As part of a new series, we're going to highlight the Detroit Lions' teammates of the week over the course of the next month or so. Basically, a certain position group is going to be featured each week for a strong performance. This week, the Lions offensive line gets the spotlight for its performance against the Dallas Cowboys.
Simply from a statistical standpoint, it's pretty clear that the Lions offensive line played quite well on Sunday. Matthew Stafford was only sacked once despite throwing the ball 48 times, and the Lions rushed for 143 yards and 3 touchdowns on 29 carries (4.9 yards per carry).
If you go off of Pro Football Focus' grades for the offensive line, the numbers are even more impressive:
LT Riley Reiff: +1.3
LG Rob Sims: +3.6
C Dominic Raiola: +2.6
RG Larry Warford: +0.6
RT LaAdrian Waddle: +4.8
A few things jump out about these numbers. For starters, Reiff played quite well despite coming off of an injury last week, and Waddle had an amazing performance in his first career start. (Per Justin Rogers, Waddle's grade is the highest for a Lions offensive lineman all season.) Also, Raiola continued his outstanding season with another great game. He's among the very best centers in the NFL right now:
Raiola is now No. 3 overall in PFF's center rankings behind only Myers and Mack, and No. 1 in the NFC by quite a bit.— Justin Rogers (@Justin_Rogers) October 28, 2013
Going into last week, there were a lot of concerns about the offensive line because of injuries. Those concerns were put to rest early on against the Cowboys, though, and this unit deserves a big round of applause for what it did on Sunday.