The 2015-2016 NFL season is nearly here, and we’re gearing up for the numerous touchdowns we’ll see. You’re going to need to know which teams are prepared to explode offensively. Here’s the top 5 offensive NFL teams going into the 2015 season.
Check out the other parts in this series here:
5. Denver Broncos
I must admit I’m not entirely confident about this Broncos offense this season, but with so many weapons, a future hall of fame quarterback, and an offensive minded head coach, it’s hard not to consider them as a top offense heading into the season. Denver finished the 2014 season fourth in total yards gained, fourth in passing yards gained, fifteenth in rushing yards gained, and second in points scored. So why am I a bit down on them this year? Well first off, despite finishing with 39 passing touchdowns last season, Peyton Manning’s age became apparent towards the end of the season. His passes didn’t have the zip they once had and he wasn’t as effective as he had been in previous years. I also think that losing Julius Thomas is a bigger deal than most would think. He accounted 12 of Manning’s 39 touchdown passes.
Lastly, left tackle Ryan Clady tore his ACL during an offseason practice and is expected to miss the entire season. This makes this offensive line shakier than it already was. Now it’s not all bad things for the Broncos, after all, they have Peyton Manning, who in the regular season is arguably the best of all time. He’s lucky because he throws the ball to two very talented receivers. Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders combined for a little over 3,000 receiving yards and 20 touchdowns. Then there’s guy who won plenty of fantasy leagues for fantasy owners, C.J. Anderson. He busted out of the gates in Week 10 and never looked back. There are also the two other running backs that many have forgotten about, Ronnie Hillman and Monte Ball. Full disclosure, I still have some faith in Ball, I think he could excel in Gary Kubiak’s offense if the opportunity arose. Talking about Kubiak, you have to love him on the sidelines as the head coach on this team. There’s still a ton to like about this offense, and even though there were some things I didn’t like towards the end of the last year’s season, there’s still a sufficient amount of talent and weapons on this Broncos offense.
4. New York Giants
Surprise, surprise! Eli Manning’s offense is ahead of big brother’s Peyton Manning offense in these rankings. Let’s be honest, it’s hard to imagine the Giants as an offensive powerhouse, but after a slow start last season, the Giants were one of the better offenses to close out the season. It took some time for the offense to adjust and get familiarized with Ben McAdoo’s offense and system, but once they did, it was hard to stop them. Despite the slow start, the Giants finished tenth in total yards gained, seventh in passing yards gained, twenty-third in rushing yards gained, and thirteenth in points scored. This will be the team’s second season under Ben McAdoo’s system, which means they should be at full pace right off the bat. The Giants addressed the lack of threat they had in the backfield by signing Shane Vereen, which is known for his pass catching ability. He should be a great compliment to Rashad Jennings.
Another promising stat is how Eli Manning went from throwing 18 touchdowns and 27 interceptions in 2013, to 30 touchdowns and 14 interceptions last season. Let’s also take into consideration that this will be Odell Beckham’s second year and Victor Cruz who was sidelined for most of last season, is expected to return fully healthy. Even if he doesn’t, don’t sleep on Ruben Randle who quietly caught 71 passes for 938 yards and three touchdowns last year. Lastly, while Larry Donnell was inconsistent last year, he is still a 6 foot 6’’ tight end that is a big red zone target. While this isn’t a star-studded group of players, there’s plenty of talent and most important of all, they fit well in McAdoo’s system, which is why I think they will flourish this season.
3. Pittsburgh Steelers
When you think of the Steelers, you’re almost always thinking of a physical team that prides themselves on the defensive side of the ball. That’s no longer the case, in fact, it’s the total opposite. Last season, the Steelers finished second in total yards gained, second in passing yards gained, sixteenth in rushing yards gained, and seventh in points scored. Defensively, they were ranked in the middle of the pack, but that’s not what I’m here to discuss. Let’s take a look at what made this offense so potent last season. First and foremost, let’s start by Big Ben who showcased the ability to be a passer. Early in his career, there wasn’t much need for his arm because the Steelers were solid defensively. However, last season he recorded career highs in passing yards, passing yards per game, passing attempts, completion percentage, 300+ yard games, and tied his career high of 32 touchdown passes. I forgot to mention, he only threw nine interceptions.
The Steelers have weapons up and down this offense, starting with Antonio Brown who led the league in receptions and receiving yards. This stable of receivers also includes the young and talented Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton. They also drafted Sammie Coates who is a physically gifted receiver that is still raw and has some developing to do, but once he’s up to speed, he adds another dimension to this offense. Not to mention the Pittsburgh’s favorite, “Heeeeeeeeeath” Miller, who has been one of Big Ben’s go-to guys in big moments. You thought I forgot about Le’Veon Bell? Nope, not at all! I was just saving the best for last. While the Steelers were sixteenth in rushing yards gained, Bell finished second in the league in rushing and total yards gained from scrimmage. He displayed his versatility all last season and was a key component to the success of the offense. He’s going to miss the first three games of the season due to a suspension, but the Steelers added De’Angelo Williams this offseason which should help them get through the first couple of weeks. Granted he’s no Bell, but this offense should roll smoothly with Williams. When Bell returns, it’ll be difficult to find a hole in this offense. This is another offense I’m looking forward to watching on Sundays.
2. Indianapolis Colts
I’m going out on a limb here because I’m really excited by what the Colts did this offseason. Before I go over their gains, let’s take a look at how they fared in 2014. This offense was third in total yards gained, first in passing yards gained, twenty-second in rushing yards gained, and sixth in points scored. As you can tell by those numbers, balance was an issue with this offense last year. The major concern besides injuries was the offensive line. However, the good news is that they showed some minor improvement from their 2013 season.
The O-line had more trouble pass blocking than run blocking, which is why I think Frank Gore is such a big addition to this offense. He’s proven over the years that he’s capable of not only being an efficient runner and pass catching running back, but also a pass blocker. The Colts also signed Andre Johnson this offseason. He adds another dangerous weapon for Andrew Luck. Add these two key acquisitions with the young talent on this offense such as receivers T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief, and tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener, and you’ve got yourself a very explosive and dynamic offense. Not to mention, they drafted Phillip Dorsett in this year’s draft, which adds a big playmaker to this already talented offense. I’m expecting a ton of big plays from this offense and plenty of downfield throws. The big question mark is the offensive line, if they can stay healthy and continue to improve, this offense should be competing for the top spot. I’m not going to lie; I’m excited to watch them play.
1. Green Bay Packers
I would assume this would be the chalk pick for the best overall offense in football amongst the general consensus. Last season the Packers finished sixth in total yards gained, eighth in passing yards gained, eleventh in rushing yards gained, and first in points scored. Not many things have changed in Green Bay since then. They have arguably the best quarterback in the game, Aaron Rodgers. They also have a great one-two punch at the receiver position, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb, who finished fifth and eleventh in receiving yards and each finished the season with double digit touchdowns. Not to mention, the young talented Davante Adams who should be more involved in the offense this season.
Eddie Lacy, who had a really good 2014 season and demonstrated the ability to be a dual threat RB, leads the run game. Add Jeff Janis and Ty Montgomery into the mix, along with an improved offensive line, and you’ve got yourself the best offense in football. While many may be skeptical about the tight end position, I’ve got some faith in Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers. After all, a quarterback like Rodgers makes anyone on his offense better. This offense is as good as it gets and it’s a unit that has been together for a couple of years now, so cohesiveness isn’t an issue.
Just missed the cut
New England Patriots – Not having Tom Brady for potentially the first four games hurt their chances of sneaking into the top five.
Philadelphia Eagles – Maclin’s departure along with the question mark at the quarterback position makes me nervous to trust this offense entirely.