Offenses under the microscope

Outside of the high-flying act in Indianapolis, every offense in the NFL enters the 2005 season with significant questions to answer.

Do you like the revamped firepower in Oakland, where Randy Moss promises to lead an aggressive downfield passing game? Of course, running back LaMont Jordan is a feature back for the first time, the offensive line is undergoing some changes and quarterback Kerry Collins is prone to streaks where he will turn the ball over far too often.

How about the star-studded group of veterans in Green Bay? Well, quarterback Brett Favre will turn 36 in October, running back Ahman Green is coming off an injury-plagued -- but still productive -- season and emerging star receiver Javon Walker sat out the offseason program in a contract dispute.

Then there is Minnesota, which is transitioning from an aerial-based attack with Moss to one that relies more on controlling the ball behind its massive offensive line. The only problem is Michael Bennett -- expected to be the feature back in a deep but inconsistent group -- has started just 14 games and logged 160 carries the past two seasons, and Jim Kleinsasser, arguably the game's best run-blocking tight end, hasn't played since tearing his ACL in the season opener last year.

"Offensively, we're going to be as good as anybody," Vikings coach Mike Tice said.

Then there are the up-and-coming offenses, like that of San Diego. The Chargers have one of the game's best running backs in LaDainian Tomlinson, who last season finally had complementary weapons to prevent defenses from dialing in on him.

"Our balance on offense is in pretty good hands," Chargers coach Marty Schottenheimer said.

Looking to improve upon the third ranked scoring offense in the league, San Diego will have Keenan McCardell for a full year and have added second round wide receiver Vincent Jackson to the mix.

Cincinnati is in a similarly envious position, with quarterback Carson Palmer poised for a breakthrough season with his own strong supporting cast.

Of course, with talent comes the challenge of keeping everyone satisfied and involved in the game. And nowhere does that figure to be more difficult than in Oakland, where everyone will be watching how Moss plays along with fellow receivers Jerry Porter and Ronald Curry.

If you believe Moss, there is one easy solution to that potential problem.

"Are we winning?" he asked.

Sounds simple enough.

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