The NFL Week 16 offense rankings are here, featuring a new team at the No. 1 spot.
The Dallas Cowboys slide significantly in the rankings, as quarterback Dak Prescott hasn’t looked like himself since injury. They are replaced by the Green Bay Packers, who are riding high on the shoulders of Aaron Rodgers and his MVP-level play. The Kansas City Chiefs have bounced back into the top five after their mid-season struggles, though it remains to be seen how they will perform against a defense showing the looks they previously struggled against the most with.
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|Green Bay Packers||0.097||1||-0.077||8||0.207||2|
|Los Angeles Rams||0.086||2||-0.145||24||0.219||1|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||0.070||3||-0.056||4||0.128||6|
|Kansas City Chiefs||0.070||4||-0.132||21||0.161||3|
|Los Angeles Chargers||0.055||5||-0.086||10||0.126||7|
|San Francisco 49ers||0.050||7||-0.071||7||0.150||5|
|New England Patriots||-0.010||13||-0.118||15||0.076||11|
|Las Vegas Raiders||-0.034||18||-0.246||30||0.072||12|
|Washington Football Team||-0.052||21||-0.132||22||0.000||22|
|New Orleans Saints||-0.077||23||-0.182||27||0.002||20|
|New York Giants||-0.104||25||-0.126||19||-0.093||26|
|New York Jets||-0.132||29||-0.126||20||-0.135||30|
Nothing brings out the best in Aaron Rodgers like the feeling of being under attack, whether for his job by his team drafting a quarterback or by the media after drama regarding vaccination status and injuries. Rodgers has been through a lot this season, but the embattled quarterback seems to have used it all to motivate him back to his best play. Since the Week 11 rankings, Rodgers has thrown 13 touchdowns (and 13 big-time throws) and zero interceptions while averaging 8.9 yards per attempt. His 78.9% adjusted completion rate over that span is still stellar despite him missing key receivers at various points and operating behind a patchwork offensive line.
Almost regardless of your opinion about Matthew Stafford and the Rams before the season, they have proved it wrong at some point this season. As quick as some were to take victory laps after the hot start, the other side was equally quick to pounce once Stafford put together some ugly games. The past couple of weeks featured impressive bounce-back performances, and Stafford's 90.1 PFF game grade in an upset win over Arizona was his highest of the season. He and the Rams offense are still among the most potent forces in the game, and Odell Beckham Jr. is showing he may have been a perfectly-timed boost to a team that lost Robert Woods on the same day.
Is the Kansas City offense back in its groove, or has it just faced the Raiders twice and a Chargers team that steered clear of the two-high coverage shells that have caused the Chiefs the most trouble this season? As much as that is still a fair question to ask, we have to give Kansas City credit for lighting up those defenses in recent weeks. The Los Angeles game, in particular, showed that Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill are still virtually unstoppable when they aren’t making errors. Kelce recorded over 100 yards after the catch in that game alone, and Hill boasts the fourth-best PFF receiving grade in the NFL this season despite nine drops.
From the moment Kyle Shanahan answered a question about whether Jimmy Garoppolo would remain the starter with the words “I guess so,” his quarterback has been playing arguably the best football of his career. He has climbed as high as 15th in the PFF rankings and is in the midst of an eight-game stretch of above-average or better grades. Garoppolo is now averaging 8.5 yards per pass attempt this season, and the 49ers have a series of unique, unstoppable weapons on offense in George Kittle and Deebo Samuel. San Francisco has been a dominant force in recent weeks as it looks to make a playoff push.
Tom Brady was just shut out for the first time in 255 games, dating all the way back to 2006 — longer than most current players have been in the NFL. There’s no dressing up that performance, but thankfully the Buccaneers offense has looked a lot better than that all season long. The unit features the NFL's second-best offensive line through 15 weeks of the season, and Brady slipped from the top spot in the PFF rankings only after that Saints game. For the season, he ranks third in turnover-worthy play rate. And only Derek Carr has more big-time throws than Brady’s 34. Tampa Bay is coming off the worst offensive performance of its season, but expect the group to bounce back.
Since the Colts offensive line got healthy, this has been a different team and a different offense. Jonathan Taylor leads the league in rushing by over 400 yards and now has over 1,000 yards after contact on the season. Though that may seem like a statistic solely driven by the running back himself, it’s easier to break tackles and gain yards after contact with a head of steam at the second level than it is to pick one's way through a defensive line. The data point is heavily influenced by the run blocking. Indy’s offense has been cooking since that line got healthy, and if the team can avoid meltdown games from quarterback Carson Wentz — 10 of his 14 turnover-worthy plays have come in three games — it is a destructive force built to cause most teams major problems.
The Bills offense is going to go as Josh Allen goes, and that’s simply been more inconsistent this season than a year ago. He hasn’t quite hit those heights this season, but he still ranks in the top 10 in overall PFF grade, big-time throws and average depth of target. He also carries the highest PFF rushing grade of any quarterback. Allen’s best play is still full of throws few quarterbacks can even think about, but if and when he has off days, the Bills struggle to find alternative ways of getting it done on offense.
Justin Herbert has now ascended to third in PFF’s quarterback grade rankings, and each week he makes the kind of throws that get people to sit up and pay attention. His bomb to Jalen Guyton against the Giants for a touchdown was arguably the best throw any quarterback has made all season. The Chargers are unquestionably a transformed unit with Herbert at quarterback and an offensive line that can actually block, but there remains the lingering feeling that they should somehow be achieving more. No offense scores touchdowns at a greater rate than Los Angeles this season, but the unit ranks sixth in scoring rate and clearly has more potential to unlock.
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Dak Prescott hasn’t looked the same since he suffered a calf injury that cost him some time early in the year. The Cowboys offensive line has also had to navigate some injuries, as has the receiving corps, but Prescott’s issues are the biggest problem. His high-end play remains special, but he has been visibly off in recent weeks. Prescott ranked fourth in PFF passing grade before the injury (87.7), but he places just 13th since returning (69.4). His adjusted completion rate has slipped five percentage points and his turnover-worthy play rate has jumped significantly. Prescott needs to be at his best for this offense to be as good as any in the NFL.
The Cardinals performed admirably without Kyler Murray and DeAndre Hopkins for multiple weeks but have since lost Hopkins for the remainder of the regular season while Kyler has been suffering through an ugly slump. Murray has just 11 turnover-worthy plays on the season, but six of them came in his past two outings — back-to-back defeats. The Rams game exposed an offensive line that has been playing above its talent level for much of the season, and Murray was under pressure 30 times in that game alone. All of a sudden, the Cardinals offense has some issues to fix.
Mac Jones isn’t coming off his best game, but even after throwing multiple ugly interceptions against Indianapolis, he outperformed expectations. With the Patriots in a must-pass game plan due to those mistakes, few expected Jones to be able to mount any kind of comeback, but he kept them in the game until the defense gave up a big Jonathan Taylor touchdown run to seal things. Jones ranks in the top 10 in PFF grade for the season, and the Patriots have shown they can win games where he barely has to pass the ball. New England’s offense is a dangerous and productive group.
12. Baltimore Ravens
Lamar Jackson’s play has continued to deteriorate since the last time the offense rankings were published, and it’s not insignificant that there has been little dropoff in games where Tyler Huntley features instead. Jackson earned three consecutive 80.0-plus PFF game grades earlier in the season before seeing a decline to the 60s, 50s and then the low 40s. The Ravens offense has already been dealing with injuries to the backfield and the offensive line, and it needs Jackson to be at his best if this is to be a top offense. Baltimore remains unique and dangerous, regardless, but the offense isn't the force it could be.
Philadelphia’s offense looked like it was on the right track before an ugly day against the Giants in Week 12 derailed all of its momentum and threatened to ruin the team’s playoff chances. Jalen Hurts has been a far better quarterback when he has been able to take a back seat to the run game, but against the Giants, he showed there are still serious limitations if he needs to throw aggressively and often. Hurts ranks 19th in PFF passing grade and has the highest time to throw in the NFL this season, averaging over three seconds per dropback.
Kirk Cousins, the offense and the Vikings as a whole appear trapped in a cycle that always drags them back toward average. Justin Jefferson is a special difference-maker for this team, but against a Chicago defense playing with literally none of its starting secondary on Monday night, he made just four catches on nine targets. The potential is there for this offense to be better than it is, but as soon as it heads in that direction, it seems to get derailed again.
The Bengals offensive line was far from good to begin with, but when injuries have forced them to the bench, then real problems begin to develop. Joe Burrow has been phenomenal in Year 2 despite leading the league in interceptions. He now sits atop PFF’s quarterback grades despite the offensive line disintegrating around him. Ja’Marr Chase has gone off the boil after an absurd start to his rookie season, but the Bengals receiving corps as a whole is still an impressive unit and an excellent complement to Burrow. The biggest limiting factor for this offense is play calling and a 55% run rate on first down.
16. Cleveland Browns
Cleveland’s performance Monday night against the Raiders doesn’t really count — the team was down almost 20 players due to COVID-19 and started a third-string quarterback. But even without that game, this isn’t the offense it was earlier in the season. Baker Mayfield ranks just 24th in PFF passing grade, and injuries have chipped away at an offensive line that is among the best in the league when everybody is healthy. Even the Browns' rushing success has begun to wane, and they have fallen out of the top spot in explosive run rate to the Colts and Jonathan Taylor.
17. Tennessee Titans
Few teams have suffered more significant losses than the Titans, who entered the year with an offense that looked a little top-heavy and lost all three of the most critical elements at some point over the season. They continue to run the football reasonably well without Derrick Henry, but passing without A.J. Brown (out since Week 11) and Julio Jones (battling a hamstring injury with four catches since Week 9) has become problematic. Ryan Tannehill hasn’t earned a PFF game grade above 80.0 since Week 9, and over that same period, he's made 11 turnover-worthy plays to just five big-time throws.
The Raiders offense has been through a lot this season. The mastermind behind the unit (Jon Gruden) resigned in disgrace after damning emails were leaked, and former first-rounder Henry Ruggs III was cut from the team after being charged with driving under the influence resulting in death, among other charges. The offense hasn’t looked the same since the primary deep threat was removed from the equation, even after the team signed DeSean Jackson. Making matters worse has been losing tight end Darren Waller — the offense's best player, deep threat or no deep threat. Against the Browns on Monday night, Zay Jones and Foster Moreau tied for the team lead in targets.
19. Denver Broncos
Teddy Bridgewater‘s impressive play from earlier in the season has leveled off, and while he hasn’t been poor, he hasn’t raised the level of the elite playmakers at his disposal, either. Bridgewater had a disastrous game against Kansas City and was carted off against Cincinnati this past week with a head injury, leaving Drew Lock to lead the offense.
20. Seattle Seahawks
Russell Wilson’s return from a finger injury may have been rushed, as he clearly wasn’t the same player once he was back under center. His first game back saw him post a 33.9 PFF grade, and it was another four games before we saw him clear a 70.0 mark overall — something he did four times in his first five games this season before the injury. When Wilson is able to carry the offense, there is a spark and the threat of big passing plays at any time. If he isn’t able to do that, this just isn’t a good enough unit to survive on its own merit.
21. Miami Dolphins
The Dolphins field unquestionably the worst offensive line in the NFL, one that's on pace to be historically bad. They have already surrendered 208 pressures on the season, three short of the most allowed last season over a full 16-game schedule. They’ve given up that many despite being heavily protected by RPOs and a quarterback getting rid of the ball quickly. Tua Tagovailoa has been playing remarkably well overall in recent weeks despite that offensive line, and with Jaylen Waddle’s role being steadily expanded, Miami has a lot to work with if it can find some bodies to upgrade the offensive line.
Taylor Heinicke had gone on a run of impressive play until the team ran into the Dallas defense. Four turnover-worthy plays and this worst PFF game grade (34.0) of the season later, and Washington’s playoff push had been firmly stalled. The team has had an impressive offensive line all season, but Heinicke could be better and the skill position players have yet to really fire. Antonio Gibson has actually had some excellent blocking to run behind but ranks just 48th out of 64 players in PFF rushing grade, averaging less than 4.0 yards per carry.
It was inevitable that the Saints offense would decline once Jameis Winston was lost to injury, leaving things up to Trevor Siemian and Taysom Hill. When the offensive line began to get banged up and erode any platform to work from, that’s when things really started to get ugly. Since Week 11, the Saints offense ranks 27th in EPA per play and 27th in successful play rate. Taysom Hill has just two big-time throws on the year, and they both came against the Bucs on Sunday Night Football.
24. Detroit Lions
Don’t look now, but Detroit’s offense is actually trending up. The Lions shocked Arizona this past week, and while Jared Goff’s PFF grade (62.1) was right in the range it has been all season, he delivered a strike at a key moment to really heap pressure on the Cardinals going into half time. Undrafted rookie Craig Reynolds is one of the best-graded backs in the league over the past two weeks, generating 195 rushing yards — 171 of which have come after contact. Penei Sewell didn’t have a great game against Arizona, but he has been one of the best tackles in the game since some early-season struggles.
Somehow, Pittsburgh is winning games in spite of its offense. Against Tennessee, the Steelers snatched victory with just 168 yards of total offense when the Titans imploded with turnovers in the fourth quarter. First-round running back Najee Harris is averaging just 4.1 yards per touch this season, and no quarterback has more turnover-worthy plays (24) than Ben Roethlisberger. The team’s receivers have plenty of ability, but Roethlisberger hasn’t been able to get them the football enough to maximize their impact.
26. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons boast some playmakers on offense, but they are unusual skill sets, and it seems like the team struggles to get them all firing at the same time and within one coherent strategy or gameplan. Matt Ryan has been solid this season but hasn’t posted a PFF game grade above 66.0 since Week 9. His offensive line has also been a mess in recent weeks. Only the Houston Texans have a lower successful play rate (32.1%) than the Falcons this season.
27. Chicago Bears
Justin Fields brings special talent and upside to the Bears' offense, but it isn’t without its drawbacks, and the scheme is doing nothing to maximize the former and minimize the latter. Fields' big-time throw rate (6.1%)ranks seventh in the NFL, but his uncatchable throw rate (25.6%) ranks dead last. Chicago’s offense also ranks last in the percentage of receiver routes that were charted as open by PFF’s data. Fields has little help but has flashed more big-time potential than any other rookie passer, including Mac Jones.
Cam Newton hasn’t been able to overcome an offensive line descending toward being one of the worst in the NFL. Only the Dolphins and the Raiders have allowed more total pressures on the season than the 173 Carolina has coughed up, and Newton’s adjusted completion rate is just 65.0% — the lowest mark in the entire league. The Panthers' skill position players are impressive, but they aren't getting the football enough.
29. New York Giants
Mike Glennon is at the helm for the Giants after Daniel Jones was shut down for the season with a neck injury. That sentence essentially tells you everything you need to know about their offensive rankings. For every absurd one-handed snag by Saquon Barkley, there’s a play where Kenny Golladay is left desperately trying to break up an interception rather than have any chance to catch the football himself. Injuries have been a huge issue for the Giants this season, and they’re likely facing a major rebuild in the offseason.
30. New York Jets
Zach Wilson’s return to the lineup hasn’t offered much in the way of encouragement over his early-season play. He has dialed down his frequency of turnover-worthy plays, but that’s come at the expense of offering anything in terms of big plays. Wilson's 2.7% big-time throw rate would have tied Tua Tagovailoa for the lowest mark in the league last season, and it ranks 31st out of 39 qualifying quarterbacks this year. One positive for the Jets is their offensive line, which has taken consistent steps toward becoming a middle-of-the-pack unit.
Urban Meyer might be gone, but the wreckage he left behind is still there. Laquon Treadwell has been arguably the team’s top receiver in recent weeks, and Trevor Lawrence hasn’t made more than one big-time throw in a game since Week 10. Lawrence has three games this season with PFF grades above 70.0 but none above 80.0. Only backups Mike Glennon and Jacoby Brissett have averaged less than his 5.8 yards per attempt. On the plus side, Jacksonville now sits in line for the No. 1 overall pick in the 2022 NFL Draft.
32. Houston Texans
The flashes of viability from Tyrod Taylor disappeared almost as quickly as they appeared, and the team ultimately decided to see what it had in Davis Mills over the remainder of the season. While that is undoubtedly the smart strategy, the answer is likely to be nothing more than a backup option for the future, as Mills' overall PFF grade sits at just 53.6, worse than everybody else in the league other than Mike Glennon. He has almost twice as many turnover-worthy plays (17) as big-time throws (9) despite a modest average depth of target of just 7.5 yards downfield. No offense has a lower successful play rate for the season than the Texans.