Denver Broncos: Offensive line is playing elite football in 2023

The Denver Broncos have an elite offensive line. The unit has been playing very well this year.

Washington Commanders v Denver Broncos
Washington Commanders v Denver Broncos / Justin Edmonds/GettyImages

Context is needed, but through Week 7 of the 2023 NFL season, the Denver Broncos' offensive line is playing at an elite level and should get a ton of credit. A few things have drastically improved under Sean Payton in year one: the offense is average, the offensive line is very good, and the special teams have been superb.

We'll focus on the offensive line for now. The unit saw two new starters enter the mix last offseason in left guard Ben Powers and right tackle Mike McGlinchey. Even though the latter has had a rough season, the unit as a whole has been one of the best ones in the NFL. To give some important context here, QB Russell Wilson has always been a player who has manufactured pressure. He holds the ball for too long in the pocket and often fleas clean pockets.

That's been who he is for years. It's nothing new. Check this out for reference:

Much of the pressure that has been in Russell Wilson's face has been his own fault, not the offensive line's. Also, he has the 3rd-longest time to throw in the NFL, which is a testament to how good the OL has been this year. Individually, the Broncos are also seeing notably strong seasons from Garett Bolles and Lloyd Cushenberry.

According to ESPN, Bolles ranks 18th among ALL tackles in pass block win rate and 2nd among ALL tackles in run block win rate. Cushenberry ranks 10th among ALL interior offensive linemen, including guards and centers, in pass block win rate. As a unit, the Broncos' OL ranks 8th in the NFL in pass block win rate and 2nd in the NFL in run block win rate.

This is a very good unit that happens to be protecting a QB that generally makes his OLs look worse. The unit has four good players in Bolles, Ben Powers, Cushenberry, and Quinn Meinerz. Mike McGlinchey can be fine in the right scheme, but he's not been great this year. He's been the weak link on this unit, but he does excel in run blocking.

Most offensive lines in the NFL can't truly say they have four solid OL. Some units don't even have three of those players. The OL has been a bright spot for the Denver Broncos and is a big reason why the run game has been solid all year. Wilson has had a ton of time to throw and has been much better statistically as well.

Next. Simmons/Bolles. Broncos can't trade either of these two players. dark

Perhaps Payton has fixed a unit that gave Denver trouble for years.