Last year, the Atlanta Falcons offense ran roughshod over the league en route to an appearance in Super Bowl LI. It seemed even in the big game to be unstoppable as they jumped out to a 28-3 lead before the Patriots staged a comeback for the ages to win in overtime.
Heading into this season, the Falcons have most of those same guys back, but they did lose their offensive coordinator in Kyle Shanahan, who is now the head coach for the San Francisco 49ers. Will that knock the Falcons off the top of the heap? Or will Matt Ryan and company retain their crown as the best offense in the land? That’s the question that we put to our CBS Sports Radio colleagues. Who will have the league’s most formidable offense in 2017?
“The most prolific offense will go to…the New England Patriots again,” said Gregg Giannotti, co-host of Gio and Jones. “There’s too many weapons there. I don’t believe that Tom Brady is going to take a step back. And, when you think Brandin Cooks on that team, you add that to a healthy Gronkowski and a run game that can explode at any time? As far as offensively, you know they’re going to be putting up 35 points per game, they’re just that good. They’ve got the greatest quarterback I’ve ever seen running that thing.”
Brandon Tierney, co-host of Tiki and Tierney, agrees. But, Gregg’s co-host, Brian Jones, is going with a different AFC team: the Pittsburgh Steelers.
“Most people would think Tom Brady and the Patriots, but I’m going to say Pittsburgh,” said Jones. “Martavis Bryant is back from a one year suspension. He’s a big, tall wide receiver who will win all of those 50/50 balls there in the end zone. And then, you have Antonio Brown. And Le’Veon Bell. I’m liking Big Ben with all of those guys.”
However, while the AFC teams did get some love, last year’s offensive leaders were the pick for Marc Malusis.
“I’m going to go with the team that led the way a year ago. There was a reason why the Atlanta Falcons averaged over 33 points per game,” said Malusis. “Their ability to run it, combined with Julio Jones, playmakers at the wideout spot and, I think Matt Ryan last year finally clicked. He found it, inconsistency out of the way, he’s had really good years and they’ve got a massive mental hurdle to get over blowing that Super Bowl. They’re saying all of the right things, throughout the course of the offseason, we’ll see how it plays in the regular season.”