The NFL off-season is a time of speculation about the upcoming year and what it will bring. Let’s take a look at who can lead the league in some major offensive stat categories this season.
2018 NFL Offensive Stat Leader Predictions
Passing Yards: Philip Rivers, Los Angeles Chargers
Philip Rivers came up 50 yards shy of being the league leader in air yardage last season. Patriots’ quarterback Tom Brady ended up beating him by just 62 yards. However, the Patriots may want to run the ball a little more than they did last year. They drafted Georgia running back Sony Michel 31st overall in the 2018 draft. Michel figures to be a big part of the offense, and the soon-to-be 41-year-old Brady wants to be fresh come playoff time. Rivers has a ton of weapons in his arsenal. He has one of the best possession receivers in the league in Keenan Allen. He has a downfield burner in Travis Benjamin. There’s also a supposedly healthy Mike Williams, who the Chargers selected seventh overall in the 2017 draft. Rivers is a good bet to throw for 4,600-4,800 yards and has a real shot at leading the league.
Passing Touchdowns: Aaron Rodgers, Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers‘ 2017 season ended early due to a shoulder injury, but he’s a strong candidate to bounce back immediately. He’s one of the most skilled passers of all-time, and the Packers have plenty of weapons for him to throw to. Though Jordy Nelson is now in Oakland, Davante Adams should be ready to step into his shoes as the leader of Green Bay’s receiving corps. The Packers also signed red-zone monster Jimmy Graham to a three-year deal in the off-season. Graham is coming off a 10 touchdown season in Seattle, and he and Rodgers will benefit each other greatly. Rodgers will lead the league with 32-35 touchdown passes in 2018.
Rushing Yards: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Ezekiel Elliott is fresh off of a six-game suspension that limited him to playing just 10 games in 2017, though he still rushed for 983 yards in those 10 games. The Cowboys want to run the ball as much as they can this season so that quarterback Dak Prescott isn’t forced to do too much. If he stays healthy, Elliott figures to see about 325 carries, which he is more than capable of turning into 1,500-1,700 yards and leading the league.
Rushing Touchdowns: Ezekiel Elliott, Dallas Cowboys
Here he is again. Elliott is the cornerstone of the Cowboys’ offense and will get a massive amount of opportunities throughout the 2018 season. He’s a safe bet to lead the league in rushing touchdowns with 15-17 scores.
Receiving Yards: Julio Jones, Atlanta Falcons
Julio Jones has been one of the NFL’s premier receivers since he entered the league in 2011. He is Falcons’ quarterback Matt Ryan‘s go-to guy and has topped 1,400 yards in each of the last four seasons. This includes a whopping 1,871-yard effort in 2015. Pittsburgh’s Antonio Brown is another safe choice to lead the league, but with Alabama rookie Calvin Ridley now playing opposite him in Atlanta, Jones will have more room to work. He’s a strong candidate for a 1,500-yard season and his second receiving yardage title.
Receiving Touchdowns: DeAndre Hopkins, Houston Texans
Hopkins led the NFL with 13 receiving touchdowns in 2017. Rookie phenom quarterback Deshaun Watson only started six games before tearing his ACL in practice ending his season. The fact that Hopkins scored 13 touchdowns with Tom Savage as his quarterback for most of the season is enough to say he’s got a good chance at repeating in 2018. A healthy Watson makes all the difference in the world, and Hopkins’ otherworldly talent should be enough to get him 12-14 touchdowns and a repeat at the top of the leaderboard.