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Trench Talk: The Colts OL has finally figured out how to keep Andrew Luck clean

Retired NFL lineman Geoff Schwartz looks at the improved play of the Colts, Seahawks, and Giants. Plus, let’s watch that Quenton Nelson block one more time.

NFL: Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts Thomas J. Russo-USA TODAY Sports

Your favorite article of the week is back and better than ever. Also, and more importantly, disrespectful blocks of the week is back. Last week I was out of town and away from my editing software, but I’m back home and we have an amazing video for you today highlighted by the even more amazing Quenton Nelson block that went viral on Twitterand inexplicably earned him a fine.

But before that, let’s discuss some of the most impressive offensive line play from Week 10.

The Colts are making sure Andrew Luck stays upright

The Colts have invested heavily in their offensive line: three first-round picks and a second-round pick since 2011, including Quenton Nelson at sixth overall this past draft. Nelson won offensive rookie of the month for October! An offensive guard! How crazy is that?

It seems to be paying off, too. The Colts line hasn’t allowed a sack on Andrew Luck in four weeks and during that time has found its run game as well. They have a surprisingly interesting matchup this weekend against the Titans, who rank near the top of the NFL in plenty of defensive categories.

The Seattle Seahawks are starting to get back to their Super Bowl form

Now, they aren’t winning the Super Bowl this season, but the formula is back: rushing the football and playing defense. But let’s focus on the offensive line because that’s what we’re here for. They rushed for 273 yards on the road against the Los Angeles Rams in a Week 10 loss and then 173 yards in a Thursday night win over the Green Bay Packers. Over the last eight weeks they have rushed for an average of 176 yards and have reduced their sack totals.

Offensive line coach Mike Solari, in his first season back with Seattle, deserves credit, but so does the front office with the addition of J.R. Sweezy and D.J. Fluker.

The Giants OL is starting to put things together

The Giants have struggled upfront most of the season. It hasn’t been as bad as social media would like you to think, but it hasn’t been excellent either. The Rams cut Jamon Brown last month, and the Giants signed him to play right guard. It seemed to have helped as their offensive line played their best game of the season this past Monday night in a win over the San Francisco 49ers.

Eli Manning was only sacked once and generally speaking, he was upright most of the night. Manning also led them to his 36th career game-winning drive. Coincidence?

Now let’s take a detour over to college football

I’m a proud member of the Joe Moore Award voting committee that determines the most outstanding offensive line unit in the country. It’s the only award in college football that’s for an entire unit, and our voting committee takes our reasonability seriously. We study the film and have daily and weekly conversations to discuss what we have seen.

There are six factors we judge the units and they are toughness, effort, teamwork, consistency, technique, and finishing. Our semifinalist list will be out this Tuesday, Nov. 20, so pay close attention to my Twitter feed.

You can find more information on the Joe Moore Award website.

Quenton Nelson delivered the most disrespectful block of the season

Nelson’s block on Barry Church deserves the No. 1 spot in Week 10, but Terron Armstead, Ali Marpet, Trai Turner, and Andrus Peat all earned shoutouts, too.

Check out the video below or on my Facebook page. It’s wonderful.


DISRESPECTFUL BLOCKS OF THE WEEK IS BACK! Sorry y'all, I was out of town last week so I made the video this week AWESOME. It helps when the blocks this week were outstanding. We have Quenton Nelson, Andrus Peat, Terron Armstead, Ali Marpet, Trai Turner ... Let me know which one is your favorite. Tag your football friends as well!

Posted by Geoff Schwartz on Thursday, November 15, 2018