NFL Analysis


7 min read

Ranking NFL's Top 8 Offensive Cores Heading Into 2024 Season

Nov 27, 2022; Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, USA; Philadelphia Eagles quarterback Jalen Hurts (1) and wide receiver A.J. Brown (11) celebrate a touchdown connection against the Green Bay Packers during the third quarter at Lincoln Financial Field. Mandatory Credit: Bill Streicher-USA TODAY Sports

A dozen or more offenses are set up to have huge statistical seasons heading into 2024. Organizations have done a much better job surrounding quarterbacks with elite playmakers than in previous decades. But which team has the best offensive core heading into the 2024 season?

Let’s look at the top eight heading into the new league year.

For the purposes of this article, we are looking at each team’s QB1, RB1, WR1, and TE1. Teams with strong quarterback play will significantly boost their ranking, and depth at running back and wide receiver won't be considered.

Durability and consistency play a big factor here, too, which is why a team like the Bengals, despite having Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase, aren't listed.

It's also worth noting that age is considered in these rankings. For as good as Breece Hall and Garrett Wilson are, Aaron Rodgers's age (and injury history) leaves them out of the top eight. So, without further ado, let's get on with the list.

NFL's Top 8 Offensive Cores

8. Houston Texans

QB1: C.J. Stroud

RB1: Joe Mixon

WR1: Nico Collins

TE1: Dalton Schultz

The Houston Texans would be much higher if depth were included in this list. No team has a better wide receiver trio than the Texans with Nico Collins, Stefon Diggs, and Tank Dell.

However, their ranking dropped a bit because only the WR1 was considered. Make no mistake: the Texans are loaded on offense. With a 22-year-old C.J. Stroud behind center, they are a legitimate threat in the AFC.

Houston has done an excellent job mixing veterans with young players, including Joe Mixon and Dalton Schultz. Mixon doesn’t have much juice left, but he is a solid pass blocker and good in short yardage.

Schultz has posted four consecutive seasons with at least 55 receptions and 575 yards, turning himself into one of the NFL's most consistent tight ends. Houston’s offense is more well-rounded than star-studded, but it deserves to be included in this list because of Stroud's emergence.

Buffalo Bills running back James Cook, left, and quarterback Josh Allen
Buffalo Bills quarterback Josh Allen (17) handles the ball off to running back James Cook (4) in the first half against the Dallas Cowboys at Highmark Stadium. Gregory Fisher-USA TODAY Sports.

7. Buffalo Bills

QB1: Josh Allen

RB1: James Cook

WR1: Keon Coleman

TE1: Dalton Kincaid

The Buffalo Bills are still searching for Diggs' replacement and hope one of Keon Coleman or Khalil Shakir could be a potential solution. However, the Bills are on this list rather than some other talented teams because of Josh Allen.

He is productive and incredibly durable, considering the workload the Bills have put on his shoulders during the last five seasons. Allen has missed just one start since 2019 and has scored 202 touchdowns (passing + rushing). That averages out to 40.4 total touchdowns per season in a half-decade. He is a one-man band and has consistently made the Bills a contender each year.

The player to watch on this list is Dalton Kincaid, who averaged more than 50 receiving yards per game from Week 7 on last season. The sky is the limit for Kincaid going into Year 2. He could quickly become one of the NFL's best tight ends.

James Cook, who recorded more than 1,500 yards from scrimmage in Year 2, is worth mentioning. Cook is only 24 and one of the league's best dual-threat running backs.

6. Atlanta Falcons

QB1: Kirk Cousins

RB1: Bijan Robinson

WR1: Drake London

TE1: Kyle Pitts

This one is a bit of a projection, considering Kirk Cousins signed with the Atlanta Falcons this offseason, but the team's talent is impossible to deny.

Bijan Robinson was the No. 6 overall pick a year ago and was spectacular during his rookie season. He recorded 1,463 yards from scrimmage on just 272 touches and is set to have an even bigger workload this season.

Drake London has been productive despite awful quarterback play, and Kyle Pitts is the first tight end since Mike Ditka to record 1,000 receiving yards during his rookie season.

Pitts, London, and Robinson are all 23 or younger heading into the 2024 season, which certainly factored into their ranking on this list. As long as Cousins can stay healthy, the Falcons can be one of the league's top three or four offenses this season.

Detroit Lions wide receiver Amon-Ra St. Brown (14) is introduced before the game against the Chicago Bears at Ford Field. David Reginek-USA TODAY Sports.

5. Detroit Lions

QB1: Jared Goff

RB1: Jahymr Gibbs

WR1: Amon-Ra St. Brown

TE1: Sam LaPorta

This group featured two rookies during the 2023 season who were dominant right out of the gate. Jahymr Gibbs and Sam LaPorta made the Pro Bowl during their rookie seasons, and Amon-Ra St. Brown was named to his first All-Pro team after catching 119 passes for 1,515 yards.

The Detroit Lions had the NFL's No. 5 ranked scoring offense last season, which took them to the NFC Championship Game. With Gibbs, St. Brown, and LaPorta all under 25, Detroit's future is incredibly bright.

4. San Francisco 49ers

QB1: Brock Purdy

RB1: Christian McCaffrey

WR1: Brandon Aiyuk

TE1: George Kittle

The 2024 San Francisco 49ers might have the best group of skill players in NFL history. Christian McCaffrey is the NFL’s best running back, and he was just rewarded with a new contract extension.

Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel give Brock Purdy two All-Pro caliber wide receivers on top of the NFL's best two-way tight end, George Kittle.

Samuel, Ricky Pearsall, Jauan Jennings, and Kyle Juszczyk don’t factor into this list, but the 49ers have talent galore on offense. The only reason the 49ers aren't higher on this list is because Brock Purdy isn't quite as system-independent as the other three quarterbacks listed ahead of him.

But there isn't a better RB1-WR1-TE1 combo in the NFL than in San Francisco.

Lamar Jackson runs onto the field with purple lights flashing
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) runs onto the field before the game against the Cincinnati Bengals at M&T Bank Stadium. Tommy Gilligan-USA TODAY Sports.

3. Baltimore Ravens

QB1: Lamar Jackson

RB1: Derrick Henry

WR1: Zay Flowers

TE1: Mark Andrews

Lamar Jackson is good enough to warrant a spot on this list after winning his second MVP award in 2023. But the Baltimore Ravens deserve a lot of credit for putting a better team around Jackson. They’ve added Derrick Henry this year, giving them more size and physicality in the backfield.

Mark Andrews is one of the NFL’s best tight ends, and Zay Flowers had an impressive rookie season. The Ravens hope Flowers can take another step in 2024 because that spot is the only reason they aren’t higher on this list.

2. Philadelphia Eagles

QB1: Jalen Hurts

RB1: Saquon Barkley

WR1: A.J. Brown

TE1: Dallas Goedert

The Philadelphia Eagles' addition of Saquon Barkley this offseason gives them one of the league's top offensive cores. Even at this stage of his career, Barkley is one of the most dynamic running backs in the NFL and will play in an offense with Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, DeVonta Smith, and Dallas Goedert.

The Eagles have playmakers galore and a dual-threat quarterback who has rushed for 38 touchdowns during the last three seasons. It doesn't get much better than what the Eagles have at QB1, RB1, WR1, and TE1.

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) celebrates with tight end Travis Kelce (87) after winning Super Bowl LVII against the Eagles at State Farm Stadium. Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports.

1. Kansas City Chiefs

QB1: Patrick Mahomes

RB1: Isiah Pacheco

WR1: Rashee Rice

TE1: Travis Kelce

Other teams on this list have better running backs and more dynamic No. 1 receivers. But no team other team has Patrick Mahomes. He is the NFL's undisputed best player and worth more than any other four core players combined.

Add on the fact that Travis Kelce might be the best receiving tight end in NFL history, and it's not hard to see why the Kansas City Chiefs came in at No. 1.

The Chiefs have a chance to be significantly better on offense moving forward, assuming Rashee Rice can stay out of trouble. Rice had a fantastic rookie season, catching 79 passes for 938 yards and seven touchdowns in 2023.

The additions of Marquise Brown and Xavier Worthy give the Chiefs two more viable receivers, which they didn't have outside of Rice in 2023. As long as Mahomes can stay healthy, the Chiefs should be significantly better on offense than they were a year ago.