Building the Best All-Time NFL Offense
Peyton Manning has been the NFL’s best Quarterback since 2002. He has turned the game into a higher scoring, faster paced, and more exciting league to watch even when your team is not playing. He did it because he understands that a good offense can get you to the Super Bowl but a great one can get you a Lombardi.
Since 1967, every single team that has won the Super Bowl has done it with some type of offensive prowess. Only a few times has a team without much of an offense been able to win a Super Bowl. It has happened, just not that many times. Defense will always be the key factor in winning a Super Bowl but without being able to score points, stopping your opponent is meaningless.
That is where the Super Bowl Era’s Greatest NFL Offensive Unit Ever Built comes into play. This is the single best offense we could have put together from the past 50 NFL seasons. It would be nearly impossible to stop an offense built like this but it will be fun to think about it. Enjoy.
QB – Dan Marino, Miami Dolphins
Are we now claiming Dan Marino is the best QB in NFL history? No. This is about a team, not a specific player. Dan would be the best fit in this offense. Sure, Jerry Rice and Joe Montana made history together and that is a good point. However, imagine what Dan Marino would have done if he had Jerry Rice? This is the same guy who turned Mark Clayton into a Hall of Fame Wide Receiver. Now put him behind this offensive line with these tools at his disposal and watch what happens. (Dream it!)
RB – Walter Payton, Chicago Bears
Walter Payton is the best running back the NFL has ever seen. The decision to put him on this lineup was about as easy as choosing between ice cream and wet sand. His ability to run with ease made him so scary on the field. He could breakaway at any time. The numbers speak for themselves.
RB – Barry Sanders, Detroit Lions
Just pretend this lineup existed in the NFL. Barry Sanders and Walter Payton, in their prime, just terrorizing defenses across the NFL. That is not even fair.
FB – Lorenzo Neal, New Orleans Saints
Of all the fullbacks in NFL history, the one true FB that deserves the honor of being a blocking back first, run later, is Lorenzo Neal. From 1997 to 2008, he helped running backs reach the 1,000 yard mark every single season. He propelled Eddie George, Corey Dillon, LaDainian Tomlinson, Adrian Murrell, and Warrick Dunn to the next level.
WR – Jerry Rice, San Francisco 49ers
How should we say this? Jerry Rice could catch water with his bare hands and fill up a bottle to be used later for hydration. This guy was incredible. He could catch a football and become nearly invincible on the field. No one could touch him. He was never the fastest but he was the smartest. He knew where to run, how to turn, and what to do to fool a defender. He did it every single time he stepped onto the field. That is why we want him on our team.
WR – Michael Irvin, Dallas Cowboys
Yes, Michael Irvin was loud. He was sometimes a performer more than a NFL player. However, that is pointless when you had his size and speed. He just plain out could not be stopped. Randy Moss was scary in the open field but Michael Irvin was one of the first NFL wideouts to coin that phrase. He could beat almost anyone down the field and he was going to catch the ball, 99.9% of the time.
WR – Lynn Swann, Pittsburgh Steelers
His numbers were great, when he was playing. But when compared to today’s NFL, his numbers are not that strong. He played in a different time for a different league back then. Lynn Swann was one of the best catchers to ever suit up. His hands were like magic and he rarely, if ever, dropped a football.
WR – Randy Moss, Minnesota Vikings
In the event of a 4 WR set, Randy Moss would be our candidate. He is the perfect build for a NFL WR deep threat. Line him up next to these other guys and any defense, regardless of how good, couldn’t be able to cover him. He would be a lock for a TD almost every time they lined up.
TE – Shannon Sharpe, Denver Broncos
Shannon Sharpe was the first Tight End in the NFL to make the position popular. Before he came around yelling and talking trash, TEs in the NFL were known mostly for their quiet blocking and silent TD catches. You almost never saw a TE speak like Michael Irvin before Mr.Sharpe.
LT – Anthony Munoz, Cincinnati Bengals
Have you ever imagined what it would be like to play one-on-one with Michael Jordan in his prime? Do you think you would ever get a shot off or would it be like shooting into a giant wall? Anthony Munoz is the Michael Jordan of Offensive Lineman in the NFL. He was just plain great. 99% of the teams he played had to game plan around him on defense and literally send players to the opposite side of the field play after play. There has never been another player in NFL history that demanded the amount of respect as Munoz.
LG – Randall McDaniel, Minnesota Vikings
Combined with Anthony Munoz to his left, Randall McDaniel forms the deadliest wall a defense will ever see. If you are an NFL QB and you had these two guys guarding your back side, you would never even look for oncoming traffic. You would simply trust that no defensive player would ever try to penetrate that tandem.
C – Bruce Matthews, Houston Oilers
A Center in the NFL is almost as important as a QB to the offense. He is the leader of the line and helps read the defense while getting ready to hike the football. Bruce Matthews played all over the line but his best position was Center. He anchored a Houston Oilers line that made room for players like Lorenzo White, Eddie George, Earl Campbell, and Mike Rozier.
RG – Gene Upshaw, Oakland Raiders
Gene Upshaw was mean. He was nasty. He was the guy you did not want to try to get past on the O-line. He spent his entire career in Oakland blocking some of the greatest defensive players of all time. He stopped Merlin Olsen, Deacon Jones, Alan Page, Lee Roy Selmon, and a hundred other Hall of Fame lineman.
RT – Jackie Slater, Los Angeles Rams
For 20 years, Jackie Slater stopped everyone from getting to his QB. He even stopped L.C. Greenwood back in Super Bowl XIV from getting in the backfield or even touching his QB. The best offensive lineman are the ones that never let their QBs get sacked. Everything else is lagniappe.