The adage “defense wins championships” isn’t holding up in the modern-day NFL.
It has been clear for some time that the league’s rules favor offenses, and Super Bowl 57, a game that featured 73 points, was just another example of that.
To be a successful team in the increasingly pass-happy NFL, you must have an elite quarterback and talented playmakers on the outside.
As we prepare for the 2023 NFL season, here are my power rankings of the league’s top offenses.
NFL Offense Power Rankings 32-21
32. Houston Texans
The pressure is on No. 2 overall pick C.J. Stroud to turn things around in Houston. Unfortunately, the Ohio State product doesn’t have much to work with.
After the offseason departure of Brandin Cooks, the Texans’ top pass-catchers are projected to be Nico Collins, Robert Woods, and Dalton Schultz. Stroud arguably had more weapons around him in college.
Running back Dameon Pierce was a bright spot last season, rushing for 939 yards and four touchdowns in 13 games as a rookie. However, Houston still ranked 31st in total yards (283.5 per game) and scoring (17.0 points per game).
31. Arizona Cardinals
Arizona had a below-average offense last season, and it will likely be worse in 2023.
- Get ready for football season: Learn how to bet NFL odds.
The Cardinals could start the season without two key starters, quarterback Kyler Murray and tight end Zach Ertz, who suffered torn ACLs late last fall.
That’s not an ideal situation for new OC Drew Petzing, who doesn’t have tons of talent to work with after the team released top wideout DeAndre Hopkins in May.
30. Indianapolis Colts
There’s no nice way to say this: the Colts were an absolute mess last season.
Over the course of 17 games, Indianapolis started three different quarterbacks, and the results were unsurprisingly terrible. Per Football Outsiders, the Colts ranked dead last in Pass DVOA and 31st in Run DVOA.
New head coach Shane Steichen has a sterling reputation from his time in Philadelphia and Los Angeles, which should help rookie QB Anthony Richardson and this unit moving forward.
However, Indy’s reluctance to pay its top offensive player, running back Jonathan Taylor, could prove problematic.
29. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers had one of the worst offensive lines in the NFL last season, as evidenced by a league-low 76.9 rushing yards per game.
Given the inefficiency of the run game, Tampa Bay’s offense was forced to rely on the right arm of 45-year-old Tom Brady, who attempted a career-high 733 passes in his final season.
If new offensive coordinator Dave Canales comes anywhere close to that number with Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask under center, it will be a long season for the Buccaneers.
Here’s to hoping Tampa Bay’s talent at receiver, namely Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, can raise the level of their quarterback.
28. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams were devastated by injuries on offense last season, losing quarterback Matthew Stafford (concussion, neck) and top target Cooper Kupp (ankle) for half of the season.
Those two carried Los Angeles to the Super Bowl two seasons ago and must continue to do the heavy lifting for an offense that lacks depth.
27. Carolina Panthers
Of all the offenses in the NFL, Carolina’s has transformed the most since the end of last season.
The new-look Panthers are handing the reins to No. 1 overall pick Bryce Young, who will work with a supporting cast that now features running back Miles Sanders, wideouts Adam Thielen and DJ Chark, and tight end Hayden Hurst.
Given that this group hasn’t worked together, it may take some time to mesh.
26. Pittsburgh Steelers
Pittsburgh has the potential to turn things around on offense this season. It just needs to get more out of second-year quarterback Kenny Pickett.
The University of Pittsburgh product threw seven touchdown passes and nine interceptions in 13 games as a rookie, completing just 63% of his attempts.
If Pickett can get the ball out to his talented group of pass-catchers, which include Diontae Johnson, George Pickens, Allen Robinson, and Pat Freiermuth, this unit should take a significant step forward.
25. Green Bay Packers
The Jordan Love era begins in Green Bay with tempered expectations.
The 2020 first-round pick has underwhelmed in limited opportunities over the last two seasons, casting doubt about his ability to improve an offense that struggled at times last year with Aaron Rodgers under center.
The Packers have one of the youngest receiver groups in the league, and while Christian Watson impressed in his rookie campaign, it could take this group some time to get on track.
24. New England Patriots
Outside of Rhamondre Stevenson, it was tough to trust anyone on New England’s offense last season.
Part of that surely had to do with the coaching, as the tandem of Matt Patricia and Joe Judge visibly frustrated quarterback Mac Jones at times.
- See where the Patriots sit in our latest NFL power rankings.
With OC Bill O’Brien back in the fold, I’m expecting a better 2023 campaign from Jones and this Patriots’ offense, though a receiving core that features JuJu Smith-Schuster as the top option isn’t exactly ideal.
23. Tennessee Titans
The Titans would have fallen further down this list a few weeks ago, but the signing of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins gives me hope that Tennessee is giving this core one last run.
Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and star running back Derrick Henry are entering the final year of their contracts, and they have plenty to prove after a late-season collapse cost the team a playoff spot in 2022.
If a reshaped offensive line can hold up and Tennessee gets some production out of 2022 first-rounder Treylon Burks, the Titans could be a top-15 unit.
22. Las Vegas Raiders
The weapons are there. But can the quarterback deliver?
That always seems to be the situation facing Jimmy Garoppolo, who has reunited with his former OC, Josh McDaniels, in Las Vegas.
Garoppolo will have to prove he’s more than a game manager to keep top wideout Davante Adams, an outspoken supporter of former Raiders QB Derek Carr, and others happy.
21. Washington Commanders
Washington ranked 28th in offensive DVOA last season, per Football Outsiders. However, the Commanders essentially split games between Carson Wentz and Taylor Heinicke.
The franchise moved on from both quarterbacks this offseason, instead opting for the upside of 2022 fifth-rounder Sam Howell. Howell won his only start as a rookie, throwing for 169 yards and accounting for two scores in a Week 18 victory over the Cowboys.
He’s got big-play potential with top targets Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson, but there could also be some growing pains in Washington this season.
NFL Offense Power Rankings 20-11
20. Denver Broncos
If this list were based on 2022 performance alone, the Broncos would be at or near the bottom. However, the addition of head coach Sean Payton gives Denver a significant bump.
The Super Bowl-winning coach with the Saints has plenty of talent to work with and plenty of work to do after the Broncos allowed the most sacks (63) and scored the fewest points (16.9 per game) in the NFL last season.
Payton got the most out of an aging Drew Brees for years, so I have faith that he can raise Russell Wilson’s game back to a respectable level.
19. Atlanta Falcons
It’s no secret that the Falcons want to run the football.
Atlanta called a running play over 55% of the time last season — the second-highest rate in the league. And that was before it drafted Bijan Robinson in the top 10 of April’s NFL Draft.
However, to unlock the full potential of this offense, the Falcons will need to trust second-year quarterback Desmond Ridder to get the ball to exciting young playmakers in Drake London and Kyle Pitts.
18. Chicago Bears
The only team to run the ball more often than Atlanta was Chicago, which led the league in rushing yards per game (177.3).
However, the Bears averaged just 130.5 passing yards per game, the worst mark in the league since the 2009 Cleveland Browns (129.8), led by quarterbacks Brady Quinn and Derek Anderson.
After Chicago acquired a legitimate No. 1 wideout in DJ Moore this offseason, the pressure is on Justin Fields to improve as a passer in 2023.
17. New York Giants
Daniel Jones produced the most efficient season of his career last year under new head coach Brian Daboll, setting career bests in completion percentage (67.2%) and passer rating (92.5) and a new low in interceptions (five).
This offseason, the Giants brought in more talent for Jones to work with, including tight end Darren Waller, deep threat Parris Campbell, and third-round rookie Jalin Hyatt.
While this offense will still run through Saquon Barkley, it should be more balanced in 2023.
16. Cleveland Browns
The Browns have a top offensive line, one of the game’s top running backs in Nick Chubb, and a solid group of pass-catchers in Amari Cooper, Elijah Moore, and Donovan Peoples-Jones.
Cleveland invested a lot to acquire Deshaun Watson, and the early returns were not good. If he shakes off the rust and regains his form from Houston, the Browns have the potential to be a playoff team.
15. New York Jets
New year, new New York.
The Jets’ offense was unwatchable at times last season, primarily due to its poor quarterback play. But those problems should be in the rearview mirror thanks to the offseason arrival of Aaron Rodgers.
- See how many games New York has in our top 10 games on the 2023 NFL Schedule.
Rodgers brought Allen Lazard with him from Green Bay and has two talented second-year players to work with in running back Breece Hall and 2022 Offensive Rookie of the Year Garrett Wilson.
As long as OC Nathaniel Hackett moves past his failed tenure in Denver, this unit should be much improved.
14. Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson’s tenure with the Ravens was very much in question this offseason, but a long-term extension was the best possible outcome for both parties.
Plus, Baltimore finally gave the former MVP some legitimate weapons at wide receiver, adding free agent Odell Beckham Jr. and drafting first-round wideout Zay Flowers.
This unit has its fair share of health concerns, but on paper, it should be a top-10 offense.
13. New Orleans Saints
The Saints made a much-needed improvement at quarterback this offseason, signing veteran signal-caller Derek Carr.
Although Carr had his critics in Las Vegas, you generally know what you’ll get with him. The 32-year-old has thrown 20-plus touchdown passes in eight of nine seasons and topped 4,000 passing yards in four of his last five.
He’ll get the chance to air it out to second-year stud Chris Olave, and maybe this is the year Michael Thomas gets over his injury issues. If not, expect a solid dose of the ground game, which added Jamaal Williams and rookie Kendre Miller to complement Alvin Kamara, who could serve a suspension for off-field issues.
12. Minnesota Vikings
The Vikings leaned heavily on their offense en route to an NFC North title last season.
Minnesota ranked seventh in yards per game (361.5) and eighth in scoring (24.9 points per game), but the advanced metrics weren’t so kind. The Vikes finished 20th in DVOA on offense and were 28th in rushing, a sign of a mediocre offensive line.
Head coach Kevin O’Connell did well to boost the connection between Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson, the top player in our NFL wide receiver power rankings, but he’ll have to adjust for the offseason departures of Dalvin Cook and security blanket Adam Thielen.
11. Seattle Seahawks
Expectations for Seattle’s offense were on the floor following the Russell Wilson trade, but Geno Smith stepped up and delivered one of the most impressive campaigns in some time.
What do he and the Seahawks have in store for an encore in 2023?
Well, this unit got even more talented through the draft, adding Ohio State receiver Jaxon Smith-Njigba and UCLA running back Zach Charbonnet, so my expectations are pretty high.
NFL Offense Power Rankings 10-1
10. Dallas Cowboys
This offseason was an interesting one for the Dallas offense.
On the bright side, the Cowboys finally moved on from Ezekiel Elliott, handing the backfield to the much more efficient and explosive Tony Pollard. They also gave quarterback Dak Prescott another reliable option in Brandin Cooks to complement Ceedee Lamb.
However, I have some concerns about new OC Brian Schottenheimer, and the departure of tight end Dalton Schultz leaves a glaring gap at the position. It might be a case of one step forward, one step back for America’s Team.
9. Los Angeles Chargers
Former Cowboys OC Kellen Moore should be a welcome addition to Chargers HC Brandon Staley’s staff, especially after conservative play-calling doomed Los Angeles’ 2022 season.
An offense with an elite quarterback like Justin Herbert and weapons like Austin Ekeler, Keenan Allen, and Mike Williams has no business ranking 19th in DVOA.
Moore will open up the playbook and let Herbert take more chances down the field, which should work out well with Williams and rookie Quentin Johnston competing for contested catches.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars
After a challenging rookie campaign, Trevor Lawrence took a significant step forward in 2022, his first season with HC Doug Pederson.
Lawrence topped 4,000 yards and threw 25 touchdown passes, creating a dynamic connection with wideout Christian Kirk.
In 2023, Lawrence and this offense could progress even further, especially with the addition of Calvin Ridley and the return of tight end Evan Engram.
7. Miami Dolphins
Can Tua Tagovailoa stay healthy?
If the Alabama product can overcome his concussion troubles from a season ago, Miami’s offense will be among the league’s top units.
- See where the Dolphins rank in our Super Bowl 58 betting odds.
Tagovailoa has a dynamic duo at wideout in Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle, who combined for over 3,000 receiving yards last season.
Finding a consistent presence in the backfield would be a bonus, but rookie De’Von Achane adds another speed threat to an offense with plenty of wheels already.
6. Detroit Lions
The Lions have quietly built one of the better offensive lines in the league, which has provided the foundation for this offense to blossom.
After throwing 29 touchdown passes and just seven interceptions last season, Jared Goff has quieted his critics and has his team primed for a run at the NFC North title.
The former Ram has developed an uncanny connection with top wideout Amon-Ra St. Brown and has a pair of intriguing prospects to work with in rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs and tight end Sam LaPorta.
5. San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco feels like it has been a quarterback away from a Super Bowl for the past decade, but it may have finally found something in Brock Purdy.
After injuries to Week 1 starter Trey Lance and Jimmy Garoppolo, the final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft led the Niners to the NFC Championship Game, only to suffer a shoulder injury early in the contest.
Still, there was plenty to like about Purdy’s ability to spread the ball around in Kyle Shanahan’s system, and it must be nice to play with a group of weapons that includes Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, George Kittle, and Brandon Aiyuk.
4. Buffalo Bills
The Bills ranked second in offensive DVOA last season thanks to another impressive season from Josh Allen. The dual-threat QB threw for 4,283 yards and 35 touchdown passes while also accounting for over 750 yards and seven scores on the ground.
While there’s no doubting his ability as a playmaker, Allen comes with some turnover concerns after throwing 14 interceptions and fumbling a career-high eight times (two lost).
Adding tight end Dalton Kincaid creates a new intriguing dynamic for this unit. Still, Buffalo would have been better served by bringing in another top target to complement Stefon Diggs.
3. Cincinnati Bengals
Cincinnati’s retooled offensive line didn’t quite live up to expectations last season, but there’s still plenty to like about this unit.
Joe Burrow is one of the league’s top quarterbacks (see where he ranks in our NFL QB power rankings), and he has a trio of talented wide receivers in Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd.
Because of salary-cap concerns, this may be the last season that is the case, so the Bengals need to cash in on their Super Bowl potential this year.
2. Philadelphia Eagles
Philadelphia boasted the league’s top rushing attack last season (per DVOA) and achieved a near-perfect balance on offense thanks to the improved passing of quarterback Jalen Hurts.
The NFL MVP runner-up set new career-highs in passing yards (3,701), passing touchdowns (22), and rushing touchdowns (13) in just 15 regular-season games. Hurts benefited greatly from the addition of big-bodied wideout A.J. Brown, who came in from Tennessee and took some defensive attention away from Devonta Smith.
This offense will have a new coordinator and feature a new running back (either D’Andre Swift or Rashaad Penny) this year, but there shouldn’t be much of a dropoff.
1. Kansas City Chiefs
The defending Super Bowl champions top our offensive power rankings after being the only NFL team to average over 400 yards per game (413.6) last season. Kansas City also led the league in scoring (29.2 points per game).
Patrick Mahomes put up video-game numbers (5,250 passing yards, 41 touchdowns) en route to winning league MVP honors. The Chiefs also found a running back for the future in 2022 seventh-rounder Isaih Pacheco, who averaged nearly five yards per carry in the regular season.
Although the wide receivers room will look a bit different this year, Kansas City will have the best offense in the league as long as Mahomes, Travis Kelce, and Andy Reid are around.