1. Arizona Cardinals
Tyrann Mathieu, y’all. Tyrann Motherfuckin’ Mathieu. Not only was he NOT a bust, but he put together a phenomenal rookie season before going down with a knee injury in early December. Dude’s legit and every team is now kicking themselves for not taking him. He also has one of the best nicknames in sports (“Sugar Weasel”).
2. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons rushing game LITERALLY cannot get any worse unless they hired a truck driver to just drive the ball backwards through the wall of the stadium on every possession. So there’s that.
3. Baltimore Ravens
Kicker Justin Tucker is clutch city. In fact, from now on, let’s call Tucker “Ice Man” because that’s how he plays: ice cold, no mistakes. He’s so good, he single-footedly beat the Detroit Lions. The unstoppable, juggernaut Detroit Lions.
4. Buffalo Bills
Two words: Kiko Alonso. Three words: Is really good. Four words: His name is dope.
5. Chicago Bears
Alshon Jeffery has emerged as one of the most exciting receivers in the game. And go ahead, blame this season on the defensive injuries. That won’t happen again. Fluke year. Fluke year.
6. Cleveland Browns
Maybe the Browns will only play TWO quarterbacks next season and NOT fire their coach after giving him only a single year to prove himself. That sure would be something, huh?
7. Dallas Cowboys
Another non-losing season! And the defense proved that Tony Romo is not the one to blame anymore, which is probably refreshing.
8. Detroit Lions
They have all these good players and it seems like they should be better, but then they aren’t, so it must be the coach’s fault, and now he’s fired, so: Super Bowl.
9. Houston Texans
The Texans have the No. 1 overall pick in the draft and by Week 3 of next season, they could already have more wins than last year. How neat is that? I say super neat. Hooray for improvement!
10. Jacksonville Jaguars
The Jaguars weren’t the worst team in the league and they had a legitimate win streak going. Progress, y’all. Progress.
11. Miami Dolphins
Turns out tight end Charles Clay is way better than expected. Like, way, way better. Good job, Charlie. And Richie Incognito is no longer on the team. Once again, progress.
12. Minnesota Vikings
First, Adrian Peterson. Then, Cordarrelle Patterson. Next, Cordarian Patterpeterson?
13. New York Giants
Eli Manning hasn’t thrown a single interception in 2014.
14. New York Jets
The Mark Sanchez era is officially over. Hah! How great does that feel, Jets fans? Congratulations. And if Sheldon Richardson isn’t the Defensive Rookie of the Year, it will be a travesty. And did I mention that he’s also third on the team in rushing touchdowns? Because he is. We’re not worthy, Sheldon Richardson. We are not worthy.
15. Oakland Raiders
Running back Rashad Jennings turned out to be an all-around threat and will likely be a solid force in the Raiders backfield in the future. Sorry, Darren “I am made of glass” McFadden, but you have been voted off of the island by angry fantasy owners. Please take your things and leave.
Terrelle Pryor can do some cool things sometimes.
16. Pittsburgh Steelers
Le’Veon Bell has the potential to be something special and Antonio Brown is now a name that people are paying attention to. “Antonio Brown,” they say to themselves. “How about that Antonio Brown?”
17. St. Louis Rams
Zac Stacy is what we, in the biz, call a “hidden gem.” Nice find in the fifth round there, Rams!
18. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Apparently Josh Freeman WAS a part of the problem. Go figure.
Lovie Smith is nice.
19. Tennessee Titans
Since Kenny Britt dropped so many passes, the Titans won’t have to pay him a lot of money to stay on the team. So that’s good. Kendall Wright had over 1,000 receiving yards and almost 100 catches. Now THAT actually is good. Like, really good.
20. Washington Redskins
Mike Shanahan is no longer doing… whatever it was that he was doing. He gone! RG3 almost played a full season. He almost made it, man. Is next year the year? Maybe.