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Best NFL Offenses of All Time: Patriots, Chiefs, Rams Headline Top 10

What are the best NFL offenses of all time? We offer our top 10, which include teams such as the Patriots, Chiefs, Broncos, and Packers.

To say NFL offenses have changed over the last 20 years would be a dramatic understatement. Great defense still is a prerequisite for winning a championship, but in today’s NFL, even the best defenses are largely powerless against potent offenses.

However, some of the best NFL offenses of all time predate the 21st Century. We’ve ranked the overall top 10 while adding six honorable mentions.

10 Best NFL Offenses of All Time

Honorable mentions: 2016 Falcons, 1990 Bills, 2018 Rams, 1981 Chargers, 2000 Rams, 1994 49ers

10) 1984 Miami Dolphins

Points per game: 32.1
Yards per game: 433.5

There are great sophomore campaigns, and there’s what Dan Marino did in 1984.

The legendary quarterback completed 64.2% of his passes for 5,084 yards and 48 touchdowns to go along with 17 interceptions. The 48 TDs stood as the NFL record until Peyton Manning posted 49 in 2004.

But it wasn’t just Marino. The Dolphins enjoyed 1,306 receiving yards and eight TDs from wideout Mark Duper, 1,389 yards and 18 TDs from receiver Mark Clayton, and a great all-around campaign from running back Tony Nathan, who posted 558 rushing yards and 579 receiving yards.

We thought about putting the 2016 Atlanta Falcons in this spot, but Marino and the Dolphins got the nod.

9) 1983 Washington

Points per game: 33.8
Yards per game: 383.7

This offense doesn’t get nearly enough love. Perhaps that’s because 1983 Washington, like the 1984 Dolphins, wound up losing in the Super Bowl.

Regardless, the offense was incredible.

Joe Theismann threw for a whopping 3,714 yards, good for fifth-most in the NFL, with his 29 touchdown passes ranking second. Running back John Riggins led the league with 24 rushing touchdowns and wideout Charlie Brown posted 1,225 receiving yards and eight TDs.

This still ranks as the eighth-highest-scoring offense in NFL history.

8) 2012 New England Patriots

Points per game: 34.8
Yards per game: 427.9

It’s easy to forget this Patriots team. Maybe that’s because it unceremoniously lost to the Baltimore Ravens in the AFC Championship Game. Or maybe New Englanders simply prefer to forget the 2010-2013 seasons, when the Patriots lost two conference title games, one Super Bowl, and one Divisional Round matchup with the Jets.

Either way, this was a great offense, one that scored the fifth most points in NFL history.

Tom Brady was incredible, completing 62.7% of his passes for 34 TDs while throwing nine interceptions. Stevan Ridley ran for 1,263 yards and 12 TDs, while fellow running back Danny Woodhead added 40 catches for 446 yards in the passing game.

Wes Welker still was at the top of his game, catching 118 balls for 1,354 yards, with Brandon Lloyd adding 74 catches for 911 yards. Still-young tight ends Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez posted 11 and five TDs, respectively.

Some might say this Patriots offense didn’t pass the eye test. But the numbers speak for themselves.

7) 2011 New Orleans Saints

Points per game: 34.2
Yards per game: 467.1 (most all-time)

The 2011 Saints’ 7,474 yards still rank as the most in NFL history. It’s a ridiculous number.

Drew Brees led the way, setting a then-NFL record with 5,476 passing yards. He also threw for 46 touchdowns while positing a 110.6 passer rating.

The Saints were deep in the backfield, as Mark Ingram, Pierre Thomas, Darren Sproles, and Chris Ivory all topped 75 carries. Receiver Marques Colston caught 80 balls for 1,143 yards, while tight end Jimmy Graham added 99 catches for 1,310 yards and 11 TDs.

However, a high-flying offense wasn’t enough to get the 2011 Saints past the NFC Divisional Round.

6) 2011 Green Bay Packers

Points per game: 35.0
Yards per game: 419.9

Yes, there was an even better NFL offense in 2011.

With Aaron Rodgers leading the way, the Packers enjoyed one of the best offensive seasons in NFL history. Rodgers, who won the MVP, completed 68.3% of his passes for 4,643 yards and 45 TDs to go along with just six interceptions.

The Packers didn’t have a dynamic running game — Ryan Grant and James Starks combined for just over 1,100 yards — but they made up for it with excellent receiving performances. Jordy Nelson caught 68 balls for 1,263 yards and 15 TDs, while Greg Jennings added 949 yards and nine TDs. Jermichael Finley and James Jones posted eight and seven TDs, respectively, and a 36-year-old Donald Driver caught 37 balls for 445 yards.

The Packers ultimately lost in the Divisional Round to the New York Giants, who beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl.

5) 1998 Minnesota Vikings

Points per game: 34.8
Yards per game: 347.8

Big on personality and talent, the 1998 Vikings offense was one of the most explosive groups we’ve ever seen.

Quarterback Randall Cunningham started 14 of 16 games, throwing for 3,704 yards and 34 TDs to go along with 10 picks. He also ran for 132 yards and a score. Running back Robert Smith racked up 1,187 yards and six TDs, with Leroy Hoard adding nine rushing scores.

But the real headlines were made at receiver. Then-rookie Randy Moss justified his pre-draft hype by catching 69 balls for 1,313 yards and a league-leading 17 touchdowns, and Cris Carter caught 78 balls for 1,011 yards and 12 TDs. They were an absurd duo.

The 1998 Vikings lost to the Falcons in the NFC Championship Game.

4) 1999 St. Louis Rams

Points per game: 32.9
Yards per game: 400.8

The initial “Greatest Show on Turf” offense also was the best, even though the 2000 and 2001 Rams posted better numbers. But the 1999 Rams revolutionized NFL offense, and they get extra points for winning the Super Bowl.

Kurt Warner won the MVP. Marshall Faul topped 1,000 rushing yards and 1,000 receiving yards. Isaac Bruce caught 77 balls for 1,165 yards and 12 scores. Torry Holt and Az-Zahir Hakim combined for 14 TDs.

From start to finish, the 1999 Rams offense was unstoppable.

3) 2013 Denver Broncos

Points per game: 37.9
Yards per game: 457.3

This is where things might get controversial.

The 2013 Broncos scored the most points (606) and had the second-most yards (7,317) in NFL history. Peyton Manning threw 55 touchdown passes, which still stands as the NFL record.

But this offense, which got exposed in a 43-8 Super Bowl loss, also lacked star power. Demaryius Thomas had a great season (1,430 yards and 14 TDs), but nobody would confuse him for a Hall of Famer. Ditto for Eric Decker, who racked up 1,288 yards and 11 TDs.

This is an admittedly subjective take, but the 2013 Broncos offense just didn’t feel or look as dangerous as its numbers. That’s probably unfair, but it’s not an unpopular opinion.

With all that said, this still was a great offense — one that deserves to be in the top three. We’re just saying it wasn’t as explosive or downright intimidating as the top two offenses on this list.

2) 2018 Kansas City Chiefs

Points per game: 35.3
Yards per game: 425.6

The first Patrick Mahomes-led Chiefs offense still stands as the best.

Mahomes, who redshirted as a rookie, dominated the league in his first season as Kansas City’s starting quarterback. His numbers were jaw-dropping: 66% completion percentage, 5,097 yards, and 50 TD passes.

And he had great weapons to work with. Tyreek Hill amassed 1,479 yards and 12 TDs, while Travis Kelce posted 1,336 yards and 10 scores. Running back Kareem Hunt enjoyed a solid all-around season, finishing with 824 rushing yards and seven TDs, along with 26 catches for 378 yards and seven scores.

The cherry on top: head coach Andy Reid, who reestablished himself as one of the best offensive play-callers in football.

The 2018 Chiefs lost to the Patriots in the AFC title game.

1) 2007 New England Patriots

Points per game: 36.8
Yards per game: 411.2

The 2007 Patriots didn’t post as many yards as the 2018 Chiefs or 2013 Broncos, and their 589 points rank second all-time. They also choked in the Super Bowl, albeit in a more competitive fashion than what we saw from Denver in 2013.

So, their case for the No. 1 spot isn’t airtight. But we still believe they’re the best choice.

New England’s offense completely overwhelmed opponents en route to a 16-0 regular season. Brady threw for 4,806 yards and a then-record 50 TDs before winning the MVP, and head coach Bill Belichick, perhaps fueled by the Spygate controversy, refused to call off the dogs as the Patriots ran up scores.

This offense also gets the nod due to superior weapons. Moss caught a still-record 23 touchdowns, while Wes Welker redefined diminutive slot-receiver dominance while catching 112 balls for 1,175 yards. Donte Stallworth excelled as the No. 3 wideout, posting 697 yards and three scores, while tight end Ben Watson added six TDs.

The Patriots also were solid on the ground. Laurence Maroney racked up 835 yards and six TDs, while Sammy Morris added 384 rushing yards, and Kevin Faulk had 383 receiving yards. And, like every offense on this list, the Patriots benefited from great O-line play.

Did the Super Bowl loss prove this offense was soft? Maybe. But the regular season results were just too good.