The NFL is an offense-driven league, and the 2022 playoffs were good evidence of that — four of the top five offenses in EPA per play were in the conference championships. For that reason, teams and fans strive to have the best attack in the league, or at least place high among their competitors in NFL offense rankings.
Because it’s a quarterback-driven league, the best offenses for the 2023 season will be motivated in large part by the expectations set by their signal-callers, whether that’s a returning starter or a newly drafted rookie. We modeled the expected quarterback performance based on expected points per play over the previous three years as well as the typical performance of a new starter based on their years in the league and their draft position.
We also accounted for free agency and draft changes at other positions, like receiver, tight end, running back, and along the offensive line, though they have significantly less of an impact on the final outcome of the offense — Kirk Cousins will define the Vikings’ offense more than Justin Jefferson will.
Let’s look at who has the best offense in the NFL for the 2023 season.
Want to read more? Make sure to check out our best NFL defenses ranked.
Who Has the Best Offense in the NFL?
The Kansas City Chiefs have the best offense in the NFL, but it’s close. The model naturally placed Patrick Mahomes as the top quarterback, but it is suspicious of the changes along the offensive line. The combination of Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor are downgrades from the duo of Orlando Brown Jr. and Andrew Wylie, and receiver changes continue to make the Chiefs look precarious.
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Take a step back from the raw numbers, however, and it’s easy to see why the Chiefs would take the top spot regardless — Mahomes is a wizard, and the offense is coordinated by one of the finest minds in the NFL. Even if they suffer a step back in pass protection, they should be able to slice through opposing defenses with no problem.
Ranking the Remaining NFL Offenses
2) Buffalo Bills
A completely healthy Josh Allen — one not mitigated by an elbow injury — should be able to make waves, even without a complete receiving cast around Stefon Diggs — adding Dalton Kincaid in the draft boosted their score, as did offensive line upgrades.
3) Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles should anticipate an elite pass-blocking unit, a high-level run-blocking operation, and a great run game. The additions of D’Andre Swift and Rashaad Penny provide a small boost, as does signing receiver Olamide Zaccheaus. Primarily, however, they were a great offense last year and should be this year.
4) Cincinnati Bengals
Joe Burrow is neck and neck with Josh Allen and Jalen Hurts in terms of projected performance, and the pass protection upgrade the Bengals receive should help in a big way. Even with simply above-average run blocking, their excellent receiving unit and high-level quarterback play put them in the top five.
5) Miami Dolphins
We expect Tua Tagovailoa to play 2023 completely healthy, which is a big part of the projection here, but the Dolphins were a high-level offense when he was running it. They still need to improve their offensive line, but they have good depth there after free agency and the draft and should be a more resilient team. Having Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle is a big boon.
6) New York Jets
Adding Aaron Rodgers to a receiving corps featuring Garrett Wilson is huge, though it also helps that the Jets were aggressive about adding offensive linemen, with investments in the second and fourth rounds and a few free agent signings to round out their depth. The model might still be a bit too high on the health of the unit, but as of right now, it looks pretty scary.
7) Baltimore Ravens
Re-signing Lamar Jackson was massive, as was adding Odell Beckham Jr. and Zay Flowers. Still, without some changes along the offensive line, there’s a bit of a cap placed on the offense. Jackson is projected to play more like his 2022 self than his 2019 self, and that could be the reason they don’t rank higher.
8) San Francisco 49ers
By pure EPA per play, the 49ers were an elite passing offense. But after accounting for other elements in the model that discount unsustainable styles of play — YAC-dependency, dropped interceptions, fumble retention, etc. — there is a discount applied to Brock Purdy, who still ends up running a top-eight offense in this accounting. There’s also some concern about pass protection after losing Mike McGlinchey.
9) Los Angeles Chargers
Adding Quentin Johnston to a stacked receiving unit definitely helps the Chargers improve their projected offense, and Justin Herbert is expected to play extremely well. Yet, without offensive line upgrades, it’s tough to place the Chargers higher. The model may not have accounted for health issues that may not recur next year, but it’s still an issue.
10) Dallas Cowboys
Dak Prescott is a statistical darling — perhaps like Tony Romo — and the Cowboys are expected to see some improvements because of their willingness to make moves for players like Brandin Cooks and Luke Schoonmaker. The model is a bit suspect of half of their offensive line, though, so the offense isn’t projected to do all-world numbers.
11) Jacksonville Jaguars
There should be some improvement coming for Trevor Lawrence, and the offense is projected to improve with first and second-round investments. They weren’t active in free agency, but the performance of the receivers was fruitful last year. If they can improve their pass protection while maintaining the same quality at receiver, they should be able to score some points.
12) Minnesota Vikings
Losing Adam Thielen hurts, but the model considers Jordan Addison an upgrade. The Vikings did not improve their pass protection, but they have an elite pair of tackles and a functional interior. Importantly, the combination of Kirk Cousins and Justin Jefferson should help the offense compete for a top-10 rank, even if they do end up losing Dalvin Cook.
13) Carolina Panthers
This might be the first surprise of the list; Carolina ranked 21st in EPA per play last year. But the first overall pick tends to play at about league average his rookie year, meaning their upgrade in quarterback could drive some excellent results. Though they lost DJ Moore, they gained a number of receivers in free agency and added a second-rounder in Jonathan Mingo. It’s a net downgrade at the top receiver position but leads to upgrades everywhere else.
14) Las Vegas Raiders
Jimmy Garoppolo is a statistically sound quarterback, and he’s paired with a high-level receiver and an overall unit that has seen a number of pass-catching additions. They still need pass protection help, but the overall prognosis on Garoppolo units, on paper, is positive.
15) Seattle Seahawks
The model used here plausibly underweights Geno Smith’s likely performance. Even so, it’s worth noting that one-and-done quarterbacks are not uncommon, and it’s possible that he falls off after a strong start. Adding a first-round receiver is nice, but they still need to resolve some of their pass protection issues up the middle.
16) Denver Broncos
Perhaps there’s too much weight given to historical quarterback performance, but the way the model is designed, it believes that Russell Wilson will do better. If that’s the case, especially under Sean Payton, the sky’s the limit for an offense with as talented an offensive line and receiving group as Denver’s.
17) Detroit Lions
One of the most explosive offenses in the NFL last year, the Lions suffer for having an unsustainable method of scoring points — explosive non-quarterback runs, turnover luck, and YAC-dependency.
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Perhaps they do that again, but without a change at quarterback (which may happen), there’s a ceiling on what the Lions are projected to do even with a good offensive line and functional receiving group.
18) New York Giants
The Giants don’t have as strong a passing performance as some other offenses with running quarterbacks, and without a strong receiving corps, it’s difficult to project them to do well. But they still have made some changes — investments at receiver and offensive line improve some things, but the big change is with tight end Darren Waller. The Giants would be ranked lower without that because Jones’ historical performance would weigh them down.
19) New England Patriots
The Patriots suffer for not having receivers but do project an improvement in play for Mac Jones, who performed better in 2021 than in 2022. Still, that’s not enough to move them into the top half of the league, even with some moves along the offensive line.
20) Arizona Cardinals
One would think an offense with Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins could really do some damage, but there are concerns all across the offensive line — even with a new addition there — and not much promise at the other skill positions.
21) Cleveland Browns
Because the quarterback model only goes through the past few seasons, there’s not much hope given to Deshaun Watson, who receives an average regression bump rather than an MVP-level one. But there are real-world concerns that he will not regain his high-level playing form. Adding players like Elijah Moore and Cedric Tillman wouldn’t mean much in that case.
22) New Orleans Saints
Derek Carr should help the offense improve in big ways, but the receiving corps isn’t projected to do well outside of Chris Olave. It could be the case that we see the old Michael Thomas, which would be a huge help, but hoping for that, along with an offensive line that is definitely not what it once was, is a bit much.
23) Green Bay Packers
Though Jordan Love is a first-round pick, the historical level of play for quarterbacks who sit for multiple seasons instead of just one is not great. The model does not account for the fact that he was sitting behind a Hall of Fame quarterback, but those are the limitations that come with modeling.
Christian Watson is the only receiver the model thinks could turn into a premier weapon, and though the supporting cast is full of promise, it’s mostly pessimistic about those receivers turning in game-changing performances. A good offensive line can only go so far.
24) Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Buccaneers have a better overall supporting unit than Green Bay, but a second-round quarterback in the same position as a first-round quarterback isn’t as appealing. Not only that, the receiving unit hasn’t played as well as its reputation suggests, limiting what Kyle Trask can do.
25) Indianapolis Colts
Though they have a first-round quarterback like Carolina, the underperformance of the offensive line last year weighs heavily on the model. That might be unfair, but it projects a poor offensive line and a slightly worse receiving unit without Parris Campbell.
26) Houston Texans
Again, the model dislikes a team that should theoretically improve with the addition of a new first-round quarterback. But the weak supporting cast may have gotten worse with the loss of Brandin Cooks. Adding Shaq Mason and Robert Woods certainly helps, but the offensive line is likely still going to struggle, and there isn’t a premier receiver to replace Cooks’ snaps.
27) Chicago Bears
Justin Fields was one of the worst quarterbacks in the NFL last year but has some rushing production to fall back on and a new receiving corps that should be substantially better. The Bears made big additions to the offensive line and should find themselves comfortably outside of the last-place conversation. Any more than that, and they’ll need a huge leap in Fields’ passing potential.
28) Pittsburgh Steelers
Adding Broderick Jones and Isaac Seumalo was big for the offensive line, but there’s not much reason to believe the receiving corps can really put it together for Kenny Pickett, who is projected to make some improvements but suffers because he had some help with unsustainable types of play, like contested-catch percentage.
29) Tennessee Titans
If we see 2019 Ryan Tannehill, this offense has the ability to threaten top-10 status. But the weaknesses they have along the offensive line and receiver, as well as the overall decline in the performance of the running game and at quarterback, mean that they might have one of the worst offenses in the NFL.
30) Washington Commanders
Sam Howell played well in his limited time under center, but the model projects the performance of a typical late-round quarterback in his second year. That might be unfair, but it’s hard to figure out what he’ll do. With a weak offensive line, there’s not much the stellar receiving group can do to improve their odds.
31) Atlanta Falcons
The offensive design from Arthur Smith is phenomenal, but this wasn’t a part of the model’s accounting. Instead, it sees a weak receiving corps that is overly penalized from last year’s performances — a down year for Kyle Pitts and incoming tight end Jonnu Smith. Without some of their ancillary players, like Zaccheaus, and an upgrade at a position of strength in Bijan Robinson, there’s not much there for the Falcons to hang their hat on.
Who Has the Worst Offense in the NFL?
The worst offense in the NFL belongs to the Los Angeles Rams. Even if we give the Rams some credit for Matthew Stafford potentially rebounding and having a better year in 2023 than he did in 2022, there’s virtually no supporting cast around him. He’s projected to play at a below-average level, but with only Cooper Kupp to throw to and a weak offensive line, there’s little in the way of complete offense.
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Cam Akers can’t be expected to shoulder a complete season at running back, and a fifth-round receiver like Puka Nacua shouldn’t be expected to take over for Van Jefferson and displace him from the offense entirely. It’s tough to see a Sean McVay offense land at the bottom of the pack, but the Rams intentionally gambled their future for their Super Bowl run, and this is where they end up — a team with more rookies added to the 90-man roster than any other in the NFL.