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Ranking the 10 best offenses in NFL history

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The NFL has become a league filled with dynamic offenses, but that just makes it harder to be considered one of the greatest NFL offenses of all time.

Given the growing trend of high-powered offenses that throw the ball around and score points at will, we were curious about what teams should be considered among the best offenses of all time. What exactly distinguishes the best of the best?

Greatest NFL offenses ranked

Needless to say, it wasn’t easy limiting our list of the greatest NFL offenses to just 10 teams.

We had to take into account whether those teams were Super Bowl winners, whether they had an elite quarterback or one of the top offensive linemen in NFL history to lead the way. It took a lot of research, thought, and number-crunching, but we came up with a list of the 10 best NFL offenses of all time.

10. 1990 Bills

Fans always remember Buffalo’s four straight Super Bowl losses but they never remember how good the Bills were on their way to the Super Bowl during that time. The year they lost on a missed field goal was perhaps their best team and their best offense.


Jim Kelly and company scored 95 total points in their two playoff games, saving some of their best performances for the biggest games. Granted, this team scored 17 points or less four times during the regular season. But they also had five offensive Pro Bowlers, including Thurman Thomas and Andre Reed, so when things were clicking, this offense could do special things.

9. 2016 Falcons

Unfortunately, this team will likely only be remembered for its collapse in Super Bowl LI. But before that, MVP Matt Ryan led a rather impressive offense.

After all, they scored 80 total points in their two playoff games and then 28 points in the first half of the Super Bowl. Atlanta’s 540 total points this season ranks among the top 10 on the all-time list with the Falcons scoring more than 40 points five times in 16 games. Julio Jones was right around his prime at the time and had amazing chemistry with Ryan that made the Atlanta offense in 2016 a thing of beauty.

8. 1989 49ers

As a 14-2 team that won the Super Bowl, the 1989 49ers are one of the best teams of all time, largely thanks to Joe Montana and an unstoppable offense.

In three playoff games, including a 55-10 blowout of Denver in the Super Bowl, they averaged 42 points per game. Montana’s individual numbers were as good as any quarterback as posted in a single season ever, setting a record for passer rating that has since been broken.


Oddly enough, they only eclipsed 40 points once during the regular season. But few teams came anywhere close to stopping the San Francisco offense in 1989 on the way to the 49ers winning a championship in dominant fashion.

7. 2018 Chiefs

When your quarterback throws for over 5,000 yards and 50 touchdown passes in his first season as a starter, it’s a sign of something special.

That’s exactly what Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs accomplished during the 2018 season, almost coming out of nowhere to form one of the greatest NFL offenses ever. With Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill surrounding Mahomes, the Chiefs failed to score at least 30 points in only four games.

Even in their four losses in 2018, the Chiefs averaged 37.5 points per game, including an epic 54-51 defeat against the Rams. Of course, Mahomes never touched the ball in overtime of the AFC Championship Game, so one of the great offenses ever failed to reach the Super Bowl.

6. 2011 Packers

One year after winning the Super Bowl, the Green Bay offense was arguably better than it’s ever been. Aaron Rodgers won his first MVP award in 2011 while also setting the all-time single-season record for passer rating. The Packers also had a few Pro Bowlers on defense, explaining why they went 15-1 this season.

But Rodgers was brilliant from start to finish, leading an offense that had six games with over 40 points. Unfortunately, it was all for naught with the Packers losing their first playoff game. However, that doesn’t take away from Rodgers having perhaps the best season of his career.

5. 2011 Saints

Somehow, Rodgers and the Packers were only the second-best offensive team in 2011. It can be argued that Drew Brees and the Saints were better.

This team also scored at least 40 points six times, including the last three games of the regular season and a 62-7 blowout of the Colts. New Orleans had three Pro Bowlers on the offensive line leading the way with Brees utilizing Jimmy Graham at tight end in the days when Graham was as unstoppable as any tight end the league has ever known.

With the Saints setting the record for offensive yards from scrimmage, Brees setting the record for single-season passing yards, and Darren Sproles setting the record for all-purpose yards in a season, the 2011 Saints deserve to be held in high esteem. In their two playoff games, they scored 77 total points despite losing one of those games.

4. 1998 Vikings

If not for a missed field goal in the NFC Championship Game, the 1998 Vikings could have gone down as one of the best teams in NFL history.

They scored 556 total points during the regular season, setting a new NFL record at the time. That shouldn’t be a surprise with Hall of Fame wide receivers Randy Moss and Cris Carter on the same team. Quarterback Randall Cunningham and running back Robert Smith were also Pro Bowlers this season, so this offense was loaded.

They scored at least 31 points in 11 games while averaging 41.6 points per game during the final five games of the regular season. With a 15-1 record, this team had it all but had the misfortune of an otherwise reliable kicker missing at the wrong time.

3. 1999 Rams

There were three years in which the Greatest Show on Turf was running circles around the rest of the league. But the 1999 season was when the Rams were at their best. This was the year that Kurt Warner and the Rams took the entire league by storm. Nobody knew who Warner was before the season, but with help from Marshall Faulk, Isaac Bruce, and others, he led one of the greatest NFL offenses ever assembled.

While they never reached 50 points in a single game, the Rams did score 49 points in a playoff game on their way to winning Super Bowl XXXIV. The 1999 Rams are also among a handful of teams to score at least 30 points 12 times in a season. But give credit to the St. Louis defense as well, as the Rams had seven pick-sixes in 1999.

2. 2007 Patriots

Tom Brady led a lot of great offenses during his stay in New England, but the 2007 team was the best of that era and one of the best of all time. Keep in mind that this was the team that was 18-0 before losing to the Giants in the Super Bowl.

That loss aside, this was the season that Randy Moss had over 1,400 receiving yards and set the all-time record for 23 touchdown catches. Moss and Brady were in their first season together and instantly clicked.

The Patriots also had three offensive linemen make the Pro Bowl this season, so the GOAT had plenty of time in the pocket. In their first eight games of the season, the Patriots scored a minimum of 34 points, reaching that total 11 times in 16 games. The Pats topped 40 points four times and topped 50 points twice and would likely be considered the best team of all time without question had they not lost the Super Bowl.

1. 2013 Broncos

The numbers for the 2013 Broncos say it all. This team scored 606 total points, averaging nearly 38 points per game, which will forever remain an NFL record for a 16-game regular season.

It was Peyton Manning’s second year in Denver and the year he won his fifth and final MVP award. There was no stopping this offense for large stretches of the regular season. In two of their three losses, they still managed to score over 30 points.

On six occasions, the Broncos scored over 40 points, including three games in which they topped 50 points. Unfortunately, they were eventually stopped in the Super Bowl by a historically good Seattle defense and the cold New Jersey temperatures in early February. But while they didn’t win a championship, this is still the best offensive team the NFL has ever seen.

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