A lot will happen between now and the start of the 2019 NFL season, but these are my top offenses in the league. Many teams that missed this top 12 could have made the list—for example, I think the Cardinals will put up numbers under Kliff Kingsbury, but I opted against listing a team with a rookie quarterback and rookie head coach. There are always surprises in the NFL, and there will almost certainly be teams not listed that will be among the league’s best offenses in 2019.
12. Chicago Bears
The Seahawks, Panthers, Packers, and Cowboys were just a few of the other teams that could have made the cut here at No. 12, but the Bears are getting the nod. It’ll come down to third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky getting more consistent after showing major flashes last season, as the former second overall pick has undeniable talent and plays for one of the best offensive coaches in football in Matt Nagy. Rookie running back David Montgomery will also be a key, along with the receiving corps staying healthy and stepping up—including 2018 second-round pick Anthony Miller, who has sky-high upside playing opposite Allen Robinson. Chicago is a potent group heading into its second season with Nagy at the helm.
11. Oakland Raiders
Know-it-alls on social media think Raiders head coach Jon Gruden is clueless, but the Super Bowl-winning head coach is one of the hardest workers in the game, and he has new toys to work with this season. It takes time for a quarterback to master Gruden’s offense, and Derek Carr should be a lot more comfortable heading into Year 2 in the system—and it helps that he has All-Pro wide receiver Antonio Brown to throw the ball to, along with more additions to the skill positions and improvements on the offensive line. Oakland is going to want to be physical and run the ball, which will set up play-action passes; but they are likely to be one of the most versatile units in the NFL, with the ability to open things up and go spread right after utilizing a three-tight-end power set.
10. Cleveland Browns
The Browns are a tricky offense to gauge in June, as they have plenty of talent including quarterback Baker Mayfield; running back Nick Chubb (and Kareem Hunt, who is suspended the first eight games of the season); wide receivers Odell Beckham Jr., Jarvis Landry, and Antonio Callaway; and tight end David Njoku. However, the offensive line is a slight question, and I feel like the team having so many emotional characters could lead to some inconsistency. Cleveland has top-tier upside, but it won’t be a huge surprise if they aren’t one of the ten best offenses in the league this season.
9. Pittsburgh Steelers
The Steelers are also a difficult offense to get a read on, as there are some questions after Antonio Brown’s departure given the All-Pro receiver’s connection with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. But it helps that Big Ben is a future Hall of Famer that’ll elevate the play of the guys around him that need to step up post-AB, so Pittsburgh should remain among the NFL’s top offenses in 2019. Also, the Steelers have one of the league’s best offensive lines to pave the way for James Conner and give Roethlisberger time in the pocket, and JuJu Smith-Schuster has already shown he has elite ability.
8. Philadelphia Eagles
Carson Wentz is almost certainly hearing all the talk about the Eagles making the wrong decision to stick with him and hand him a huge contract, and it feels like the franchise doesn’t like the noise, either. The actions taken by the Eagles during the offseason have been designed to put their quarterback in a position to not only have success, but to make a statement and put up huge numbers. The offensive line is deeper after adding Andre Dillard in the first round, and Philadelphia then drafted more firepower by selecting Miles Sanders and J.J. Arcega-Whiteside in the second round. They could easily be the NFL’s top offense this season, but they’re down at No. 8 for now after finishing 18th in scoring last season—and Wentz obviously must stay healthy after suffering season-ending injuries the last two years.
7. New Orleans Saints
The Eagles are also in the mix, but this next seven teams in particular all have a strong case for being the NFL’s top offense this season in my opinion. Drew Brees remained about as good as ever last season, but he turned 40 in January and could take a step back, which is part of why they are down at No. 7. The team added athletic veteran tight end Jared Cook to help stretch the middle of the field, and that should take pressure off No. 1 receiver Michael Thomas and the rotating group of secondary receivers around him—though second-year player Tre’Quan Smith could step up and be a consistent No. 2 option for Brees. Alvin Kamara is simply a headache for opposing defenses and can take over a game, and free-agent signing Latavius Murray should seamlessly take Mark Ingram’s role as a critical complementary option in New Orleans’ backfield.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
Last season, the Chargers showed they can go toe-to-toe with the electric Chiefs offense in a Thursday Night Football matchup in December despite Melvin Gordon being inactive with a knee injury and Keenan Allen leaving the game early with a hip injury—no one had to panic with the gritty Philip Rivers at quarterback. LA lost receiver Tyrell Williams to the Raiders in free agency, but former top-ten pick Mike Williams (a huge factor in that Thursday night win last season) should be ready to step up with more playing time on the outside. The Chargers backfield is one of the best in the league with the duo of Gordon and Austin Ekeler, and Gordon is a nearly-unstoppable touchdown-scorer that helps his team cap off drives with six points.
5. Indianapolis Colts
The elite offensive line of the Colts—likely the best unit in the league—is a big reason the team lands in the top five of the NFL’s best offenses for 2019. Coming off a 39-touchdown season, Andrew Luck was sacked just 18 times last year, which is an astonishing number for someone that was second in the league in passing attempts (639); and the offensive line was absolutely dominant when they were given the opportunity to road-grade for starting running back Marlon Mack: in the five games Mack had 19+ carries (including playoffs), he had at least 125+ yards and a touchdown. T.Y Hilton remains one of the best deep threats in football, Devin Funchess was signed to add more size to the outside for an already-big team, and second-round rookie Parris Campbell adds another element as someone with blazing speed that’s exceptional on taking short drag routes for chunk yardage.
4. Kansas City Chiefs
Initially, I had the Chiefs in the top spot among NFL offenses for 2019, but I settled on No. 4 because Tyreek Hill seems likely to miss a ton of time due to a suspension (if not the entire season). Again, all of the top several teams could be in the No. 1 spot, though. Even without Hill, Kansas City has All-Pro Travis Kelce at tight end and a track-speed group on the outside led by Sammy Watkins. I’ve always liked running back Damien Williams, and he broke out when given a big opportunity as the team’s starter last season—if he ultimately doesn’t work out as a full-time starter, Carlos Hyde is excellent depth at the position. Reigning league MVP Patrick Mahomes is coming off 5,097 yards and 50 passing touchdowns in his first season as an NFL starter, and it’ll interesting to see how he fares with a year of experience versus defenses having a year of film on him—overall, he’s probably just too talented to take a big step back.
3. Atlanta Falcons
Despite a bunch of injuries on the offensive line, the Falcons averaged 25.9 points per game last season. Now, after adding two first-round rookies (guard Chris Lindstrom and tackle Kaleb McGary) to the offensive line to go along with a former MVP quarterback in Matt Ryan and a stacked skill position group, Atlanta should be squarely among the NFL’s best attacks this season. Wide receiver Julio Jones can arguably take over a game more than any non-quarterback in the league, and he has dynamic second-year receiver Calvin Ridley and veteran Mohamed Sanu complementing him, while running back Devonta Freeman will hopefully remain healthy this season. One notable downside to the Falcons is that they lost Tevin Coleman—one of the most explosive players in the league—in free agency, but Matty Ice and company should be a top-notch group if the two rookies up front are ready to contribute immediately.
2. New England Patriots
I don’t intend for things to be controversial, but this might be the most debated spot on the list simply because Tom Brady didn’t put up big statistics last season and isn’t really considered an elite fantasy quarterback any longer. But make no mistake, Brady is still great real-life quarterback, and he commands a multiple offense that can beat a defense in more ways than any other offense in the league. I think the power running game led by second-year running back Sony Michel (if healthy) will remain a primary component of the unit, as the team is built to punish opposing defenses that are now designed to stop pass-happy offenses around the league. If you don’t believe the Patriots are still a top offense, you might want to take a look at the AFC playoffs from a few months ago. Talent-wise, New England might not be a top-three offense, but they have Brady, an experienced coaching staff, and a group of players that do their jobs—including veterans James White and Julian Edelman.
1. Los Angeles Rams
Talent is an important factor in the Rams being my best offense heading into 2019, as they are stacked at every position—and head coach Sean McVay has gotten the most out of that talent in his first two years leading the team. We previously went over the ability of quarterback Jared Goff, and he should be better than ever entering his third year in McVay’s offense. The receiving trio of Robert Woods, Brandin Cooks, and Cooper Kupp is clearly the best in football in my opinion, and running back Todd Gurley will hopefully be OK despite a lot of outside concern about his knee issues. Even if Gurley isn’t healthy, Malcolm Brown and rookie Darrell Henderson would step in and play well or spell the former Offensive Player of the Year. The Rams are undergoing some change on the offensive line, but it should remain one of the better groups in the league—if not, then a step back should be expected despite this No. 1 ranking.