5 AFC Offenses That Should Improve This Coming Season
Now that the NFL season is about to start in a month or two, I decided to have a blog about the 5 NFL offenses that should improve and 5 NFL offenses that should downgrade. Now some people might say that I don’t know who is starting and who is not and those people are right. However I’m assuming that the added free agents/draft picks are sticking with the team so that should be a pretty good indicator. The following are the 5 NFL offenses that I believe should improve this coming season. No particular order:
1. Denver Broncos – They added a WR in Wes Welker that is a dominant slot WR. Adding Welker can ease off the coverage of Thomas and Decker which can make opportunities for both of them. Something that Peyton Manning would absolutely love. Added with the fact that the Broncos drafted Montee Ball in the 2nd round, the running game should definitely improve from the horrible 3.8 yards per carry that the Broncos had last season. The only concern that I have is the injury of center J.D. Walton. If he is out then it could be a weakness. I know that Broncos added Dan Koppen but he ranked out as 22nd out of all the centers according to Pro Football Focus which is not that great. Overall I expect the O-line to still be one of the best O-line (2nd least amount of sacks and ranked 4th last season according to Pro Football Focus) like last season and I expect the running game to improve.
2. Indianapolis Colts – The Colts offseason was busy on both sides of the ball, especially on the offensive side. Adding WR Darrius Heyward-Bey, RB Ahmad Bradshaw, a good right tackle in Gosder Cherilus, Donald Thomas, and veteran QB Matt Hasselbeck. The offensive line was the 2nd worst O-line in the NFL last season according to Pro Football Focus so adding two veteran offensive lineman was a huge boost. Heyward-Bey was a pretty good, not great, addition to a very young WR corps. His catching abilities are in questiong but Heyward-Bey speed is which can help stretch the field. The draft was pretty well for the Colts when they drafted G Hugh Thornton, G/C Khaled Holmes, RB Kerwynn Williams, and TE Justice Cunningham. Thornton and Holmes are good depth players and should be future starters for the Colts. Cunningham has a legit shot on making the roster even though the TE personnel is pretty good. Williams might have some trouble making the roster but could be used in Special Teams. Overall the Colts offense are a better team and should improve with a more balance attack in the west coast style offense (no coast style offense). This style of offense should decrease sacks and increase completion % and effective running.
3. Cincinnati Bengals – This is Andy Dalton’s year to show that he can be a franchise QB. Dalton had a 27/16 TD/INT ratio last season and should improve going into his 3rd season. He has a legit WR, a pretty good RB, and an offensive line that ranked 8th in the league according to Pro Football Focus. The good thing is that the Bengals kept their offensive line which is good for Dalton. A.J. Green is coming off a huge season with 97 reception, 1,350 yard season and 11 touchdowns. Adding Tyler Eifert to the mix, it should allow WR Andrew Hawkings and TE Jermaine Greshman more opportunities and vice versa. Overall the Bengals offense should do a lot better especially in the postseason where they lost consecutively to the Texans. What makes it worse is that the Andy Dalton has not thrown a TD in both of his playoff games against the Texans but that should all change with the offensive additions.
4. Kansas City Chiefs – Adding Alex Smith was a huge boost to the Chiefs after having the worst passing offense last year and having the least number of passing TDs as well. Smith should boost this offense and make them a threat at the #2 team of the AFC West. Adding Charles and Bowe will make Smith job easier. Also getting a premiere left tackle in Eric Fisher should help the O-line that ranked 12th in the league last season according to Pro Football Focus. Donnie Avery is a fast WR that can make big plays when needed however he can be inconsistent and can drop the ball often. However I’m pretty sure Andy Reid can help Avery on becoming a better WR. The running game for the Chiefs was one of the best in the league and should still be the top 5 unless Reid wants to pass more. Adding a good game manager in Smith should help the horrible TD/INT ratio that the Chiefs had last season. If Branden Albert gets to play and does not interfere in Eric Fisher play time for example either player moving sides of the O-line then the O-line should improve drastically.
5. Miami Dolphins – Ryan Tannehill should have a better year especially in the TD/INT ratio which he had 12TD/13INT this past season. Even though Reggie Bush left Miami to Detroit I strongly believe that Lamar Miller can pick up the slack and be a good runningback. The reason I say that Miller can pick up the slack is because during his limited role, he had a 4.9 yards per carry which was better than Bush. Also Miller hasn’t fumbled the ball like Bush did 4 times last season. Miller is going to be an important piece into the offensive puzzle. Also the Dolphins added speedster Mike Wallace from Pittsburgh which adds another dimension that the Dolphins needed. Brian Hartline was a good WR but he is old which might affect his production next season. With Wallace taking the double coverage, Hartline with Davone Bess can catch more quality throws from Tannehill. The only downside is that the Dolphins really didn’t fill the hole when Jake Long left to the Rams. Yes I know that the Dolphins got Jonathan Martin but he struggled a lot when Long went down with injuries this past season. The Dolphins tried to address that in free agency in Tyson Clabo but according to Pro Football Focus he is inconsistent in the run game. Time will tell if the O-line can do better than being 23rd in the league last season. Overall I believe Tannehill and the rest of the offense will improve and can be a threat to a Patriots team that lost a lot of key players in the offensive side of the ball.