Power-Ranking Every NFL Offense After the 2021 Draft
Defense still wins championships in the NFL, as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers showed in Super Bowl LV. However, offense is king in the regular season, and the emphasis on offensive football is at an all-time high.
2020 marked the highest-scoring season in league history—by more than 700 points. There's a good chance 2021 will bring even more scoring with the NFL changing to a 17-game schedule.
The emphasis on offense is a big reason why three quarterbacks and three pass-catchers went in the top six of the 2021 draft. Games are frequently won or lost by quarterback play and a team's ability to create big plays in the passing game. Good coaching, creative scheming, strong offensive line play and a powerful run game can help lift an offense, too.
With all of these factors in mind, let's take a look at how each offense stacks up coming out of the draft. 2020 statistics—including points scored, total yardage, yards per play and offensive SRS (offensive quality relative to average) from Pro Football Reference—will provide a baseline for these rankings, though free-agent and draft additions will also be considered.
32. Houston Texans
2020 Rankings: 18th in points scored (tied), 13th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Tim Kelly
There's virtually no chance quarterback Deshaun Watson will play for the Houston Texans in 2021. He faces multiple allegations of sexual assault and asked to be traded before those allegations came to light. As a result, Houston will likely be looking at either Tyrod Taylor or rookie third-round pick Davis Mills at quarterback.
This creates a very unappealing offensive situation in Houston. The Texans had a relatively average overall offense in 2020 with Watson playing at a near-MVP level.
Houston did attempt to bolster its 31st-ranked rushing attack by signing Mark Ingram II and Phillip Lindsay in free agency. However, the Texans also lost speedy deep threat William Fuller V to the Miami Dolphins.
It's possible that the veteran coaching of David Culley will help make the Texans respectable in 2021, but at this point, offensive expectations should be exceedingly low.
31. New York Jets
2020 Rankings: 32nd in points scored, 32nd in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Mike LaFleur
In 2020, the New York Jets had the league's worst offense in both yardage and scoring. The good news is New York has a new head coach in Robert Saleh, a new offensive coordinator in Mike LaFleur and a new quarterback of the future in Zach Wilson.
The Jets also added free agents like wideout Corey Davis and running back Tevin Coleman while drafting guard Alijah Vera-Tucker, wideout Elijah Moore and running back Michael Carter.
The bad news is Wilson is still an unproven quarterback and no sure thing to be a rookie success.
"If I had to bet money, I'd bet it doesn't work out for him with the Jets," a quarterbacks coach told Bruce Feldman of The Athletic. "Zach playing right away in that market with his play style—woof—that'd make me really nervous."
The future should be bright for New York's offense, but some significant growing pains early in the season are to be expected.
30. Denver Broncos
2020 Rankings: 28th in points scored, 23rd in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Pat Shurmur
Only four teams had a lower offensive SRS than the Denver Broncos in 2020. The Jets and Jacksonville Jaguars were two of them, and both have new quarterbacks. The Cincinnati Bengals should get quarterback Joe Burrow back in the lineup, while the New York Giants should be getting back Saquon Barkley and surrounded Daniel Jones with some new weapons.
The Broncos, meanwhile, failed to significantly upgrade their quarterback situation in the offseason, choosing only to bring in Teddy Bridgewater as competition for Drew Lock.
The Broncos' biggest additions offensively were free-agent running back Mike Boone and second-round running back Javonte Williams. Along with Melvin Gordon III, they could provide Denver with a powerful run game that takes pressure off of the quarterback.
However, until/unless the Broncos identify a bona fide franchise quarterback, their offense is likely to remain hamstrung.
29. New York Giants
2020 Rankings: 31st points scored, 31st in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Jason Garrett
Only the Jets were more underwhelming offensively than the Giants in 2020, due largely to the fact that Saquon Barkley missed almost the entire season with a torn ACL. Barkley is expected to be back to 100 percent this year, and the Giants did take steps to improve their passing attack.
New York signed Kenny Golladay and tight end Kyle Rudolph in free agency and used a first-round pick on wideout Kadarius Toney. However, Toney is largely a gadget player at this point in his career. Offensive coordinator Jason Garrett will have to scheme ways to put the football in his hands for Toney to have any sizable impact this season.
"Essentially, you're betting on the flash with Toney and hoping he develops into a consistent superweapon creating yards from across the formation for a creative play-caller," Nate Tice of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.
The Giants offense should be better in 2021, but for it to be substantially so, two things have to happen:
- Barkley will have to stay healthy and be closer to the Pro Bowl back he was as a rookie than the runner he was in 2019—when he averaged 15.9 fewer scrimmage yards per game.
- Daniel Jones will need to show significant growth as a quarterback after finishing 2020 with a passer rating of 80.4.
28. New England Patriots
2020 Rankings: 27th in points scored, 27th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Josh McDaniels
Whether the New England Patriots make a significant jump offensively will depend on how quickly rookie quarterback Mac Jones gets on the field and if he can provide some consistency to the passing attack. While New England did add pass-catchers Hunter Henry, Nelson Agholor and Jonnu Smith in free agency, the team had the league's 30th-ranked passing attack with Cam Newton last season.
The Patriots also lost wideout Julian Edelman to retirement and guard Joe Thuney in free agency.
Last year, the Patriots featured a run-based attack that ranked sixth-worst in the league in offensive SRS. They probably aren't looking at a much better situation unless Jones is ready to play early and at a high level.
The Patriots went on a spending spree in free agency, but many of the acquisitions—including Matt Judon, Jalen Mills, Kyle Van Noy, Davon Godchaux and Justin Bethel—are defensive players. Expect Bill Belichick to again employ a game plan of trying to win with defense and the ground game.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars
2020 Rankings: 30th in points scored, 28th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Darrell Bevell
For the Jacksonville Jaguars, it's all going to come down to how Trevor Lawrence performs as a rookie. Jacksonville drafted the Clemson quarterback along with Clemson running back Travis Etienne in the first round, and those two will be the foundation of the offense moving forward.
However, there's no guarantee Lawrence will instantly make the Jaguars offense potent. Joe Burrow hit the ground running for Cincinnati, but the Bengals offense was still decidedly average during his rookie campaign.
Jacksonville had the league's third-worst offensive SRS last season and an offensive line that allowed 44 sacks. These are factors that could hamper Lawrence's early growth.
Head coach Urban Meyer is also untested in the NFL, though offensive coordinator Darrell Bevell is experienced. There are simply too many variables with Jacksonville to rank this offense highly, even if the future for Lawrence appears to be exceptionally bright.
26. Philadelphia Eagles
2020 Rankings: 26th in points scored, 24th in total yards (tied)
Offensive Coordinator: Shane Steichen
The Philadelphia Eagles are Jalen Hurts' team now, and it's unclear just how effective he'll be as a full-time starter. Hurts took over for the now-departed Carson Wentz late in the 2020 and breathed new life into the offense, but the Eagles were still a disaster over the course of the season.
Philadelphia lacked weapons at wide receiver, had the third-worst offensive SRS in the NFC and surrendered a whopping 65 sacks on the year.
The good news is offensive tackles Lane Johnson and Andre Dillard are both expected to be healthy—Dillard missed all of 2020, while Johnson missed nine games—which should help in the protection department. The Eagles also grabbed Hurts a new No. 1 target in first-round receiver DeVonta Smith.
Hurts has high upside, and the Eagles do have a quality running back in Miles Sanders. However, Philadelphia is also starting over with new head coach Nick Sirianni and offensive coordinator Shane Steichen. An adjustment period is likely, which could lead to underwhelming results early.
25. Detroit Lions
2020 Rankings: 20th in points scored, 20th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Anthony Lynn
The Detroit Lions are one of the few teams whose offense seemed to get notably worse in the offseason. While drafting left tackle Penei Sewell was a brilliant move, and the additions of running back Jamaal Williams and receivers Tyrell Williams and Breshad Perriman will help, Detroit lost two offensive centerpieces in the offseason.
No. 1 receiver Kenny Golladay is now with the Giants, while Matthew Stafford was traded for Jared Goff and a bevy of draft picks. Goff represents a downgrade at the quarterback position.
This doesn't mean that new head coach Dan Campbell and offensive coordinator Anthony Lynn won't find ways to make things work. However, Lions fans can likely expect a team that tries to win with defense and a strong ground game centered around Williams and D'Andre Swift.
Unless Goff experiences an unexpected resurgence in Detroit, the Lions are likely to feature a one-dimensional and relatively underwhelming offense this season.
24. Chicago Bears
2020 Rankings: 22nd in points scored (tied), 26th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Bill Lazor
The Chicago Bears are in a situation similar to that of Jacksonville. A lot will hinge on how quickly rookie quarterback Justin Fields can get onto the field and develop. Andy Dalton should not be viewed as a significant upgrade over Mitchell Trubisky, and the Bears aren't going to rush their newest quarterback.
"Andy is our starter, and we're going to have a really good plan in place to develop Justin and do what's best for our organization and win games," general manager Ryan Pace said, per ESPN's Jeff Dickerson.
The Bears do have a star receiver in Allen Robinson II, a budding star in wideout Darnell Mooney, a serviceable starting back in David Montgomery and an underrated play-caller in Matt Nagy. However, the uncertainty at quarterback is huge, and the Bears are looking at starting a rookie in Teven Jenkins at left tackle after parting with Charles Leno Jr. post-draft.
If Fields makes a quick transition and takes over early, Chicago could see a surprising offensive jump similar to the one the Los Angeles Chargers made with Justin Herbert last year. As long as Dalton is the starter, though, this will likely be a suboptimal unit.
23. Miami Dolphins
2020 Rankings: 15th in points scored, 22nd in total yards
Offensive Coordinators: Eric Studesville and George Godsey
The Miami Dolphins' 2021 offense will go as quarterback Tua Tagovailoa goes. The second-year signal-caller showed flashes as a rookie but left plenty of uncertainty surrounding the quarterback position.
Tagovailoa finished with a good-for-a-rookie passer rating of 87.1 but struggled to push the ball downfield and was yanked from games in favor of journeyman Ryan Fitzpatrick. Tagovailoa averaged an underwhelming 6.3 yards per attempt in 2020.
If Tagovailoa can make a significant jump, though, the pieces are in place for Miami to have a prolific offense. After adding Jaylen Waddle in the first round, Miami has an impressive receiving corps that also includes DeVante Parker, Will Fuller, Preston Williams and Mike Gesicki. While the running back group of Myles Gaskin, Malcolm Brown, Salvon Ahmed and rookie Gerrid Doaks isn't super impressive, it should be serviceable.
Everything here will depend on how Tagovailoa develops and how quickly co-offensive coordinators Eric Studesville and George Godsey can implement their system.
22. Washington Football Team
2020 Rankings: 25th in points scored, 30th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Scott Turner
The Washington Football Team made the playoffs on the strength of its second-ranked defense last season. Offensively, the Football Team left much to be desired. Washington ranked 30th in total yards and averaged just 4.8 yards per play.
The good news is the addition of quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick should bring some potency to the passing attack. Fitzpatrick can be inconsistent, but he can be a prolific passer, too. In nine games last season, he threw for 2,091 yards with 13 touchdowns and eight interceptions.
Washington also upgraded its receiving corps, signing Curtis Samuel, Adam Humphries and drafting wideout Dyami Brown in the third round.
With a versatile backfield that features Antonio Gibson, J.D. McKissic, Peyton Barber and recent addition Lamar Miller—plus a star receiver in Terry McLaurin—the Football Team should be closer to average offensively than it was a year ago. With a dominant unit on the other side of the ball, average might be enough to put Washington back into the postseason.
21. Carolina Panthers
2020 Rankings: 24th in points scored, 21st in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Joe Brady
The Carolina Panthers are betting big on quarterback Sam Darnold after acquiring him from the Jets earlier this offseason. Darnold, who has a career passer rating of 78.6, still has plenty to prove as a pro, but at just 23 years old, there's reason to believe Carolina can right his career trajectory.
For one, the Panthers are loaded with skill-position players like DJ Moore, Robby Anderson, rookie wideout Terrace Marshall Jr. and, of course, running back Christian McCaffrey.
Secondly, the Panthers have an offensive coordinator in Joe Brady who has shown he can elevate a quarterback's play. His work with Joe Burrow at LSU is noteworthy. In 2018, Burrow passed for 2,894 yards with 16 touchdowns and five interceptions. In 2019, he passed for 5,671 yards, 60 touchdowns and six interceptions. He also won the Heisman Trophy and became the No. 1 pick in the NFL draft.
Darnold is still very much an unknown, but Carolina should be no worse than it was offensively in 2020, and it has the potential to improve substantially.
20. Indianapolis Colts
2020 Rankings: 9th in points scored, 10th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Marcus Brady
Which version of Carson Wentz will the Indianapolis Colts get in 2021? That's the biggest unknown for this team and why Indianapolis gets knocked down the rankings after fielding a top-10 offense in 2020.
If the Colts get the pre-injury, Pro Bowl version of Wentz, they'll quickly rise through the rankings. If they get the disaster of a quarterback that was Wentz in 2020, though, they could struggle.
The Colts do have weapons, including running backs Jonathan Taylor and Nyheim Hines and wideouts Michael Pittman Jr. and T.Y. Hilton. However, Indianapolis lacks proven options at tight end and is in the process of replacing starting left tackle Anthony Castonzo, who retired in the offseason.
Still, the biggest question mark is Wentz. Based on how he performed in 2020—he had a passer rating of 72.8—the Colts come out of the draft ranked lower than their overall talent might suggest.
19. Cincinnati Bengals
2020 Rankings: 29th in points scored, 29th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Brian Callahan
To be fair, the upside of the Cincinnati Bengals offense is tremendous, and this ranking may seem a little silly midseason. Joe Burrow was on pace for a 4,300-yard season before he was lost for the year with torn knee ligaments. The Bengals reunited him with former LSU receiver Ja'Marr Chase, who gives Cincinnati an outstanding trio of wideouts along with Tee Higgins and Tyler Boyd.
Cincinnati also has a high-end running back in Joe Mixon.
The issue here is that Burrow is coming back from a devastating knee injury, and there's no telling how he'll respond. The offensive line was suspect in 2020, surrendering 48 sacks, and saw minimal upgrades in the additions of Riley Reiff and rookie second-round pick Jackson Carman.
The Bengals had the league's fourth-worst offensive SRS last season. While missing Burrow for six games played a role in that, his recovery and the offensive line are still legitimate concerns. Cincinnati is probably still a year away from unlocking Burrow's full potential and fielding an elite offense.
18. Atlanta Falcons
2020 Rankings: 16th in points scored, 18th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Dave Ragone
After drafting Florida tight end Kyle Pitts fourth overall, the Atlanta Falcons have the potential to feature the league's most potent passing attack. Pitts is considered a generational pass-catcher, and the Falcons still have a Hall of Fame-caliber quarterback in Matt Ryan, a future Hall of Famer in Julio Jones and other weapons in Calvin Ridley and Hayden Hurst—though Jones could be traded for cap relief.
"When teams ask about players, we have to answer those calls and we have to listen because we do have to, we knew when we stepped into this we were going to have to make some tough decisions because it is just the reality of it. That's where we are with the salary cap, so we have to make some difficult decisions," general manager Terry Fontenot said, per ESPN's Michael Rothstein.
The big issue for the Falcons is a lackluster rushing attack and an imbalanced offense. Atlanta ranked 31st in yards per carry last year and is counting on 28-year-old free-agent addition Mike Davis to revitalize the ground game.
This lack of balance could be a significant issue and is the one reason why Atlanta may be an average team offensively in 2021.
17. Los Angeles Rams
2020 Rankings: 22nd in points scored (tied), 11th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Kevin O'Connell
How big of an impact will quarterback Matthew Stafford have on the Los Angeles Rams offense this season? That remains to be seen, and it's an uncertainty that has L.A. ranked near the middle of the pack here. With Jared Goff under center, the Rams regularly racked up the yardage without cashing in on points in 2020.
There is potential for significant improvement if Stafford proves to be a major upgrade, though. L.A. already had potent weapons like Cooper Kupp, Robert Woods, Cam Akers and Tyler Higbee. It added DeSean Jackson and rookie second-round pick Tutu Atwell this offseason.
Sean McVay is an accomplished play-caller who knows how to scheme big plays on offense. It'll be interesting to see what he can cook up with the cannon-armed Stafford under center.
Still, this is an offense that didn't always put points on the board—it scored 20 or fewer eight times in the regular season—and there's no guarantee that Stafford will provide an immediate solution.
16. New Orleans Saints
2020 Rankings: 5th in points scored, 12th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Pete Carmichael Jr.
The New Orleans Saints boasted a potent offense in 2020. It ranked fifth in points scored and fourth in offensive SRS. Following the retirement of Drew Brees, however, it's hard to view the Saints as anything more than average offensively heading into training camp.
New Orleans will now hold a quarterback competition between Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston to determine Brees' replacement. While an above-average starter may emerge, there will be no replacing the experience, football IQ and leadership that left with Brees.
The Saints also parted with No. 2 receiver Emmanuel Sanders and tight end Jared Cook in the offseason. While elite weapons in Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara remain, the offense isn't as deep as it is top-heavy—and Thomas is coming off a disappointing injury-hampered season.
It's impossible to knock New Orleans down too far, though, as it still has a tremendous offensive line—one that allowed just 29 sacks in 2020—and one of the game's best offensive coaches in Sean Payton.
15. Los Angeles Chargers
2020 Rankings: 18th in points scored (tied), 9th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Joe Lombardi
Quarterback Justin Herbert was fantastic as a rookie last season, passing for 4,336 yards with 31 touchdowns and 10 interceptions. He could be even better in 2021 with the additions of All-Pro center Corey Linsley and rookie left tackle Rashawn Slater.
"He has the skill set and polish to be an immediate starter at tackle and a potential impact starter inside," Brandon Thorn of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.
Yet, Herbert is still developing as an NFL signal-caller. This is an offense that didn't always turn big yardage into big points and also produced a negative offensive SRS last season. It lost tight end Hunter Henry in free agency, and Herbert and Co. will be learning a new offense under offensive coordinator Joe Lombardi and head coach Brandon Staley.
There's plenty of potential here, to be sure—weapons like Keenan Allen, Austin Ekeler and Mike Williams remain—but until we see things come together on the field, it's impossible to view the Chargers offense as significantly better than it was a year ago.
14. Las Vegas Raiders
2020 Rankings: 10th in points scored, 8th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Greg Olson
The Las Vegas Raiders fielded a top-10 offense in both yards and points produced last season. However, retooling along the offensive line could cause some early struggles this season. The Raiders parted with offensive tackle Trent Brown, guard Gabe Jackson and Pro Bowl center Rodney Hudson in the offseason.
The Raiders also let wideouts Nelson Agholor and Tyrell Williams walk.
This should still be an above-average unit in 2021, though. Derek Carr is an above-average quarterback, while weapons like Josh Jacobs, Darren Waller and Hunter Renfrow remain. Las Vegas also drafted offensive tackle Alex Leatherwood, brought in running back Kenyan Drake to spell Jacobs and could have a tremendous rushing attack.
A lot will hinge on how quickly the new-look offensive line comes together and if new receivers like Willie Snead IV and John Brown can adequately replace Williams and Agholor. However, this should be a playoff-caliber unit.
13. Pittsburgh Steelers
2020 Rankings: 12th in points scored, 24th in total yards (tied)
Offensive Coordinator: Matt Canada
While the Pittsburgh Steelers packed some punch in the passing game last season, they were wildly imbalanced. The Steelers ranked 15th in passing yards and dead last in rushing. The addition of first-round running back Najee Harris should address the issue but perhaps not enough to make this an elite unit.
Quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, 39, started to show his age near the end of last season, while dropped passes hurt an impressive receiver group of JuJu Smith-Schuster, Diontae Johnson, James Washington and Chase Claypool.
These late-season woes could return in 2021, and the losses of starting center Maurkice Pouncey and starting left tackle Alejandro Villanueva aren't going to help matters.
Still, the additions of Harris, second-round tight end Pat Freiermuth and third-round center Kendrick Green will provide a boost. Pittsburgh should have a better all-around offense than it had last year, though Roethlisberger's decline could become a fatal flaw.
12. San Francisco 49ers
2020 Rankings: 21st in points scored, 15th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Mike McDaniel
The San Francisco 49ers used the third overall pick on quarterback Trey Lance, but his time as the team's starter may have to wait.
"It's going to be very hard for a rookie to come in and beat Jimmy Garoppolo out," head coach Kyle Shanahan told ESPN (h/t Michael David Smith of Pro Football Talk).
The success of San Francisco's offense will likely depend on the health of Garoppolo—who missed 23 games over the past three years—and other players who missed time last season, like Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. San Francisco was average at best in 2020 after ranking fourth in total offense in 2019.
For now, it's fair to rank the 49ers somewhere between where they were in 2019 and where they finished last year. While there are legitimate playmakers on the roster in Kittle, Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and Raheem Mostert—plus San Francisco added Mohamed Sanu, Wayne Gallman and rookie third-round running back Trey Sermon—the injury concerns for Garoppolo are very real.
While the ceiling should be extremely high for the 49ers offense, the floor is merely above average.
11. Arizona Cardinals
2020 Rankings: 13th in points scored, 6th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: None/head coach Kliff Kingsbury
The Arizona Cardinals have the makings of an elite passing attack. They drafted wideout Rondale Moore in the second round and already had a budding quarterback in Kyler Murray to go with DeAndre Hopkins, Christian Kirk, Andy Isabella and free-agent addition A.J. Green.
It remains to be seen if Larry Fitzgerald will return for an 18th season.
Still, the Cardinals fall outside of the top 10 for a couple of reasons. For one, they lack a true playmaker at tight end. Secondly, while Chase Edmonds has shown himself to be a capable complementary back, the backfield tandem of Edmonds and James Conner isn't elite. Kenyan Drake, who rushed for 955 yards and 10 touchdowns last season, departed in free agency.
With the dual-threat Murray elevating the ground game, this could still be a top-10 rushing offense and one of the better units in the league.
10. Dallas Cowboys
2020 Rankings: 17th in points scored, 14th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Kellen Moore
Assuming quarterback Dak Prescott is back to 100 percent and in pre-injury form, the Dallas Cowboys should have little trouble fielding a top-10 offense. Prescott was leading the NFL with 1,856 passing yards through five games when he suffered a broken ankle last year, and the Cowboys are loaded with skill players.
Even with Prescott out for most of the season, Dallas still finished in the top half of the league in yardage.
The Cowboys have an incredible receiver trio in Amari Cooper, Michael Gallup and CeeDee Lamb. They also have an emerging tight end in Dalton Schultz. While Ezekiel Elliott hasn't been the same dominant runner he was early in his career, he and Tony Pollard form a strong backfield tandem.
The only real questions on this offense pertain to Prescott's recovery and whether the offensive line can bounce back after its own injury-hampered 2020 season.
If both can remain relatively healthy through all 17 games, this could easily be a top-five unit instead of a top-10 group.
9. Tennessee Titans
2020 Rankings: 4th in points scored, 2nd in total yards (tied)
Offensive Coordinator: Todd Downing
Tennessee Titans running back Derrick Henry won his second consecutive rushing title in 2020 while topping the mythical 2,000-yard rushing mark. He helped fuel Tennessee's second-ranked rushing attack and should again be a force in 2021.
However, while Henry and the ground game are potent, Tennessee lost significant receiving targets in Corey Davis and Jonnu Smith this offseason. This could have a big impact on an underrated passing attack that tied for sixth in yards per attempt last season.
The Titans did sign wideout Josh Reynolds and use a fourth-round pick on receiver Dez Fitzpatrick. However, the offense may be even more one-dimensional than it was a year ago.
Ryan Tannehill should still be a high-end game manager, and this could still be a top-10 offense with Henry leading the way. However, it's likely to take a step back given the changes to the passing attack.
8. Minnesota Vikings
2020 Rankings: 11th in points scored, 4th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Klint Kubiak
Much of the Minnesota Vikings' success will depend on the play of quarterback Kirk Cousins, which has tended to vary during his time in the Twin Cities. He tied his career high with 13 interceptions last season and had his lowest completion percentage as a Viking (67.6). While Minnesota did use a third-round pick on quarterback Kellen Mond, though, Cousins is unlikely to cede the starting gig this season.
From a skill-position standpoint, Minnesota is relatively loaded. It has a superstar running back in Dalvin Cook, two high-end receivers in Justin Jefferson and Adam Thielen and an emerging tight end in Irv Smith Jr.
The Vikings also used a first-round pick on offensive tackle Christian Darrisaw to help replace the departed Riley Reiff, so there shouldn't be much drop-off along the line.
Any doubts about this unit are in regard to whether Cook can stay healthy for a full 17-game slate—he's never appeared in all 16 games—and whether Cousins can be more than a borderline above-average quarterback. Those are legitimate concerns about arguably their two most important players, but Minnesota should have a top-10 offense at worst in 2021.
7. Cleveland Browns
2020 Rankings: 14th in points scored, 16th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Alex Van Pelt
The Cleveland Browns ranked near the middle of the pack in points and yards last season. However, the numbers were heavily skewed by early struggles as the team adjusted to Kevin Stefanski's offense. Over the last eight games, the Browns averaged 392.4 yards per game. Prorated over the season, Cleveland would have ranked fifth in total offense.
Quarterback Baker Mayfield was also more efficient over the second half of the season, throwing 11 touchdowns and just one interception in his final eight games. If these are the versions of Mayfield and the Cleveland offense we can expect, the Browns should have a top-10 unit in 2020.
All of Cleveland's offensive starters will be back, including Mayfield, Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, Austin Hooper and arguably the league's best offensive line. The Browns also boast an elite backfield duo in Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt—even with Chubb missing four games, the Browns ranked fifth in yards per carry last season.
Mayfield still has to prove he can play at a high level consistently, and Stefanski will need to continue molding the offense, but it has a lot of potential.
6. Seattle Seahawks
2020 Rankings: 8th in points scored, 17th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Shane Waldron
While the Seattle Seahawks didn't regularly crank out the yardage in 2020, they were extremely efficient at putting points on the board. They ranked eighth in scoring and had the fifth-highest offensive SRS in the league.
Russell Wilson remains one of the NFL's few truly elite signal-callers, and he has two elite receivers in Tyler Lockett and DK Metcalf. Seattle has a quality starter in running back Chris Carson, too.
The Seahawks brought in guard Gabe Jackson to bolster the offensive line and used a third-round pick on wide receiver D'Wayne Eskridge. While Eskridge was a late-rising prospect and is on the small side at 5'9", 190 pounds, he should add a new dynamic to the offense.
"Despite his undersized frame, Eskridge consistently produced on the outside with his competitive and explosive play," Nate Tice of the B/R Scouting Department wrote.
Seattle's offense has the potential to be even better than it was in 2020, and it should be no worse.
5. Baltimore Ravens
2020 Rankings: 7th in points scored, 19th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Greg Roman
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson regressed some in 2020 after earning unanimous MVP honors in 2019. However, he still rushed for 1,000 yards as the centerpiece of the league's top rushing attack and helped Baltimore score the seventh-most points in the NFL.
The Ravens then used the offseason to further support Jackson as a passer. They brought in wideout Sammy Watkins and drafted receivers Rashod Bateman and Tylan Wallace to partner with 2019 first-round pick Marquise Brown and standout tight end Mark Andrews. While Baltimore did trade right tackle Orlando Brown Jr., it brought in guard Kevin Zeitler and tackle Alejandro Villanueva.
While running back Mark Ingram II is gone, the Ravens still have a strong backfield duo in J.K. Dobbins and Gus Edwards.
With Jackson capable of racking up 1,000 yards on the ground, Baltimore's rushing attack should be just as dangerous as it was in 2020. With Bateman, Wallace and Watkins in the fold, its passing game should pose more of a consistent threat.
4. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
2020 Rankings: 3rd in points scored, 7th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Byron Leftwich
We can keep this one relatively brief because the Tampa Bay Buccaneers' entire 2020 starting offense will be back for 2021. That group came together amid a pandemic-altered offseason, had no preseason and still finished the year ranked third in scoring, seventh in yardage and second in offensive SRS.
Tampa's offense might be even better than it was a year ago, as Tom Brady, Rob Gronkowski, Leonard Fournette and the rest of last year's new additions have now had a full year together in Tampa.
Standout receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin haven't gone anywhere, and the Bucs also added a premier receiving back in Giovani Bernard.
As long as Brady continues to outpace Father Time, Tampa should again have a top-five offense this season.
3. Green Bay Packers
2020 Rankings: 1st in points scored, 5th in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Nathaniel Hackett
We have to preface this with a pretty sizable caveat. The Green Bay Packers offense ranks third only if Aaron Rodgers returns for the 2021 season, and there's no guarantee he will. According to ESPN's Adam Schefter, Rodgers does not want to play for Green Bay anymore.
We can probably knock Green Bay down about 10 spots if Jordan Love starts at quarterback instead of the reigning MVP.
If Rodgers is back, though, Green Bay should have one of the best offenses in the league. Rodgers is already a future Hall of Famer playing at a prime level, Davante Adams is an elite receiver, and the backfield tandem of Aaron Jones and AJ Dillon should be a problem.
Green Bay also has some fine complementary pieces in wideout Marquez Valdes-Scantling, receiver Allen Lazard and tight end Robert Tonyan. The Packers also added former Clemson wideout Amari Rodgers in the third round of the draft and took center Josh Myers in Round 2.
Almost all of the pieces are in place for the Packers offense to be just as dangerous as it was in 2020. The only piece that is missing—for now, anyway—is Rodgers.
2. Buffalo Bills
2020 Rankings: 2nd in points scored, 2nd in total yards (tied)
Offensive Coordinator: Brian Daboll
The Buffalo Bills had one of the league's most explosive offenses in 2020 thanks to the newly created duo of quarterback Josh Allen and wideout Stefon Diggs. With Allen now throwing to a legitimate No. 1 receiver, Buffalo had the NFL's third-ranked aerial attack.
The Bills offense also produced the highest offensive SRS by a fairly wide margin. Even if we were to discount yardage and points totals—which we aren't—the Bills offense was both dangerous and efficient in 2020.
The one real knock on Buffalo's offense is the fact that the 20th-ranked rushing attack was a bit underwhelming. The addition of Matt Breida in free agency should help remedy the issue.
The Bills offense should feature a bit more balance this season, though it will largely still run through Allen. The scary part is he's still developing as a signal-caller and could take another step toward MVP level in 2021.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
2020 Rankings: 6th in points scored, 1st in total yards
Offensive Coordinator: Eric Bieniemy
The Kansas City Chiefs' place atop this list should surprise no one. While Kansas City wasn't the most prolific scoring team in 2020, it produced the most yards and boasted arguably the best young quarterback in Patrick Mahomes.
Offense carried the Chiefs all the way to Super Bowl LV, and there's a chance it could be even better in 2021. While the Chiefs did lose wideout Sammy Watkins and offensive tackles Mitchell Schwartz and Eric Fisher, they also reloaded the line by trading for Orlando Brown Jr. and signing Austin Blythe, Joe Thuney and Kyle Long.
If Mahomes has proper protection up front, the Kansas City offense will be borderline unstoppable this season—the Chiefs only lost one regular-season game with Mahomes starting last season.
There's no reason to believe Kansas City's offense won't again be the league's best in 2021.