There can be arguments made on behalf of a couple teams for who has the best offense in the NFL. Teams like the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs and quarterback Patrick Mahomes have a strong case, but if you ask O.J. Howard who he would take, the conversation starts and ends with the Bucs.
Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes – Photo by: Getty Images
“You look at us and line us up versus any offense in the league, we’re right up there with the top of them,” Howard said during an appearance on Good Morning Football. “Time will tell how good we are but I think when you put us on paper we’re one of the best in the league, if not the best. I’m looking forward to it and I’m just so excited to get it going.”
Howard has a fair point to his statement as the Bucs statistically did rank near the top of the most critical offensive categories in the league. Tampa Bay was third in the NFL in total points (485) and total yards (6,366) while leading the league in passing yards with 4,845.
From a game-to-game standpoint, the Bucs were also one of the best functioning offenses where they ranked fourth in the NFL averaging 28.6 points per game, third in total yards per game with 397.9 and were once again best in passing with 302.8 yards per game.
The Bucs offense will obviously look different this year as quarterback Jameis Winston, who was a big part of their offensive production last season, is with New Orleans. But different doesn’t mean worse, especially when the Bucs replaced him by signing Tom Brady and his 74,571 career passing yards, 541 touchdowns and six Super Bowl titles.
And if that wasn’t enough to make the offense better this season, the Bucs went out and traded for future Hall Of Famer Rob Gronkowski, joining Howard and Cameron Brate in an already talented tight end group. Gronkowksi boasts a number of career accolades as well, including being the only tight end to lead the NFL in touchdowns receptions with 17 back in 2011, and the only tight end in history to record over 1,000 career receiving yards in the playoffs.
Bucs TE Rob Gronkowski and QB Tom Brady – Photo by: Getty Images
With an offseason like that, expectations for the Bucs went through the roof and benefits like receiving five primetime games this year came with it. Fulfilling those expectations, though, comes down to ignoring the outside chatter from the others.
“This will be one of the first times in the NFL that I’ve ever had so many primetime games,” Howard said. “I think if our team can just block out the outside noise and we just remember what the ultimate goal is, and that’s to win a Super Bowl, it’ll take care of itself.”
You can watch Howard’s full interview with Good Morning Football here.