Ranking the Greatest Modern Era Offenses of Each NFL Franchise
The NFL and its fans have been lucky enough to witness some spectacular offensive action over the years, and this upcoming list is available to arrange the best from each franchise.
This list involves teams from the modern era, meaning by my definition; since Super Bowl I.
Not surprisingly, there are not a lot of offenses on this list from the '60s and '70s as only two make the list.
A teams spot on this list will be determined on where they stack against other offenses, meaning that points per game, total yards and fear factor are all part of the equation.
Here are the leagues best offenses, and the players that defined them.
32. 2000 Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Offensive Stars: Warrick Dunn(RB), Mike Alstott(FB), Shaun King(QB), Keyshawn Johnson(WR), Jacquez Green(WR), Randall McDaniel(LG), Jeff Christy(C)
Most Points Scored: 41 vs. Chicago and Minnesota
Stats: Scored 388 points (24.2/g), 6th of 31 in the NFL.
Warrick Dunn was the main catalyst for the Buccaneers on offense as he rushed for over 1,100 yards and eight touchdowns.
Mike Alstott was a vital part for the teams success as well as he opened up running lanes for Dunn while also carrying the ball for nearly 500 yards.
31. 2009 Baltimore Ravens
Offensive Stars: Joe Flacco(QB), Ray Rice(RB), Derrick Mason(WR), Todd Heap(TE), Matt Birk(C)
Most Points Scored: 48 vs. Detroit Lions
Stats: Scored 391 points (24.4/g), 9th of 32 in the NFL.
The trio of Ray Rice, Joe Flacco and Derrick Mason proved to be tough on opposing defenses.
Ray Rice ran for almost 1,400 yards while Joe Flacco was extremely efficient with 21 touchdown passes and 3,600 yards.
30. 1986 Cleveland Browns
Offensive Stars: Bernie Kosar(QB), Cody Risen(RT), Ozzie Newsome(TE), Reggie Langhorne(WR), Kevin Mack(FB)
Most Points Scored: 47 vs. San Diego Chargers
Stats: Scored 391 points (24.4/g), 5th of 28 in the NFL.
This was the first Browns team to beat Pittsburgh in Three Rivers Stadium. Bernie Kosar was exceptional in 1986, throwing for more than 400 yards in two different games.
29. 1999 Jacksonville Jaguars
Offensive Stars: Mark Brunell(QB), Jimmy Smith(WR), James Stewart(RB), Fred Taylor(RB), Keenan McCardell(WR)
Most Points Scored: 62 vs. Miami Dolphins
Stats: Scored 396 points (24.8/g), 6th of 31 in the NFL.
The only team that could beat the Jacksonville Jaguars in 1999 were the Tennessee Titans. The Jags lost both regular season games and the AFC Championship to Tennessee, but they still displayed one of the leagues best offenses.
Wide receivers Jimmy Smith and Keenan McCardell were two of the NFL's best as they combined for over 2,500 yards.
28. 1999 Carolina Panthers
Offensive Stars: Muhsin Muhammad(WR), Steve Beuerlein(QB), Patrick Jeffers(WR), Wesley Walls(TE)
Most Points Scored: 45 vs. New Orleans Saints
Stats: Scored 421 points (26.3/g), 4th of 31 in the NFL.
The 1999 Panthers were particularly keen on offense, but their 26th ranked defense prevented this team from achieving greatness.
Steve Beuerlein had over 4,300 yards passing, which was primarily due in part to his trio of targets in Muhammad, Walls and Jeffers.
27. 1985 Chicago Bears
Offensive Stars: Walter Payton(RB), Jim McMahon(QB), Willie Gault(WR), Jimbo Covert(LT), Jay Hilgenberg(C)
Most Points Scored: 45 vs. Washington Redskins
Stats: Scored 456 points (28.5/g), 2nd of 28 in the NFL.
The '85 Bears will always be known for their defense, but their offense put up some serious points during that magical season.
The Bears ground game paved the way with Walter Payton, as he finished with 1,500 rushing yards and nine touchdowns.
26. 1979 Pittsburgh Steelers
Offensive Stars: Terry Bradshaw(QB), Franco Harris(RB), John Stallworth(WR), Lynn Swann(WR), Mike Webster(C)
Most Points Scored: 51 vs. Cleveland Browns
Stats: Scored 416 points (26.0/g), 1st of 28 in the NFL.
The Steelers won their fourth Super Bowl of the decade in 1979, and they were led by their No. 1 rated offense.
Franco Harris complied more than 1,100 yards on the ground, while Lynn Swann and John Stallworth combined for nearly 2,000 yards receiving.
25. 2010 Houston Texans
Offensive Stars: Matt Schaub(QB), Andre Johnson(WR), Arian Foster(RB), Owen Daniels(TE), Kevin Walter(WR), Jacoby Jones(WR)
Most Points Scored: 35 vs. Kansas City Chiefs
Stats: Scored 390 points (24.4/g), 9th of 32 in the NFL.
The Texans of 2011 will certainly take over their 2010 predecessors, but this 2010 team had all the components of a great offense.
Matt Schaub threw for over 4,300 yards and running back Arian Foster led the league in rushing yards with just over 1,600.
24. 2005 Cincinnati Bengals
Offensive Stars: Carson Palmer(QB), Rudi Johnson(RB), Chad Ochocinco(WR), T.J. Houshmandzadeh(WR),Willie Anderson(RT)
Most Points Scored: 42 vs. Baltimore Ravens
Stats: Scored 421 points (26.3/g), 4th of 32 in the NFL.
The Cincinnati Bengals were a perfectly balanced team in 2005.
Carson Palmer had two elite wide receivers in Chad Ochocinco and T.J. Houshmandzadeh, while Rudi Johnson contributed over 90 yards per game to the rushing attack (1,400 yards).
23. 1998 Atlanta Falcons
Offensive Stars: Chris Chandler(QB), Jamal Anderson(RB), Tony Martin(WR), Terance Mathis(WR), Bob Whitfield(LT)
Most Points Scored: 51 vs. Carolina Panthers
Stats: Scored 442 points (27.6/g), 4th of 30 in the NFL.
This was the first and only Falcons team to reach the Super Bowl.
The team was led by workhorse back Jamal Anderson, who totaled 14 rushing touchdowns and over 1,800 rushing yards during the 1998 season.
22. 2010 Philadelphia Eagles
Offensive Stars: Michael Vick(QB), LeSean McCoy(RB), DeSean Jackson(WR), Brent Celek(TE), Jeremy Maclin(WR),Jason Peters(LT)
Most Points Scored: 59 vs. Washington Redskins
Stats: Scored 439 points (27.4/g), 3rd of 32 in the NFL.
Kevin Kolb and Michael Vick combined to throw for over 4,000 yards.
LeSean McCoy rushed for over 1,000 yards while Jeremy Maclin and DeSean Jackson combined for over 2,000 receiving yards.
21. 2005 Seattle Seahawks
Offensive Stars: Matthew Hasselbeck(QB), Shuan Alexander(RB), Mack Strong(FB), Bobby Engram(WR), Steve Hutchinson(LG), Walter Jones(LT), Robbie Tobeck(C)
Most Points Scored: 42 VS. Philadelphia and Houston
Stats: Scored 452 points (28.2/g), 1st of 32 in the NFL.
Shaun Alexander had his MVP season in 2005. He rushed for over 1,800 yards and 27 touchdowns behind one of the NFL's best offensive lines ever.
Matthew Hasselbeck was extremely efficient as well. The quarterback threw for 3,400 yards and 24 touchdowns, and eventually led his team to the Super Bowl where they eventually lost.
20. 1997 Green Bay Packers
Offensive Stars: Brett Favre(QB), Antonio Freeman(WR), Robert Brooks(WR), Dorsey Levens(RB), Mark Chmura(TE)
Most Points Scored: 45 vs. Dallas Cowboys
Stats: Scored 422 points (26.4/g), 2nd of 30 in the NFL.
The 2011 Packers will make a strong case for this spot by seasons end.
Brett Favre and company reached their second consecutive Super Bowl in 1997 and did it behind an extremely potent offense.
Dorsey Levens rushed for over 1,400 yards and seven touchdowns while Brett Favre threw for 35 touchdowns and over 3,800 passing yards.
19. 1968 New York Jets
Offensive Stars: Joe Namath(QB), Matt Snell(RB), George Sauer(WR), Don Maynard(WR), Winston Hill(LT), Dave Herman(RG)
Most Points Scored: 48 vs. Boston Patriots
Stats: Scored 419 points (29.9/g), 2nd of 10 in the AFL.
This would be the season that Joe Namath guaranteed a New York Jets victory over the mighty Baltimore Colts in Super Bowl III.
Namath finished the season with more interceptions than touchdowns, but his receiving core of Don Maynard and George Sauer each had over 1,000 yards.
18. 2005 New York Giants
Most Points Scored: 44 vs. St. Louis Rams
Stats: Scored 422 points (26.4/g), 3rd of 32 in the NFL.
Tiki Barber finished the year with almost 1,900 yards on the ground, while Eli Manning proved that he was worthy of the No. 1 selection.
Manning threw for 3,700 yards and 24 touchdowns in only his second professional season.
The Giants had a strong group of receivers but were lead by Plaxico Burress and his 1,200 receiving yards.
17. 1995 Dallas Cowboys
Offensive Stars: Troy Aikman(QB), Michael Irvin(WR), Jay Novacek(TE), Emmitt Smith(RB), Mark Tuinei(LT), Ray Donaldson(C), Larry Allen(RG), Nate Newton(LG)
Most Points Scored: 38 vs. Green Bay Packers
Stats: Scored 435 points (27.2/g), 3rd of 30 in the NFL.
Emmitt Smith lead the charge with nearly 1,800 yards on the ground, while Michael Irvin displayed why he was one of the NFL's best with his first and only 1,600 yard receiving season.
16. 2003 Kansas City Chiefs
Offensive Stars: Tony Gonzalez(TE), Trent Green(QB), Dante Hall(PR/KR), Priest Holmes(RB), Tony Richardson(FB), Willie Roaf(LT), Will Shields(RG), Brian Waters(LG), Eddie Kennison(WR)
Most Points Scored: 45 vs. Detroit Lions
Stats: Scored 484 points (30.2/g), 1st of 32 in the NFL.
The Kansas City Chiefs were led by Priest Holmes and his 27 rushing touchdowns which at the time was an NFL record.
Trent Green threw for more than 4,000 yards and connected with his favorite target Tony Gonzalez for 916 of them.
15. 1990 Houston Oilers (now Tennesee Titans)
Offensive Stars: Ernest Givins(WR), Drew Hill(WR), Bruce Matthews(RG), Warren Moon(QB), Mike Munchak(LG), Haywood Jeffires(WR)
Most Points Scored: 58 vs. Cleveland Browns
Stats: Scored 405 points (25.3/g), 2nd of 28 in the NFL.
The Oilers had a dominant passing attack that was led by Warren Moon and the devastating trio of Haywood Jeffires, Drew Hill and Ernest Givens.
Moon passed for more than 4,600 yards while throwing 33 touchdown passes.
14. 2002 Oakland Raiders
Offensive Stars: Rich Gannon(QB), Lincoln Kennedy(RT), Jerry Rice(WR), Barrett Robbins(C), Tim Brown(WR)
Most Points Scored: 52 vs. Tennessee Titans
Stats: Scored 450 points (28.1/g), 2nd of 32 in the NFL.
The Raiders were led by an aging Rich Gannon who complied his best year as a pro in 2002 at the ripe old age of 37.
Gannon threw for more than 4,600 yards, with his main targets being Hall of Fame wide receiver Jerry Rice and soon to be Hall of Fame wide receiver Tim Brown.
13. 2008 Arizona Cardinals
Most Points Scored: 41 vs. Buffalo Bills
Stats: Scored 427 points (26.7/g), 3rd of 32 in the NFL.
The 2008 team was arguably the best team in franchise history.
Kurt Warner had three receivers reach the 1,000 yard mark, and he did it all without the presence of a running game.
12. 2009 New Orleans Saints
Offensive Stars: Drew Brees(QB), Marques Colston(WR), Jahri Evans(RG), Jonathan Goodwin(C), Jon Stinchcomb(RT), Devery Henderson(WR)
8Most Points Scored: 48 vs. Philadelphia Eagles and New York Giants
Stats: Scored 510 points (31.9/g), 1st of 32 in the NFL.
Drew Brees lead the Saints to their first Super Bowl victory during the 2009 campaign.
Brees threw for 4,300 yards and tossed 34 touchdowns during that magical season.
11. 1995 Detroit Lions
Offensive Stars: Lomas Brown(LT), Kevin Glover(C), Herman Moore(WR), Barry Sanders(RB), Scott Mitchell(QB), Brett Perriman(WR), Jason Hanson(K)
Most Points Scored: 44 vs. Jacksonville and Minnesota
Stats: Scored 436 points (27.2/g), 2nd of 30 in the NFL.
The Lions had the NFL's best running back, one of its best wide receivers, and a quarterback who was playing above expectations.
Scott Mitchell tossed for a career high in passing yards while Barry Sanders stampeded for 1,500 yards that season. Herman Moore and Brett Perriman had their best seasons as pros combining for over 3,000 yards.
10. 1989 San Francisco 49ers
Offensive Stars: Roger Craig(RB), Guy McIntyre(LG), Joe Montana(QB), Jerry Rice(WR), John Taylor(WR)
Most Points Scored: 55 vs. Denver Broncos (Super Bowl)
Stats: Scored 442 points (27.6/g), 1st of 28 in the NFL.
Joe Montana threw for 3,512 yards, 26 touchdowns and only eight interceptions. Montana also completed over 70 percent of his passes and had a QB rating of 112.8, which was then an NFL record.
Roger Craig was also a force out of the backfield, as he rushed for over 1,000 yards.
9. 1981 San Diego Chargers
Offensive Stars: Dan Fouts(QB), Chuck Muncie(RB), Doug Wilkerson(LG), Kellen Winslow(TE), Charlie Joiner(WR)
Most Points Scored: 55 vs. Oakland Raiders
Stats: Scored 478 points (29.9/g), 1st of 28 in the NFL.
This team is considered one of the best teams in NFL history that has never won a Super Bowl.
The Chargers had one of the NFL's best quarterbacks in Dan Fouts, who threw for more than 4,800 yards and 33 touchdowns.
8. 1990 Buffalo Bills
Offensive Stars: Jim Kelly(QB), Andre Reed(WR), Thurman Thomas(RB), Will Wolford(LT), Kent Hull(C), James Lofton(WR), Jim Ritcher(LG)
Most Points Scored: 52 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Stats: 458 points (28.6/g), 2nd of 28 in the NFL.
Thurman Thomas complied over 1,400 yards on the ground, while Jim Kelly threw for the most yards and touchdowns in his career; with 3,800 and 33 respectively.
The Bills also had the dynamic duo of James Lofton and Andre Reed who both surpassed the 1,000 yard mark.
7. 1983 Washington Redskins
Offensive Stars: Jeff Bostic(C), Charlie Brown(WR), Russ Grimm(LG), Joe Jacoby(LT), Joe Theismann(QB), John Riggins(RB), Art Monk(WR)
Most Points Scored: 51 vs. Los Angeles Rams
Stats: Scored 541 points (33.8/g), 1st of 28 in the NFL.
John Riggins was the workhorse for the Skins in 1983. The back had 375 carries for 1,347 yards and a remarkable 24 touchdowns while Joe Theismann torched opposing defenses for 3,700 yards through the air.
6. 1984 Miami Dolphins
Offensive Stars: Mark Clayton(WR), Mark Duper(WR), Dan Marino(QB), Ed Newman(RG), Dwight Stephenson
Most Points Scored: 45 vs. Pittsburgh Steelers
Stats: Scored 513 points (32.1/g), 1st of 28 in the NFL.
Dan Marino threw for more than 5,000 yards and 48 touchdowns in what is arguably the best statistical passing season of all-time.
5. 1998 Denver Broncos
Offensive Stars: Terrell Davis(RB), Jason Elam(K), John Elway(QB), Tony Jones(LT), Ed McCaffrey(WR), Shannon Sharpe(TE), Tom Nalen(C), Mark Schlereth(LG)
Most Points Scored: 42 vs. Dallas Cowboys
Stats: Scored 501 points (31.3/g), 2nd of 30 in the NFL.
The Broncos had 6,276 total yards of offense and were lead by Terrell Davis' 2008 yards and 21 touchdowns.
4. 1998 Minnesota Vikings
Offensive Stars: Gary Anderson(K), Cris Carter(WR), Jeff Christy( C), Randall Cunningham(QB), Randy Moss(WR), Robert Smith(RB), Todd Steussie(LT)
Most points scored: 50 vs. Jacksonville Jaguars
Stats: Scored 556 points (34.8/g), 1st of 30 in the NFL.
Randall Cunningham had his best season as a pro football player. The quarterback passed for over 3,700 yards and 30 touchdowns and led the Vikings to a 15-1 regular season record.
The Vikings were the third team in NFL history to win 15 games during the regular season, and the dynamic duo of veteran Cris Carter and rookie Randy Moss proved to be too much for opposing defenses. Each finished with over 1,000 receiving yards and a trip to the Pro Bowl.
3. 2000 St. Louis Rams
Offensive Stars: Issac Bruce(WR), Marshall Faulk(RB), Torry Holt(WR), Orlando Pace(LT), Kurt Warner(QB)
Most points scored: 57 vs. San Diego Chargers
Stats: Scored 540 points (33.8/g), 1st of 31 in the NFL.
This team is known as "The Greatest Show on Turf".
Kurt Warner and Trent Green combined for 5,492 total passing yards and Marshall Faulk scored 28 touchdowns.
The trio of Issac Bruce, Torry Holt and Az-Zahir Hakim, was also unstoppable. Holt had over 1,600 yards, Bruce had over 1,400 yards while Hakim had almost 800 from the slot.
2. 2004 Indianapolis Colts
Offensive Stars: Tarik Glenn(LT), Marvin Harrison( WR), Edgerrin James(RB), Peyton Manning(QB), Reggie Wayne, Jeff Saturday(C), Brandon Stokley(WR)
Most Points Scored: 51 vs. Tennessee Titans
Stats: Scored 522 points (32.6/g), 1st of 32 in the NFL.
Peyton Manning was named MVP after throwing for more than 4,500 yards and 49 touchdowns. His 49 touchdown passes broke Dan Marino's record of 48 that was set back in 1984.
The Colts had three receivers reach 1,000 yards while Edgerrin James was arguably the best running back in the game by totaling almost 1,600 rushing yards.
1. 2007 New England Patriots
Offensive Stars: Tom Brady(QB), Dan Koppen(C), Matt Light(LT), Logan Mankins(LG), Randy Moss(WR), Wes Welker(WR)
Most Points Scored: 56 vs. Buffalo Bills
Stats: Scored 589 points (36.8/g), 1st of 32 in the NFL.
Tom Brady threw for more than 4,800 yards and 50 touchdowns while Randy Moss caught 98 passes for 1493 yards and a NFL record 23 touchdowns.
The Patriots failed to have an 1,000 yard rusher, but Wes Welker added almost 1,200 yards receiving to the mix.