As I’m sure we all have at one point or another during this quarantine, my imagination lead me into a deep rabbit hole recently. A tweet appeared on my timeline with Jamaal Charles highlights and I couldn’t help but fathom what a Chiefs offense would look like had had he played with current Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes.
It wasn’t too long ago when the former Texas running back was running wild in Kansas City’s offense and shredding opposing defenses. Charles finished his career averaging 5.9 yards per touch and set a career-high 6.4 yards per carry during the 2010 NFL season.
Charles was a home-run waiting to happen every time he touched the ball and he would have been a perfect fit in the present-day Chiefs offense.
That had me brainstorming about every other NFL team and what their ‘super-teams’ could look like. With that said, let’s take a look at each franchise’s best players and put together a super team using three skill players only – because including linemen would be very challenging and most of you couldn’t name your franchise’s best blocker.
Kansas City Chiefs
QB: Patrick Mahomes
RB: Jamaal Charles
WR: Tyreek Hill
Ah yes, the ultimate cheat code. The Chief’s present day offense is one of the most explosive in NFL history already with Hill and Mahomes. Imagine adding Charles too the mix with Andy Reid designing plays?
Give me a PA Jet Sweep with Hill as the motion man with a screen to Charles going in the opposite direction. That play alone might score 2-3 touchdowns a game, good luck defending that.
QB: John Elway
RB: Terrell Davis
WR: Rod Smith
Funny thing is, this trio got to play five seasons together in real life. However, it was towards the tail end of Elway’s career. Imagine if the three had come into the league all at the same time?!
Still, the three were able to create plenty of magic as they had the fourth, first and second highest scoring offenses from 1996-1998 and came away with two Super Bowl victories. Elway retired in 1998, Davis in 2001 and Smith in 2006. All three are franchise leaders in their respective categories as well.
Las Vegas/Oakland/Los Angeles Raiders
QB: Ken Stabler
RB: Marcus Allen
WR: Tim Brown
I almost went two running backs here and paired Bo Jackson with Allen but that would be a disservice to Tim Brown. Brown is the franchise leader with 1,070 receptions, 14, 734 receiving yards and 99 receiving touchdowns. The next closest player in receptions is Fred Biletnikoff with 589 catches.
Stabler still holds on to the franchise record for most passing touchdowns (150) but will soon be passed up by Derek Carr (143 entering 2020). While the quarterback didn’t wow in any particular physical category, he came up clutch time and time again for the Raiders. The lefty nicknamed “Snake” lead the franchise to a Super Bowl victory in 1976 and was later enshrined into the Hall of Fame.
Allen on the other hand is still widely debated as one of the top running backs of all time. He still holds the franchise record for most rushing yards in a career (8,545) and is second all-time to Brown in total touchdowns (98).
Los Angeles/San Diego Chargers
QB: Philip Rivers
RB: LaDainian Tomlinson
TE: Antonio Gates
This trio also played multiple years together but never managed to get far in the playoffs which is sort of a head scratcher. Not a huge fan of Rivers, but statistically he’s far better than any other quarterback in the franchise’s history.
Tomlinson was arguably the best running back of the 2000’s decade leading the league in rushing yards twice, in rushing touchdowns three times and yards from scrimmage once. ‘LT’ ranks seventh all-time in rushing yards and second all-time in rushing touchdowns.
Gates was Rivers’ security blanket for the longest time and was a constant threat in the red zone. He finished with six seasons of 70 or more receptions and 116 receiving touchdowns.
QB: Joe Burrow
WR: Chad Johnson
WR: A.J. Green
Corey Dillon and Ken Anderson ‘stans’ may hate me for this one but I would love to see the Bengals number one overall pick play with both Green and Johnson in their primes.
Burrow’s success airing it out in college should translate to the pros and I have a belief he’ll quickly rise to become the best quarterback in the franchise’s history. ‘Ochocinco’ and Green are both #1 and #2 in most of the franchise’s receiving categories and would be a nightmare for opposing secondaries.
QB: Ben Roethlisberger
RB: Franco Harris
WR: Hines Ward
Say what you want about ‘Big Ben’ but the quarterback leads the franchise in multiple categories and just edges out Terry Bradshaw here. Harris and Ward are both franchise leaders in the all-time rushing and receiving categories and are more team-oriented guys than the duo of Le’Veon Bell and Antonio Brown.
QB: Otto Graham
RB: Jim Brown
RB: Leroy Kelly
While the Browns haven’t had a lot of good players as of late, they have had great players in their franchise’s history. Graham lead the Browns to four AAFC Championships and three NFL Championships (before they were called the Super Bowl). He lead the league in passing yards five times and in passing touchdowns three times.
Brown and Kelly are both #1 and #2 all time in rushing and combined for more than 170 rushing touchdowns and 19,000 rushing yards in their careers. Who needs to throw ball when you have those two in your backfield?
QB: Lamar Jackson
RB: Jamal Lewis
RB: Ray Rice
The Ravens are a relatively young franchise and don’t have a long list of great offensive players like these other teams do. I’ll take Jackson and his potential over Joe Flacco any day of the week.
In the backfield joining Jackson will be Lewis and Rice, both players first and second all-time in career rushing yards with the franchise. Rice was a dangerous receiving threat as well as he ranks third all-time in receptions for the franchise. Watching those three run the triple option out of the pistol formation would be spectacular.
QB: Peyton Manning
WR: Reggie Wayne
WR: Marvin Harrison
If it’s not broke, then don’t fix it. This trio got to play 11 seasons together and it gave opposing defenses headaches. Papa John’s biggest ambassador was a 14-time Pro Bowler and ranks third all-time in NFL history in passing touchdowns (539) and passing yards (71,940).
Wayne and Harrison both caught over 1,000 passes and hauled in over 14,000 receiving yards. The three of them lead the Colts to a Super Bowl victory in 2007 over the Chicago Bears.
QB: Deshaun Watson
WR: DeAndre Hopkins
WR: Andre Johnson
Another young franchise here but Watson is the clear cut choice at quarterback. While I did heavily consider Arian Foster, the running back was often injured which lead me to the double wide receiver selection.
With Watson’s ability to extend the play, that would have opened up so many holes in the secondary for Johnson and Hopkins. Opposing secondaries would have had nightmares trying to cover the two for 5-7 seconds on any given play. Too bad Bill O’Brien would find a way to mess things up in this fictional scenario too.
QB: Mark Brunell
RB: Fred Taylor
RB: Maurice Jones-Drew
One of the most underappreciated left-handed quarterbacks in NFL history gets the nod from me here. Brunell may not have ‘blown anyone away’ with his talent but he consistently got the job done for nine years in Jacksonville. He leads the franchise with 144 passing touchdowns and over 25,000 passing yards.
Jones-Drew was an automatic choice for me but I almost completely forgot about Taylor and the success he had in his career while typing this. Taylor is first in franchise history with 11,271 rushing yards and second all-time behind MJD in rushing touchdowns (62). Give me a split back formation with Brunell faking it to one back and handing it off to the other on a trap all day.
Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers
QB: Warren Moon
RB: Eddie George
RB: Chris Johnson
I wanted to do all three running backs here and throw in Earl Campbell but that would be disrespectful to Moon. Moon was a pioneer in many regards as he became the first Black quarterback to be selected into the Hall of Fame in 2006. He lead the Oilers to seven playoff appearances in 10 seasons.
George was an unstoppable force for eight seasons and finished with just over 10,000 career rushing yards with the franchise, good for first all time. Johnson on the other hand, is ranked third in rushing yards but was a threat to hit the end zone every time he touched the ball. He set the previous record for fastest 40-yard dash time at the NFL combine and earned the nickname ‘CJ2K’ after rushing for 2,006 yards in 2009.
QB: Jim Kelly
RB: Thurman Thomas
WR: Andre Reed
Lo and behold, another trio of guys who played in real life together and had lots of success. Matter of fact, these three were doing the spread no-huddle offense before it was a trend. They even made four straight Super Bowls using that offensive strategy but failed to bring home the Lombardi.
One can only speculate that if they had won at least one of those championship games, the spread no-huddle offense may have become more popular sooner.
QB: Dan Marino
RB: Ricky Williams
WR: Jarvis Landry
Marino is arguably one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game and can say he’s the only quarterback to lead a team to an undefeated season.
Landry is my choice at wide receiver because in four seasons with the Dolphins he hauled in 400 receptions (sixth all-time in franchise history) and 4,038 receiving yards (eighth all-time in franchise history). Imagine if he had a competent quarterback throwing to him, sheesh.
Williams is the clear choice at running back despite taking a break from football to continue smoking weed. He has a really interesting documentary on ESPN’s 30 for 30 series I recommend y’all check that out.
New York Jets
QB: Joe Namath
RB: Curtis Martin
WR: Don Maynard
Not a ton of great players for Jets fans to brag about in their history. Namath’s biggest claim to fame is predicting his Jets team would win the championship in 1969 over the heavily favored Baltimore Colts.
Martin was not flashy but he was consistent. He rushed for 1,000 yards for 10 straight seasons from 1995-2004 and lead the league in rushing in 2004. Maynard last played for the Jets in 1972 yet still leads the franchise with 627 receptions and 11,732 receiving yards.
New England Patriots
QB: Tom Brady
WR: Randy Moss
TE: Rob Gronkowski
I almost put Brady here three times because it really doesn’t matter who he is throwing too. 6 Super Bowl titles and dozens of records that he set for the franchise and the NFL.
Moss only played four seasons with the Patriots but was a force to be reckon with in his short stint with Brady. Adding Gronkowski to the mix would just be an unfair advantage. If the three had played in their primes together for even just three seasons, there is no doubt in my mind they would have won the Super Bowl all three years.