Yesterday, we brought you ESPN’s latest incarnation of their NFL power rankings. Today, we bring you offensive rankings from NFL Network. In this case, the list comes from Chris Wesseling, who ranked the top five offenses as he sees it heading into the 2017 season. While the Patriots, to no surprise, topped the list, he had the Pittsburgh Steelers placed right behind him.
Wesseling broke the rankings down into four separate segments between the quarterback, the backfield, the receiving corps, and the offensive line. While he gave the Patriots an A+ for the quarterback position and the receiving corps, the backfield and offensive line were given a B+.
The Steelers failed to merit any A+ grades, but they also had only one category in the B range, and that he gave to the quarterback position, with a B+.
“Roethlisberger faded down the stretch last season”, he wrote, “perhaps struggling to adapt to an offense suddenly running through Le’Veon Bell rather than the quarterback. Now that the receiving corps is restocked, there’s ample reason to believe Big Ben will return to 2015 form in which he was the league’s most dangerous downfield passer”.
He noted that “the Steelers would earn a higher grade at the position if there were any confidence that Jones could step in and keep the season afloat in the event of yet another Roethlisberger injury”.
Wesseling gave the backfield an A- grade, noting that “Bell is coming off one of the most productive stretches in NFL history”, but also noted his suspensions and injuries and the absence of DeAngelo Williams.
The receiving corps received an A- as well, noting that “beyond Brown and Bryant, this unit features a host of wild cards. Before Coates broke a pair of fingers”, he said, he was an “electric” downfield threat. “If Green can overcome concussion issues, he an ideal seam-stretcher for Roethlisberger”, he noted, while wondering if the rookie wide receiver is “too young to challenge Coates and Rogers for playing time”.
The offensive line received the highest grade on the team with a solid, outright A. “The spotlight rarely leaves Pittsburgh’s celebrates triplets long enough to shine on an offensive line that outperformed even Dallas’ star-studded unit in several categories last season”, he wrote.
In case you were wondering, the Falcons, Raiders, and Cowboys rounded out the top five offenses, while the second tier consisted of the Saints, Packers, Chargers, Titans, and Buccaneers. Only the Bengals amongst the rest of the AFC North were included in the “In the Hunt” category at the bottom of the article as an afterthought.