Thanksgiving, Turkey Bowls, and Tanking in the NFL

On Thanksgiving we are all a little more grateful for the things in our life, big and small. Since Thanksgiving is full of football, the NFL and your annual Turkey Bowl, let’s take a look at a few things that teams in the NFL should be thankful for.

1. The New Orleans Saints for: Teddy Bridgewater and Michael Thomas

When Drew Brees suffered a hand injury early in the season, most, including myself, pronounced danger for the Saints. However, with Teddy Bridgewater behind the helm the Saints performed very well. Bridgewater threw for 1,400 yards and 9 touchdowns while only surrendering the ball twice with 2 INT’s. Bridgewater and Brees have depended heavily on star wideout Michael Thomas, who through 12 games sits at 1,300 yard receiving and 6 TD’s. Oh and Thursday was the first time he had dropped a pass in over a calendar year. With Alvin Kamara not the statistical star he was last season and the Saints relying more on Latavius Murray or even Swiss Army Knife Taysom Hill in the red zone, Michael Thomas has steadied the offense ship no matter who is at the helm.

2. The Buffalo Bills for: Their schedule

The Buffalo Bills have stormed the NFL contenders scene this season, which so far has culminated with a Thanksgiving evening win over the Cowboys. However, their 9-3 record does not look so impressive after seeing a few numbers. The Bills have beaten only 2 teams over .500 and lost to 2 mediocre teams in Philly and the Browns. Their other 7 wins besides the Cowboys and Titans have come against teams with a combined record of 13-52. No one can deny the hustle and heart Josh Allen brings as the leader of the team, and their defense is quite formidable sitting at 3rd in points allowed behind the Patriots and 49ers, yet the team has had very few tests. They may have passed against Dallas, but then again, Dallas has only beaten 1 team over .500 this season, so I am still holding out on proclaiming the Bills as true AFC contenders.

3. The NFC for: the very poor bottom half of the conference

Of the teams in the NFL with 3 or less wins, the NFC is home to 5 of those 8 teams. For powerhouse teams like the 49ers and Seahawks who have both only beaten two teams above .500, the poor bottom of the division has allowed for teams at the top to beat up on the rebuilding teams and has created, even more than ever, a large talent gap in the NFC and the NFL as a whole. Even though NFL success fluctuates from year to year more than any professional sport, Roger Goddell may want to worry about the tanking issue that has plagued the NBA working its way into the NFL.

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