With it being time for Thanksgiving, it’s time to reflect on the past year and look at what we are all thankful for. The same sentiment goes for NFL teams because each one is thankful for many things. But yet, each has one main aspect that they are really thankful for this holiday season. I already did the AFC teams so here is the NFC. I separate the teams by division and breakdown what each team is thankful for:
Dallas Cowboys: Mike McCarthy’s redemption arch
Who had the Mike McCarthy redemption story on their bingo card for 2022? I’ll honestly say that I didn’t. Many had him pegged to be fired at the end of the season, only for Sean Payton to take over. But he and the team have proved doubters wrong and find themselves with a 7-3 record. It has been one of the better stories of the season, especially with quarterback Dak Prescott missing a good chunk of games.
New York Giants: Brian Daboll
For the first time in a while, the Giants look like a competent franchise. I know that seems harsh but it’s the truth. Behind the leadership of Daboll, quarterback Daniel Jones is helping the team win games rather than losing them. It’s been very refreshing to see and since this is only year one for the new head coach, who knows what he can accomplish during his time in New York.
Philadelphia Eagles: Growth of Jalen Hurts
The Eagles currently sit with a record of 9-1 and are leading the entire NFL. The emergence of Jalen Hurts has propelled this team forward and he has been a major reason to their success. He is seeing the field well and seems to have complete control over the offense. Philadelphia is a real threat in the NFC and that is all behind the growth of Hurts.
Washington Commanders: Daniel Snyder even considering selling the team
The mere fact that Snyder is even considering this is a win for Washington. Snyder has led this team into the ground and has no business being an owner of a professional sports team. There is not much else to say other than I hope the sale happens sooner rather than later.
San Francisco 49ers: Jimmy Garoppolo
This guy was left for dead by the 49ers to start the year. Unfortunately, Trey Lance went down with an injury, but Garoppolo has stepped in and made the 49ers contenders again. He is just a winner and while he won’t wow you with his skills, he knows how to lead a team. The 49ers are sure thankful that they didn’t trade or release him over the offseason.
Los Angeles Rams: The 2021 NFL season
I said what I said. This franchise went all in on the 2021 season and came out with a title. That’s awesome and they can forever cherish that, but the future looks bleak. With not many picks left, and an aging roster are causes for concern. They likely won’t make the playoffs this season and they don’t own their first-round pick. This is a talented roster that is suffering majorly from a Super Bowl hangover. Maybe they can get back right in 2023 but 2022 seems like a lost season.
Seattle Seahawks: The Denver Broncos
Isn’t irony something? The Seahawks are leading their division while Russell Wilson and the Broncos are at the bottom of theirs. Plus, the Seahawks get the Broncos draft pick this year as well. Seattle could very well be a playoff team with a top pick in the draft. This has been a special season for the Seahawks and one can hope that the magic continues.
Arizona Cardinals: DeAndre Hopkins
The Cardinals season has been bad to say the least. Yet, one bright spot has been superstar wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Despite being suspended for the first six games of the season, he has posted some incredible numbers in his short time. He has 36 catches for 396 yards and two touchdowns in four games for Arizona. He is the clear number one receiver on this team and is one of the few reasons as to why fans will continue to watch this Cardinals squad for the rest of the season.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Tom Brady unretiring
The 2022 Buccaneers have struggled with Brady under center. Imagine them without the future hall-of-famer. They have seemed to pick up the play of late and find themselves sitting at 5-5 and in first place. You can never count out a team that has Brady as the quarterback so at least they have that going for them.
Carolina Panthers: A strong quarterback class in 2023
For a team that has as many quarterbacks as they do, none of them has panned out. It’s actually impressive but the good news for them is that the 2023 class is very good. If they keep losing games, which it seems they will, they will be in good shape to draft one. Cheer up Panther fans, at least you still have some of the better jerseys around the NFL and the future could be very bright.
Atlanta Falcons: Marcus Mariota
Many believed that the Falcons wouldn’t even win three games and yet they sit here today with five. That is a credit to the coaching staff and quarterback Marcus Mariota. While his numbers don’t blow you away, he has led this team very well. They have responded to his leadership and if they just stopped running the ball every play, the Falcons could be a scary offense.
New Orleans Saints: Chris Olave
The rookie from Ohio State is having a great season to start his NFL career despite quarterback issues for New Orleans. He has posted 51 catches for 760 yards and three touchdowns. He can spread the field out and is a real threat for opponents. His ceiling is extremely high and if they ever get consistent quarterback play, watch out.
Green Bay Packers: Christian Watson
The Packers offense all season has been absurd. The receivers that quarterback Aaron Rodgers has been throwing too is weak, but Watson has slowly taken off as the go to guy for them. He has been playing lights out over the last few weeks and has earned the trust of Rodgers. He has the last part of the season to keep improving on his already stellar rookie year and maybe help propel the Packers forward.
Minnesota Vikings: Justin Jefferson
Jefferson has looked like the best wide receiver in the NFL all season long and it starts with the new system in place. He is extremely talented, but the offense schemes put in place allow for his talent to maximize. Jefferson seems like he is always open, and it is a credit to the coaching staff. The Vikings will go as far as Jefferson can take them and right now, they are one of the best teams in the conference.
Detroit Lions: Patience
It has been a long few seasons in Detroit, but it seems to be finally paying off a little bit. The Lions play the right way and are now in the midst of a three-game winning streak. They haven’t tried to tank but rather are trying to win football games. They still may wind up with a top pick in the upcoming draft, but it will be justified for their ways rather than a means of them trying to lose.
Chicago Bears: Justin Fields emergence
Despite their record, quarterback Justin Fields has looked the part of a franchise quarterback. He is one of the most gifted players in the league and can beat you so easily with his legs. He’s made a few boneheaded errors towards the end of games, but he is still young. If he can correct these, the sky is the limit for this player and franchise.