The Cleveland Browns may not have taken the smoothest of paths to building an offensive line this season, but the work is paying off.
The interior of the line has been solid from Week 1 with center JC Tretter and guards Kevin Zeitler and Joel Bitonio, but the tackles have struggled.
Over the past few weeks, however, right tackle Chris Hubbard has settled down, and while it has only been two games, left tackle Greg Robinson has been an improvement over rookie Desmond Harrison.
Add it all together, and the Browns currently have the seventh-best offensive line in the NFL, according to Pro Football Focus:
A week after the Falcons manhandled a beat up Redskins line, they came to Cleveland and got shut out. The line allowed all of eight hurries to go with no sacks or hits on 25 dropbacks. It was encouraging to see Baker Mayfield perform at an elite level with all that time afforded.
Mayfield has not been the only beneficiary of the line’s play, as rookie running back Nick Chubb is coming off a 176-yard rushing game against the Atlanta Falcons that include a franchise-record 92-yard touchdown run.
A quick run through the rest of the offensive line rankings shows some potential good news for the Browns defense as well.
Cleveland has six games remaining on the schedule and get to play the Cincinnati Bengals (currently ranked No. 25) twice, the Houston Texans (No. 27) and Denver Broncos (No. 19) before the end of the season.
Which means that while Mayfield’s uniform may continue to stay clean, Cincinnati’s Andy Dalton, Houston’s Deshaun Watson and Denver’s Case Keenum could have some long afternoons looming on the horizon.