Power Ranking Every NFL Offense, Post-Draft
Since the NFL is a copycat league, the teams that dream up something exotic, shift a few key pieces or mix up a coaching staff often climb the offensive rankings fastest.
Such changes are a part of the reason the offensive hierarchy looks so different every year—only teams with a Tom Brady or someone close are immune to the shuffle.
Look at last season. The Los Angeles Rams seemed dead in the water entering the year, yet adding left tackle Andrew Whitworth and new head coach Sean McVay resulted in a top-10 offense in yards per game and 29.9 points per contest.
The team that lost Whitworth in free agency and stuck with the same coaching approach, the Cincinnati Bengals, went from a respectable top-13 offense in 2016 to last in yards per game and averaging 18.1 points.
With the 2018 NFL draft done, let's rank all 32 offenses based on last year's results and leaguewide additions in the coaching, free-agency and draft realms.
32. Buffalo Bills
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Brian Daboll
Unlike the Rams a year ago, it doesn't look as though the Buffalo Bills will leap into the top 10.
How could they?
The team is on its fifth offensive coordinator in six years. Tyrod Taylor is out at quarterback; AJ McCarron and Josh Allen have arrived. The former couldn't beat out Andy Dalton for a job in Cincinnati, and the latter was arguably the most polarizing quarterback in the 2018 class.
New coordinator Brian Daboll had success at Alabama, but he also made some odd moves, such as yanking Jalen Hurts for Tua Tagovailoa in the title game. He won't get away with shuffling around his signal-callers in Buffalo.
The Bills will lean on running back LeSean McCoy, who averaged four yards per carry en route to 1,138 yards and six scores in 2017. Otherwise, it's the Kelvin Benjamin show, even though the receiver had just 16 catches in six games.
Like last year, the Bills will go as far as the defense carries them.
31. Miami Dolphins
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Dowell Loggains
The AFC East doesn't look like it's trying hard to keep up with Tom Brady and the New England Patriots.
Fans had to know last year would turn sour when the Dolphins pulled Jay Cutler from his reality-show life. He only threw five more touchdowns than interceptions.
This year, Ryan Tannehill might be entering an even worse situation after the team lost receiver Jarvis Landry. The move itself wasn't unreasonable—failing to add much after it traded him in March was.
The Dolphins took a defensive-minded approach to the draft, besides selecting tight end Mike Gesicki in the second round. He's one of the best combine testers of all time, but it doesn't mean it'll translate to the field.
The hope seems to be a Frank Gore-Kenyan Drake combo can prop up Tannehill, a career 62.7 percent passer with 106 touchdowns, 66 interceptions and seven yards per pass. But the addition of offensive coordinator Dowell Loggains isn't encouraging. He left Chicago after an impressionable rookie, Mitchell Trubisky, started taking snaps under center in his miserably conservative offense, and Miami's depth chart is even worse.
Like the Bills, defense will carry the Dolphins in 2018.
30. New York Jets
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Jeremy Bates
New York Jets fans must know they're looking at a train wreck of an offense when the team's new coordinator, Jeremy Bates, was hired with the possible aim of landing a free agent.
So it goes with the Jets and Bates, whom quarterback Kirk Cousins seemed to like because of their shared connection with Kyle Shanahan. That's the same Cousins who'll suit up in Minnesota after ignoring the Jets on the open market. Bates is the team's sixth offensive coordinator in the last eight seasons, and he'll get to take No. 3 pick Sam Darnold under his wing, at least for one year.
Darnold won't see the field though, not with 38-year-old Josh McCown back to absorb the punishment for one more season. He had a fun "breakout" a year ago but couldn't hit the 3,000-yard mark. The Jets haven't done much otherwise besides adding bruiser Isaiah Crowell to the backfield. At wideout, Terrelle Pryor was a massive bust a year ago in Washington, and No. 1 wideout Robby Anderson was dealing with felony charges as recently as April, though they've been dropped.
This is a transitional year for the Jets, and it's going to look like it.
29. Cleveland Browns
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Todd Haley
It's an annual thing—this is the year the Cleveland Browns turn quality talent into an effective offense.
Anybody want to bet money on it?
Right. The Browns scooped up quarterback Tyrod Taylor, who should start in 2018. He was 201 passing yards shy of 3,000 and threw 14 touchdowns in 15 games last year, and in Cleveland he'll have to deal with constant chants for No. 1 overall pick Baker Mayfield.
The rest of the depth chart looks talented. Carlos Hyde should provide some pop to the running game, and this might be the year the team figures out how to use the talented Duke Johnson in all facets.
The wideout depth chart boasts Josh Gordon, Landry and Corey Coleman. The team also took a huge risk on fourth-round rookie Antonio Callaway. In addition, the offensive line could struggle after Joe Thomas retired in March.
Todd Haley is the man in charge, but he couldn't keep everyone happy on a Steelers offense that boasted Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell. His having to manage the personalities and expectations in Cleveland could go awry.
28. Denver Broncos
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Bill Musgrave
The Denver Broncos will give it another shot with coordinator Bill Musgrave, who took over last season for Mike McCoy after a miserable offensive stretch. But we're still talking about a team that was afraid to give 2016 first-round pick Paxton Lynch serious run—to the point it splurged on a free-agent quarterback.
That'd be Case Keenum, the one-hit wonder who heads over from Minnesota after sheer brilliance from the offensive staff there. That's not to say Keenum can't perform well again—but his 22 touchdowns still don't jump off the stat sheet.
Despite receiving weapons such as Demaryius Thomas and Emmanuel Sanders, not to mention 2018 rookie steals Courtland Sutton and Daesean Hamilton, the Broncos are once again banking on an elite defensive performance.
It could work, though an offense that leans on a new quarterback, rookie running back (Royce Freeman) and a relatively new coordinator who's trying to implement his ideas has the potential to stutter as defenses adapt.
Denver is just one of those teams—it's looking at a potentially good record but an iffy offense. Or as some might put it: quarterback purgatory.
27. Oakland Raiders
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Greg Olson
Head coach Jon Gruden has the Raiders marching backward in a few ways, though one of the interesting ones is bringing back Greg Olson—the coordinator the team fired in 2014.
Granted, Olson was part of Jared Goff's breakout a year ago while serving as quarterbacks coach in Los Angeles. But it doesn't mean he'll be able to lift the Raiders out of QB purgatory, either. Derek Carr attempted 515 passes in 2017, completing 62.7 percent for 3,496 yards and 22 touchdowns—a Keenum-like line.
Olson can't fix hands. Last year, Michael Crabtree caught 58 of 101 targets. Amari Cooper caught 48 of 96. A better scheme can create easier touches, but the Raiders swapped out Crabtree for Jordy Nelson and added Martavis Bryant. However, there's no guarantee Carr will have the pocket time necessary to push the ball downfield after the Raiders got controversial by drafting tackle Kolton Miller No. 15 overall.
Speaking of controversial, the Raiders decided Doug Martin is the right guy to pair with Marshawn Lynch, a rushing attack that would have looked great six years ago. Oakland's odd offseason doesn't hint at a breakout year for the offense.
26. Baltimore Ravens
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Marty Mornhinweg
The Baltimore Ravens traded up to draft quarterback Lamar Jackson behind Joe Flacco, which means the latter's clock is ticking.
Flacco mustered 3,141 passing yards and 18 touchdowns against 13 interceptions last year. Those who own his jersey might argue otherwise, but it was a typical Flacco line. He's a career 61.7 percent passer who averages 6.8 yards per completion and has thrown 200 touchdowns and 130 picks.
Baltimore hopes Flacco will improve under the guidance of last year's coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, with added talent. Receiver Willie Snead headed over and joined new faces Crabtree and John Brown. Alex Collins is a potential breakout star at running back, should the Ravens stick with him.
But it's "here's the catch" time. Snead and Brown have had injury issues over the past few seasons, and Crabtree had issues in Oakland. Tight end will be interesting with Hayden Hurst, but Baltimore's track record of drafting tight ends is terrible (Maxx Williams), and Flacco has shown an over-reliance on the position.
On paper, Baltimore wants to throw deep. In reality, Flacco's limited and has a rookie breathing down his neck.
25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Todd Monken, Dirk Koetter calling plays
See the above?
It's not a surefire sign of dysfunction, but it certainly doesn't inspire confidence. Head coach Dirk Koetter will call the plays while Todd Monken serves as the coordinator after being promoted from receivers coach. When reporting on the change, the Tampa Bay Times' Rick Stroud noted reports had suggested a divide between Koetter and Jameis Winston.
Speaking of Winston, the NFL seemed fully adapted to what he brings to the table in his third year last season, limiting him to 3,504 yards and 19 touchdowns against 11 interceptions despite an expected bump from the arrival of DeSean Jackson.
Jackson only scored three touchdowns all year and Evans scored five, down from 12 the year prior.
Tampa Bay will seemingly pin some of its hopes on second-round back Ronald Jones out of USC, but he's 5'11" and 205 pounds, so he might have durability concerns.
On paper, the Buccaneers should put up some numbers. But they'll go as Winston goes and the odd coaching setup mostly featuring more of the same looks poised to backfire.
24. Indianapolis Colts
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Nick Sirianni
Say hello to the biggest wild card on the list.
Andrew Luck is a great unknown. Is the ability there after the quarterback's battle with injuries? Hard to say, but he missed all of last season, one game in 2016 and nine more in 2015.
Maybe Luck is back to his talented self after his shoulder injury. Maybe first-time offensive coordinator Nick Sirianni has something schemed up that will catapult the Colts up the ranks.
But it's a lot to gamble on.
Indianapolis spent the bulk of its draft upgrading the offensive line and the defense. T.Y. Hilton is still a star receiver, but otherwise, the depth chart is bare, hence the reason Colts signed Ryan Grant to a prove-it deal. Running back remains a hodgepodge of names.
The Colts might not give up 56 sacks again this year, and Luck might see the field. But the defense is still bad, and years of rebuilding done wrong aren't things he can prop up on his own.
23. Arizona Cardinals
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Mike McCoy
We're getting into the teams capable of huge jumps if everything goes perfectly.
Running back David Johnson is one of the NFL's best and competed for an MVP in 2016 thanks to his 1,239 rushing yards and 16 touchdowns with another 879 yards and four scores as a receiver.
But he played one game and had 11 carries in 2017.
It's high upside or nothing in Arizona, where coordinator Mike McCoy is heading after getting canned in Denver. Bradford has played in seven, 14, 15 and two games over his last four years, so if he goes down, a potential-laden offense will have to throw No. 10 pick Josh Rosen into the fire.
There are too many variables here to have the Cardinals ranked any higher.
22. Jacksonville Jaguars
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Nathaniel Hackett
The Jacksonville Jaguars might be the most extreme example of what an NFL team can do to prop up a quarterback.
A year ago, Blake Bortles only threw 21 touchdowns with 13 interceptions while constantly facing short fields and good opportunities thanks to an elite defense. Behind him, rookie back Leonard Fournette rumbled for 1,040 yards and nine touchdowns. Only one target caught more than three scores—with tight end Marcedes Lewis topping out at five.
It should be more of the same in 2018 with coordinator Nathaniel Hackett back at the controls. Wide receiver Allen Robinson left for Chicago, and the team will have to bank on good performances from Dede Westbrook, rookie D.J. Chark and Donte Moncrief on a depth chart with no real standouts. Fournette, as good as he is, will likely come close to his rookie average of 3.9 yards per carry because opponents don't feel threatened by the passing game.
And that's fine—the Jaguars win via defense. Unless the team gets a breakout year from a receiver, one of the NFL's best defenses is ready to do the heavy lifting.
21. Washington Redskins
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Matt Cavanaugh
The Washington Redskins didn't make much of an effort to keep Cousins after playing the franchise-tag game for years.
That's fine, as Alex Smith arrives at a cheaper cost and is coming off a career year in which he surpassed the 4,000-yard mark for the first time and threw a career-high 26 touchdowns against five interceptions.
But that was in Kansas City.
This is Washington, where the Redskins will lean on one of the biggest draft steals, Derrius Guice (pick No. 59), to lead the backfield. Samaje Perine saw the most carries (175) a season ago and averaged 3.4 yards.
Maybe the biggest problem is at wideout. Smith won't have a Tyreek Hill, not to mention a Travis Kelce at tight end, as he did with the Chiefs. Matt Cavanaugh's offense will have to hope for progression from receivers Jamison Crowder and Josh Doctson. New arrival Paul Richardson checks in as the $40 million man after totaling 703 yards and six scores in Seattle a year ago.
Cavanaugh had a nice run as a coordinator through the late 2000s. He's emerging from the quarterbacks coach role he's held with three teams since 2009 to try to breathe life into an offense with a savvy quarterback who doesn't turn the ball over. However, plenty of unknowns surround him. There's huge potential, but a lot could go wrong, too.
20. Dallas Cowboys
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Scott Linehan
The Dallas Cowboys have Ezekiel Elliott and a smattering of unknowns.
Scott Linehan's job, which he failed at last year, was to make Dak Prescott's life as easy as possible. The quarterback regressed from a 23-4 touchdown-to-interception ratio as a rookie to 22-13 as a sophomore. That means he's entering a season where the scales will tip in one direction or the other.
In addition, the Cowboys parted ways with receiver Dez Bryant and lost tight end Jason Witten to retirement. They'll hope Terrance Williams, who caught zero touchdowns on 78 targets last year, can pace the wideout corps while rookie Dalton Schultz tries to pitch in at tight end.
Tavon Austin's addition doesn't move the meter much, especially since they're planning to use him as a running back. Receiver Allen Hurns is the bigger acquisition, but he's played in 11 and 10 games over his past two seasons, so he can't be relied on.
This is Elliott's show, and he's bound to put on a good one, which inflates the ranking a bit. But Prescott's entering a critical third year and will take the Cowboys with him wherever he goes.
19. Tennessee Titans
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Matt LaFleur
Things went off the rails for the Tennessee Titans a year ago.
Promising quarterback Marcus Mariota regressed while playing hurt (hamstring, quad) and wound up throwing more interceptions than touchdowns (15-13). Running back Derrick Henry was a fun breakout (4.2 yards per attempt), though the coaching staff insisted on giving DeMarco Murray 184 totes at 3.6 per carry. Tight end Delanie Walker led the team in receiving, which is generally a bad thing unless the tight end's name is Gronkowski.
Hence the arrival of Matt LaFleur, the most prized steal of all when the league ravaged the Rams for their offensive staff over the offseason. As coordinator, he got the most credit for Los Angeles' turnaround and could pull off something similar in Tennessee.
He has talent to work with. Spelling Henry will be prized free-agent add Dion Lewis. He had serious injury issues before last year, but a Lewis-Henry duo could be one of the NFL's most dangerous.
Effectiveness on the ground will mean more room for Walker and a possible big leap from second-year wideout Corey Davis. Rishard Matthews remains one of the league's most criminally underrated receivers.
With LaFleur at the controls, Mariota should get back to normal while leading a run-first attack.
18. San Francisco 49ers
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Kyle Shanahan (head coach)
Here come Jimmy Garoppolo and the San Francisco 49ers.
Garoppolo put on a show last year, helping the team rattle off five consecutive wins to close the season while he threw for six touchdowns and five interceptions. Head coach and coordinator Kyle Shanahan knows defenses now have film on what they did last year and will mold the offense to stay ahead of the curve.
Upgrades will help. With his receiving ability, Jerick McKinnon better fits what Shanahan wants from his running backs, as opposed to Hyde, and is a major breakout candidate. Receiver Pierre Garcon can hit 1,000 yards, and Marquise Goodwin came out of nowhere last year to flirt with the same mark (962 yards).
It wouldn't be a surprise to see first-round tackle Mike McGlinchey secure the line's right side, while explosive second-round wideout Dante Pettis has immediate slot potential.
Things will come down to the defense's ability to feed off on efficient offense, but what the 49ers envisioned when they added an offensive mind such as Shanahan's is coming to fruition.
17. Carolina Panthers
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Norv Turner
Is new arrival Norv Turner the right mind to figure it all out for the Carolina Panthers?
That's hard to say. Quarterback Cam Newton took 35 sacks last year trying to air it out, throwing for 3,302 yards with 22 touchdowns and 16 interceptions. His lack of help has become an internet meme, something his team-leading 754 rushing yards and six ground scores reinforced.
The Panthers are insistent on giving Christian McCaffrey, 2017's No. 8 pick, a bigger workload, but he'll still get close to 113 targets again and partake in a rotation.
On paper, first-round rookie D.J. Moore might be able to help right away, provided he can buck the brutal pro learning curve for first-year wideouts. He might end up being redundant with Curtis Samuel, last year's second-round pick, as they're each potential slot guys at 6'0" or shorter. There could also be an over-reliance on primary receivers Torrey Smith and Devin Funchess, which isn't guaranteed to work.
No matter how it shakes out, the Panthers should have a respectable offense, provided Newton can keep alive his incredible streak of staying mostly healthy.
16. Minnesota Vikings
2018 Offensive Coordinator: John DeFilippo
Can something close to the same offense that produced a strong year from Keenum help Cousins improve?
John DeFilippo, former quarterback coach for the Super Bowl-winning Nick Foles, aims to try. Cousins flirted with what some call the Andy Dalton Line last year—a designation for the league's most average players—hitting cruise control for 4,093 yards and 27 touchdowns but not elevating the talent around him.
If he's lucky, Cousins will have it better in Minnesota's system. It's easy to forget about Dalvin Cook, last year's No. 41 pick, who ripped off 354 yards and two scores on a 4.8 per-carry average before going down with an ACL tear.
Cook returns to prop up a passing game led by 91-catch man Adam Thielen, as do wideout Stefon Diggs and tight end Kyle Rudolph, who both scored eight times a year ago.
Paired with a strong defense, the Cousins-led offense should put up good numbers, though there may be an adjustment period. The Vikings will go as far as their new franchise quarterback can take them—in offensive ranks and the win column.
15. Seattle Seahawks
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Brian Schottenheimer
The quest to keep Russell Wilson healthy and upright continues.
Out is coordinator Darrell Bevell and in is Brian Schottenheimer, who served as the Colts quarterbacks coach last year, had a stint at Georgia and was last a pro offensive coordinator in 2014 with the then-St. Louis Rams.
But Schottenheimer shouldn't have to do much if the blocking in front of Wilson is solid. The quarterback threw for 34 touchdowns and 11 interceptions a year ago despite taking 43 sacks and leading the team with 95 rushing attempts.
Wide receiver Paul Richardson left for Washington, but Doug Baldwin remains, and it's reasonable to expect another solid year from Tyler Lockett. Perhaps most interesting is the arrival of first-round running back Rashaad Penny out of San Diego State, an elusive player in the open field who can handle the early-down duties.
If Wilson is lucky, Penny will pan out and the offensive line will stand tall. He'll post strong numbers again while looking like a magician, but he has to be healthy to do so.
14. New York Giants
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Mike Shula
Don't throw in the towel on Eli Manning yet.
The New York Giants are hoping last year was an anomaly for the quarterback. Manning had down numbers (3,468 yards passing, 19 TDs), while Odell Beckham Jr. only appeared in four games and the offensive line coughed up 31 sacks against the veteran. Orleans Darkwa was the leading rusher (751 yards) for an offense that averaged 3.9 yards per carry.
Mike Shula rejoins general manager Dave Gettleman in New York after they worked together with the Panthers. He orchestrated Newton's 2015 MVP season before last year's middling unit got him fired.
Shula will have No. 2 pick Barkley, who will run behind second-round selection Will Hernandez, one of the best at his position in the 2018 class. Sterling Shepard, who broke out last year, should keep rising with defenses worried about Beckham. If Shula can figure out how to squeeze the most out of last year's No. 23 pick, Evan Engram—using him as a chesspiece to create mismatches—the offense should hum.
Maybe it won't be enough in the brutal NFC East, but the numbers should be solid, provided the Giants don't roll with Geno Smith over Manning again.
13. Cincinnati Bengals
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Bill Lazor
Bill Lazor gets a full shot as offensive coordinator after taking over last year three weeks into a season in which the Cincinnati Bengals offense didn't score a touchdown over a 0-2 start. Things got so frustrating that the quiet A.J. Green got in a fight and thrown out of a November game.
No pressure, right?
Things went south because they horribly misjudged the future of the offensive trenches. Whitworth left, and they slapped Cedric Ogbuehi in at left tackle—to disastrous results—while suffering Russell Bodine's poor performance at center.
Admitting the mistake, the Bengals traded for Cordy Glenn, one of the league's better left tackles when healthy, then drafted a starting center in the first round in Billy Price. New offensive line coach Frank Pollack, who pumped up the Dallas line to elite levels, will look to bring it all together.
Dalton resembled a rookie in his seventh season last year, though, completing 59.9 percent of his passes with 3,320 yards and 25 touchdowns against 12 interceptions. But he threw for 25 and seven in 2015 over 13 games when everything went right.
With a new line, tight end Tyler Eifert re-signed and running back Joe Mixon trimmed down and ready to handle the full load as a sophomore, the Bengals shouldn't have problems putting up consistent offensive numbers.
12. Detroit Lions
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Jim Bob Cooter
The man with the best name in sports, Jim Bob Cooter, surprisingly returns as coordinator for the Detroit Lions despite head coaching interest in him. He'll have a new first-round center in Frank Ragnow, who should reinforce a line that let Matthew Stafford take 47 sacks last year.
Stafford still threw for 29 touchdowns and just 10 picks. But the Ameer Abdullah experiment went even further off the rails as he led the team in rushing at a 3.3 clip.
For Cooter, the key will be balancing the rushing attack with the bruising LeGarrette Blount and second-round runner Kerryon Johnson. The Lions liked the latter so much they traded up to get him, which indicates they think he has every-down traits.
These additions should balance the overall attack, as the wideout crew of Marvin Jones and Golden Tate should keep cruising as one of the league's most underrated. And, Luke Willson's addition, after Eric Ebron's departure to Indianapolis, should provide more consistency at tight end.
11. Chicago Bears
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Mark Helfrich
Surprised? Don't be. It was fun to see certain rookies explode onto the scene last year, but the Chicago Bears' Trubisky was lost in the shuffle.
2017's No. 2 pick looked solid over 12 games, dishing seven touchdowns and seven interceptions—while throwing to Kendall Wright, Joshua Bellamy and Dontrelle Inman.
"Who?" is the right reaction. Trubisky is franchise-quarterback material and now gets to throw to Allen Robinson, Taylor Gabriel and second-round wideout Anthony Miller, one of the 2018 draft's steals. Jordan Howard not only returns as the primary runner and is coming off two 1,100-plus-yard seasons, but Tarik Cohen is also one of football's most explosive weapons and should see a bigger role.
Don't forget the offensive line. Left tackle isn't a concern thanks to Charles Leno Jr., and the Bears were stunned to see lineman James Daniels fall to them in the second round. Daniels, Cody Whitehair and Kyle Long form one of the league's nastier interior groups.
Mark Helfrich's arrival tops it all off. The former Chip Kelly understudy and Oregon head coach will know how to squeeze the most out of mismatch nightmares like Cohen.
10. Green Bay Packers
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Joe Philbin
Joe Philbin returns after stints in Miami and Indianapolis and should have a huge say in how the Green Bay Packers perform offensively, even if head coach Mike McCarthy ends up calling the plays.
Aaron Rodgers is still Aaron Rodgers, health provided. He only offered a snapshot of his talent in seven games last year, throwing 16 touchdowns, six picks and snapping three consecutive seasons of 30-plus touchdown passes.
The Packers drafted defenders in the first three rounds then added a barrage of receivers with size to fill Jordy Nelson's void. That will mesh well with new tight end Jimmy Graham, who caught 10 touchdowns a year ago.
In the backfield, the Packers seem content to roll with a committee, which features Jamaal Williams, Ty Montgomery and Aaron Jones. All involved should have it easier than last year with Rodgers back.
While the Packers will have a Rodgers extension floating over their heads and face a bit of friction over quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt's departure, Rodgers will still have them high in the offensive rankings by year's end if he plays most of the games.
9. Houston Texans
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Bill O'Brien (head coach)
The Deshaun Watson onslaught is coming.
Watson was a superstar over seven games last year after being selected 12th, throwing for 19 touchdowns and eight interceptions with two more scores as a runner while leading the Houston Texans to a trio of wins.
According to Rotoworld, Watson boasted a 9.3 percent touchdown rate over those seven games, and Bill O'Brien has spent time reworking the playbook to enhance his quarterback's strengths—so the rest of the league has a problem on its hands.
Elsewhere, a Lamar Miller-D'Onta Foreman running back tandem should give defenses problems. Receiver Will Fuller scored seven touchdowns in 10 games a year ago and should be back strong. Star wideout DeAndre Hopkins, owner of 174 targets and 13 scores last year, should keep forcing all the coverage his way.
The Texans are a force and look poised to remind anyone who might have forgotten that, with the added bonus being a J.J. Watt-led defense—which now boasts Tyrann Mathieu—will consistently put the offense in great field position.
8. Los Angeles Chargers
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Ken Whisenhunt
Don't sleep on the Los Angeles Chargers.
We talk all the time about how it's impressive guys like Drew Brees keep chugging along, yet it's easy to forget Philip Rivers keeps doing the same.
He threw for 4,515 yards a year ago with 28 touchdowns and 10 picks, his fifth season in a row with 28 or more. Keenan Allen returned from a kidney injury and reclaimed his position as one of the NFL's best receivers with 1,393 yards and six touchdowns. Melvin Gordon, 3.9-yards-per-carry average or not, found room for 1,105 yards and eight touchdowns.
The key to big numbers goes beyond the offense though. The front office retained Ken Whisenhunt as coordinator and just had a defensive-minded draft, bolstering a unit bound to put the offense in good spots thanks to the Joey Bosa-Melvin Ingram tandem.
Gaudy numbers and possible deep playoff contention are things to watch for from Rivers.
7. Atlanta Falcons
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Steve Sarkisian
Here comes a possible contract-year outburst from Matt Ryan.
Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons had a down year in 2017 as he threw 20 touchdowns—18 shy of his mark from the season prior. Steve Sarkisian's offense saw all of three touchdowns from receiver Julio Jones as well, yet the Falcons are bringing him back as coordinator.
And it just might work.
Running back Devonta Freeman shouldn't be playing through injury like he did a year ago. Jones is still the best in football. And in comes first-round rookie Calvin Ridley, the smoothest route-runner in the draft class, which gives him a serious shot at having an early impact.
Giving Ryan a reliable slot option to take pressure off Jones and Mohamed Sanu should space the offense and fix its timing, perhaps getting him back to 30-plus-touchdown territory in the process.
6. Kansas City Chiefs
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Eric Bieniemy
The Kansas City Chiefs got risky, promoting Eric Bieniemy to offensive coordinator from running backs coach right as they waved goodbye to the Alex Smith era after his career year.
Luckily, the Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes.
Last year's No. 10 pick had an encouraging performance during a Week 17 win over the Broncos, lending credibility to the idea he'll do fine as a sophomore quarterback.
It helps that the Chiefs have Kareem Hunt, last year's 1,327-yard runner who had eight touchdowns on a 4.9-per-carry average. Also returning are Hill and Kelce, reliable targets who one year ago both hit the 1,000-yard mark while combining for 16 touchdowns.
The Chiefs are so comfortable offensively they didn't use a draft pick on the unit. And they should be—Mahomes has an elite running game behind him and reliable targets spanning the field. He's also at an advantage because the rest of the league won't have a ton of film to work with in prepping for him.
5. Los Angeles Rams
2018 Offensive Coordinators: Aaron Kromer and Shane Waldron
The Los Angeles Rams shouldn't have a problem sticking near the top of the rankings.
Losing LaFleur hurts, but the Rams are getting innovative by using a two-coordinator approach, with Aaron Kromer controlling the running game and Shane Waldron the aerial attack.
A year ago, Goff turned the NFL on its head by throwing for 28 touchdowns and seven interceptions. Running back Todd Gurley benefited and put up 1,305 yards rushing and 13 touchdowns while averaging 4.7 yards per carry.
Cooper Kupp led the team in receiving with 869 yards and had five touchdowns. Brandin Cooks will join him after one year with the New England Patriots where he caught seven touchdowns, giving him seven in three consecutive seasons.
The Rams do what they want on offense thanks to supreme balance and scheming, which won't change anytime soon—especially not with the huge boost to the wideout corps.
4. Pittsburgh Steelers
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Randy Fichtner
The Pittsburgh Steelers made a change at offensive coordinator after last season but will remain mostly the same, barring a slight shift in approach.
That means big numbers, of course. Ben Roethlisberger threw for 28 scores last year, nine of those going to Antonio Brown and seven more to JuJu Smith-Schuster. Running back Le'Veon Bell hit an average of four yards per carry while going for 1,291 yards and 11 total scores.
The team drafted James Washington in the second round, which represented an interesting shift in approach at wideout after it traded Martavis Bryant to Oakland. Smith-Schuster should see north of 100 targets after 79 a year ago, maybe pulling some away from Bell's gaudy count of 106.
Randy Fichtner's offense might turn to Vance McDonald at tight end, but pretty much anybody should be able to get open with that cast of wideouts spacing the field and Bell a constant threat.
While the team is diverse and features elite players, Bell is in a possible contract year, Big Ben could regress at 36 and Pittsburgh sports a new coordinator, all of which keeps the Steelers just outside the top three.
3. New Orleans Saints
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael
Why change what works?
Pete Carmichael has served as coordinator since 2009 and will head the offense again in 2018 with a 39-year-old Drew Brees under center.
A year ago, Brees got to relax a bit, attempting 536 passes over 16 games, his first dip below the 600-mark since—get this—2009. He still threw for 4,334 yards with 23 touchdowns and eight interceptions, yet he turned most of the offense over to Rookie of the Year Alvin Kamara.
Kamara ran for 728 yards and eight touchdowns on only 120 attempts, boasting a 6.1-yard-per-carry average. He chipped in 81 catches on 100 targets, adding 826 yards and five scores.
While Kamara came up shy in rushing touchdowns behind Mark Ingram's 12, he tied Michael Thomas for the team lead in receiving scores with five.
All those guys return in 2018. And the big add is Cameron Meredith, a restricted free agent they swiped from the Chicago Bears. Meredith was a breakout stud in 2016, tallying 888 yards and four touchdowns before hurting his knee and missing 2017. Keep in mind those numbers came while catching passes from Matt Barkley and Brian Hoyer.
Don't forget about interesting wideout depth in the form of Ted Ginn and Brandon Coleman, as well as third-round rookie Tre'quan Smith. Brees is cooling off on the quantity, but the quality is still there, and with Meredith's breakout potential joining the fray, there is little defenses can do to stop it.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Mike Groh
Head coach Doug Pederson will still call the plays for the Philadelphia Eagles in 2018, so swapping out Frank Reich for Mike Groh won't knock them down the ranks.
How could it? Carson Wentz threw 33 touchdowns a year ago before tearing his ACL late in the campaign. Nick Foles picked up the slack with five touchdowns during the regular season before his run to the Lombardi Trophy, which featured six touchdowns and one interception.
Jay Ajayi returns to lead the backfield after turning 70 carries into a 5.8 average in seven games with the team. Receiver Alshon Jeffery is still around on a long-term deal after scoring nine touchdowns, as is the combo of wideout Nelson Agholor and tight end Zach Ertz, who both scored eight times. The offense also got a win in free agency with the addition of deep threat Mike Wallace, who averaged 14.4 yards per catch a season ago in Baltimore's weak attack.
Even if Wentz's production stabilizes and doesn't keep heading north, few guys will throw more touchdowns and have an offense that already has one Super Bowl and will enter 2018 looking to add more.
1. New England Patriots
2018 Offensive Coordinator: Josh McDaniels
Good luck stopping the New England Patriots in 2018.
Josh McDaniels is back after flirting with Indianapolis' head coaching gig, and so is Brady (as if there were ever any doubt). Brady's starting to resemble something that isn't human after throwing for 4,577 yards and 32 touchdowns against eight interceptions in his age-40 season.
Now would be where we mention tight end Rob Gronkowski missed two games and didn't lead the team in targets, and receiver Julian Edelman missed the entire season with a torn ACL.
Gronkowski caught eight touchdowns a year ago on 105 targets, and the departed Cooks landed right behind at seven scores on 114 targets. It hurts to lose the latter, but not terribly—Edelman is back, and the 25-year-old Jordan Matthews just arrived and has tremendous upside in the offense.
Why stop there? Lewis, the team's leading rusher, is gone, but first-round rookie Sony Michel shouldn't have a problem filling the void right away—especially while running behind instant-starter material Isaiah Wynn, another of the team's first-round picks. New England rounded out the running back committee in free agency, grabbing between-the-tackles sledgehammer Jeremy Hill.
With no reason to believe Brady will regress and sheer talent filling the voids around him, the Patriots are once again the NFL's most dangerous offense in 2018.