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The Grueling Truth - Where Legends Speak / Top 10 Offensive Lines in NFL History: Which Line was the Greatest?

Top 10 Offensive Lines in NFL History: Which Line was the Greatest?

The best ever assembled
Publish Date: 03/13/2024
Fact checked by: Simon Briffa

Great offensive lines are sadly a thing of the past; they are lost art. The reason for that lies with high school and college coaches who go with more quick passing that doesn’t use kick steps; a lot of linemen get to the NFL and don’t even know how to kick step. That’s why these offensive lines were from years ago when great coaching existed, and coaches realized you win with what’s up front.

10) Minnesota Vikings, Super Bowl IV

Starting Lineup

LT: Grady Alderman

LG: Jim Vellone

C: Mick Tingelhoff

RG: Milt Sunde

RT: Ron Yary

The 1969 Vikings earned an NFL-best 12-2 regular season record and also led the NFL (this was the last year the NFL and AFL were separate) with 379 total points scored. Quarterback Joe Kapp passed for 1,726 yards and 19 touchdowns and was named to the 1970 Pro Bowl.

Running backs Dave Osborn, Bill Brown, and Oscar Reed combined for 1,466 yards and 11 scores in the regular season.

Center Mick Tingelhoff and right tackle Ron Yary anchored this venerable line, and both currently reside in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. In addition, Tingelhoff and left tackle Grady Alderman were named to the 1970 Pro Bowl.

Video: In Loving Memory of Mick Tingelhoff

In Loving Memory of Mick Tingelhoff

9) Cincinnati Bengals, Super Bowl XXIII

Starting Lineup

LT: Anthony Munoz

LG: Bruce Reimers

C: Bruce Kozerski

RG: Max Montoya

RT: Brian Blados

This group helped quarterback Boomer Esiason pass for an impressive 3,525 yards with 28 touchdowns during the regular season. It also helped produce a 1,239-yard rushing season from running back James Brooks.

The offensive line was anchored by the most outstanding offensive lineman in history Anthony Munoz. Joe Walter was also a massive part of this group’s success until an injury later ended his season. Brian Blados stepped in and had an excellent postseason run. Guards Max Montoya and Bruce Reimers were outstanding all year and, as players, are underrated. Center Bruce Kozerski was a stabilizing force in the middle.

Video: Anthony Munoz Ultimate NFL Career Highlights

Anthony Munoz Ultimate NFL Career Highlights

8) Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl II

Starting Lineup

LT: Bob Svihus

LG: Gene Upshaw

C: Jim Otto

RG: Wayne Hawkins

RT: Harry Schuh

The 1967 season saw The Mad Bomber Daryle Lamonica put up an incredible 3,228 yards passing with 30 touchdowns. The season also saw Raiders rushers Hewitt Dixon, and Clem Daniels combine for 1,134 yards and nine touchdowns.

They were anchored by future Hall of Famers Gene Upshaw and Jim Otto. Though not Hall of Famers themselves, Guard Wayne Hawkins and tackle Harry Schuh made multiple appearances in the AFL All-Star Game during their careers. Which of these linemen made the Raider’s all-time greatest team?

Video: BOB

BOB “BOOMER” BROWN | Raiders History

7) Denver Broncos, Super Bowl XXXII

Starting Lineup

LT: Gary Zimmerman

LG: Mark Schlereth

C: Tom Nalen

RG: Brian Habib

RT: Tony Jones

This line was better than the 1998 offensive line; the 1997 line also featured future Hall of Fame tackle Gary Zimmerman. This group helped Elway to a Pro Bowl season—he passed for 3,635 yards and 27 touchdowns—and helped Terrell Davis to an incredible 1,750-yard rushing season.

Center Tom Nalen was one of the greatest center’s in NFL history and, in my opinion, belongs in the Hall of Fame.

Video: 1998 Denver Broncos outside zone clips

1998 Denver Broncos outside zone clips

6) Green Bay Packers, Super Bowl I

Starting Lineup

LT: Bob Skoronski

LG: Fuzzy Thurston

C: Bill Curry

RG: Jerry Kramer

RT: Forrest Gregg

Future Hall of Famer Forrest Gregg led this line. He and left tackle Bob Skoronski were named to the 1967 Pro Bowl. Throw in the tough Bill Curry at the center and an excellent guard combination of Fuzzy Thurston and Jerry Kramer, and you had an all-time dominant offensive line.

Video: (1965-1967) Green Bay Packers Team Season Highlights

(1965-1967) Green Bay Packers Team Season Highlights “3 In A Row”

5) Washington Redskins, Super Bowl XVII

Starting Lineup

LT: Joe Jacoby

LG: Russ Grimm

C: Jeff Bostic

RG: Fred Dean

RT: George Starke

The Redskins, over the last 40 years, have had some great offensive lines; I think this was the finest group of “hogs” they have ever had. The left side of Jacoby and Grimm was dominant; center Joe Bostic was steady in the middle. Fred Dean and George Starke played on the right side and did a great job all year. Super Bowl XVII was the crowning achievement for this group as they completely took the game over in the second half and led the Skins to their first Super Bowl title.

Video:

“The Hogs” Ultimate NFL Career Highlights || 1980s Redskins Offensive Line

4) Oakland Raiders, Super Bowl XI

Starting Lineup

LT: Art Shell

LG: Gene Upshaw

C: Dave Dalby

RG: George Buehler

RT: John Vella

This group launched fullback Mark van Eeghen to a 1,012-yard season while helping quarterback Ken Stabler earn a Pro Bowl nomination. Stabler passed for 2,737 yards and 27 touchdowns during the regular season while only suffering 19 sacks. He was sacked only twice in the Super Bowl, going 12-of-19 for 180 yards and a score.

This unit was anchored on the left side by future Hall of Famers Art Shell and Gene Upshaw. The duo combined for 14 Pro Bowl appearances, and this line combined to spearhead one of the most memorable teams in Raiders history.

Video: 1976 to 1983 Raiders Dynasty Highlights

1976 to 1983 Raiders Dynasty Highlights

3) Miami Dolphins, Super Bowl VIII

Starting Lineup

LT: Wayne Moore

LG: Bob Kuechenberg

C: Jim Langer

RG: Larry Little

RT: Norm Evans

This line helped Larry Csonka and Mercury Morris combine for 2,117 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns in 1972. The duo rushed for 1,957 yards a year later.

Right, guard Larry Little and center Jim Langer are both in the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Yet, there’s no denying that all five of these blockers helped to produce back-to-back Super Bowl wins and perhaps the most impressive two-season run of any NFL team in history. Where does Larry Little rank on the best Doplins of all=time!

Video: The Sensational Sixth Season of the Miami Dolphins

The Sensational Sixth Season of the Miami Dolphins

2) Dallas Cowboys, Super Bowl XXVII

Starting Lineup

LT: Mark Tuinei

LG: Nate Newton

C: Mark Stepnoski/John Gesek

RG: John Gesek/Kevin Gogan

RT: Erik Williams

This was the Great Wall of Dallas at the height of its powers, and the evidence is in the history books. Troy Aikman passed for 3,445 yards in 1992 behind this group while only suffering 23 sacks on 473 passing attempts. He passed for 3,100 yards the following season. Check out the biggest What if’ in NFL history!

Running back, Emmitt Smith racked up 1,713 yards rushing and 18 touchdowns in 1992. A year later, he rushed for 1,486 yards.

There has never been a more dominating offensive line in history. They were big, fast, and mean. I combined the 92 and 93 teams here; the dominance of an outstanding bills team in two blowouts Super Bowls was indicative of the greatness of this offensive line.

The turning point of Super Bowl XXVIII was the start of the second half when the Cowboys were down 13-6. They came out ran six straight running plays, and from there, the game would become a 30-13 rout.

Video: Erik Williams highlights

Erik Williams highlights

1) 1975 St.Louis Cardinals

Starting Lineup

LT: Roger Finnie

LG: Bob Young

C: Tom Banke

RG: Conrad Dobler

RT: Dan Dierdorf

No, they never made it to the Super Bowl, but they are the greatest offensive line in NFL history. ‘These guys’ allowed an all-time NFL record low of 8 sacks during the 1975 season, protecting a very immobile Jim Hart (Cardinals all-time passing leader who, when he retired, was the 3rd leading passer in NFL history). Hart’s favorite target was the great Cardinals speedster Mel Gray (6th round draft pick, 45 TDs).

When it came to run blocking, theBig Red Line’cleared the way for Terry Metcalf and Jim Otis to rush for 168 yards per game during 1975-76, en-route to records of 11-3 (division title).

This offensive line allowed “Air Coryell” to flourish.

Video: 1975 St. Louis Cardinals

1975 St. Louis Cardinals

Honorable mention

Pittsburgh Steelers, Super Bowl XIV

Starting Lineup

LT:  Jon Kolb

LG: Sam Davis

C: Mike Webster

RG: Gerry Mullins

RT: Larry Brown

I believe this line was better than the Super Bowl XIII line from the year before because of the addition of right tackle Larry Brown. The line was anchored by possibly the most outstanding center in history Mike Webster.

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