NFL teams who helped their QB the most and the least in 2022: Bengals, Ravens take opposite paths

Soccer is a team game. No one knows that better than Matthew Stafford, who is enjoying a career resurgence in 2021, his first season with the Rams after spending his first dozen NFL seasons with the Lions. Stafford’s first season in Los Angeles — which ended with him winning his first Super Bowl — proved that a quarterback is only as good as his supporting cast.

NFL teams know the importance of surrounding their quarterback with talent. Some teams made a concerted effort to increase the chances of their quarterback having a big year in 2022. However, other teams simply didn’t do enough to help elevate their quarterback. With the 2022 season right around the corner, here’s a look at the three teams that did — and three that didn’t — do enough to help their quarterback during the offseason.

Three teams that helped their QB the most

Last offseason, the Bengals helped Joe Burrow by drafting his former college teammate Ja’Mar Chase. They also brought in three new offensive linemen, including second pick Jackson Carman. The result was an MVP-caliber season from Burrow and arguably the greatest season in Bengals history.

The offensive line still needed some work this offseason, despite the Bengals’ run to the Super Bowl. Burrow was sacked 70 times, and if he had a little more time at the end of Super Bowl LVI, he probably would have given the ball to Chase (who had run down Rams CB Jalen Ramsey) for a score. The Bengals responded by signing three veterans who have 150 career starts.

Each player also knows what it takes to block a talented quarterback. Ted Karras won two Super Bowls while helping Tom Brady’s defense in New England. Alex Capa won a ring with Brady during the Buccaneers’ championship season in 2020. La’el Collins blocked for both Tony Romo and Dak Prescott during his run with the Cowboys. Each player should help provide an even better defense for Burrow, which should lead to more success for the Bengals.

The Raiders shocked the entire NFL when they were able to make a deal with the Packers to acquire Davante Adams, arguably the NFL’s best receiver. Adams reunites with Derek Carr, his quarterback at Fresno State. In their final two college seasons together, the duo connected on 233 passes for 3,031 yards and 38 touchdowns. Expect both players to pick up where they left off in college, as Carr and Adams have a close relationship that extends beyond the football field.

The Raiders didn’t stop with the addition of Adams. They further bolstered their receiving corps by adding veteran wideouts Keelan Cole and DeMarcus Robinson. To better protect Carr, Las Vegas spent its first pick in the draft on guard Dylan Parham, who did not allow a sack in 545 defensive snaps in his final year in Memphis.

Like the Raiders, the Dolphins took a big swing and hit by acquiring one of the best receivers in the league. After a highly decorated run in Kansas City, Tyreek Hill is bringing his talents to South Beach. Specifically, Hill brings speed and explosive play to a Dolphins offense that finished 22nd in the NFL in scoring in 2021. Hill complements a talented receiving corps in Miami that also includes second-year Jalen Waddle, tight end Mike Gesicki and veteran Cedric Wilson Jr. , a former Cowboy who was signed earlier this offseason.

Miami gave Tua Tagovailoa another weapon during the draft when they selected former Texas A&M tight end Eric Ezukanma in the fourth round. The Dolphins further boosted Tagovailoa’s chances for a big season by signing veteran offensive linemen Teron Armstead and Connor Williams and running backs Chase Edmonds, Sony Michel and Raheem Mostert. The offense will be heavily influenced by first-year head coach Mike McDaniel, who enjoyed a successful career as the 49ers’ offensive coordinator.

Three teams that helped their QB the least

Baltimore Ravens

Instead of signing a top receiver, the Ravens traded away their best receiver — to the chagrin of QB Lamar Jackson — during the NFL Draft. Baltimore parted ways with Jackson’s favorite receiver, Marquise Brown, then failed to draft or land a replacement. Baltimore’s top returning wide receiver is Rashod Bateman, who caught 46 passes for 515 yards and a touchdown as a rookie last season.

Notably, the Ravens bolstered their offensive line during the draft by selecting former Iowa center Tyler Linderbaum in the first round and former Minnesota wide receiver Daniel Faalele in the fourth round. The Ravens also added to their receiving corps by selecting tight ends Charlie Kolar and Isaiah Likely in the fourth round.

Green Bay Packers

Don’t feel bad for Aaron Rodgers. Life has largely been good for Rodgers after the reigning two-time league MVP penned a record contract extension earlier this offseason. That being said, it’s never easy to lose your best receiver, especially one as good as Adams, who enjoyed a fruitful partnership with Rodgers during their eight seasons together.

With Adams gone, the Packers are hoping a few things fall into their favor. They will need Randall Cobb to stay healthy after the veteran missed five games in 2021. Green Bay is also hoping that Sammy Watkins, who is coming off two largely disappointing seasons, can return to form since 2019, in which he helped the Chiefs win the Super Bowl.

The Packers will also need solid contributions from their young receivers, led by Christian Watson, the 34th pick in this year’s draft. Amari Rogers, a 2021 third-round pick, is looking to make a bigger impact this year after catching just four passes as a rookie.

Kansas City Chiefs

With Hill gone, Patrick Mahomes will likely rely more on Travis Kelce, at least until he feels more comfortable with his revamped receiving corps. The Chiefs are hoping that JuJu Smith-Schuster can return to the form that made him one of the most complete receivers in the league during his first few years with the Steelers. Along with Smith-Schuster, the Chiefs also brought in Marquez Valdez-Scantling, who was likely signed to help fill the void left by the offseason departures of Robinson and Byron Pringle.

Like Green Bay, Kansas City will be looking for a high draft pick to help replace their departed star. For the Chiefs, that player is Skyy Moore, who was drafted 54th overall. The 5-foot-10 Moore caught 95 passes for 1,292 yards and 10 touchdowns during his senior season at Western Michigan.

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