NFL Football: Picking a Christmas Gift for Every NFL Team
Christmas is once again upon us, and NFL teams like the rest of us, have a number of items that are on their wish lists.
It may be difficult to satisfy a Christmas wish list for your friends and family during this holiday season, but NFL teams have a little harder as they may need a number of things to go their way in order to receive their gifts.
With the holiday spirit in its full effect, let's take a look at the gifts that each NFL franchise wants to receive.
Arizona Cardinals: Kevin Kolb Proves He Is Money Well Spent
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The Cardinals invested a ton of money, draft picks and a solid defensive back to acquire Kevin Kolb this offseason.
Kolb did nothing to impress before he went down with a right turf toe and bruise to the right side of his foot in a 30-27 loss at Baltimore on Oct. 30, but did lead the Cardinals in his first week back to an overtime victory over Dallas in Week 13.
Kolb has shown the potential to be a starter in this league, and the Cardinals need that potential to blossom sooner than later.
Atlanta Falcons: Matt Ryan's Progression to Move Quicker
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I am not 100 percent sure that Matt Ryan can win the big game.
Ryan has a combined 73.1 quarterback rating against the six teams that the Falcons have played with a winning record this season, compared to the 102 rating against the six teams with a losing record.
Ryan is being payed a lot of money to win big games, which is something that he has yet to do with consistency in his young career.
Baltimore Ravens: Joe Flacco Takes the Next Step
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There is no denying that Joe Flacco has to play better.
The quarterback has a number of solid weapons on offense, and the defense is putting the team in position to win every game.
The Ravens are playing for a Super Bowl this year, but they will be held back unless Flacco plays to his potential.
Buffalo Bills: For the Defense to Show Up
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The defense is the reason for Buffalo's last two losses, and it has been dreadful during the teams five-game losing streak.
Chris Johnson had his best game of the season against the Bills this past weekend, and Mark Sanchez, yes that Mark Sanchez, tossed four touchdowns the week before.
The Bills will be picking in the top half of the draft once again this season after a promising start, and the defense is where they need to upgrade.
Carolina Panthers: For Cam Newton to Keep Making Plays and Limiting Mistakes
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Cam Newton is having one of the best rookie seasons of all time, and he just broke the rushing touchdown record for quarterbacks this past weekend.
Newton has experienced his fair share of great and bone-headed plays, but that's just what comes with being a rookie quarterback in the NFL.
Newton has limited his turnovers during Carolina's last two games which is extremely encouraging, and the Panthers want that to continue as they head into the offseason.
Chicago Bears: Matt Forte Recovers Quickly and Carries the Bears to the Playoffs
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Matt Forte has been everything to the Bears this season, and he was expected to make an even bigger contribution when Jay Cutler went down with a thumb injury. Forte tried to, but he experience his own injury against Kansas City early in the first quarter, and the Bears offense never recovered.
The team scored three total points in the game and looked anemic in every sense of the word.
Chicago is on the fringe of missing the playoffs, and a healthy Matt Forte is the only way the team can reach the promised land.
Cincinnati Bengals: Andy Dalton and A.J. Green Keep Up the Chemistry
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The city of Cincinnati has to be thrilled with the way the Bengals are playing, playoffs or no playoffs.
This team was expected to be the bottom feeders of the league this season, but instead is vying for a spot in the playoffs as wild card team.
The future looks bright for the franchise as they hit home runs with both A.J. Green and Andy Dalton in last year's draft, and the duo and company will look to finish the season on a high horse to provide momentum heading into the offseason.
Cleveland Browns: The Skill Position Players Show Some Life
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I really like what I have seen out of Colt McCoy this season despite how bad the Browns offense has been.
McCoy has arguably the league's worst set of skill position players, and the quarterback had to manage the offense all season without the team's leading rusher, Peyton Hillis.
The receiving corps has had a serious case of "the drops" all season due to the fact that four of their receivers have five or more drops on the season.
This group really needs an upgrade regardless of how they perform during the rest of this season.
Dallas Cowboys: For Jason Garrett to Wake Up
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A coach is not supposed to ice his own kicker, but that is exactly what Jason Garrett did against Arizona in Week 13.
Not only did Garrett ice his kicker, but he also failed to call a timeout when the team had two remaining and 25 seconds on the clock.
Luckily the Giants lost as well to keep Dallas in first, but it should be an interesting end to the season as the two teams play two games against each other in the final four weeks of the season.
Time to wake up, Jason Garrett.
Denver Broncos: Tim Tebow Turns Water into Wine
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This statement in the headline is obviously not literal, but if Tebow leads Denver into the playoffs, some experts might admit that they thought Tebow would accomplish turning water into wine before a playoff berth this season.
Broncos fans received their Christmas present early when Tebow became the starter, and it will be interesting to see if Tebow can gift-wrap a playoff berth for a season that was once thought to be a dead one.
Detroit Lions: The Team Shows Up in the First Half for Their Remaining Games
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The Lions got off to yet another slow start against the Saints in Week 13, and a late second half comeback effort was not enough to get the team a win.
Detroit stands at 7-5 and is still in great shape to make the playoffs, as both Atlanta and Chicago are currently in slumps.
The schedule provides three games that Detroit should win and then a game that could decide their fate against the Packers in Week 17.
Detroit has to come out firing in the first half during these next four weeks if they want to stand a chance to make the playoffs.
Green Bay Packers: Health and Prosparity
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No team is playing better than the Green Bay Packers, and no quarterback is playing than Aaron Rodgers.
The team has been fortunate enough to skate by with a few minor injuries so far this season, but what would happen if a player like Rodgers, Clay Matthews or Charles Woodson went down?
Rodgers would obviously have the most impact out of the three, but backup Matt Flynn has showed his ability numerous times.
The Packers would love to reach the Super Bowl once again this season, and with everyone healthy, it looks to be their destiny.
Houston Texans: T.J. Yates Continues to Play as He Did Against Atlanta
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T.J. Yates has been blessed with the opportunity to showcase his skills in a high pressure scenario, and so far he has passed with flying colors.
Yates did just enough to beat the Falcons in Week 13, and he is lucky enough to have one of the league's top rushing and defensive units.
The AFC is still very much wide open to me, and with decent play from Yates, this Texans team could go far.
Indianapolis Colts: Andrew Luck Is Allowed to Join the Team Now
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Let's face it the Colts are not going to win a game this season, so why not let Andrew Luck practice with the team and allow him to begin to learn the offense?
This is obviously not allowed by NFL rules, but it would be an extremely nice Christmas present for the Colts nonetheless.
Jacksonville Jaguars: A Ticket to Los Angeles
The Jaguars faithful do not want to hear this, but the best thing for the franchise would be to move to Los Angeles.
The team seems to be the most logical fit because of its poor attendance and poor play over the past few seasons, but it would be sad to see the team leave in the end.
New owner Shahid Khan wants to keep the team in North Florida, but he may need to make the big move if the team fails to meet expectations in the coming years.
Kansas City Chiefs: The Defense Finishes Strong
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The Chiefs were hit early and often with the injury bug and, in turn, never recovered.
Kansas City has played exceptionally well on defense during the past two weeks, and the Chiefs would love to continue that success for momentum heading into the offseason.
Miami Dolphins: A Clean House
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The Miami Dolphins have suddenly turned their season around, but nonetheless they need to clean house.
Ownership, management and coaches are all part of that equation because this team has showed the potential to be a playoff team.
Look for some major moves to be made in Miami this offseason as the Fins look to keep up with the Heat and Marlins.
Minnesota Vikings: A New Stadium
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The Vikings have been working to build a new stadium for a number of years now, but with rumors of the team heading to Los Angeles and the government leaving the team out of recent legislation, there appears to be no timetable.
The Vikings and their fans want security that the team will remain in Minnesota and a new stadium surely guarantees that.
New England Patriots: Defense Continues to Make Plays
The Patriots defense is certainly a liability, and in the end, I believe that it will hold the Patriots back from reaching the Super Bowl.
The defense has stepped up its play as of late, but it has been against teams that struggle on offense.
This unit will have to continue to progress if New England wants to make a serious run.
New Orleans Saints: Improvement on Defense
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The Saints had arguably their best defensive outing against a potent Lions offensive attack on Sunday Night, and they will need to progress in that direction if they want to make a run in the playoffs.
The defense is dreadful against the pass ranking 30th, and it also happens to be the strength of their biggest obstacle, the Green Bay Packers.
The Saints will need to use their remaining games to fix some major kinks.
New York Jets: Mark Sanchez Continues to Play Turnover Free Football
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Jets fans would take this as there only Christmas gift if they could, but the chances of Mark Sanchez not committing turnovers for the remainder of the season are slim to none.
The Jets have a favorable schedule to finish out the season, and I see them going 3-1 during it with their only loss coming to the New York Giants.
The Jets need some help to make the playoffs, but I like their chances if Mark Sanchez can play turnover-free football.
New York Giants: A Running Game
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The Giants having the 32nd-ranked rushing attack is like the Eagles winning Super Bowls, it just does not happen.
With that being said, the Giants do own the worst attack in the league, and they could use outings like they got against Green Bay for the remainder of the season.
Eli Manning is playing his best football without a ground game so imagine what he could do with one.
Oakland Raiders: Carson and Co. to Play How They Finished Against Miami
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The Raiders looked like they were the elite team in the AFC West until Miami routed them in Week 13.
The Broncos have caught up quickly which means Carson and Co. are going to play some offense.
If the Raiders play how they played in the final eight minutes against Miami, then this team has a chance to make the playoffs.
Philadelphia Eagles: For the Fat Lady to Sing for Andy Reid
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Andy Reid is one of the best coaches I have ever seen, but his tenure in Philadelphia should be up after this season.
Both Reid and the Eagles need a new start after this years "Dream Team" proved to be a failure, and I could see it benefiting both parties.
Job openings may appear in New York, Miami and even Dallas so look for Reid to be back into coaching next year even if he is fired.
Pittsburgh Steelers: Rashard, Issac, Jonathan and Mewelde, Pick Up the Slack
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Much like the Giants, the Steelers running game has not been on par this season, and they need that to change asap to make another run at the Super Bowl.
The Steelers have four quality backs, meaning there is no excuse for bad play for the remainder of the season.
Pittsburgh's test against San Francisco will prove if they are good enough on the ground to make a serious run.
San Diego Chargers: Philip Rivers Continues to Play Like Philip Rivers
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Rivers started to display what fantasy owners like myself had hoped for in the beginning of the season when he passed for three touchdowns on MNF against Jacksonville.
San Diego has disappointed once again, but it will be a sigh of relief to see Rivers play up to his potential for the remainder of the year.
San Francisco 49ers: Home Field Advantage in the Playoffs
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This would be a very expensive Christmas present considering that Green Bay would have to lose at least two out of the final four games of the season while San Francisco won out.
The 49ers should be locked into the second seed when it comes time for the playoffs, which means they would not have to travel unless they advanced to the NFC Championship against the Packers.
Seattle Seahawks: A Franchise Quarterback
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The Seattle Seahawks have a need for a franchise quarterback, and luckily for them, there will be three viable candidates for the position in next year's draft.
The Seahawks have a ton of young talent on offense, and they would love for Christmas to come early with either Robert Griffin III, Landry Jones or Matt Barkley.
The Seahawks will not be fortunate enough to have their present on Christmas, but it will certainly be in Seattle by April.
St. Louis Rams: A Big Time Playmaker Opposite Brandon Lloyd
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Since joining the Rams, Brandon Lloyd has led the team in receiving in six out of the seven games.
The Rams already have a quality running game, but they desperately need to add another weapon opposite him to capture Sam Bradford's true potential.
St. Louis has lost some close games this season, and they maybe closer to being a playoff team than many expect.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: The Bucs Young Stars on Offense Show More Consistency
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This was supposed to be a breakout season for the young Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Tampa Bay was a spoiler in a number of games during the 2010 season, and they looked to take the next step after a solid draft.
The lockout may have hurt Josh Freeman and Co., but a consistent showing for the remainder of the season would provide some much needed momentum heading into the offseason.
Tennessee Titans: Chris Johnson Goes off
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Chris Johnson has an amazing third quarter of football as he has rushed for over 100 yards in three out of the last four games.
The Titans are making a surprising run at the playoffs, and they are going to need to rely on Chris Johnson's legs to get them there.
Washington Redskins: A Dollar and a Dream
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The Redskins thought they hit the Mega Millions jackpot with Rex Grossman as their quarterback in the beginning of the season, but Grossman failed to be consistent which shows in the Redskins 4-8 record.
Quarterback is not the only problem in Washington, and the team may need to hit the lottery to stop the bleeding from their poor investments.
The team has to draft a franchise quarterback in 2012, or it will be another long decade of misery for the Redskins and their loyal fanbase.