NFL Power Rankings Week 10: Rating All 32 Teams Based on Offensive Explosiveness
The 2011 NFL season has seen teams like the Pittsburgh Steelers and the defending Super Bowl Champion Green Bay Packers contribute to a record-setting season for offenses.
With most NFL Power Rankings focused on the team’s overall record and strength of schedule, we’ve decided to go a different route and Power Rank each team strictly on offense.
This ranking takes into account total yards per game and points per game scored—also taking into consideration each team’s ability to run the football.
It’s time to dive in and examine the NFL’s elite offenses from top to bottom.
Positive news for Indianapolis Colts fans—you’re not last.
1. New Orleans Saints
445.1 Yards Per Game
31.9 Points Per Game
The New Orleans Saints don’t quite match up with the Green Bay Packers in the passing game, but they run the ball much better than the Packers and average almost 30 more yards per game than the Pack.
The Saints are No. 2 in the NFL in points per game scored and with the league’s second easiest schedule, there’s no reason to believe they couldn’t be No. 1 by season's end.
2. Green Bay Packers
416.4 Yards Per Game
34.4 Points Per Game
Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers sport the league’s most prolific pass attack and it shows with their league-leading 34.4 points per game.
The one blemish in this offense lies in the run game. They had been one of the league’s worst until climbing up to 21st with 835 rush yards and a 4.0 yards per carry.
If the Packers had a legitimate running attack, this offense could be right there with the 1998 Minnesota Vikings, 2001 St. Louis Rams and 2007 New England Patriots as one of the best offenses ever.
3. New England Patriots
437.3 Yards Per Game
27.8 Points Per Game
No other team boasts a tight end tandem like they do either. Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez are both legitimate top five TEs.
The one issue this offense has is in the run game. Unlike the Green Bay Packers, however, the Pats seem to choose not to run as opposed to not being able to run.
New England should utilize more often a run game that boasts a 4.5 yards per carry.
4. Houston Texans
393.6 Yards Per Game
26.2 Points Per Game
Arian Foster misses Weeks 1 and 3 and Andre Johnson hasn’t played since Week 4. With the two most important pieces of the Houstons Texans offense missing so much time, it’s hard to fathom they would be a top five offense.
However, they are exactly that. The 393.6 yards per game average they currently produce is likely to spike to the 400 mark when Johnson returns.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
434.4 Yards Per Game
25.4 Points Per Game
The Philadelphia Eagles may only be 3-5, but that offense is still as high-powered as they come.
LeSean McCoy is the second best running back in football right now, and as much as Michael Vick has struggled, he’s still a threat to do serious damage every time the ball is snapped.
The yards they are putting up is basically without DeSean Jackson who has been relatively invisible with only two touchdowns and 503 yards on 29 catches.
This offense will be that much more dangerous if and when Jackson gets into his groove.
6. Carolina Panthers
415.1 Yards Per Game
23.4 Points Per Game
What a difference one player makes for an offense as bleak as the Carolina Panthers from just a year ago.
Cam Newton has taken this offense, put it on his shoulders and turned it completely around, with some help from Steve Smith who looks like a viable Comeback Player of the Year candidate.
When this team starts to figure out how to win, watch out.
7. Buffalo Bills
368.5 Yards Per Game
27.8 Points Per Game
Even though the Buffalo Bills offense has cooled off as a whole, Fred Jackson remains on fire.
Ryan Fitzpatrick needs to kick it back into gear if the Bills want to keep up that high-powered attack they started the season with.
Naaman Roosevelt seems to have emerged as a deep threat that can help open things up in the passing game.
8. San Diego Chargers
407.0 Yards Per Game
24.9 Points Per Game
It’s been a disappointing season for the San Diego Chargers and even more so for Philip Rivers.
Rivers has played in integral part in 21 turnovers with only 11 TDs, but the Bolts are still posting big yardage numbers.
The return of Antonio Gates into the lineup should help Rivers calm down and get this offense back on the winning track.
9. Detroit Lions
355.9 Yards Per Game
29.9 Points Per Game
Calvin Johnson and Matthew Stafford terrify any defense they face and have developed into the premier QB-WR tandem in the NFL.
Megatron is on pace for 22 TDs this year and Titus Young is emerging as a real nice threat as a slot receiver, giving Stafford another superb option.
Brandon Pettigrew is just as much of a red-zone threat as Megatron making it nearly impossible for defenses to key on one player.
Losing Jahvid Best to a concussion could hurt the Detroit Lions offense down the stretch, unless Keiland Williams and Maurice Morris can step up to the challenge.
10. New York Giants
371.6 Yards Per Game
24.8 Points Per Game
Eli Manning is being mentioned in MVP talks and is having an incredible year.
Hakeem Nicks leads a real good group of receivers and Victor Cruz appears to be a budding star.
The two-headed monster in the New York Giants backfield, with Ahmad Bradshaw and Brandon Jacobs, has been somewhat of a disappointment having combined for a 3.3 yards per carry so far this season.
11. Oakland Raiders
371.9 Yards Per Game
23.0 Points Per Game
The Oakland Raiders have struggled over the last couple of games due to the huge changes they been forced to go through at the quarterback position.
In going through those QB issues, Carson Palmer, in his rustiness, has stepped in and shown why he was a big-time QB with the Cincinnati Bengals.
Darrius Heyward-Bey started to gel with Jason Campbell before Campbell went down for the year. Will DHB be able to find that chemistry with Palmer?
12. Pittsburgh Steelers
389.1 Yards Per Game
21.8 Points Per Game
The running game hasn’t been what Steeler Nation is used to seeing with Rashard Mendenhall, but part of that is from Ben Roethlisberger airing it out more.
Injuries are never a good thing, but the injury to Hines Ward has allowed for the rise of Antonio Brown, who currently leads the team in total targets.
Mike Wallace is having a Pro Bowl season and Emmanuel Sanders has even stepped up as a weapon in the slot, making the Pittsburgh Steelers a serious areal threat.
13. Dallas Cowboys
400.3 Yards Per Game
22.4 Points Per Game
In what has been a truly disappointing season, the Dallas Cowboys still manage to average 400 per game with wideouts Miles Austin and Dez Bryant continuing to underachieve.
Picking up the slack for those receivers is rookie running back DeMarco Murray, who managed to break the Cowboys single-game rushing record in his first career start.
Once Tony Romo gets his receivers on track and stops making dumb mistakes himself, this offense has the potential to be really scary.
14. Chicago Bears
341.8 Yards Per Game
25.0 Points Per Game
The Chicago Bears offensive line stepped up on Monday night and managed to keep Cutler from getting sacked the whole game, which seems like something that hasn’t happened since the Bush Administration.
This past week also marked the return of Earl Bennett to the lineup, Cutler’s old buddy from their Vanderbilt days.
Bennett had 95 yards and a touchdown and immediately became the Bears No. 1 receiver, giving someone Cutler can finally trust.
15. Atlanta Falcons
347.1 Yards Per Game
23.6 Points Per Game
It took almost half the season, but Julio Jones is finally starting to show why the Atlanta Falcons moved up as far as they did in last year’s NFL Draft to select him.
Roddy White has struggled for most of the season, but nagging injuries are the main root of the problem.
Michael Turner doesn’t seem to be showing the signs of slowing down like most experts thought he would before the start of the season.
Once White is 100 percent, Matt Ryan and the Falcons will be an offense feared by all teams.
16. Baltimore Ravens
342.9 Yards Per Game
26.0 Points Per Game
Joe Flacco has been the topic of many conversations recently—mostly regarding his progression as a quarterback.
The numbers just haven’t been there this year. He’s only thrown two TD passes after Week 3, one of them being the game winner against the Pittsburgh Steelers.
Despite all that, the Baltimore Ravens have managed to average 26 points a game through the first half of the season.
Obviously, a major reason for this is Ray Rice who holds that offense together, and Anquan Boldin is having a good season too.
17. San Francisco 49ers
311.1 Yards Per Game
25.8 Points Per Game
The San Francisco 49ers don’t attack through the air like other teams do, but they do enough to keep defenses honest which allows for Frank Gore to have the Pro Bowl season we’re seeing this year.
The passing game isn’t quite where head coach Jim Harbaugh wants it to be, but Michael Crabtree hasn’t lived up to the hype since being drafted in 2009.
The loss of Josh Morgan was another tough blow to their offense, making it easier for defenses to key on Vernon Davis.
18. Cincinnati Bengals
316.3 Yards Per Game
24.4 Points Per Game
What a surprising story the Cincinnati Bengals have been this year. They sit in first place in the AFC North, tied with the Baltimore Ravens at 6-2.
Rookies A.J. Green and Andy Dalton have really gelled, making the city of Cincinnati forget the names of those two receivers who played there last year. What are their names again?
Jerome Simpson, if he can stay out of legal troubles, is a solid No. 2 wideout to complement Green.
It only makes me wonder where this offense would be this year if they had Jordan Shipley coming out of the slot?
19. Minnesota Vikings
332.6 Yards Per Game
21.5 Points Per Game
When Donovan McNabb was the starter, the offense was stagnant and hard to watch. Finally, Coach Leslie Frazier couldn’t take anymore and inserted rookie Christian Ponder.
Since the switch, the Minnesota Vikings offense has been revitalized and looks fresh.
Adrian Peterson is having another great season, proving why he’s the best running back in the NFL.
Once this team figures out a way to get Percy Harvin involved more in the passing game, they will be a complete offense.
20. Denver Broncos
318.8 Yards Per Game
21.4 Points Per Game
Tim Tebow struggles with throwing the football, but his ability to scramble out of the pocket and run downfield makes this offense tough to defend.
Demaryius Thomas and Eric Decker lead a really young core of receivers that will only get better with time.
But, maybe the biggest and best surprise of all is the resurgence of Willis McGahee.
He’s averaging 5.1 yards per carry and is well on his way to his first 1,000-yard season since 2007.
21. New York Jets
306.1 Yards Per Game
24.9 Points Per Game
Mark Sanchez is having an okay season but continues to make mistakes at crucial times.
Although Plaxico Burress leads the New York Jets with five TDs, three of those came in one game.
Santonio Holmes hasn’t been the deep threat the team had hoped he would be and Dustin Keller leads the team in receiving yards.
You can’t expect to be a big-time offense when your tight end leads the team in that category and you have a weak running game.
22. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
343.5 Yards Per Game
18.4 Points Per Game
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers average more yards than a handful of teams ahead of them here, but they struggle to put points on the board.
One of the main reasons for the low scoring average is the struggles of Mike Williams. He only has one TD this year and has yet to top 100 yards in a game.
Preston Parker and Arrelious Benn have been pleasant surprises, but more is still needed out of Benn.
Getting LeGarrette Blount back couldn’t have come at a better time with the loss of Earnest Graham for the season.
23. Arizona Cardinals
312.5 Yards Per Game
20.3 Points Per Game
How ironic is it that the Arizona Cardinals finally have a decent running game? Beanie Wells has been a breath of fresh air for this team.
It’s too bad they can’t seem to line up their running game with their passing game. Kevin Kolb is hardly living up to the contract that they gave him. You would think having Larry Fitzgerald as your top weapon would be a good thing.
24. Tennessee Titans
310.3 Yards Per Game
19.5 Points Per Game
It’s been a rough year offensively for the Tennessee Titans. Chris Johnson’s struggles since coming back from his holdout are well documented.
We keep waiting for him to break out of this slump, but it doesn’t seem like it will happen this year.
25. Miami Dolphins
322.9 Yards Per Game
17.3 Points Per Game
It’s been a rough year for the Miami Dolphins and all their fans. They only have one win on the season, giving the Indianapolis Colts the outright lead for Andrew Luck.
Matt Moore has shown some signs of promise in Chad Henne’s absence, but he’s definitely not the long-term solution at the QB position.
Reggie Bush has been a disappointment for the most part, with the exception of one game, and the word is still out on whether or not Daniel Thomas is the answer at running back.
26. Kansas City Chiefs
312.8 Yards Per Game
16.4 Points Per Game
It’s been a rollercoaster of a season for the Kansas City Chiefs and it’s all hinged on their offense.
The lone bright spot until recently has been Dwayne Bowe. Jonathan Baldwin finally decided to show up and Steve Breaston is finally getting back to type of receiver he was in Arizona.
If the Chiefs can establish Jackie Battle in the run game, this team, led by Matt Cassel, should start putting up more points as the season wears on.
27. Washington Redskins
318.1 Yards Per Game
15.9 Points Per Game
Where do you start here? Rex Grossman wasn’t the answer. John Beck looks like he isn’t the answer either.
Three huge losses have crippled this team—the loss of Chris Cooley, Tim Hightower and Santana Moss to injuries decimated this offense.
Tight end Fred Davis and rookie running back Roy Helu seem to be the only bright spots on an otherwise dim season in the nation’s capital.
28. St. Louis Rams
314.1 Yards Per Game
12.5 Points Per Game
It’s been a rough season for second-year quarterback Sam Bradford. He hasn’t really had a No. 1 receiver until the St. Louis Rams made the trade for Brandon Lloyd a couple weeks ago.
Steven Jackson still runs like a man possessed, but with no real passing game teams can just key on him and force Bradford to beat them through the air.
29. Seattle Seahawks
296.1 Yards Per Game
15.3 Points Per Game
It’s hard to put up points when Tarvaris Jackson is your starting quarterback and Charlie Whitehurst is your team’s backup plan.
This, however, is the exact problem that the Seattle Seahawks face.
The Seahawks have started to get the running game going with Marshawn Lynch though. He's averaged just under 86 yards over the last three games and scored in each of the last four.
Doug Baldwin looks to be a nice complement across from Sidney Rice, giving Jackson multiple options at the receiver position.
30. Cleveland Browns
289.0 Yards Per Game
14.9 Points Per Game
The Peyton Hillis situation is a real mess. He has a hamstring issue that won’t go away and people are questioning if he really wants to play for the Cleveland Browns anymore at all.
Colt McCoy has really struggled to throw the ball down field and has not progressed this year like most thought he would.
Rookie wide receiver Greg Little has shown some promise but is still pretty raw and needs time to develop.
The Browns need to figure out an answer to their running back woes or it’s going to be a long second half of the season.
31. Indianapolis Colts
282.8 Yards Per Game
14.2 Points Per Game
What a horrible year for the Indianapolis Colts. They currently have the worst record in the NFL and have Peyton Manning, arguably the best quarterback ever, on the sidelines with a serious neck injury.
They brought in Kerry Collins to hopefully fill Manning’s shoes but he ends up on IR with a serious concussion problem, leaving the offense in the hands of Curtis Painter.
While Painter has been serviceable, he obviously is not the kind of QB that can run this offense effectively enough to help out a terrible defense.
Not having a clear-cut No. 1 running back has also held back this offense from putting up more points.
32. Jacksonville Jaguars
242.6 Yards Per Game
12.3 Points Per Game
Rookie quarterback Blaine Gabbert is trying to figure it out as a starting QB in the NFL, which comes with its struggles.
This Jacksonville Jaguars team has no real weapon at the wide receiver position and standout tight end Marcedes Lewis has completely fallen off after a really good 2010 season.
Maurice Jones-Drew, who’s currently sixth in the NFL in rushing, has been the lone shining star for this team in 2011.
Check out more of Brian Dezelske's articles.
Brian can also be found at Out of My League, where he compiles fantasy football rankings each week.