The betting public loves wagering on teams that can score points, which is one of the factors NFL oddsmakers take into account when developing a point spread on a particular matchup.
2013-14 Offensive NFL Power Rankings
1. Denver Broncos: Quarterback Peyton Manning will have plenty of options to throw to when looking downfield, including the addition of former New England Patriots wide receiver Wes Welker.
2. Green Bay Packers: Land in the top spot with quarterback Aaron Rodgers signing a new contract extension and Tom Clements entering this second year as offensive coordinator.
3. New Orleans Saints: Finished second in the league in averaging 410.9 yards per game a season ago—without head coach Sean Payton on the sidelines. He’s back and so is signal-caller Drew Brees.
4. Atlanta Falcons: A potential upgrade in signing former St. Louis Rams running back Steven Jackson to replace the departed Michael Turner. You’ll have a hard time finding a better wide receiver duo than Julio Jones and Roddy White, while tight end Tony Gonzalez returns after hinting at retirement.
5. New England Patriots: The tight end situation is alarming, with Rob Gronkowski spending more time in the surgical room than on the football field, while Aaron Hernandez may land in legal trouble this week.
6. Dallas Cowboys: It all depends on the offensive line and the health of running back DeMarco Murray. Wide receiver Dez Bryant has turned into a star that quarterback Tony Romo can potentially trust for years to come.
7. San Francisco 49ers: Could be ranked higher, but NFL defenses have had an entire offseason to learn how to attack the spread offense, which could present numerous challenges for quarterback Colin Kaepernick. Wide receiver Michael Crabtree’s injury is also a concern.
8. Seattle Seahawks: Few teams were more efficient on this side of the ball in 2012, as quarterback Russell Wilson seemed to get better on a weekly basis. I’ll be watching closely to see if running back Marshawn Lynch starts to slow down after back-to-back years of 285-plus carries.
9. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford threw a NFL-high 727 passes last year and has wide receiver Calvin Johnson to target downfield. Running back Reggie Bush could prove to be the missing piece in moving this unit into the Top 5 in this category by the end of the year.
10. New York Giants: You never know with this roster, especially with wide recievers Victor Cruz and Hakeem Nicks being unhappy with their current contract situation.
11. Baltimore Ravens: Could be the No. 1 offense in the league if it played all 16 games at M&T Bank Stadium, but that’s not the case. Quarterback Joe Flacco still has some big-time weapons—even with the departure of possession receiver Anquan Boldin to San Francisco.
12. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Last year’s free agent acquisition of wide receiver Vincent Jackson paid major dividends, while running back Doug Martin was one of the best all around players in the game in his first season. Can Josh Freeman take the next step under center?
13. Washington Redskins: A wait and see approach on the health of quarterback Robert Griffin III, while running back Alfred Morris will have a difficult time eclipsing the 1,600-yard mark in his second season. If Griffin stays in the pocket more—it limits the explosiveness of this unit.
14. Houston Texans: A lot of injury prone players on this side of the ball that have gotten a year older since getting knocked out of the playoffs by the New England Patriots a season ago. Definitely a Top 5-10 offense if running back Arian Foster and wide receiver Andre Johnson can play a full 16 games.
15. Cincinnati Bengals: One of the teams that I struggled with when putting this list together, as the team has made a concerted effort in getting quarterback Andy Dalton some more weapons, which was evident in using their first two picks in the NFL draft on tight end Tyler Eifert and Giovani Bernard.
16. Indianapolis Colts: The addition of backup quarterback Matt Hasselbeck will only help Andrew Luck, who will also be reunited with Pep Hamilton, who served as Stanford’s offensive coordinator from 2010-12. The offensive line must play better, or it will be a middle-of-the-pack finish for this unit.
17. Carolina Panthers: Wide receiver Steve Smith isn’t getting any younger, which is why I’m surprised this franchise hasn’t landed a major free agent at that position since drafting quarterback Cam Newton.
18. Miami Dolphins: How motivated will wide receiver Mike Wallace be after signing a huge free agent contract? Will quarterback Ryan Tannehill build off a solid rookie season? The talent is here—questions remain.
19. Chicago Bears: Very difficult team to get a read on, and it will all depend on quarterback Jay Cutler’s relationship with new head coach Marc Trestman and offensive coordinator Aaron Kromer. Wide receiver Brandon Marshall enjoyed a huge year in his first go around in the Windy City.
20. Kansas City Chiefs: Turnovers absolutely killed this unit a season ago, but those numbers should improve with head coach Andy Reid and quarterback Alex Smith in town. A very dangerous team with explosive playmakers at the skilled positions.
21. Philadelphia Eagles: I’m not sure what former Oregon Ducks head coach Chip Kelly has planned at this level, while quarterback Michael Vick hasn’t played a full season since 2006.
22. San Diego Chargers: Quarterback Philip Rivers had a very close relationship with former head coach Norv Turner, while the franchise has let some of its top talent leave the area in recent years. Too many question marks right now, especially at running back after Ryan Mathews averaged just 3.8 yards per carry behind a terrible offensive line.
23. Minnesota Vikings: It’s hard for me to imagine that running back Adrian Peterson is going to run for 2,000-plus yards in back-to-back seasons, as opposing defenses will place nine players in the box until quarterback Christian Ponder demonstrates he belongs in the NFL.
24. Pittsburgh Steelers: A group that is trending downward with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger continuing to rack up injuries, while its vertical threat in the passing game is now in South Beach. I do like the selection of running back LeVeon Bell in the second round of this year’s draft.
25. St. Louis Rams: It all depends on the chemistry that quarterback Sam Bradford can develop with Tavon Austin and Stedman Bailey—the rookie wide receiver duo out of West Virginia.
26. Arizona Cardinals: Carson Palmer is a major upgrade under center in comparison to the group the team had in 2012, but a lot of his yards came when the Oakland Raiders were trailing by double digits. Expect a major bounce back year for wide receiver Larry Fitzgerald—even if the offensive line continues to be one of the worst in football.
27. Cleveland Browns: A quarterback depth chart of Brandon Weeden, Jason Campbell and Brian Hoyer leaves a lot to be desired.
28. Buffalo Bills: A talented group at the skilled positions, but ultimately lands in this spot until a starting quarterback is named.
29. Tennessee Titans: I was shocked when the franchise used its No. 8 pick in the 2011 NFL draft on quarterback Jake Locker. The former Washington Huskies star can only hope that running back Chris Johnson is motivated to run for 2,000 yards again.
30. Oakland Raiders: Running back Darren McFadden is the only reason this squad didn’t land in the No. 32 spot. Could easily end up there if he doesn’t move past a toe injury that has hampered him in the past.
31. Jacksonville Jaguars: Running back Maurice Jones-Drew isn’t getting any younger, while quarterback Blaine Gabbert leaves a lot to be desired. The four-game suspension handed to wide receiver Justin Blackmon to start the season is the final knockout blow.
32. New York Jets: Very little hope for Mark Sanchez to take a step forward under center when there’s little-to-no talent around him. At least Tim Tebow saga is over.