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Ranking 2022 NFL offenses: A new team takes the crown after Chiefs, Packers trade star WRs

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As has become clearer and clearer year after year, offense is king in the modern NFL. In recent seasons, nothing has been more determinative in team success in a given season than how your offense was held up over the course of the year.

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Who is your quarterback? Who is protecting him? Who does he throw to? Who does he have next to him in the backfield? Who’s scheming those players open? Are there injury or depth issues at any or all of those positions? All the pieces matter. The degree to which they matter varies greatly, of course, but each plays a role in making an offense hum at peak efficiency.

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Welcome to our third annual offensive infrastructure rankings. A few important notes before we begin:

  • We used a weighted grading system where each team was given a 1-5 ranking (1 = terrible, 3 = average, 5 = elite) in the following areas: Quarterback, Play-Caller (head coach or offensive coordinator), Offensive Line, Pass-Catchers (WR/TE), and Running Backs.
  • Those scores were then weighted so that the quarterback was the most important component of the offense, followed by play-caller, offensive line, and pass-catchers, and then finally running backs, so that the weights reflected as closely as possible the reality of the way modern NFL offenses work.
  • In the event that teams ended up with the same weighted score, the first tiebreaker was the quarterback ranking. The second tiebreaker was the combined rankings of the play-caller and offensive line.
  • These are not rankings of how we expect these offenses to perform during the 2022 season. They’re an attempt to capture which offenses are best positioned for success based on the quality of their quarterback and the talent the organization has chosen to surround him. There is, of course, the possibility that players elevate their games (like Joe Burrow did in 2021) or transcend their supporting cast (as Russell Wilson did almost every year before last season), or that a quarterback’s subpar performance undermines an otherwise strong offensive unit (like Baker Mayfield in 2021).
  • Just as I did the past two years, I compiled an initial draft of these rankings, which I then ran by the rest of the writers, editors, and podcasters on the CBSSports.com NFL staff. I incorporated their feedback to create the version of the rankings you’ll see below. The commentary in each section is mine.
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Got all that? OK, great. Here we go…

Tier 6: 32-31

team

QB

PC

OL

WR/TE

R.B.

Total

Weighted

Non-QB

32.Chicago Bears

2.5

3

2

one

4

12

2.30

2.20

31. Houston Texans

2

4

2

2

2.5

12.5

2.43

2.65

So yeah. The Bears offense is going to be rough. Chicago’s new front-office regime was left with precious little resources to put a strong foundation around Justin Fields, and ended up using most of those resources on the defensive side of the ball anyway. The Bears did not have much in the way of free-agent capital, and did not have a first-round pick. They let one of their best offensive linemen leave in free agency, and saw Allen Robinson leave as well. Now, they’re left with one of the NFL’s worst offensive lines, its weakest pass-catching corps, and not much else. We at least know that Texans offensive coordinator Pep Hamilton has a track record of putting players in position to succeed, but Houston is still severely lacking in the talent department.

Tier 5: 31-28

pickett.png

USA Today

team

QB

PC

OL

WR/TE

R.B.

Total

Weighted

Non-QB

30. Carolina Panthers

2

2

3

3

4.5

14.5

2.57

2.85

29. Seattle Seahawks

2

3

2.5

4

3

14.5

2.77

3.15

28. Atlanta Falcons

2.5

4

3

2

2.5

fourteen

2.80

2.95

27. Pittsburgh Steelers

2

3

3

4

4

sixteen

2.93

3.40

We expect each of these teams to have below-average (or worse) quarterback play, and they’re all saddled with some combination of below-average units along the offensive line or the pass-catching corps, or (in the case of the Panthers) a below-average play-caller. We also don’t really know who will be under center for any of these squads. The Panthers could stick with Sam Darnold, turn to Matt Corral, or trade for someone like Baker Mayfield or Jimmy Garoppolo. The Seahawks could go with Drew Lock or Geno Smith, or make a trade. The Steelers seem likely to at least begin the season with Mitchell Trubisky at the helm, but could eventually turn to first-round pick Kenny Pickett. Marcus Mariota figures to get the first shot in Atlanta, but Desmond Ridder could work his way into the lineup. None of these teams necessarily has an elite unit at any spot, since we can no longer count on Christian McCaffrey to stay healthy and play damn near every snap.

Tier 4: 26-20

wentzwash.jpg

team

QB

PC

OL

WR/TE

R.B.

Total

Weighted

Non-QB

26. New York Jets

2.5

3.5

3

3.5

3.5

sixteen

3.07

3.35

25. Detroit Lions

2.5

3

4

3

4

16.5

3.10

3.40

24. New England Patriots

3

3

3.5

3

3.5

sixteen

3.13

3.20

23. Washington Commanders

2.5

3.5

3.5

3.5

3.5

16.5

3.17

3.50

22. New York Giants

2.5

4.5

3

3.5

3

16.5

3.23

3.60

21. Jacksonville Jaguars

3

4

3

3

3.5

16.5

3.23

3.35

20 Tennessee Titans

3.5

3.5

3.5

2.5

4.5

17.5

3.37

3.30

Let’s call this group “not bad, but also maybe not that good.” There are some intriguing units in here, like the Jets’ offensive line and pass-catchers; the Lions’ offensive line and running backs; the Giants’ pass catchers; and obviously, the Titans’ running backs. But there are just too many question marks, especially at quarterback, to any consider of these teams likely to rank among the top half of the league in offensive efficiency, explosive play-making, scoring, or yardage.

Tier 3: 19-11

russell-wilson.jpg

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

team

QB

PC

OL

WR/TE

R.B.

Total

Weighted

Non-QB

19. Miami Dolphins

3

3.5

3.5

4.5

3

17.5

3.50

3.75

18. Minnesota Vikings

3.5

3

3.5

4.5

5

19.5

3.70

3.80

17. Indianapolis Colts

3.5

4.5

3.5

3

5

19.5

3.70

3.80

16. New Orleans Saints

3

4

4.5

3.5

4.5

19.5

3.70

4.05

15. Arizona Cardinals

4

3.5

3.5

4

3.5

18.5

3.77

3.65

14. San Francisco 49ers

2.5

5

4

4.5

4

20

3.80

4.45

13 Baltimore Ravens

4.5

4

4

3

3.5

nineteen

3.93

3.65

12 Las Vegas Raiders

4

4.5

3

4.5

3.5

19.5

3.97

3.95

11 Denver Broncos

4.5

3

4

4

4

19.5

3.97

3.70

We can consider this tier the “above-average, but not quite great” group. With one exception, they all have quarterbacks who are somewhere between pretty good and very good. They all have above-average or better offensive lines, play-callers, and pass-catchers. None of them has a hole at running back. But these teams also don’t necessarily have elite units, with the exception of the…



Source: www.cbssports.com

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