AFC East Offensive Lines: New England's Success Starts In The Trenches

Corey KoehlerSenior Analyst IJune 27, 2008

It has long been stated that football is won in the trenches, and the signing of Michigan tackle Jack Long by the Miami Dolphins as the first overall pick in the 2008 NFL Draft underscore that importance. And since New England has dominated its division foes by giving quarterback Tom Brady all day to pick apart opposing defenses for nearly a decade, its clear the Dolphins, Jets and Bills are trying to match the Patriots with strong play up front. Have any of them closed the gap on New England? Stay tuned.

New England Patriots (1st in AFC East, 6th in Conference)
They didn’t do much to consistently establish the run last season, though I guess when you go undefeated in the regular season, it doesn’t matter how you got there. Much like Indianapolis’ Peyton Manning, Tom Brady makes this group better.

LT Matt Light
LG Logan Mankins
C Dan Koppen
RG Stephen Neal
RT Nick Kaczur

New York Jets (2nd in AFC East, 8th in Conference)
With the free agent signings of Alan Faneca and Damien Woody along with the additional seasoning of D’Brickashaw Ferguson and Nick Mangold, this unit appears to be on the upswing. Now if only they could find a quarterback.

LT D’Brickashaw Ferguson
LG Allan Faneca
C Nick Mangold
RG Brandon Moore
RT Damien Woody

Buffalo Bills (3rd in AFC East, 9th in Conference)
The offensive line was one of the few bright spots for this injury-riddled team in 2007. With Jason Peters, who receives praise as one of the best, young tackles in the league, paired with guard Derrick Dockery, expect Marshawn Lynch to run left a lot behind this improving unit.

LT Jason Peters
LG Derrick Dockery
C Melvin Fowler
RG Brad Butler
RT Langston Walker

Miami Dolphins (4th in AFC East, 15th in Conference)
The Dolphins move up from the cellar on the strength of Jack Long being named the No. 1 overall pick in April’s NFL Draft. This 6-foot-7, 325-pound monster should open a few holes for Ronnie Brown.

LT Jake Long (1st overall pick)
LG Justin Smiley
C Samson Satele
RG Shawn Murphy
RT Vernon Carey

This is another post in a series in which we go division by division looking at and ranking the most overlooked factor in the success of your fantasy football squad, the offensive line. So you might want to keep an eye out over the next few weeks - which by the way, I have made it easy for you to do because…

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