Thanksgiving is here. That means it’s time to reflect back on everything we are thankful for. Personally, I’m thankful for my family, my job, my health, and of course….all of you wonderful readers that come back and read this blog on a daily basis. You are the backbone of this blog and are the only reason we do this damn thing. If we didn’t have readers and no one paid attention to us, we might as well be on FOX Sports.
Anyway, now that you know what I’m thankful for, how about we take a look at what every single NFL team should be thankful for this year? With 32 teams in the league, there sure is a lot to be thankful for and if NFL teams didn’t have these things to be thankful for….they would probably all be the Cleveland Browns.
It’s sad but true……..
The Arizona Cardinals should be thankful for……David Johnson. The Cardinals are a mess this season. A lot of people had them pegged as one of the best teams in the NFC in the pre-season, but the team hasn’t lived up to those expectations. Perhaps the biggest reason the Cardinals have taken a step back this season is the offense isn’t as good as it was last season. Arizona is currently ranked 18th in the NFL in points scored. That’s not bad until you remember the Cardinals finished SECOND in points scored last season. While the offense may have taken a step back, David Johnson continues to show improvement and is one of the top running backs in the NFL at the moment. Johnson is currently ranked 3rd in the NFL in rushing yards and he’ll finish in the top 5 by year’s end. If Arizona didn’t have him, they’d be gross on offense.
The Atlanta Falcons should be thankful for……Matt Ryan. Ryan is having a fantastic year this season and is in the MVP conversation for good reason. No one really expected much from Atlanta this season, but Matt Ryan and the offense have got these guys in position to win their division and make a return to the playoffs. Not bad for a guy who Falcons’ fans were growing tired of, eh?
The Baltimore Ravens should be thankful for……..defense. The Ravens are a boring team. It sucks watching them play because they don’t have a lot of playmakers on offense and their QB is arguably the most boring looking person in the world. However, much like every season, the Ravens are one of the best teams in the NFL on the defensive side of the ball and that alone has them in the post-season conversation. If it wasn’t for their defense, Baltimore would be just slightly better than the Cleveland Browns. It’s sad but true.
The Buffalo Bills should be thankful for……..Rex Ryan. Why? Because nobody would care about the Buffalo Bills if Rex Ryan wasn’t their head coach.
The Carolina Panthers should be thankful for……..the 2015-16 NFL season. Remember last year Panthers fans? That was pretty cool wasn’t it? Going 15-1 in the regular season and riding that momentum all the way to a Super Bowl appearance. There aren’t a whole lot of NFL teams that can claim having a run like that. Unfortunately for Panthers fans, that run will likely be the highlight of their NFL lives for quite some time as Carolina has regressed in an alarming way this season. Cam Newton all of a sudden sucks and the defense misses Josh Norman like I miss the sun (I live in Oregon and it rarely comes out this time of year). But fucking last year was AWESOME THOUGH! WASN’T IT PANTHERS FANS?!?!?!
The Chicago Bears should be thankful for…….Jay Cutler’s contract finally running out. The time has finally arrived Bears fans! The end of “Smoking” Jay Cutler’s never-ending Chicago Bears contract has come to an end and the team can finally move on and start a new era. And it couldn’t have come at a better time. I personally think the Bears will get rid of Cutler and John Fox this off-season and start all over again. And if that’s not the plan, it should be. This team is a mess right now.
The Cincinnati Bengals should be thankful for…….firing NFL head coaches. Marvin Lewis needs to go. I don’t care if Bengals fans are loyal to the guy, but it’s clear what you are going to get from him by now. A good regular season followed by crashing disappointment in the post-season. Unfortunately for Cincinnati fans, they aren’t even having a good regular season this year. The team has regressed as a whole and when that happens, the blame goes on one man and one man only. The guy in charge. Marvin Lewis? Don’t let the door hit you were the lord split you. Bye Felicia.
The Cleveland Browns should be thankful for………the NFL Draft. The Browns are awful and are on pace to finish as one of the worst teams in NFL history. That’s pretty funny, unless you’re a Browns fan of course. Luckily for Cleveland, there is some hope and that hope comes in the form of the NFL Draft. The Browns will get the #1 pick in this year’s draft and will have the chance to draft a player who will try and help them turn this thing around. How ironic is it though that the Browns will get the #1 pick in a year where there is currently no quarterback that I would even sniff in the first-round (DeShaun Watson is NOT a #1 pick guys….)?
The Dallas Cowboys should be thankful for……an absolutely awesome offensive line. If you could give the MVP award to a unit in the NFL, you would have to give it to the Dallas Cowboys offensive line. These guys are amazing and are the sole reason that Dallas currently looks like the best team in the NFL. These guys open up running lanes for Ezekiel Elliott that look like open highways. These guys are helping protect rookie quarterback Dak Prescott and are making an average-to-above average quarterback look elite. Everyone knows that NFL games are won in the trenches and that’s why no one can beat the Cowboys right now. Good luck stopping this offense. It looks impossible.
The Denver Broncos should be thankful for…….winning the Super Bowl last year. Because it’s not happening this year. Yes, Denver is still one of the best defensive teams in the league, but these guys aren’t winning a Super Bowl with the offense currently in the state it is. Trevor Siemian is a below-average QB and he’s not going to win games for you with his arm alone. The Broncos best running back is on injured reserve and even though Peyton Manning was gross last season, he was still a better option than anyone currently on this roster when it comes to post-season football. Enjoy a first-round exit this year Broncos fans.
The Detroit Lions should be thankful for……playing in a shitty division. The Lions play in the NFC North which is a mess this season. The Lions haven’t won their division since the early 1990’s. They are currently in first place in the division and look like they are potentially the best team there. Do I 100% trust the Lions? Absolutely not and you would be a fool to trust them as well. But as of this moment, Detroit is the best team in the NFC North and that’s not something Lions’ fans have been able to say recently.
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers should be thankful for…….Aaron Rodgers. This is a weird year for the Packers. Green Bay is usually one of the best teams in the league every season. It’s just one of those things NFL fans have grown accustomed to. What we aren’t used to is the Packers looking like garbage and being one of the worst teams in the league. That’s whats happening this season. Green Bay is depleted of talent and the only reason they have won ANY football games this year is because of Aaron Rodgers. Rodgers is one of the best QB’s in the league, and even though he’s “uncoach-able”, “hard to get along with”, and “kind of a diva” in the locker room….he’s still the best player the Packers have. If they didn’t have him, they’d be fighting the Browns for the worst team in the league.
The Houston Texans should be thankful for……home games. Houston is not a very good football team in my opinion. I like their defense, but I’m not a huge fan of their offense. The only reason Houston is leading their division right now is because they play in a shitty one. Also, the Texans are undefeated at home. Houston is currently 5-0 at NRG Stadium and if they get home-field advantage in the playoffs, they’ll be dangerous. They won’t though. Houston will likely be forced to play an away game in the playoffs and they’ll get crushed. That’s what happens to inconsistent teams that are quarterbacked by the awful Brock Osweiler.
The Indianapolis Colts should be thankful for…….Andrew Luck. The Colts have one of the worst rosters in the NFL when you compare them from top-to-bottom against the other NFL teams. However, the Colts always still seem to be in the playoff mix despite their obvious weaknesses. How is that possible? Oh, that’s right! They have Andrew Luck! For all the crap that people give Luck, they need to stop and appreciate what he does for this Colts franchise. If it wasn’t for Luck, these guys would be slightly better than Alabama. If Colts fans ever grow tired of the guy, feel free to send him over to any other NFL team. There are 31 other NFL franchises that would love to have the guy.
The Jacksonville Jaguars should be thankful for…….the off-season. The Jaguars were a popular pick this past off-season to be one of the sneaky good teams in the NFL. After years of being horrendous, the Jags were due for a good season. Well, that didn’t exactly pan out like everyone thought. When Jacksonville took the field, it was more of the same crap that we’ve seen from these guys every year. Gus Bradley is one of the worst coaches in the league and needs to go. Blake Bortles is the king of “garbage time TD’s” and has regressed as a player. There was a lot of promise with these guys a few months ago. That’s gone though and we are once again back to the shitty Jaguars that we’ve grown accustomed to over the past decade.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs should be thankful for……defense. The Chiefs are a good football team. That’s mainly because their defense is one of the best in the NFL. This team isn’t going to win games based on their offense alone. Alex Smith does not look good this season and there’s some fans who wouldn’t mind having him benched so we can see what Nick Foles can do with this team. As of right now, there’s no way I trust Smith and this offense. They’ve been anemic this season and there’s no sign of it getting turned around. If it wasn’t for KC’s defense, these guys would likely be getting blown out every week.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams should be thankful for……..playing in Los Angeles. The Rams aren’t a very good football team (great defense, disgusting offense) so they don’t have a whole lot to be thankful for. What they do have to be thankful for is that they are playing in gorgeous Los Angeles, California in the dead of winter instead of St. Louis, Missouri. It’s the small things that matter.
The Miami Dolphins should be thankful for……..Adam Gase. Have the Dolphins finally found their long-term solution at head coach? So far, Adam Gase has been a home-run hire for the Dolphins. For the first time in as long as I can remember, December is actually going to be an important month for Miami as it pertains to NFL football. A big reason for that is Gase. He was one of the most sought after offensive coordinators in the NFL for good reason people. The guy knows his stuff. He’s all of a sudden got Ryan Tannehill playing like a decent NFL QB and Miami is riding a five-game winning streak at the moment. Not bad. Not bad at all.
The Minnesota Vikings should be thankful for…….the first five weeks of the season. Remember when the Vikings started out the season 5-0 and everyone was already booking their trip to the Super Bowl? Ya, those were some good times. These days though? The Vikings are a mess and don’t look anything like the team we saw back in September. However, since Minnesota had such a hot start, they are still in a good position to make the playoffs. If they can somehow get it turned back on and make the playoffs, it will be because of that 5-0 start they had.
New England Patriots
The New England Patriots should be thankful for……..Bill Belichick and Tom Brady. C’mon people. Like you need an explanation? C’mon.
New Orleans Saints
The New Orleans Saints should be thankful for……..Drew Brees never aging. Seriously. Is this guy ever going to fall off a cliff as far as being an efficient NFL quarterback? Brees has made jokes that he feels like he can play another 10-15 years in the NFL and you know? I believe him. The guy is 37 years old and is currently the league leader in passing yards. He’s got a QB rating of 106.4 and has thrown for 26 touchdowns so far this year. Peyton Manning was about 38-39 when he started falling off the cliff. That means next season we might start seeing Brees’ play go down hill. I don’t think it will happen though. The guy is an anomaly and will still be throwing 50 touchdowns a year when he’s 50 years old.
New York Giants
The New York Giants should be thankful for……..free agency. Last off-season the Giants spent a ton of money on free agents on the defensive side of the ball. A lot of NFL experts questioned the moves, but as of right now…the moves look to be paying off. The Giants were one of the worst teams in the league last year on defense and this season they are currently ranked 11th in points allowed and 16th in yards allowed. That’s a huge improvement when you consider where these guys were ranked last season. Sometimes NFL free agency can be a good thing. It’s rare, but sometimes you can catch lightning in a bottle.
New York Jets
The New York Jets should be thankful for……..the NFL Draft. The Jets are currently sitting at 3-7 on the year and they look like they are done. A big reason why the Jets fell off a cliff this season is because of their quarterback play. They mishandled the Ryan Fitzpatrick situation in the off-season and it bit them in the ass as Fitzpatrick has struggled tremendously this season. It’s not like New York has any capable backup quarterbacks either. The Jets are desperate to get some new signal callers in the locker room and even though the NFL Draft isn’t loaded with good QB prospects this year, the chance that they can get a Derek Carr/Dak Prescott/Marcus Mariota type player should be enough to get the Jets fans excited. They don’t have a whole lot of other reasons this season.
The Oakland Raiders should be thankful for…….Derek Carr. Carr wasn’t a highly sought after prospect coming out of the NFL Draft a few years ago. A lot of that was blamed on his bloodlines. Since his brother was drafted #1 overall and was a bust in the NFL, Derek Carr was destined for the same story, right? Wrong. Derek Carr has been amazing so far in his NFL career. He’s in the MVP conversation in just his third year in the league and will only improve from here. Oakland is just two years removed from going 3-13 and being the jokes of the NFL. Now the Raiders are not only in a good postion to return to the playoffs this season, but they are also positioned to win the AFC West for the first time since 2002. A lot of that can be credited to Carr and his development so far.
The Philadelphia Eagles should be thankful for…….Carson Wentz. The hardest thing to do in the NFL is to find a franchise QB. The Eagles have been looking for one ever since Donovan McNabb parted town. I wasn’t the biggest Carson Wentz fan during the draft process as I had plenty of concerns about his NFL future, but I’m not afraid to admit I whiffed on him. Wentz looks like a franchise QB so far in his NFL career and if he can continue to develop, the Eagles will be a contender. We need to tread lightly with Wentz though. It’s not rare for a rookie QB to have a good season and then start to regress. Defensive coaches get a whole year’s worth of tape to watch during the off-season and are able to game-plan better and will start to notice little quirks in the QB’s game. Will that be Wentz? Only time will tell.
The Pittsburgh Steelers should be thankful for…….playing in a horrible division. The Steelers started out the season looking like one of the NFL’s best teams. Pittsburgh went 4-1 in their first 5 games that included a nice blowout win over the Kansas City Chiefs in prime-time. Since then though? The Steelers lost four games in a row before turning things around with a win over the Cleveland Browns. A lot of NFL teams would be hurting playoff-wise after dropping four in a row. Not the Steelers though. They are still tied for first place in the division with a good chance to win it and make the playoffs. You think the Ravens have a chance to knock off the Steelers? That’s cute. If I had to lay some money down right now, I’d say the Steelers win the AFC North as their remaining schedule is easier than the Ravens.
San Diego Chargers
The San Diego Chargers should be thankful for…….Philip Rivers. Rivers isn’t a popular guy among NFL fans. The guy always looks like he’s pissed and that rubs people the wrong way. However, you can’t take away what the guy has meant for the Chargers over the years. Rivers has been one of the NFL’s best QB’s since entering the league and San Diego would be an absolute dumpster fire if it wasn’t for him. The Chargers currently sit at 4-6 on the season but if they didn’t have Rivers, they’d be 1-9. It’s sad because it’s true.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers should be thankful for…….playing in San Francisco. It sure is beautiful there, isn’t it?
The Seattle Seahawks should be thankful for……..a lot of different shit. Seattle is a lucky NFL franchise. They have one of the best coaches in the league. They have one of the best QB’s in the league. And they have one of the best defenses in the league. That’s a lot to be thankful for, isn’t it Seahawks fans? Appreciate what you have, because it could all be gone tomorrow.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers should be thankful for……..Jameis Winston. Remember earlier when I mentioned how hard it is to find a franchise QB in the NFL? Well, the Bucs have one. Jamies Winston has a bad rep because of stupid mistakes he made in college. None of that shit matters to me though. The guy can throw a football, lead a team, and win NFL games. That’s what matters to me. Winston is the real deal and something tells me the Bucs will start seeing a lot of post-season action real soon….if not this year (they are only one game behind in the division race).
The Tennessee Titans should be thankful for……Marcus Mariota. The guy is a future NFL hall-of-famer and is already amazing in the NFL. He’s the best NFL QB in the red zone and has the Tennessee Titans firmly in the playoff race at the moment. Not bad for a “system QB” who comes from a team that “doesn’t produce NFL players”.
The Washington Redskins should be thankful for……Kirk Cousins.
And that’s it for this year everyone! Happy Thanksgiving!