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PFF: Browns offensive line playing better than you think

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Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

According to the grading system of Pro Football Focus, the Cleveland Browns offensive line has played the 3rd best in the NFL so far this season, just behind the much-improved lines of the Carolina Panthers and Atlanta Falcons. Here's what they had to say about the Browns' line play:

Pass blocking rank: 3rd

Run blocking rank: T-4th

Penalties rank: 25th

Stud: There will come a time when Joe Thomas (+13.0) doesn’t play well. That time is not yet here.

Dud: Coming back from injury, Alex Mack (-3.1) is the only Browns’ lineman with a negative grade.

Summary: The O-line remains the strength of Cleveland’s offense, although it’s somewhat disappointing that Joel Bitonio hasn’t followed up his amazing rookie year with a strong start to his sophomore campaign.

Joe Thomas was also selected as the top left tackle on PFF's All-Pro Team Through Week 4:

This isn’t the year Joe Thomas takes a step backwards, and if any one player in the NFL can be described as a constant, it’s the immovable Thomas.

Joe Thomas is playing up to his usual standard of excellence. Joel Bitonio has taken a step back but is still putting together above-average play, as are John Greco and Mitchell Schwartz. Alex Mack is the weak link at center, having taken a gigantic step back since suffering a broken fibula and ankle last season. Rookie first-round guard and center Cam Erving is waiting in the wings. I expect the Browns to keep him waiting and to give Alex Mack ample opportunity to turn things around and re-gain his pre-injury form.