It's Thursday. That means another edition of esoteric tiered power rankings on ATL. This week: Best offenses.
These are the offenses we see as the most dangerous the rest of the season.
I had the Ravens and Patriots ranked as the top two offenses even before checking Football Outsiders' trusty numbers. Now I feel even better about them. New England has suffered some growing pains early, but it should pay off long term. The Patriots can play power football or air it out. The Ravens are first in the league in yards-per-play.
Based purely on this year's numbers, these teams should be much lower. Green Bay is tied for 31st in the league in net yards-per-passing attempt with Cleveland and Jacksonville. That's the type of company Aaron Rodgers is keeping. Green Bay's offense feels stagnant, but we rank them this high because their continuity and talent should prevail.
Drew Brees has thrown five interceptions and his completion percentage has fallen dramatically. The protection hasn't been there in New Orleans. We still have faith these two offenses will get it turned around.
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Like the Packers, these three teams should be better. For all of Cam Newton's struggles, the Panthers are second in yards-per-play. Newton is first in yards-per-attempt by a great margin. The defense has been the bigger issue. The Eagles are turnover machines. You could argue they have been one of the very worst offenses in football through three weeks. The Andy Reid era indicates that won't last. Detroit can be erratic, like Matthew Stafford. They are tough to count on game-to-game or quarter-to-quarter.
The Broncos have been average under Peyton Manning so far. It's surprising to see so many turnovers and penalties early. The Chargers beat up on two terrible defenses and then got totally stopped by the Falcons. We need to see more. The Bills still rely on scheme rather than talent. It's hard to be elite that way.
The Bears and the Rams could be better, but their offensive lines don't allow it. Christian Ponder's play should elevate the Vikings from this tier if it keeps up. The Chiefs are the "No. 1" ranked offense in yards, which shows how useless yardage is to measure efficiency. The Raiders solved their rushing problems for one week. The Titans have not, and Jake Locker is a young Jay Cutler: streaky.
The Buccaneers have had their moments, but the run-blocking is poor. Josh Freeman is forced to play close to the vest, and he's not doing it consistently. The Cardinals are near the bottom of the league in every offensive measure despite their 3-0 start. Week 1 already feels like a long time ago for the Jets. The depth and talent just aren't there. The expected leap from Blaine Gabbert hasn't been as big as hoped in Jacksonville. The Browns offense is about as expected.