In 2015, some NFL offenses rose well past the others when various quarterbacks, running backs and wide receivers teamed up and posted career- and league-high totals.
This resulted in postseason visits for a handful of teams while other clubs unfortunately struggled to gain headway, despite their notable offensive accomplishments.
Obviously a trip to the championship game would be the goal for the following six NFL teams sporting the most dangerous offenses in the league in 2016.
Last season the Pittsburgh Steelers’ offense ranked third overall and averaged 26.4 points per game.
Notably, this was accomplished while quarterback Ben Roethlisberger missed four games and star running back Le’Veon Bell sat out for 11. Fortunately, DeAngelo Williams was a stud filling in for Bell when he recorded a total of 1,274 yards and 11 touchdowns.
Now the Steelers would like to score at least 30 points per game this season.
“Thirty points per game is still a goal,” said Steelers’ offensive coordinator, Todd Haley according to Theresa Varley of the team’s official website. “I think what we did great last year was we got in the red zone a bunch. We probably scored 6 out of the 10 times we were in there and we always want that to be better.”
This year, it would be feasible to assume Bell will top Williams’ production from 2015. Plus, there is no stopping the freakishly athletic Antonio Brown, who will be looking to best his 1,834-yard, 10-touchdown season.
The team will be without Martavis Bryant (one-year suspension), although there’s no reason to doubt that Markus Wheaton and the rest of the receiving corps won’t absorb the slack.
If all the key playmakers can remain healthy, the Steelers’ offense easily could be the top-scoring unit in 2016.
The Panthers offense should return with a strong offense after finishing the 2015 regular season 15-1 and running up 31.3 points per game to lead the league.
Quarterback Cam Newton had his most productive season by far when he scored 35 touchdowns through the air and another 10 on foot. Now, he will have third-year receiver Kelvin Benjamin back in action, who will hopefully aid in him improving on his passing stats. Plus, second-year receiver Devin Funchess is already “light years” ahead of his rookie season, as noted by head coach Ron Rivera.
Meanwhile, tight end Greg Olsen is like a fine wine and only seems to improve with age after recording a career-high 1,104 yards and seven touchdowns.
The Panthers’ rushing game was stout as well last season when running back Jonathan Stewart rushed for 989 yards and six touchdowns.
With the stars aligned perfectly, Carolina’s offense should remain a dangerous contender once again.
Russell Wilson achieved career-highs across the board in passing yards (4,024) and touchdowns (34) in 2015, and the Seahawks’ offense worked its way up the ranks to No. 4 in 2015.
Notably, Wilson’s passing accuracy increased by a commendable five percent and he threw only eight interceptions.
And, much to the surprise of many, tight end Jimmy Graham and running back Marshawn Lynch had little to do with the offense’s gleaming success. Lynch has since retired and whatever the plan is for Graham when he returns should only help to enrich the offense.
Wide receiver Doug Baldwin made a name for himself when he busted out a career-high 1,069 yards and 14 touchdowns. Worth noting is that Baldwin really began to light it up during the second half of the season. The Seahawks can only hope that the Wilson/Baldwin duo continues down this path.
Regarding Seattle’s rushing offense, it was ranked as the third-best in the NFL after averaging 141.8 rushing yards per contest. Second-year rusher Thomas Rawls (if he can get healthy quick enough) and rookie C.J. Prosise will hopefully top the 10 rushing scores accomplished last year.
With all the weapons in place, a fifth-consecutive playoff appearance for Seattle is definitely within reach, especially combined with the team’s outstanding defense.
New Orleans Saints
Believe it or not, last season’s 7-9 Saints had the No. 2-ranked offense in the NFL. It was just unfortunate that the defense wasn’t exactly on the same page.
In an attempt to move up the ranks in a Carolina-dominated NFC South, Saints fans can expect a heavy dose of the Drew Brees show that averaged 324.7 passing yards two touchdowns per game.
It is also likely that Brees will top his touchdown production from last season with newly signed tight end Coby Fleener and rookie wideout Michael Thomas joining Brandin Cooks and Willie Snead.
Drew Brees likes what he's seen from new targets: Michael Thomas earns his trust in practice; Coby Fleener fluid https://t.co/oz3pDmaQau
— Mike Triplett (@MikeTriplett) June 2, 2016
Complimenting Brees in the passing game was running back Mark Ingram, who led the Saints with 769 rushing yards and six touchdowns.
With the offense running like a well-oiled machine and Brees likely cruising around his typical 5,000-yard passing mark, opposing defenses will have their work cut out.
The Cardinals’ scoring offense ranked No. 2 overall in the NFL in 2015 when the team put an average of 30.6 points on the board per game.
A surprisingly impressive aerial attack led by Carson Palmer, coupled with a dominate ground game made the Cardinals’ offense nearly invincible at times.
This year, the offense should still command a top-five rating with all the team’s elite playmakers still in place. Notably, Palmer’s production regressed some down the stretch, and his six turnovers in the Conference Championship game against Green Bay still haunt fans.
That said, Palmer’s chances of success should continue considering the boatload of talented receivers he has at his disposal.
Furthermore, Arizona has a couple of excellent rushers both sharing the last name Johnson to carry the ball. Second-year running back David Johnson showed promise and excelled as a pass-catcher when he added 457 receiving yards and four touchdowns to his rushing numbers.
A stout defense should ensure this offense sees plenty of field time to keep tallying those high point totals.
New York Giants
The Giants recorded a meager six wins in 2015, but the offense wasn’t exactly to blame for the team’s demise.
Overall, the Giants had the eighth-ranked offense in the NFL and scored a healthy average of 26.3 points per game. Unfortunately the 27.6 average points per contest the the Giants 32nd-ranked defense ceded undermined the offense’s accomplishments.
To balance out the scale this fall, the Giants made several key additions to to their defensive line and drafted rookie cornerback Eli Apple in Round 1 to bolster their secondary.
This should set the stage to keep the team scoring points. Odell Beckham Jr. is simply an beast. He has averaged 106 yards and one touchdown per game over his first two seasons. Plus, Victor Cruz is slated to return, and the Giants drafted another promising receiver in rookie Sterling Shepard out of Oklahoma.
— New York Giants (@Giants) June 1, 2016
As much as many love to hate on Eli Manning, he is on the uptrend after posting the sixth-most passing yards (4,436) and second-most touchdowns (35) in 2015. There’s no reason to believe his production will suddenly take a nose dive.
If Rashad Jennings and Co. can improve on a run game that didn’t exactly sizzle last year, it would be the icing on the cake. As a unit, the Giants are not a team to be slept on in 2016.