Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs dominated on offense last season. With Kareem Hunt now gone and Tyreek Hill in hot water, will that remain the case in 2019?
Over in the NFC, Drew Brees and his New Orleans Saints were hitting on all cylinders this past year. We fully expect this offense to continue its domination.
Meanwhile, there’s a couple young offenses ready to take the next step in San Francisco and Cleveland. These are among the 10 most explosive NFL offenses heading into the 2019 season.
10. San Francisco 49ers
Dealing with undrafted starters at quarterback and running back for the vast majority of last season, Kyle Shanahan’s offense still ranked in the top half of the NFL. That’s a testament to his brilliant scheme and play-calling ability. This season will be different. Jimmy Garoppolo is healthy. San Francisco added another solid running back in Tevin Coleman. Meanwhile, the team also selected two receivers in April’s draft (Deebo Samuel and Jalen Hurd).
The 2019 campaign might be make or break for this team, but the offense should be pretty fun to watch. That’s magnified by the presence of record-breaking tights end George Kittle and one of the top offensive tackle pairings in the NFL.
9. Baltimore Ravens
Talk about untapped potential in Baltimore. The focus is obviously going to be on second-year quarterback Lamar Jackson, who will be working in a new offense under coordinator Greg Roman. Just ask Colin Kaepernick how well a mobile and talented quarterback can perform in said offense.
Baltimore’s offense is a bit lower than it could be. Again, that’s primarily due to the untapped potential. Jackson will be joined in the backfield by Pro Bowler Mark Ingram and underrated rookie in Justice Hill. Meanwhile, rookie first-round pick Marquise Brown will benefit from Jackson’s play-making ability in the backfield. We’re more than bullish on this offense in 2019.
8. Seattle Seahawks
For as much grief as offensive coordinator Brian Schottenheimer has received in the past, he turned around Seattle’s rushing attack last season. Here’s a unit that finished in the bottom 10 in rushing two seasons ago only to rank No. 1 in that category at 160 yards per game last season. Young back Chris Carson looks to be an absolute stud.
Though, Seattle’s explosive ability starts and ends with future Hall of Fame quarterback Russell Wilson. He remains one of the most-dynamic players at his position in the NFL. And even with Doug Baldwin being forced into retirement, there’s a whole lot to like here. Wilson has been near perfect tossing the rock to Tyler Lockett. Seattle also picked up two high-upside receivers in the 2019 NFL Draft in the form of D.K. Metcalf and Gary Jennings.
7. New England Patriots
The loss of Rob Gronkowski to retirement will undoubtedly hurt Tom Brady and Co. But it’s Brady’s presence on this offense that should lead to optimism that the Pats will continue to dominate. More than even the passing game, we should have our eyes on New England’s rushing attack. Sony Michel was darn good as a rookie, going for nearly 1,000 total yards at a clip of 4.5 yards per rush. He’s joined by rookie Damien Harris and a catch-first back in James White who adds a whole other dimension to the offense.
New England’s success on offense will rely a lot on rookie first-round pick N’Keal Harry and the recently signed Demaryius Thomas at receiver. If both have seamless transitions, this could be a top-five unit.
6. Houston Texans
Deshaun Waton’s brilliance over the first two years of his career has fans in Houston excited about the future of this team. He led the Texans to an 11-5 record and the NFL’s 11th-best scoring offense last season. It really was fun to watch him play catch with DeAndre Hopkins.
The Texans and head coach Bill O’Brien are hopeful that consistency becomes a bigger part of this unit in 2019. That starts with Watson’s progression under center. But the return of Will Fuller from injury and a revamped offensive line is even more cause of optimism in Houston. Expect a breakout 2019 campaign from this unit.
5. Los Angeles Chargers
The Chargers’ ability to be dominant on offense will depend heavily on running back Melvin Gordon’s health. The two-time Pro Bowler is averaging nearly 1,500 total yards over the past two seasons. Though, he’s also been hobbled by multiple injuries during that span.
If Gordon can turn in a completely healthy 2019 season, Los Angeles will boast a top-five offense. Future Hall of Fame quarterback Philip Rivers is coming off a career-best performance. The likes of Keenan Allen and Mike Williams can dominate at receiver. Meanwhile, young tight end Hunter Henry is back healthy after an injury-plagued 2018 campaign. This offense is legit.
4. Los Angeles Rams
We can question Jared Goff’s performance late last season and in the Super Bowl. There’s a lot to question there. He put up just seven touchdowns compared to eight interceptions over the final eight games. The continued injury questions surrounding All-Pro running back Todd Gurley remain a concern.
Even then, Rams head coach Sean McVay has proven to be the best play caller in the NFL. He has the weapons to succeed on offense with the likes of Brandin Cooks, Cooper Kupp and an impressive Robert Woods at receiver. Add in stud rookie runnning back Darrell Henderson, and this should once again be a top-five unit in 2019.
3. Kansas City Chiefs
It’s crazy to think just how well the Chiefs were able to overcome Kareem Hunt’s off-field issues and subsequent release from the team last season. Whether Kansas City is facing a similar situation with Tyreek Hill this year remains to be seen.
What we do know is that the likes of Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Sammy Watkins and Damien Williams return to form a tremendous skill-position group. We’re also extremely high on rookie receiver Mecole Hardman. This offense should once again be great in 2019.
2. Cleveland Browns
The talent level of Cleveland’s offense is seemingly otherworldly. Baker Mayfield’s record-breaking performance as a rookie is one thing. We’re fully expecting him to take it to the next level as a sophomore. With what he has at his disposal, we could be looking at a Browns offense averaging north of 30 points per game.
The combination of Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt in the backfield is just ridiculous. Adding more fire power to this unit, Cleveland acquired All-Pro receiver Odell Beckham Jr. in a trade back in March. He’ll team up with fellow receiver Jarvis Landry and talented young tight end David Njoku to form an elite pass-catching trio for Mayfield.
1.New Orleans Saints
Drew Brees, Alvin Kamara and Michael Thomas. All three of these players were among the best at their positions last season. Kamara put up his second consecutive 1,500-plus yard season while scoring a ridiculous 18 touchdowns. All Thomas did was catch nearly 88 percent of the 147 passes thrown in his direction while leading the NFL with 125 receptions.
New Orleans’ offense might look a bit different in 2019 with Mark Ingram in Baltimore and fellow veteran Latavius Murray replacing him behind Kamara on the depth chart. But Murray is not chopped liver. After averaging nearly 32 points last season, we wouldn’t be surprised if the Saints tacked on two or three points to that tally.