Power Ranking All 32 NFL Offenses, Post-Draft
One year after one dozen NFL teams made changes at offensive coordinator, the 2015 offseason has seen 14 clubs hire someone new for the job.
Add in free agency and the recent draft and power ranking all of the team’s attacks proved to be interesting indeed.
The order here isn’t who we felt would score the fewest to the most points this upcoming season. There are numerous ways to reach the end zone in this game, be it turnovers returned for scores or punts and kickoffs taken the distance.
Here, we will take into account factors such as yards gained, touchdowns scored, red-zone efficiency and hopefully a lack of turnovers. We will also look at each team’s offseason arrivals and departures, as well as the influence of the 2015 draft.
Hence, these are not predictions for the 2015 season, rather a look at where every offensive unit stands at the moment.
Of course, the only somewhat accurate gauge when it comes to all of these offenses may not come until late August—or perhaps even later. But let the speculation begin.
32. Cleveland Browns
2015 Offensive Coordinator: John DeFilippo
We wish we could be a little more optimistic when it comes to the Cleveland Browns, but the proof is in the pudding. And the flavor would be vanilla.
Simply put, the lack of offensive weapons when it comes to this club is disappointing. Journeyman Josh McCown is slated to become the team’s 23rd different starting quarterback since the franchise re-entered the league in 1999. The future of 2014 first-round pick Johnny Manziel is anyone’s guess.
While the team has a decent stable of running backs in Terrance West and Isaiah Crowell, the pass-catching options have changed from recent years.
Wideout Josh Gordon has been suspended for all of 2015, former Pro Bowl tight end Jordan Cameron is now with the Miami Dolphins and wide receiver Miles Austin signed with the Philadelphia Eagles. Enter additions Dwayne Bowe and Brian Hartline, as well as the return of the 2014 team leader in receptions, Andrew Hawkins.
31. St. Louis Rams
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Frank Cignetti
Wait a minute. There are those who have insisted for years that the St. Louis Rams were a good quarterback away from being a playoff team.
That may or may not be true. But does former Pro Bowler Nick Foles, acquired in a trade from the Philadelphia Eagles this offseason, actually have enough around him to make that happen?
The team used the 10th overall selection in this year’s draft on running back Todd Gurley, hoping (once healthy) he can improve on a ground attack that ranked 20th in the NFL this past season. Tre Mason remains in that mix, but the club could use some better play up front—hence the reason general manager Les Snead used four picks on offensive linemen last week.
Still, wide receivers Tavon Austin, Brian Quick, Stedman Bailey and Chris Givens have been underwhelming, while one-time free-agent pickups Kenny Britt and tight end Jared Cook combined for 100 receptions and caught three touchdown passes apiece this past season.
30. San Francisco 49ers
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Geep Chryst
The new-look San Francisco 49ers spent the offseason promoting from within when it came to revamping their coaching staff.
Now we will soon find out if offensive coordinator Geep Chryst, the team’s quarterback coach from a year ago, can reverse the misfortunes of a Niners attack that misfired too often in 2014.
One year after totaling 406 points and 39 offensive touchdowns, the team scored exactly 100 fewer points (306) and the offense reached the end zone just 30 times. Quarterback Colin Kaepernick took his lumps and seemed to be on the move all year, rushing for 639 yards while being sacked 52 times.
Familiar weapons such as running back Frank Gore and wide receiver Michael Crabtree have moved on. Veteran Anquan Boldin remains while the team has a new deep threat in wideout Torrey Smith. A return to the Pro Bowl by tight end Vernon Davis would be a big plus, while second-year pro Carlos Hyde and free-agent pickup Reggie Bush man the backfield.
Finally, improved play by San Francisco’s once-formidable offensive front would be a major plus.
29. Oakland Raiders
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Bill Musgrave
You have to crawl before you can walk.
In 2014, the Oakland Raiders ranked dead last in the NFL in rushing as well as total yards gained. New head coach Jack Del Rio does have his work cut out for him.
The Silver and Black appear to finally have their quarterback in Derek Carr, who comes off of a respectable and encouraging rookie campaign. He has promising running back Latavius Murray in the backfield and free-agent additions Roy Helu and Trent Richardson for depth.
The Raiders' new starters at wideout are veteran pickup Michael Crabtree and 2015 fourth overall pick Amari Cooper. Scott Bair of CSNBayArea.com reported on the team’s impending release of wide receiver James Jones, who led the club in receptions (73) and touchdown grabs (six) in 2014. Wide receiver Andre Holmes, the Raiders leader in receiving yards (693), and emerging tight end Mychal Rivera each scored four times in 2014.
The play up front must improve and by season’s end this could be a fun team to watch on this side of the football. But exercising a little more patience would be wise.
28. Jacksonville Jaguars
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Greg Olson
What can we really expect from a team that has scored the fewest points in the league two consecutive years?
Last season’s plan to have rookie quarterback Blake Bortles sit and watch as a rookie lasted all off 10 quarters. Now the Jacksonville Jaguars are hoping they have surrounded the third overall pick in the 2014 draft with enough help.
One addition is at offensive coordinator as Greg Olson takes over for Jedd Fisch. The other notable newcomers are two-time Pro Bowl tight end Julius Thomas, who totaled 24 touchdown receptions for the Denver Broncos the last two seasons combined, and bruising rookie running back T.J. Yeldon, nabbed by general manager Dave Caldwell in the second round of this year’s draft.
A year of experience by Bortles and the free-agent addition of right tackle Jermey Parnell should help cut down on those league-high 71 sacks allowed by the Jaguars this past season, 55 of those on Bortles. But the real key could be the play of a very young wide receiving corps led by second-year pros Marqise Lee, Allen Robinson and Allen Hurns and now joined by 2015 draft picks Rashad Greene and Neal Sterling.
27. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Dirk Koetter
So what does 2015 first overall pick/quarterback Jameis Winston bring to the table?
Hopefully a lot more than the combination of veteran Josh McCown and still-young Mike Glennon provided the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last season.
Neither performer managed to complete at least 60 percent of their passes and McCown, off of a successful season with the Chicago Bears in which he threw 13 touchdown passes and just one interception in 12 appearances, totaled 11 scores through the air while being picked off 14 times in the same amount of games. Add in 10 fumbles, four resulting in turnovers, and it was no surprise he was one and done with the Bucs.
Now enter Winston, who has the sizable likes of wide receivers Vincent Jackson, Mike Evans and tight end Austin Seferian-Jenkins.
You can also expect to see more Charles Sims in the backfield in place of Doug Martin, who for various reasons has not recaptured his rookie form.
Hopefully there’s nowhere for this unit to go but up. Only two teams in the NFL gained fewer total yards and only three clubs in the league were less productive running the football in 2014.
26. Tennessee Titans
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Jason Michael
The Marcus Mariota era will soon begin in Nashville. Just how soon is anyone’s guess.
Last week, the Tennessee Titans made the former University of Oregon star and 2014 Heisman Trophy winner the second overall pick. He’ll compete with second-year pro Zach Mettenberger, with veteran Charlie Whitehurst waiting in the wings if necessary.
Only three teams in the NFL gained fewer total yards than Ken Whisenhunt’s club this past season. The Titans’ ground attack was also less than memorable, averaging a disappointing 90.4 yards per contest. Bishop Sankey, the first running back taken in the 2014 draft, looks to improve his play this year.
Wide receivers Kendall Wright and Justin Hunter return, as does underrated tight end Delanie Walker. But there’s a bevy of new faces at wideout in free-agent additions Harry Douglas and Hakeem Nicks and rookies Dorial Green-Beckham (second round) and Tre McBride (seventh round).
25. Kansas City Chiefs
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Doug Pederson
At times in 2013, the Kansas City Chiefs looked like one of the better teams in the AFC.
However, in terms of their offense, they were inconsistent at best. Andy Reid’s squad scored just 22.1 points per game and managed only 36 offensive touchdowns. In their seven losses, the Chiefs averaged only 15.1 points.
Quarterback Alex Smith threw three times as many touchdown passes as interceptions but still only connected for 18 scores—none of those to a wide receiver. Jeremy Maclin, one of Reid’s gems with the Philadelphia Eagles, should remedy that quickly, while tight end Travis Kelce (team-high 67 catches) and running back Jamaal Charles tied for the team lead with five touchdown receptions.
Speaking of Charles, who led Kansas City with 14 touchdowns in 2014, he and running back Knile Davis hope to benefit from a bolstered offensive front that now includes the likes of former Pro Bowl guard Ben Grubbs, obtained via trade from the New Orleans Saints.
24. Minnesota Vikings
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Norv Turner
It certainly appears that running back Adrian Peterson will be a member of the Minnesota Vikings in 2015—at least for now.
So how much will that help quarterback Teddy Bridgewater improve in his second season? The team was a respectable 14th in the league in rushing in 2014 led by Matt Asiata and Jerick McKinnon. No doubt offensive coordinator Norv Turner knows how to use the workhorse runner. And if the 2012 league MVP looks like his former self (after missing the final 15 games this past season due to his off-the-field issues), then all bets are certainly on for the eight-year pro.
Gone is 2014 team receiving leader Greg Jennings, replaced by speedy wideout Mike Wallace, who cost Minnesota a fifth-round draft choice this year. The former Pro Bowler was a disappointment in two years with the Miami Dolphins but looks to recapture his former big-play form he showed during his early days with the Pittsburgh Steelers.
While Charles Johnson and Jarius Wright showed flashes this past season, Asiata finished second on the team with 44 receptions. More from wideout Cordarrelle Patterson, who seemed to take a step backward in his second season, is certainly needed, while former Pro Bowl tight end Kyle Rudolph hopes to stay healthy.
23. Arizona Cardinals
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Harold Goodwin
Despite the fact that the Arizona Cardinals managed to make their way into the playoffs this past season, you kind of want to give 2014 NFL Coach of the Year Bruce Arians a mulligan.
That’s because his team saw four different quarterbacks throw passes (three of them as starters), rank next to last in the league in rushing and still manage to win 11 games and grab a wild-card berth.
Keeping veteran quarterback Carson Palmer upright would be a big help. In his last 15 games dating back to 2013, he’s thrown for 27 scores and been picked off just 12 times in forging a 13-2 record as a starter.
As for the supporting cast, running back Andre Ellington was having a solid season before going down last year, but keep an eye on Kerwynn Williams. The pass-catching corps still includes wide receivers Larry Fitzgerald and Michael Floyd, while big-play performer John Brown hopes to be even more productive in his second year.
At tight end, the new man on the spot is 2014 second-round pick Troy Niklas. That’s because Rob Housler signed with the Cleveland Browns and Conor Orr of NFL.com reports on Tuesday’s somewhat-surprising retirement by tight end John Carlson.
22. Washington Redskins
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Sean McVay
We seem to be back at square one when it comes to the quarterback situation with the Washington Redskins. That’s one, as in what we saw in head coach Jay Gruden’s first year on the job.
The season began with Robert Griffin III behind center but injuries would soon force backup Kirk Cousins into the starting lineup. His inconsistent play saw him sat down in place of third-stringer Colt McCoy. Griffin would eventually return but the team won only four games and the trio combined for 18 touchdowns passes, 25 of the club’s 31 turnovers and was sacked a whopping 58 times.
All three men return in 2015 and for now Griffin remains the starter. Stay tuned for further updates.
The remainder of the offensive cast basically remains the same, although workhorse running back Alfred Morris appears to have a new backup in rookie Matt Jones. The lead receivers are still Pierre Garcon and burner DeSean Jackson (who averaged 20.9 yards per catch and totaled a team-high six touchdown receptions) as well as Andre Roberts and second-year pro Ryan Grant, while Jordan Reed and Niles Paul return at tight end.
Up front, 2015 rookie Brandon Scherff appears to be penciled in as the team’s new right tackle.
21. Buffalo Bills
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Greg Roman
It will be interesting to see who comes out of the quarterback scrum between former first-rounder EJ Manuel and offseason additions Matt Cassel and Tyrod Taylor (and possibly Jeff Tuel).
Whoever is behind center will have the luxury of handing the ball early and often to running back LeSean McCoy, who totaled 626 carries for 2,926 yards and 14 scores the past two seasons with the Philadelphia Eagles. New fullback Jerome Felton helps as well, and new head coach Rex Ryan hopes the team’s offensive line improves from a year ago.
The team’s young wide receivers such as Sammy Watkins and Robert Woods, who each caught 65 passes in 2014, are now supplemented by reliable tight end Charles Clay.
This will be a very intriguing offensive team if one of the quarterbacks can step up in a big way this season.
20. Carolina Panthers
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Mike Shula
Last season, the Carolina Panthers managed to win the NFC South with a losing record.
This year, they or any other team in the division won’t be as fortunate. And hopefully some of the tweaks they made on the offensive side of the football will help greatly.
The team brought back wide receiver/kick returner Ted Ginn after he was cut loose by the Arizona Cardinals. General manager David Gettleman added wide receiver Devin Funchess via the second round of this year’s draft. And for the sake of quarterback Cam Newton, the Panthers hope they have found the answer at left tackle in Michael Oher (maybe).
DeAngelo Williams, the franchise’s all-time rushing leader, was let go this offseason and the team hopes that Jonathan Stewart can pick up where he left off late last year and in the playoffs. But along with Newton, the big-play components for this offense are Pro Bowl tight end Greg Olsen (84) and now second-year wideout Kelvin Benjamin (73). The duo combined for 157 receptions and 15 scores, with both players totaling exactly 1,008 yards receiving.
19. Houston Texans
2015 Offensive Coordinator: George Godsey
While the Houston Texans this offseason parted ways with arguably the team’s best offensive player in their brief history, you have to like what you see when it comes to a revamped wide receiving corps.
The team not only added Jaelen Strong in the third round of the draft but signed former AFC South neighbors Cecil Shorts (Jacksonville Jaguars) and Nate Washington (Tennessee Titans) this offseason.
The real question is who will be throwing them the ball. Will it be Ryan Mallett, obtained in a trade from the New England Patriots last year and re-signed this offseason? Or will it be free-agent addition Brian Hoyer, signed away from the Cleveland Browns?
In any case, running back Arian Foster remains in the backfield, along with backup Alfred Blue. Only four teams in the NFL gained more yards rushing than the Texans in 2014. If the team can get a little more production from the tight end spot, this could be a very improved attack.
18. San Diego Chargers
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Frank Reich
There were only two trades last Thursday night in Chicago when it came to the first round of the draft.
The first sparked the most attention in many ways. The San Diego Chargers moved up two spots to grab University of Wisconsin running back Melvin Gordon with the 15th overall selection.
It was hardly a surprise. Only the Oakland Raiders and Arizona Cardinals gained fewer yards rushing than the Bolts in 2014.
Some additional balance would help veteran quarterback Philip Rivers, who wasn’t dealt this offseason. The 2013 NFL Comeback Player of the Year was up and down this past season, throwing for 4,286 yards and 31 touchdowns but was also guilty of 20 turnovers. Of course, not having running back Ryan Mathews (now with the Philadelphia Eagles) and Danny Woodhead most of the season was an issue.
Wideouts Malcom Floyd and Keenan Allen are now joined by Jacoby Jones, who should help San Diego’s return game in a big way. The offensive line has been bolstered by the addition of guard Orlando Franklin, while veteran tight end Antonio Gates (team-high 12 touchdowns in 2014) shows no signs of slowing down.
17. New York Jets
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Chan Gailey
No team added more new players via free agency and trades this offseason than the New York Jets, now under the guidance of general manager Mike Maccagnan and head coach Todd Bowles. That includes the acquisition of veteran quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, who will compete with two-year starter Geno Smith. The Jets finished dead last in the NFL in passing yards in 2014.
Adding wide receiver Brandon Marshall helps a lot in terms of someone who knows his way to the end zone. New York quarterbacks totaled only 16 touchdown passes is as many games this past season. Five of those went to wideout Eric Decker, who returns along with Jeremy Kerley and tight end Jace Amaro. Rookie wideout Devin Smith hopes to help take the top off of opposing defenses.
As for the ground game, 2014 team rushing leader Chris Ivory will again be supplemented by Bilal Powell, but now add Stevan Ridley and Zac Stacy to the mix.
It is safe to say that there’s a little excitement brewing when it comes to this team.
16. Detroit Lions
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Joe Lombardi
Defense was the calling card for the Detroit Lions in 2014. This upcoming season, Jim Caldwell’s team will require a little more consistency from the team’s offensive unit.
Veteran running back Reggie Bush was let go following an injury-riddled year, meaning that Joique Bell (team-high 860 rushing yards in 2014) will again be the ground attack’s focal point, with Theo Riddick and rookie Ameer Abdullah playing vital roles as well.
It was not a big year statistically for quarterback Matthew Stafford, but he upped his game when it came to fourth-quarter heroics, rescuing the team on numerous occasions. Wideout Calvin Johnson wasn’t 100 percent most of the year but Golden Tate proved to be one of the NFL’s best free-agent pickups this past season, leading the team in catches (99) and receiving yards (1,331) while Johnson totaled a team-high eight touchdown receptions.
This year, look for more from second-year tight end Eric Ebron and better play from the team’s offensive line, which could feature Manny Ramirez (obtained in a draft-night trade from the Denver Broncos) at center and 2015 first-round pick Laken Tomlinson at left guard.
15. Cincinnati Bengals
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Hue Jackson
Let’s be clear. We are talking regular season when it comes to these offensive power rankings. We won’t be bringing up the inept performance of the Cincinnati Bengals’ attack in each of their four straight playoffs losses since 2011.
Despite his good moments, quarterback Andy Dalton’s career has been plagued by turnovers. In 64 regular-season starts, he has thrown 99 touchdowns passes, been picked off 66 times and lost 11 of his 15 fumbles.
Last year his supporting cast wasn’t always available. Perennial Pro Bowl wide receiver A.J. Green was banged up and Marvin Jones missed the whole season. The team added wideout Denarius Moore in free agency and is hoping Mohamed Sanu can bounce back from a second-half slump. Tight end Tyler Eifert also hopes to stay healthy as well.
The Bengals feature one of the best backfield combinations in Jeremy Hill and Giovani Bernard. But Dalton needs to solve that turnover thing…quickly.
14. Atlanta Falcons
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Kyle Shanahan
When you look at the offensive weapons the Atlanta Falcons possess, you wonder how this team has won a combined 10 games in two years.
We know the answer and that’s due mainly to the defense, something new head coach Dan Quinn and general manager Thomas Dimitroff hope they have remedied this offseason.
This past season, quarterback Matt Ryan threw twice as many touchdown passes (28) as interceptions (14). But the ground game has been substandard in recent years and in 2014 averaged a mere 93.6 yards per game rushing.
Wide receiver Julio Jones comes off a monster year with 104 catches for 1,593 yards. But teammate Roddy White (seven) topped him by one touchdown reception. Free-agent pickups Jacob Tamme and Tony Moeaki should help at tight end, while Devin Hester was pretty productive as a pass-catcher and a return artist in his first season with the team.
As for that aforementioned running game, second-year pro Devonta Freeman takes over for jettisoned veteran Steven Jackson, with 2015 third-round pick Tevin Coleman bringing some versatility to the backfield.
13. Seattle Seahawks
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Darrell Bevell
You can do a lot with numbers in any realm, but consider these statistics for the Seattle Seahawks in 2014: No team in the league gained more yards rushing, while Pete Carroll’s club ranked 27th in passing yards.
However, it’s worth noting that the Seahawks totaled 20 touchdowns on the ground and 20 touchdowns through the air.
Now the Skittles of running back Marshawn Lynch will be supplemented by a little jambalaya and gumbo courtesy of three-time Pro Bowl tight end Jimmy Graham, obtained via trade from the New Orleans Saints this offseason. He should make life a lot easier for quarterback Russell Wilson, especially near the goal line, as well as wide receivers Doug Baldwin, Jermaine Kearse, Ricardo Lockette, second-year pro Paul Richardson and 2015 third-rounder Tyler Lockett.
You can expect a little more balance in terms of yards gained by the Seahawks this season, as Wilson doesn’t figure to run for 849 yards, as was the case in 2014.
12. Miami Dolphins
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Bill Lazor
The time has come for all of the pieces to come together in regards to the offense of the Miami Dolphins.
Yes, there are some concerns on the offensive line with left tackle Branden Albert returning from an injury-shortened 2014 and right tackle Ja’Wuan James rebounding from a rough rookie year.
Running back Lamar Miller comes off a big year but the team may need more from him this year. And depth in the backfield appears to be a real question mark.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill has progressed well in three seasons and this past year threw 27 touchdown passes and just 12 interceptions despite being sacked 46 times. His new targets this year include Kenny Stills (obtained in a trade from the New Orleans Saints), Minnesota Vikings castoff Greg Jennings and 2015 first-round pick DeVante Parker from the University of Louisville.
The Dolphins didn’t match the Bills’ offseason offer sheet to tight end Charles Clay but added former Pro Bowler Jordan Cameron.
Things seem to be looking up for an offense that could surprise a lot of teams this upcoming season.
11. Chicago Bears
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Adam Gase
It’s not the first time we have seen someone go from the Mile High City to the Windy City one year later.
That was the path that current Chicago Bears quarterback Jay Cutler took when the Denver Broncos dealt him to his current team in 2009.
Now it’s John Fox and Adam Gase, head coach and offensive coordinator, respectively, who leave Denver and come to Chicago. But can Gase help turn around the talented Cutler, known more for his turnovers this past season (24) than touchdown passes (28) in 2014?
There are plenty of weapons for Cutler to choose from. Versatile Matt Forte set an NFL record with 102 catches for a running back this past year. Don’t look for a repeat of those numbers as Gase looks to improve on last season’s 27th-ranked running attack.
The receiving corps now includes rookie Kevin White and free-agent pickup Eddie Royal, who will team with talented Alshon Jeffery while trying to fill the void left by the departure of Brandon Marshall. Pro Bowl tight end Martellus Bennett comes off a 90-catch season and will play a big role once again.
10. New Orleans Saints
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael
Despite the fact that the New Orleans Saints are now without a few of their more productive offensive weapons of recent seasons, don’t bet against head coach Sean Payton retooling this unit.
Then again, this team did gain more total yards than any other club in the NFL in 2014 and only the Indianapolis Colts and Pittsburgh Steelers amassed more yards through the air. Quarterback Drew Brees didn’t throw for 5,000-plus yards (4,952) but tied for the league lead in that category with Ben Roethlisberger. However, the prolific passer was responsible for 20 of the team’s 30 turnovers this past season.
Still, tight end Jimmy Graham and wide receiver Kenny Stills were dealt and running back Pierre Thomas was let go. Pro Bowler Mark Ingram hopes to be even better in 2015 and is backed up by Khiry Robinson, while the wide receiving corps is led by veteran Marques Colston and promising 2014 first-rounder Brandin Cooks.
While replacing Graham’s production the last five seasons (51 touchdown receptions) is near impossible, Benjamin Watson (two) and Josh Hill (five) did combine for seven scores in 2014.
9. Baltimore Ravens
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Marc Trestman
For now on, the quote from the Baltimore Ravens may read “ever more.”
That’s because for the fourth consecutive year, head coach John Harbaugh will have a new offensive coordinator.
Once again, it is a former NFL head coach as Marc Trestman follows in the recent headsets of Gary Kubiak, Jim Caldwell and Cam Cameron.
The Ravens still have quarterback Joe Flacco, who got a lot out of veteran wideout Steve Smith this past season. This year, he may have to get a lot out of rookies such as wide receivers Breshad Perriman and tight end Maxx Williams, the team’s first two picks in last week’s draft. That’s because Torrey Smith and Owen Daniels left via free agency earlier this year.
Still, the Ravens owned the league’s eighth-ranked running attack in 2014 thanks to Pro Bowler Justin Forsett. Add in a very capable offensive line and this team will be humming when it counts most.
8. Dallas Cowboys
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Scott Linehan
Talk about a change in philosophy.
In 2014, with then-passing game coordinator Scott Linehan calling the plays, the Dallas Cowboys ranked second in the league in rushing just one year after finishing 24th in the NFL in that same category.
Look for the Cowboys to once again score their share of points. But it may be more Tony Romo, wide receivers Dez Bryant and Terrance Williams and tight end Jason Witten and a little less of the ground attack. Just how much less will depend on how healthy free-agent pickup Darren McFadden can stay in 2015. Last year, the former Oakland Raiders runner played in all 16 games for the first time in seven NFL seasons.
Many would say that it doesn’t really matter who runs behind the line of Tyron Smith, Ronald Leary, Travis Frederick, Zack Martin and Doug Free. But replacing DeMarco Murray isn’t quite as easy as some would make you believe. We will find out soon enough.
7. Indianapolis Colts
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Pep Hamilton
The lack of balance when it came to the Indianapolis Colts attack this past season was a major reasons that quarterback Andrew Luck not only led the NFL with 40 touchdowns passes but also committed a disappointing 22 turnovers (five returned for touchdowns).
Yes, no team in the league totaled more yards through the air than the Colts, who also ranked just 22nd in the NFL in rushing. Hence, it will be interesting to see the role veteran free-agent pickup/running back Frank Gore plays in the offense.
It will also be intriguing to see former Houston Texans wideout Andre Johnson in a new uniform. He joins a pass-catching corps that no longer has Reggie Wayne but features receivers T.Y. Hilton and Donte Moncrief and tight ends Dwayne Allen and Coby Fleener. General manager Ryan Grigson did add wideout Phillip Dorsett in the first round as well.
Now let’s see if the Colts’ offensive line, suspect at best over the last few years, holds up?
6. Denver Broncos
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Rick Dennison
To make a bad pun of sorts, 2015 will mark quarterback Peyton Manning’s quadruple year with the Denver Broncos.
While the veteran signal-caller’s issues were well-documented late last year, he still managed to finish second in the NFL with 39 touchdown passes.
He still has Pro Bowl wide receiver Demaryius Thomas and much-improved Emmanuel Sanders at wideout, but veteran tight end Owen Daniels takes over for Julius Thomas. Thomas finished second in the league in catches (111) and receiving yards (1,619) this past season while Sanders added 101 receptions for 1,404 yards and nine scores.
Back to Daniels, a favorite of new head coach Gary Kubiak since he drafted him in the fourth round in 2006 while with the Houston Texans. He will try to replace Julius Thomas’ production, which includes 12 touchdown receptions each of the past two seasons.
The running game was the focal point down the stretch last year but figures to be a bigger factor with Kubiak and Rick Dennison. The team has C.J. Anderson, Montee Ball and Ronnie Hillman in the backfield, but can a revamped offensive line get the job done all season? Manning is certainly hoping so.
5. Philadelphia Eagles
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Pat Shurmur
Be it Nick Foles or Mark Sanchez, the Philadelphia Eagles didn’t have too many problems putting points on the board…sort of.
Only four teams in the league gained more total yards than Chip Kelly’s Birds in 2014. The Eagles were also ranked in the NFL’s top 10 in both rushing (ninth) and passing (sixth) yards gained.
However, the one category Philadelphia did lead the league in was turnovers—36 to be exact and 17 more than their total (19) in 2013. And 11 of the team’s 54 total touchdowns came via returns of all sorts.
The quarterback picture is as follows. Newly acquired Sam Bradford is joined by Mark Sanchez and newcomer Tim Tebow. The NFL’s top rusher in 2014 was DeMarco Murray, formerly of the Cowboys and now with the Eagles, and he’s joined by Ryan Mathews and Darren Sproles.
Wide receiver Jeremy Maclin is gone but the team still has up-and-coming Jordan Matthews and veteran Riley Cooper and added Miles Austin via free agency and Nelson Agholor in the draft. The tight end combo of Brent Celek and Zach Ertz is as good as it gets.
Bradford has missed 25 straight games due to injury and Sanchez has been turnover-prone during his six-year career. But it’s hard to dispute Kelly’s offensive track record in two NFL seasons.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Todd Haley
For 40-plus years, the Pittsburgh Steelers have been symbolized by physical football, a hard-nosed offense and an aggressive and sometimes overwhelming defense.
The team has slowly drifted away from that kind of team, although the physical part is still there somewhere. But when you think about a quarterback who tied for the NFL lead in passing yards, a running back that finished second in the league in rushing and total yards from scrimmage and a wide receiver that led the NFL in catches, Mike Tomlin’s squad would not be the first to pop into your head.
But thanks to quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, running back Le’Veon Bell and wideout Antonio Brown, the Steelers managed to accomplish the feat. Improved play by the offensive line certainly helped, as did the contributions of veteran tight end Heath Miller and up-and-comings wideouts such as Martavis Bryant and Markus Wheaton.
This became a fun offense to watch in 2014. But how much enjoyment will Roethlisberger and Co. have without Bell for the first three games of the regular season due to suspension?
3. New York Giants
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Ben McAdoo
Last preseason, things couldn’t have looked worse for the New York Giants on offense as they adjusted to new coordinator Ben McAdoo and his system.
By the end of 2014, the team totaled only six wins. But quarterback Eli Manning bounced back from a miserable season in which he was picked off an NFL-high 27 interceptions to throw for 30 scores and only 14 interceptions.
Now consider that 2014 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year Odell Beckham Jr. will be joined by a healthy and a speedy Victor Cruz, as well as Rueben Randle and tight ends Larry Donnell and Daniel Fells and you have the makings of quite an attack.
Pass-catching running back Shane Vereen is now in the fold as well, joining the backfield combination of Rashad Jennings and Andre Williams.
2. New England Patriots
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Josh McDaniels
Free agency took its toll on the defending Super Bowl champion New England Patriots this offseason. And it wasn’t just the losses of cornerbacks Darrelle Revis and Brandon Browner.
While the team still has LeGarrette Blount and occasionally utilized Jonas Gray and Brandon Bolden in the backfield, the free-agent departures of Shane Vereen and Stevan Ridley will eventually be felt.
Still, quarterback Tom Brady and head coach Bill Belichick always seem to find a way, and some of Vereen’s catches will go to free-agent addition Travaris Cadet.
Meanwhile, Brady’s newest receiving corps really came into its own last year. Julian Edelman was a standout in the Super Bowl win over the Seattle Seahawks while Danny Amendola and Brandon LaFell played important roles.
Perhaps most importantly, Rob Gronkowski looked like “Gronk” again. And that’s bad news for the rest of the league as the Pats will configure a way to make their offense quite formidable once again.
1. Green Bay Packers
2015 Offensive Coordinator: Edgar Bennett
It is not like we are going out on a limb here. However, it is worth pointing out that the hierarchy of the Green Bay Packers offensive brain trust does have a new look to it.
While former wide receivers coach Edgar Bennett now has the title of offensive coordinator, Tom Clements was not only promoted to associate head coach/offense but will take over the play-calling duties from head coach Mike McCarthy.
Of course, there’s no change at quarterback as Aaron Rodgers comes off his second NFL MVP season in four years. In 56 regular-season games dating back to 2011, he’s thrown for 138 scores and been picked off only 25 times.
Running back Eddie Lacy had a solid second season and the wideout trio of Jordy Nelson, Randall Cobb and emerging Davante Adams is as good as it gets. It will be interesting to see how 2015 third-round pick Ty Montgomery fits in the mix. Add in tight ends Andrew Quarless and Richard Rodgers and an improving offensive line—who can slow down this unit?
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