The holidays are upon us, dear football fans. So, to change things up for this week’s NFL Power Rankings and get in the spirit of Thanksgiving, a reason to feel thankful has been identified for every NFL team. Just don’t expect holiday cheer for all 32 franchises.
On to the Thanksgiving-themed rankings.
NFL Power Rankings
1. Philadelphia Eagles (9-1, Last week: 1): They’re thankful for Jalen Hurts’ emergence as a league MVP candidate.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (8-2, LW: 2): Patrick Mahomes is the obvious reason to feel thankful, so we’re going with Travis Kelce after he torched all-world safety Derwin James for the winning TD against the Chargers last Sunday night.
3. Miami Dolphins (7-3, LW: 5): They have plenty of things to be thankful for, and at the top of the list is Tua Tagovailoa’s recovery from the team’s irresponsibly weak enforcement of concussion protocols earlier this season.
4. Buffalo Bills (7-3, LW: 6): They’re thankful Josh Allen absolutely loves Buffalo.
5. Dallas Cowboys (7-3, LW: 11): They’re thankful for the dominating presence of Micah Parsons, the betting favorite to win NFL Defensive Player of the Year.
6. Minnesota Vikings (8-2, LW: 3): They’re thankful that the Packers traded Davante Adams to put the NFC North completely up for grabs.
7. Baltimore Ravens (7-3, LW: 7): They’re thankful Lamar Jackson is staying focused and letting his play speak loudly in a quest for a massive payday.
8. San Francisco 49ers (6-4, LW: 10): More than the Christian McCaffrey trade and their NFL-best defense, they’re grateful for Jimmy Garoppolo, who’s keeping this Super Bowl-or-bust team on track.
9. Seattle Seahawks (6-4, LW: 8): Geno Smith would seem to be the easy answer, but really it’s not even close — they’re thankful Broncos general manager George Paton provided the escape hatch to break free from Russell Wilson.
10. New York Giants (7-3, LW: 9): They’re thankful for a healthy and productive Saquon Barkley, who’s managing to stay on the field in the final year of his rookie contract.
11. Cincinnati Bengals (6-4, LW: 12): They’re thankful they have enough offensive weapons to go 2-1 without Ja’Marr Chase, who’s been sidelined with a hip injury.
12. New England Patriots (6-4, LW: 16): They’re thankful for Matt Judon (13 sacks) and a Patriots defense that’s surrendered only 23 points during a three-game win streak.
13. New York Jets (6-4, LW: 4): They’re thankful they used the No. 4 overall pick on Sauce Gardner, the supremely confident rookie cornerback who has not disappointed with his superb coverage skills.
14. Tennessee Titans (7-3, LW: 13): What else would they be thankful for? It’s clearly Derrick Henry being Derrick Henry again after a 2021 season marred by a foot injury.
15. Washington Commanders (6-5, LW: 14): They’re thankful for the stunning turnaround sparked by the most unlikely inspiration — QB Taylor Heinicke.
16. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (5-5, LW: 15): They’re thankful their season-ending slate of games only includes two winning teams (49ers, Bengals).
17. Los Angeles Chargers (5-5, LW: 17): For a franchise plagued by injuries and haunted by horrendous kicking over the years, they’re truly thankful for Dicker the Kicker.
18. Atlanta Falcons (5-6, LW: 20): They’re one game under .500 and still in the playoff hunt — yes, an awful NFC South is definitely something to be thankful for.
19. Detroit Lions (4-6, LW: 22): They’re thankful their red-zone offense can go to Jamaal Williams (league-best 12 rushing TDs) near the goal line.
20. Green Bay Packers (4-7, LW: 18): They’re thankful Aaron Rodgers’ three-year, $150 million contract extension doesn’t include a no-trade clause.
21. Arizona Cardinals (4-7, LW: 19): They’ll regret agreeing to do the show, but “Hard Knocks” fans certainly feel thankful Arizona’s imploding season is being documented by HBO.
22. Indianapolis Colts (4-6-1, LW: 21): They’re thankful that the AFC’s mediocrity has them only 2 1/2 games out of a playoff spot.
23. New Orleans Saints (4-7, LW: 30): Like the Falcons, they’re thankful to still have a chance to win the NFC South.
24. Los Angeles Rams (3-7, LW: 23): They’re thankful the Lakers are a bigger disaster than they are.
25. Cleveland Browns (3-7, LW: 24): They’re thankful they have just one more week to wait until the Deshaun Watson era begins.
26. Chicago Bears (3-8, LW: 25): They’re thankful Justin Fields has blossomed into the franchise QB they hoped he’d be. Now they just need to build a winning team around him.
27. Jacksonville Jaguars (3-7, LW: 27): Maybe they’re thankful that most of the other QBs in the hyped 2021 draft class aren’t setting the world on fire either.
28. Pittsburgh Steelers (3-7, LW: 28): They should be thankful some winnable games remain on the schedule, starting with Monday night’s game at Indy against Jeff Saturday’s Colts.
29. Las Vegas Raiders (3-7, LW: 31): They’re thankful Denver, who they’ve beaten twice this season, is even worse than them.
30. Denver Broncos (3-7, LW: 26): They’re thankful to have moved on from Melvin Gordon, but they’ve got much bigger problems than running back.
31. Carolina Panthers (3-8, LW: 29): They’re thankful this miserable season will result in a high draft pick (currently No. 2 overall).
32. Houston Texans (1-7-1, LW: 32): They’re headed for the No. 1 pick in the 2023 draft, so they’re thankful a franchise quarterback (Bryce Young? C.J. Stroud? Will Levis?) awaits them.