisco 49ers, Miami Dolphins, St. Louis Rams and Detroit Lions.
Playing those teams will be a whole bunch different than playing the Chargers.