If you needed some proof that NFL games are still won in the trenches, check out the tape of Sunday Night's Colts-Chiefs game where Indianapolis absolutely dominated en route to the lowest scoring Chiefs game of the Mahomes era. Let's see who climbed our Offensive Hog Index and Defensive Hog Index this week.
OFFENSIVE LINES: THREE UP
Indianapolis Colts: What an absolutely monstrous effort from this group. This team was left for dead after Andrew Luck retired and after losing at home to Oakland it would have been easy to roll over with a trip to Arrowhead on deck. Instead, they stepped up and absolutely dominated, with Quenton Nelson posting the highest PFF grade by a left guard since 2012. Tied at the top of the division heading into they bye, sleep on a this team at your own peril.
Oakland Raiders: Out of seemingly nowhere, the Raiders have become shockingly competent. Now up to a tie for third in the Offensive Hog Index, after beating up on Chicago of all teams, the Raiders are for real, at least in the offensive trenches. No, they probably aren't real contenders, but a real wild card pursuit in a wide open AFC actually seems plausible.
Houston Texans: We've disparaged the Houston line plenty here so we need to give them credit when they earn it. After dropping 53 points and for just the second time in Deshaun Watson's career not allowing a sack, this crew leaped nine spots, more than any other team. If they keep it up, they can score with anyone, and they'll need to with a trip to Kansas City on deck.
DEFENSIVE LINES: THREE UP
Philadelphia Eagles: We were tempted to put Philly in the "looks can be deceiving" section after they demolished a hapless Jets offense and Luke Falk, but an 11-spot jump at this point in the season deserves credit against anyone. The Eagles also have earned some leeway after having one of the league's better defensive lines for a few years now, so expect this crew to keep rolling.
New Orleans Saints: The Saints just keep winning. Everyone has stepped up in Drew Brees' absence including the defensive line. After battling the stifling Cowboys front, the Saints continued their ascent into the top 10 of the Index with a win over the enigmatic Bucs. Now we'll see if their magic act travels when they battle Minshew Mania on Sunday.
Oakland Raiders: The Raiders rose six spots and we need to show this team some love. They have now scored two quality wins in a row and they head into the bye on the rise. Maybe Jon Gruden is not totally incompetent? Beating Chicago and Indy both away from home with strong performances in the trenches has certainly grabbed our attention.
LOOKS CAN BE DECEIVING
Chiefs Offensive Line: The Chiefs are beat up, losing starter Austin Wylie and now having a gimpy Mahomes to protect. If Mahomes is unable to move and mask the holes on the line, their ranking could drop like a stone.
Vikings Offensive Line: The Vikings aren't here because we think their offensive line is bad. We just don't think this performance matters. The turmoil surrounding this offense seemed to reach a breaking point this week with even the ever courteous Adam Thielen voicing displeasure, but then the protection and run blocking improved. If the Vikings offense didn't show up this week , their season was staring down the abyss.
Buccaneers Defensive Line: The Bucs slid backwards after a loss in New Orleans this week and we do not see their league best 3.12 yards per rush allowed as sustainable. In fact, we think the ever improving Christian McCaffrey will change that this week.