The 2016 Guide to Choosing an NFL Team
Football season is knocking on the door, and while many people are football fans, many others are not. This article is for the latter. Maybe you’re an NBA fan who’s ready to watch a new sport. Maybe your significant other watches the NFL and you just want to pick a team to impress him or her.
Regardless, sports is more fun when you’ve hitched your emotional well-being to the performance of millionaires in a stadium hundreds or thousands of miles away.
So if you don’t want to crunch numbers or pick the local team, I’ve compiled a handy guide that appeals to your personality.
If you aren’t afraid to show off your dance moves, then your team is the Arizona Cardinals!
The Cardinals seem like a legitimately fun team, on and off the field. Who doesn’t like watching old man Fitz will his team to the NFC Championship? Who doesn’t like to watch David Johnson destroy the hopes and dreams of the Eagles?
When they play at their best, the Cardinals are the best team in the NFL. It’s been almost seventy years since they last won a championship, and to be so close to the prize this year… well, it’s worth celebrating.
That’s right, Drew. Dance your heart out. Dance your heart out.
If you enjoy the highs of life but ultimately feel unfulfilled, then your team is the Atlanta Falcons!
Actually, this applies to all major Georgian sports teams.
Are the Braves any good? What, I can’t hear you from my position beneath the couch where I’m bitterly crying…
Are the Hawks any good? Uh, maybe?
Are the Bulldogs any good? Eh, good enough.
Are the Falcons any good? No one knows. This team could win anywhere between 6 and 12 games every single year, and they usually try to settle right at 8.
This team is like vanilla ice cream sprinkled in hot sauce (with Julio Jones and Devonta Freeman being said hot sauce). If not for them, they’d be a very vanilla team, but as it is, you’re just wasting hot sauce and nobody thinks you’re any good at all really.
If you don’t know if you’re elite or not, then your team is the Baltimore Ravens!
I still have no idea how good Joe Flacco is, and I have no idea how good the Ravens will be either. But they have confidence in themselves, so I have confidence in them.
This is the perfect team for people who struggle with self-esteem, because if Joe Flacco can win a Super Bowl, then you can ask that girl out on that date!
Be as strong as Steve Smith and as confident as John Harbaugh! You are a unique and beautiful flower!
If you’d rather re-watch Indiana Jones 4 than spend another awkward Thanksgiving with your family, then your team is the Buffalo Bills!
The Bills had all the talent to make the playoffs and scamper past the Texans last year, but the chemistry from top to bottom in the organization was far too toxic.
Lesean McCoy is that creepy uncle who taught you how to wrestle when you were seven, and now nobody likes him.
Rex Ryan is your egomaniacal aunt who really ought to keep her mouth shut, but she often gets the whole family in trouble with her temper.
Mario Williams is like the estranged cousin who thinks he’s cool but was getting in his own way too much. Then when your family tried to bring him back to reality, he posted on Facebook how lame your whole family is and stormed off to his room to sulk.
And that leaves you by yourself just like Tyrod Taylor, trying to make the best of a terrible situation, but everyone else is too busy chewing each other out to care about peace, love, and the spirit of Thanksgiving.
If you were rooting for the Golden State Warriors in the NBA Finals, then your team is the Carolina Panthers!
I usually don’t let memes speak for me, but I’ll just leave this here and be on my way.
If you like the Broncos but don’t want to root for the Broncos, then your team is the Chicago Bears!
So the Broncos just won the Super Bowl, and you don’t really want to look like a bandwagon fan. No worries! Just pick up the Chicago Bears!
Former Broncos coach John Fox? Check!
Former Broncos quarterback Jay Cutler? Check!
Former Broncos linebacker Danny Trevathan? Check!
This list doesn’t even include former Broncos personnel in Adam Gase and Brandon Marshall who have both left Chicago for new homes in the AFC East.
This team has had a hard time producing or retaining its talent in the last five years, choosing instead to become the whipping boy of its older brothers for two years straight. Chicago has become the recycling bin of the NFL.
If you’ve ever screwed up your life because of your own dumb decisions, then your team is the Cincinnati Bengals!
No, seriously. Not only is your team the Bengals, you are the Bengals. The number of ways that Cincinnati has learned to bend over backwards and bite themselves in their collective butt is truly remarkable.
Before the Marvin Lewis era, the Bengals ranked among the most pained fanbases in the NFL. Even now, they consistently win double-digit games, but in the playoffs, they consistently remind us all that they are still the Cincinnati Bengals. This past massacre in January was just another repetitive chapter in Cincinnati’s long saga of failure to win a Super Bowl.
If you’re still riding on the high of the #BelieveLand fever, then your team is the Cleveland Browns!
Think about it. It’s kind of Cleveland Cavaliers-esque, right? We’ve hopped on Cavs and Indians bandwagons this year, so why not make it a hat trick? Here, let me draw a comparison for you:
RGIII = Kyrie Irving. By position, he’s supposed to be the leader of the team, but he’s not really. Also, by the seventh week of the season, he will be sitting on the bench, nursing a leg injury.
Josh Gordon = LeBron James. The lost child has come home. Not a perfect comparison obviously, but Gordon will be the focal point of the offense should he return to peak form.
Rashard Higgins = Iman Shumpert. They have the same hair.
If you peaked in high school, then your team is the Dallas Cowboys!
By number of Super Bowl appearances alone, the Steelers, Patriots, Broncos, 49ers, and Cowboys have been the most successful franchises of all time. Only one of those teams has not appeared in a Super Bowl since 1996, and that franchise is the Dallas Cowboys.
Still, Cowboys fans refuse to remove themselves from the national headlines. Hey, guys. Take a page from the 49ers fans. Their team is awful. They know their team is awful. And yet, they don’t bring up past glories in every conversation. As currently constituted, the Cowboys are not going to make serious noise in January. Sorry, not sorry.
And by the way, Dez didn’t catch it. I used to think he did. Before the replay, I thought he did. After the replay, I thought he did. But if so many Cowboys fans think Dez caught it, then obviously he didn’t. There’s no way so many Dallas fans can be right about something football-related.
If it was acceptable in the ‘80’s, then your team is the Denver Broncos!
Sure, there were great quarterbacks in the 1980’s, but Phil Simms, Jim McMahon, and Jim Plunkett all managed to squeeze out Super Bowls. This final iteration of Peyton Manning was worse than all three of those names, and he also came away holding that Lombardi Trophy.
In an era dominated by defensive players like Lawrence Taylor, Mike Singletary, and Howie Long, 20th century defenses were constructed to punch you in the mouth, and that’s exactly what the Broncos did to every team they met.
And when they didn’t punch you in the mouth, Aqib Talib was there to poke you in the eyes! Double whammy!
If you handle alcohol well, then your team is the Detroit Lions!
You’ll need it. Only the Browns and Cardinals can challenge the Lions for the most dismal NFL history. What makes it even worse is that often the Lions will inherit a once in a generation talent and then waste their careers: Barry Sanders, Charlie Sanders, Calvin Johnson, Lem Barney…
The depressing tale of the Detroit Lions is too extensive to list here. So I’ve found a brief video that sums up the entire existence of the Lions:
If you Instagram pictures of your food, then your team is the Green Bay Packers!
According to FOX, NFL fans gain an average of ten pounds during the regular season, but in Green Bay, Land of the Cheeseheads, I can almost guarantee that Packers fans gain an average of fifteen.
It’s kind of weird when you think about the amount of criticism Eddie Lacy absorbed this offseason. I can somehow envision a forty year old man with a beer in his hand and a block of cheddar cheese on his stomach, watching his TV and cussing out Eddie Lacy for being out of shape.
I mean, Lacy was still one of the best athletes in the world, even at his size last year. So he gained twenty pounds, but I have to imagine that Packers fans can consume twenty pounds of dairy products in the span of three days.
If you’re British, then your team is the Jacksonville Jaguars!
Probably… I mean, don’t they play like five games a year over there now? Heck, how many games do the Jags play in Jacksonville anymore?
Maybe if they just… stay over there, they’ll become the London Jaguars. I mean, that’s a win-win for everyone. Florida would still have two other NFL teams, and now London gets one of their own.
Plus, if they can get Tom Hiddleston to be their color commentator, we’d get to hear him say Jaguar in a British accent. JAGiyur…
If you Instagram your workout videos so that people can tell you how great you are, then your team is the Houston Texans!
You’re kind of the exact opposite of the Packers, the food Instagrammers. You aren’t that successful, and instead of having one of the best quarterbacks of all time, you have one of the best defensive ends of all time.
That defensive end is J.J. Watt, the colossus brick wall that has anchored the Texans defense for five years. If he were the quiet type who left it all out on the field, he’d be a beloved symbol of the NFL. As it is, he loves showing you just how awesome he is, making him an irritating symbol of the NFL.
And it isn’t just Watt. It’s their quarterback who pitched a fit after being benched for Peyton Manning. It’s their coach who acted like it would be no big deal for him to design an offense around Brian Hoyer. Even after dumping Andre Johnson, this team is stacked from top to bottom with pricks, but (much like their on-the-field performance) it all starts and ends with J.J. Watt.
If Hakuna Matata is your problem-free philosophy, then your team is the Indianapolis Colts!
What’s a motto? Nothing, what-a-motto with you?!
Well, here’s what’s the motto with you. You have still have a terrible offensive line, a 33 year old running back, a leaky front-seven, and a coach/GM combo with less compatibility than the U.S. Congress. And the Colts probably won’t fix any of it in the near future.
Andrew Luck is still the best young quarterback in the league, but he cannot carry a team to a Super Bowl on his own. Dan Marino couldn’t, and neither will Luck. Last season, the Colts rolled the dice on Luck doing everything by himself, and he ended up with a fractured ribcage and a lacerated kidney.
Some time in the next decade, Andrew Luck will be in a wheelchair trying to heave a football thirty yards downfield to another young wideout while Jim Irsay sits up in his booth, writing an executive memo to his fans about how they’ll be even better next year.
If you’ve ever been late to an event but decided to go 35 MPH down the parkway, then your team is the Kansas City Chiefs!
Boasting a stubborn defense with a solid linebacker corps and a newly shored up secondary, the Chiefs will definitely be in the playoff mix, but they have to sport the slowest offense in the NFL. How ironic that this team is named the Chiefs, because their agonizing death march against the Patriots in last year’s Divisional Round was the closest thing I’ve ever seen to the Trail of Tears.
No one was surprised, though. Andy Reid is the king of killing the game clock, so if slow is your style, then you’ll fit right in with the Chiefs. How can an offense with Jamaal Charles be so lethargic?
Also, if you like barbecue, I’ve heard KC is the way to go.
If you consistently skip leg day, then your team is the Los Angeles Rams!
St. Louis Rams Management: Hey, we have Aaron Donald, Robert Quinn, and Michael Brockers. What a great defensive line! You know what else we need?
Rams Fans: Wide receivers???
Rams Management: NICK FAIRLEY!
Rams Fans: Oh… okay…
One year later…
Los Angeles Rams Management: What a great defensive line! You know what else we need?
Rams Fans: Wide receivers???
Rams Management: DOMINIQUE EASLEY!
Rams Fans: Oh… okay…
If you’re boring, then your team is the Miami Dolphins!
Ugh, the Dolphins. In years past, there were at a fun car wreck to observe, whether it was BullyGate, the Ted Ginn draft, or the 1–15 season. Now all the most interesting characters have left town, and there’s not much left to talk about with this team. Unless I see another article that looks something like, Is This the Year That Ryan Tannehill Puts It All Together?
When the best story line you have going is the former offensive coordinator from the Bears, something’s wrong. Your $100 million player is a defensive tackle, one of the most boring positions in football, and your starting running back is at risk to snap a tendon in his leg just getting off a plane.
It’s kind of sad to think that some Miami journalists are praying for injuries to occur: Ask Five: How Long Will It Be Before Arian Foster Gets Hurt Again?
If you’re obviously the least favorite child, then your team is the Minnesota Vikings!
It must be hard to be a Vikings fan. If you’re old enough, you’ve seen your team lose four Super Bowls, and the Vikings haven’t returned to the big game in almost forty years. But even in 2016, the Vikings reminded us they still know how to lose games with Blair Walsh channeling his inner Gary Anderson to shank the most important kick of his life.
Had Walsh made that kick, the narrative on the Vikings would be drastically different, but once again, people are underestimating the sheer talent on this Minnesota squad. You will not found another team in the NFL that is more disrespected for one missed kick.
“Hey, Mom. I almost beat the reigning NFC Champions in the first round of the playoffs.”
“That’s nice, honey, but the Packers are getting Jordy Nelson back.”
If you buy your blue jeans based solely on the way it makes your backside look, then your team is the New England Patriots!
I’m sorry, Pittsburgh, but it’s time to bequeath the crown. I know Sidney Crosby and your precious Penguins just won the Stanley Cup again, but Boston has officially overtaken you as the city of champions. With nine total championships across the four major sports since 2001, Boston sports has been the hot girl at school for a long time now.
Mark my words, New England: one of these years, you will look ugly, and everyone will be sitting at home scrolling through Facebook when they stumble upon a picture of you and cackle with delight, “Look! She got so fat!”
But right now, the Patriots are a sexy team, and they want everyone to know it. Oh, we forgot to win a Super Bowl this year? I’ll go buy myself a Randy Moss or a Darrelle Revis or a Martellus Bennett, and everyone can talk about just how good I look this year.
If you’re into conspiracy theories, then your team is the New Orleans Saints!
To be fair, you’re also probably a fan of the New England Patriots, but almost all conspiracy theories surrounding the Pats are anti-NFL (but that Tuck Rule game… I mean, come on). Ever since Hurricane Katrina in 2005, the Saints have been the Phoenix of New Orleans, rising from the ruins that Katrina had left to win the franchise’s first Super Bowl just five years later.
But was it all rigged? Some went so far as to say that Peyton Manning was instructed to throw the Super Bowl in favor of the media darling Saints, who marched into Sun Life Stadium as five point underdogs. While that may be a bit asinine, it’s hard to ignore the ESPN Poll that was released before the game that spoke of Drew Brees as if he had already won a Super Bowl.
This organization is full of dirty secrets, and I have some questions of my own. How did Gregg Williams not receive a lifetime ban after #BountyGate? Does anyone really believe that Drew Brees knew nothing of the Jimmy Graham trade? And how much does this organization hate the Mannings, given their propensity to stop both Peyton and Archie from furthering their careers?
If your life is repetitively dull and you only have one good story about yourself (but you bring it up all the time), then your team is the New York Giants!
Remember when Eli Manning won two Super Bowls on the back of Justin Tuck and Michael Strahan? They are two of the best sports moments of my life because it reminded me that Tom Brady does bleed.
Remember when Odell Beckham, Jr. snagged that physics-defying touchdown pass against the Cowboys? I was having dinner at Logan’s Roadhouse when that play happened, and my dad and I sat in awestruck wonder as NBC replayed the Catch again and again.
While the Giants have experienced some euphoric highs, they have been one of the more mediocre teams since 2011. For the most part, Eli and OBJ have also been two of the most overrated players, primarily because two or three highlight plays.
No, Eli Manning is not better than Tom Brady or Peyton Manning. No, OBJ is not better than Antonio Brown or Julio Jones. Stop coasting on stories from the past, and play some real football.
If you’ve ever stayed in a relationship way longer than you should have because you’re still trying to find a replacement for that one ex, then your team is the New York Jets!
Once upon a time, Broadway Joe and the Jets won a Super Bowl, and they sucked ever since.
It’s impressive really. Several teams find a way to stumble into franchise quarterbacks (some even in rapid succession to each other), and then there are the New York Jets, wandering for forty years in the wilderness since the departure of Joe Namath.
Whether it’s been Geno Smith, Neil O’Donnel, or Richard Todd, the Jets have been far too willing to break their hearts for a quarterback that doesn’t deserve to wear the green and white.
Maybe if we give him a little more money, then he’ll love me! Maybe if we stick with him for one more year, he’ll turn his life around! The sad, sad story of the battered Jets continues…
If you have a warrant out for your arrest for stabbing an elderly woman at the pharmacy, then your team is the Oakland Raiders!
That’s just a cheap shot at Raiders fans and the general Oakland area. Some Raiders fans will complain that they’re being overgeneralized, but when the majority of the fans you see on TV look like KISS fans on Halloween, you need to take the L here.
The Broncos’ official Facebook page even had to blur out all the middle fingers that Raiders fans gave Chris Harris after a Pick 6. Do other fans flip opposing players the bird? Absolutely, but I just like picking on Oakland fans.
… from a distance, that is. Face to face, they might stab me.
If you like your imaginary friends better than your real friends, then your team is the Philadelphia Eagles!
Because the city of Philadelphia certainly likes their fictional sports figures better than they like their actual sports figures.
Let’s make a list of some Philly sports legends: Wilt Chamberlain, Julius Erving, Mike Schmidt, Steve Carlton, Bobby Clarke… All these players have statues that immortalize them in stone somewhere around the City of Brotherly Love. There are zero (zero) statues of any Eagles, not even Chuck “Concrete” Bednarik.
Allen Iverson doesn’t even have a statue outside Wells Fargo Center, but you know who does have a statue? Rocky Balboa: the fictional boxer who struck the famous victory pose before his home city of Philadelphia. That’s right. Rocky got a statue before Allen Iverson and Concrete Chuck.
In classic Philly fashion though, Rocky loses to Apollo Creed at the end of the film so maybe it’s only appropriate.
If you 420 Blaze It, then your team is the Pittsburgh Steelers!
Fire is a versatile word to describe this version of the Steelers. Perhaps this will be a paragraph or two applauding the Steelers for their fiery offense! Nope. Their fiery personalities? Nope. No, it’s because of all the trees they burn.
It’s not uncommon for a team to lose a player or two to marijuana possession. But when said players are Le’Veon Bell and Martavis Bryant, you open yourself up to criticism. For a team famous for the ridiculous amount of offensive talent they’ve gathered, the Steelers are on the verge of losing it all to drug addictions.
If you have ever argued with a store clerk over the price of six dollar tee shirt, then your team is the San Diego Chargers!
Dean Spanos has to be one of the worst executives in the NFL. If he isn’t busy screwing over his first round pick, he’s trying to alienate his entire fan base by threatening to relocate their team. Too bad Stan Kroenke got there first.
I know Spanos likes to blame San Diego fans for not attending Chargers games and further lining his pockets, but here’s a thought… Maybe put together a good football team? Maybe bring Qualcomm Stadium into this millennium? Maybe make ONE DECENT PERSONNEL DECISION about your coaching staff?
If you enjoyed Liam Neeson’s film The Grey, then your team is the San Francisco 49ers!
SPOILER ALERT: Everyone dies, and Jed York is the pack of wolves.
Here’s a list of all the talent from the 2011–2014 49ers that have either retired or gone to different cities: Patrick Willis, Justin Smith, Frank Gore, Michael Crabtree, Vernon Davis, Mike Iupati, Aldon Smith, Dashon Goldson, and Chris Borland.
Oh, and Jim Harbaugh: the best coach you’ve had since Bill Walsh. You’ve gone and replaced him with Jim Tomsula and Chip Kelly. It’s true what they say: the bigger they are, the harder they fall.
If you weigh 300 pounds, then your team is the Seattle Seahawks!
In case you haven’t seen it, here’s the starting offensive line for the Seahawks: Garry Gilliam, Mark Glowinski, Justin Britt, Germain Ifedi, and J’marcus Webb. That’s a plea for help. At every other position, the Seahawks seem like one of the most talented teams in the league, but games are still won in the trenches.
We know that Russell Wilson does his best work when he isn’t confined to a box, but John Schneider seems to think that he doesn’t have to give Wilson any help at all. At some point, Wilson will lose the speed in his legs, and he won’t be able to pull off this Johnny Manziel magic anymore.
So if you’ve ever wanted to play football for the NFL, the Seahawks may come looking for you. Better suit up unless you want your quarterback-lite looking like this soon.
If you enjoy creative genius, then your team is the Tampa Bay Buccaneers!
Analysts say, “Well, the Bucs finally have an offense, but what about that defense?” I say, “Who cares?” Every time they score, they fire a cannon off a giant pirate ship that’s embedded into the stands!
Seriously. I just mapped out my dream plan to visit all 31 NFL stadiums, and the Bucs’ stadium is probably in my Top 5 of stadiums I’m most excited to see. Whoever decided to install a three-masted schooner into Raymond James Stadium ought to be in charge of all future stadium renovations for every team across the country.
Sure, it may not compare to the glory and presence of Lambeau or Jerry World, but if you’re looking to just have fun, why not roll with Raymond James? It’s just too bad they’re still rolling with those ugly, digital uniforms.
If you’re full of mularky, then your team is the Tennessee Titans!
Man, throw out the fact that Mike Mularkey is one of the worst, outdated coaches in recent memory. His last name is literally Mularkey. Only the Titans could believe that hiring Mularkey will lead to wins.
Cause that’s a load of Mularkey (ooh, got ‘em!).
Sure, you got your quarterback now, and you got your running back. Now you can watch their careers wither away like other Titans fans have done with Jurrell Casey since 2011.
If you’re a dork and you like that, then your team is the Washington Redskins!
Redskins fans may have gotten sick of this meme, but at least we’re talking about Kirk Cousins instead of RGIII. Even if you’re not a big Cousins supporter, you have to… like that.
The second time he says, “YOU LIKE THAT?!” is still really funny, so let’s watch it one more time.