NFL

NFL Offensive Weaponry Rankings – Top 3

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The time has finally arrived.

We’ve broken down 29 teams in terms of offensive skill players, but the top three teams remain.

Let’s take a look at the ‘big 3’.

3. Pittsburgh Steelers – Ben Roethlisberger (QB), Le’Veon Bell (RB), Antonio Brown/Markus Wheaton/Martavis Bryant (WR) and Heath Miller (TE).

Why are they ranked here?

Traditionally, when you think about the Pittsburgh Steelers, defense is the first thing that comes to mind. Well, those days appear to be a thing of the past.

Last season, Pittsburgh ranked 18th in total defense, while finishing 2nd in offense.

As no surprise, Ben Roethlisberger was the catalyst. The two-time Super Bowl champion averaged 38 passing attempts per game, which was the highest mark of his career and he made the most of it.

Roethlisberger had a touchdown to interception ratio of 32:9, while completing 67 percent of his passes with a quarterback rating of 103.3.

As good as Roethlisberger is, it doesn’t hurt having Antonio Brown to throw the ball to or having Le’Veon Bell to hand it off to.

Over the past two seasons, Brown has caught 239 balls, with 21 of them resulting in touchdowns.

On the flip side, Bell finished 3rd in the NFL in rushing last year, as he totaled 1,361 yards with a 4.7 yards per carry average.

With guys like Brown and Bell at his disposal to go along with Heath Miller and young receivers in Markus Wheaton and Martavis Bryant, Roethlisberger feels this could be his best supporting cast ever. 

“I hate to say yes or no, because I don’t want to offend anybody else that’s been here. But you look at stats from the NFL, we had the No. 1 wide receiver and the No. 1 overall back. Kind of hard to argue with those numbers.”

Despite Pittsburgh’s success last year, there’s another level they can reach.

“Guys had some amazing individual seasons last year, and we had a really good season on offense in general, but there are always areas we can improve in and get better,” Roethlisberger said.

If Pittsburgh’s defense can somehow catch up with it’s offense, this team would instantly become a legitimate Super Bowl contender.

2. Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers (QB), Eddie Lacy (RB), Jordy Nelson (WR) and Randall Cobb (WR).

Why are they ranked here?

Reigning MVP Aaron Rodgers was obviously going to have his Packers very high on this list.

Although Green Bay fell short of their Super Bowl mission a season ago, their offense had another successful season.

Rodgers had an impressive touchdown to interception ratio of 38 to 5 and for as great as he is, it’s nice having Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb to throw to.

The dynamic duo combined for 189 catches, 2,806 yards and 25 touchdowns. That kind of production is what landed both of them four-year extensions.

Quarterbacks coach Alex Van Pelt understands the importance of having Nelson and Cobb around. 

“They’re such great pros,” Van Pelt said. “They do such a great job of paying attention in meetings, taking notes, finishing plays, blocking for each other. And it just permeates throughout the room. If you don’t fall in line with that, you’re probably not going to be around. That’s kind of how that room goes.”

While Green Bay’s aerial attack is amongst the best this league has to offer, what makes them really difficult to stop is the versatility of Eddie Lacy.

Not only did the 25-year-old back rush for over 1,100 yards on a 4.6 yards per carry average, but he also caught 42 passes with four of them being touchdowns.

Heading into the 2015 campaign, Lacy has some personal goals to achieve. 

“I want to get to the secondary and if there’s a guy there, whoever it may be, instead of me hitting the air brakes, I want to push the gas and make it harder on him and maybe he’ll miss a tackle and I’ll break a long one, or maybe he makes the tackle. But that’s something he’s going to have to do for that whole game.”

No matter how explosive Green Bay’s offense is, the goal remains the same.

“We have a chance to be great,” Lacy said. “Starting fast and finishing strong and doing it the whole season, we have the guys to do it. We just have to put it together, stay on the same page and try to do a lot better than last year — go all the way to the ship.”

1. Indianapolis Colts – Andrew Luck (QB), Frank Gore (RB), T.Y. Hilton (WR), Andre Johnson (WR) and Coby Fleener (TE).

Why are they ranked here?

And then there was one.

In 2014, the Colts finished 1st in passing, 3rd in yards and 4th in scoring per game. However, they finished 22nd in rushing, which makes you wonder how much better their offense would be with a legitimate running game.

Well, Colts fans should be getting that answer after the Frank Gore acquisition.

While Gore isn’t quite sure of his role, the 32-year-old just wants to be apart of something special.

“I’m just here and want to work. I want to show why I’ve been in the league a long time and I want to help this team win games.”

Gore rushed for 1,106 yards during his last season in San Francisco.

When deciding on where to go, quarterback was an important factor. 

“When I knew I wasn’t going back to the 49ers, my first option was I wanted to be with a great quarterback. I feel that you have to have a great quarterback to have a chance. [Andrew] Luck is a young quarterback and he does everything. He can throw. He can run. He’s physical. He’s a leader.”

Who wouldn’t want to play with Luck?

Luck is only 25 years old and he’s already been selected to three Pro Bowls. In 2014, Luck led the league with 40 touchdown passes, while also throwing for over 4,700 yards.

Things look even brighter for Luck with Andre Johnson in Indy. 

“I think I was in middle school when he got drafted by the Texans, so I remember watching and he got drafted by the hometown team and now I get to play with him. It’s cool. It really is.”

Johnson’s stats took a little dip in 2014, but playing with a quarterback like Luck could change things quickly.

“He’s a hell of a player,” Johnson said. “I think he’s the best quarterback in this game.”

When you couple Johnson with the explosive T.Y. Hilton, opposing defensive coordinators will have nightmares trying to game plan against Indy.

Also, young guys like tight end Coby Fleener and rookie receiver Phillip Dorsett are sure to have opportunities since opponents will focus more on the higher profile guys.

Take a look at the teams ranked right outside of the top 3.

 


About Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels

Mark Gunnels is an NFL columnist for Football Insiders. He has several years of experience covering the NFL and NCAA football. He's the radio color commentator for Lincoln University football. Mark's work has been featured on Sports Illustrated, Fox Sports and Yard Barker.