The 2013 NFL regular season starts this Thursday with teams hoping to reach the Super Bowl in February. Most football pundits will tell you that defense wins Super Bowls and most would be right, but you need to score points if you are going to win games as well.
Offenses have changed over the past 10 years with teams spreading out their receivers to open up opposing defenses. The running game is still deemed vitally important, but today’s offense leaders are quarterbacks who can hit receivers in the flats, over the middle, down the sideline or over the top.
Here are the top 5 Offenses to start the 2013 season.
Topping my list is the Denver Broncos. When Denver signed Peyton Manning in 2012, they were unsure what he could still do as a quarterback. He quickly put the fears and doubts to rest and led his offense to a No. 4 ranking in the league. The Broncos averaged nearly 398 yards per game on offense and during the offseason got even stronger.
Denver signed Wes Welker away from New England, giving Manning another weapon to throw to. His presence will take pressure off Demaryius Thomas and Erick Decker on the outside.
The running game will be led by rookie Montee Ball who will take over for the departed Willis McGahee. Manning makes any offense better than it actually is, but the players he has around him this season, could make this team unstoppable.
In second place offensively are the Atlanta Falcons. Quarterback Matt Ryan led the offense to an average of 369 yards per game. He won his first playoff game and signed a huge contract during the offseason. The Falcons have the best group of receivers of any team in the NFL with Julio Jones, Roddy White and Tony Gonzalez at tight end.
The Falcons added veteran running back Steven Jackson to the team, which will provide a much needed complementary running game to Ryan’s passing offense.
In third place, amongst NFL offenses are the New Orleans Satins led by Drew Brees. Last season the Saints had a difficult year, but look to bounce back. The Saints however, ranked No. 2 overall in offense with 411 yards per game. Brees is one of the league’s best quarterbacks and has good receivers like Lance Moore and Marques Colston along with Jimmy Graham at tight end to throw to. Their running game is sporadic at best. However, look for a strong season for the Saints offensively.
Fourth place goes to the Detroit Lions. The Lions were the No. 3 ranked team overall last season with 408 yards per carry. Any team with Matthew Stafford at quarterback and Calvin Johnson at wide receiver will be dangerous. Johnson will gain between up to 2,000 yards in any season, while Stafford will throw for 4,500 or more. With the addition of all-purpose back Reggie Bush, the Lions will be putting up large numbers on the score board this season.
Most people will think the fifth place choice goes to the New England Patriots who last year led the NFL in total offense, but my fifth place goes to the San Francisco 49ers. With Colin Kaepernick at quarterback, the 49ers have a dual pass/run threat that most other teams do not enjoy. Add to that veteran Frank Gore in the backfield and receivers Vernon Davis and Anguan Boldin and you have a recipe for success. A player who could surprise is AJ Jenkins.