Ranking the Most Dangerous NFL Offenses of 2012
There's no secret that the National Football League has turned into a league of scoring—more specifically, a league of passing.
If you can't score points in the NFL, then you simply can't win. It's just that simple.
It may still stand true that defenses win championships, but I believe that offenses are what get teams that far.
In that spirit, let's take a look at the NFL's most dangerous offenses entering 2012.
10. Carolina Panthers
There's one player that makes this offense so dangerous, and that's Cam Newton.
If it weren't for Newton, then the Carolina Panthers' offense wouldn't be anything special.
Granted, it does help having elite wide receiver Steve Smith as well as a monstrous running back tandem of DeAngelo Williams and Jonathan Stewart, but Newton is the player that keeps this offense rolling.
Carolina nearly ranked in the top 10 in every offensive category a year ago, and with this team being so young and filled with talent, I see this offense only evolving more entering 2012.
9. Atlanta Falcons
The combination of Roddy White, Julio Jones and Matt Ryan is just deadly—you can't argue that.
Throw in tight end Tony Gonzalez and running backs Michael Turner and Jacquizz Rodgers, then you have yourselves one of the NFL's top offenses.
There is no question that the Atlanta Falcons will score a ton of points in 2012, as they finished with an average of 25.1 points per game this past season, which ranked as No. 7.
With a full offsesaon under the belt for White, Jones and Ryan, Atlanta is going to have a very dangerous offense this upcoming season.
8. San Diego Chargers
Some might feel that the loss of Vincent Jackson is going to be a huge deal for the San Diego Chargers, but I'm not buying it.
I have complete faith in wide receivers Malcom Floyd, Robert Meachem, Eddie Royal and Vincent Brown—they all have great speed and should be able to run wild for quarterback Philip Rivers.
The Chargers might have a very talented wide receiver corps, but the No. 1 offensive weapon for Rivers is tight end Antonio Gates, who's one of the best tight ends in football if he can stay healthy.
But it doesn't stop there for the Chargers—they have a pretty impressive stable of running backs too.
Ryan Mathews should be able to continue his growth as an NFL running back, while Ronnie Brown will look to bounce back in 2012 after his down 2011 season.
All in all, the Chargers are going to be moving the ball up and down the field in 2012.
7. New York Giants
Not too many people give the New York Giants a ton of credit, but I do—I consider their offense as one of the NFL's best.
There's no question that Eli Manning is an elite quarterback, as he's now a two-time Super Bowl MVP, and there's no question that this offense has talent at just about every skill position.
Granted, the Giants might have lost Mario Manningham via free agency, but New York is still loaded at the wide receiver position. Hakeem Nicks and Victor Cruz are arguably one of the best wide receiver duos in the game, while youngsters Rueben Randle and Jerrel Jernigan as well as Domenik Hixon will look to contribute in 2012.
And don't forget about New York's revamped running back tandem—Ahmad Bradshaw and rookie David Wilson should shred defenses apart this upcoming season.
The Giants have the potential to field an extremely balanced offense, which will most definitely make them very dangerous.
6. Houston Texans
Forget about Matt Schaub and Andre Johnson—who form one of the NFL's most lethal quarterback-to-wide receiver combinations—the team's running back duo is what makes this offense so dangerous.
Arian Foster and Ben Tate simply could not be stopped in 2011.
Foster ran for an incredible 1,224 yards and 10 touchdowns while Tate added in 942 yards and four touchdowns of his own—you simply don't see that kind of production out of a running back tandem nowadays in the NFL.
With Foster and Tate being so dominant and Schaub and Johnson being so lethal, there's no doubt that the Houston Texans have one of the most dangerous offenses entering 2012.
5. Detroit Lions
Matthew Stafford and Calvin Johnson proved to be one of the most deadly quarterback-to-wide receiver combinations in 2011, as they connected 96 times for a stellar 1,681 yards and 16 touchdowns. No one could stop that.
The Detroit Lions have a solid thing going for them. Stafford and Johnson lead the way, while wide receivers Nate Burleson, Titus Young and Ryan Broyles and running backs Jahvid Best, Mikel Leshoure and Kevin Smith should all be quality contributors in 2012.
By taking a look at the talent the Lions have assembled, there's no question why they scored 29.6 points per game last season.
4. New Orleans Saints
Normally, I would have ranked the New Orleans Saints much higher. But the loss of Robert Meachem via free agency, the loss of head coach Sean Payton for a season due to Bountygate, Bountygate itself, as well as Drew Brees not being under contract leads me to believe that the Saints might struggle a little bit in 2012.
However, this team is still very dangerous and should be productive.
Brees has a nice arsenal of talent that consists of tight end Jimmy Graham, wide receivers Marques Colston, Devery Henderson and Lance Moore as well as running backs Darren Sproles, Pierre Thomas and Mark Ingram.
We'll just have to wait and see how Bountygate really affects this team.
3. Philadelphia Eagles
If Michael Vick can stay healthy for all of the 2012 season, then the Philadelphia Eagles are going to be one of the most unstoppable offenses that the NFL has to offer.
Vick is arguably the NFL's best dual-threat quarterback. He has one of the league's best arms, and there is no one better at escaping pressure than Vick.
But Philly's offense doesn't end there; rather, it just gets started.
Wide receivers DeSean Jackson and Jeremy Maclin are two of the most lethal wideouts in the league, while starting running back LeSean McCoy is one of the league's elite ball-carriers. Not only is he a deadly runner, but he is also a dangerous receiver.
If the Eagles can stay healthy, then they'll be virtually unstoppable.
2. New England Patriots
It's hard to believe that the New England Patriots' offense could improve after their stellar 2011 campaign, as they averaged 32.1 points per game, but they improved tremendously this offseason.
New England bolstered its wide receiver corps by adding Brandon Lloyd, Jabar Gaffney and Donte' Stallworth to join a group that consists of Wes Welker, Deion Branch and Julian Edelman—you can't get much better than that.
But those aren't the only weapons that elite quarterback Tom Brady gets to throw to. He also has the league's top pair of tight ends, Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez.
New England's passing game alone will be as dangerous as ever, but with young legs Stevan Ridley and Shane Vereen handling the bulk of the carries, they might be one of the league's most efficient rushing attacks as well.
It's just amazing how loaded with talent New England is on the offensive side of the ball.
When playing against the Patriots, you just have to pick your poison, as it appears that this group of talent will be able to beat you just about anyway it needs to.
1. Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers and New England Patriots are pretty much equally as dangerous on the offensive side of the ball, but what makes the Packers more dangerous is quarterback Aaron Rodgers.
As of right now, there is no one playing the quarterback position better than Rodgers—he had an unbelievable 2011 season. Rodgers threw for 45 touchdowns while finishing with an incredible 122.5 quarterback rating, as he completed 68.3 percent of his passes for a whopping 4,643 yards.
As long as Rodgers plays close to the same level that he did a year ago, then there's no doubt in my mind that Green Bay will have the NFL's most dangerous offense.
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