Dark Horse NFL Offensive Stat Leaders

Lots of players have been significantly impacted by changes this offseason. This can result in lots of surprises happening during a season. Players can take leaps or can dramatically recline in terms of production, which means that basically anything can happen during the course of a year. Here are some players who have the chance to defy the odds to lead the NFL in their respective stat categories.

Passing yards

Daniel Jones

Daniel Jones has been given all the offensive weapons he could ever ask for. During this offseason, the Giant’s offense has turned into a quarterback’s dream. Boatloads of talent were brought in, and the pressure on Jones to succeed is at an all-time high. Kenny Golladay, Kadarius Toney, and Kyle Rudolph highlight the Giants offseason additions. Although their offensive line still needs improvement, almost every other offensive need was addressed. Jones is in an excellent position to breakout and takes a massive leap from last year, one that could propel him to the top of the NFL in passing yards next season

Passing Touchdowns

Matt Ryan

It’s clear that Julio Jones doesn’t want to stay in Atlanta next season, but it may not be as impactful as some may think. Jones wasn’t healthy for the majority of last year and while the Hawks struggled, Ryan was still able to have 26 touchdowns. If Jones somehow isn’t traded, Ryan will have countless receiving threats which should give him a chance to top the league in passing touchdowns. Not only with the Falcons have Ridley and Hurst, Kyle Pitts will be joining them this year as well and those pieces alone may be able to let Ryan lead the NFL in passing touchdowns.

Rushing yards

Jonathan Taylor

Last year, Jonathan Taylor was third in rushing yards as a rookie, which helped lead the Colts to the playoffs where they narrowly lost to the Buffalo Bills. This offseason the Colts added Eric Fisher to their already-strong offensive line, giving Taylor an even better opportunity to succeed. Carson Wentz was also added to the Colts, however, so Taylor’s workload and production will depend strongly on whether their new QB continues to struggle or not. If Wentz doesn’t pan out for the Colts, they will surely look for Taylor to carry the offensive load for the majority of the season, something that he was able to do quite well last year. 

Rushing Touchdowns

D’Andre Swift

It’s looking more and more like D’Andre Swift will be given the keys to the Lion’s offense. Coming into his second year Swift will already be asked to carry the majority of the offensive load. This offseason the Lions not only traded franchise legend quarterback Matthew Stafford but also lost their two star receivers Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones who left in free agency. Despite these huge losses, Swift still has something to look forward to this coming season as they added Penei Sewell, an offensive lineman who has hall of fame potential. Sewell and Swift will likely be the face of the Lion’s franchise going forward. Next year they will be able to show the world what they are capable of which should be very fun to watch. Swift has already shown what he can do with limited carries, so when he is given the workload it seems he will take on next season, the sky’s the limit.

Receiving yards

DJ Moore

DJ Moore has remained one of the most underrated receivers in the NFL. He hasn’t been given true WR1 targets yet but has still had elite production. Moore has had 1,000+ receiving yards each of the last two years and has been able to shine on a team loaded with receiving threats. He makes the most out of his little targets. Poor quarterback play has also hindered Moore’s possible output. He played with a battered Cam Newton who struggled, then with Kyle Allen who threw 16 interceptions and only had 17 touchdowns, and just last season with Teddy Bridgewater who struggled even with Carolina’s elite receiving core. Sam Darnold may not be too much of an upgrade, but regardless Moore should have much more targets than he had in years previous. Christain McCaffery will be healthy again which may lead some to think that Moore will be underutilized yet again, but this is far from the truth as the two coincide in Carolina’s offense well as proven by the 2019 season which was the last time we saw these two play together for a full season. Both had over 1,000 receiving yards while playing with Kyle Allen. Moore should see a dramatic increase in production this year, a leap that could make him the NFL receiving yard leader.

Receiving touchdowns

Marvin Jones

Marvin Jones has the opportunity to take a huge leap this year. After a fairly good start to his career with the Bengals, Jones went to the Lions and played spectacularly. However, most of his achievements in recent years have been overshadowed by Kenny Golladay’s elite play. He has had 9 touchdowns in 3 of the last 4 years, and for most of those years, he was Golladay’s sidekick in the Lion’s offense. Now, Jones will be able to play with #1 overall pick Trevor Lawrence, and will also probably see a decent increase in touches. Jones is set up for success this year and if he can capitalize he may be able to top the rest of the league in receiving touchdowns.