November 29, 2021

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Trick or treat: Sorting all 32 NFL teams as contenders or pretenders with Halloween candy comparisons

Week 8 doesn’t just mark the unofficial midway point of the 2021 NFL season (darn you, 17-game schedule!). It also marks Halloween weekend! In the spirit of the season, we decided to review all 32 teams as Oct. 31 approaches, classifying each one as a contender or pretender — a trick or a treat, to be precise. And not just that, but we’ve also compared each team to a Halloween candy! How cute, right?

Anyway, let’s get right to it, you ghouls and goblins:

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: Pop Rocks

They are just too darn explosive. Every time you think you’ve got them pinned down, they remind you of their firepower. From Kyler Murray to DeAndre Hopkins to Zach Ertz, they’re like the Chiefs of years past in terms of pure offensive weaponry.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Airheads

No one really cares about them anymore. Matt Ryan is playing well, actually, but they need much more help before they can contend.

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: Snickers

Nothing wakes you up more than seeing Lamar Jackson with the ball in his hands.

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: Kit Kat

They go long, and they deliver. Josh Allen’s electricity is a tad overlooked because of the amount of other MVP-caliber QBs right now.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Razzles

They were kinda cool to start, but now that they’ve had time to settle, they’re mushy and tasteless. Sam Darnold, you fooled us all.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Bag of pretzels

So, so dry. What is there to be excited about here, besides their old, banged-up pass rush? You can bet Allen Robinson is salty.

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: Junior Mints

Surprisingly potent, they’re the product of a perfect match: chocolate and mint — er, Joe Burrow and Ja’Marr Chase.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Crunch

They’ve got the right stuff, but their foundational pieces are all crunchy and brittle. Baker Mayfield needs his backfield (and himself) healthy to keep this team rolling down the stretch.

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: 100 Grand

Expensive and chock-full of talent despite their poor history among the elites, the Cowboys have the weapons — between Dak Prescott, Ezekiel Elliott, CeeDee Lamb and Amari Cooper — to challenge just about anyone.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Tootsie Rolls

Not bad if you can dig a plain, old-school, uninventive approach, but a foundational trio of Vic Fangio, Pat Shurmur and Teddy Bridgewater was always going to be passable, and nothing more.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Hershey’s bar

So predictable (and therefore hardly a winner), but you also always know what you’re gonna get with Dan Campbell: a fight.

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: Reese’s Pieces

Like the peanut butter candies masked in brown, orange and yellow, Aaron Rodgers’ Packers uniform may not mark his true identity as a lone warrior, destined to own or split from Green Bay, but boy is the combo working.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Hard candies

What are they doing here? Tyrod Taylor? Danny Amendola? David Johnson? What is this, a generation ago?

Indianapolis Colts

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: Krackel

Brittle and crunched up at first, they seem to have hit a sweet spot, with Carson Wentz feeling more like himself and the defense starting to turn it on.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Bag of peanuts

You’ll find ’em at the bar, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t dry and salty and usually left over from years ago.

Kansas City Chiefs

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Nerds

All flash, little oomph. With Patrick Mahomes, they’re always as frenetic as a sugared-up kid, for better or worse. Their offense is never not colorful, but forced to carry the whole burden, it finally seems a little less imposing.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Heath bar

Solid now, they’re never remembered by the end of the season. Look, Derek Carr has been great, and they know how to play tough, but we’re just a bit skeptical they’ve got what it takes to hang with the big dogs down the stretch. Prove us wrong!

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: Smarties

Brandon Staley is a whizkid, even if their defense has slipped up at times. So is Justin Herbert, who’ll keep them going all year.

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: PayDay

Between Matthew Stafford and Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods and DeSean Jackson, the Rams are like an assembly of rock-solid pieces atop the sweet foundational glaze that is Sean McVay.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Orbit gum

Because they’re living in a different world — one in which the QB they just drafted No. 5 overall is not their QB at all.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Tootsie Pop

Very competitive, especially with Kirk Cousins slinging it well and Justin Jefferson popping off, but by the end, the stage is always a touch too big for them.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Whoppers

Their reputation and name recognition is starting to outweigh their value. Yes, Bill Belichick may have something in Mac Jones, but they still feel a year or two away from a fuller revitalization.

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: Wax bottles

Once you get past the limitations of the offense they’ve built, there’s quite a bit of juice inside, with Jameis Winston faring well post-Drew Brees and the defense bringing the energy.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Warheads

Joe Judge is the tough guy, but their fight rarely lasts. Daniel Jones has actually been solid for most of the year, but he doesn’t have the supporting cast or staff to do much.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Circus Peanuts

Gross! Tasteless! Somebody get the guy who constructed this team on the line, because it’s still a circus. Zach Wilson is quickly on track to become Sam Darnold 2.0.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Dum Dums

What are they doing we haven’t seen before? Nick Sirianni and Jalen Hurts are good, bright people, but their team-up on the field has been thoroughly uninspiring.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Old-fashioned molasses candy

Big Ben is old.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Cadbury Eggs

Much like the eggs making their business on Easter, the 49ers have a coach who gets a lot of buzz for delivering just one season.

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Skittles

Russell Wilson always keeps them colorful, but they’ve also become so predictable in how they operate on both sides of the ball.

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup

An old classic with an eternal touch, Bruce Arians, Tom Brady and the Buccaneers are silky smooth when they need to be.

Trick or Treat: Treat
Candy comparison: Butterfinger

Crisp and powerful, they just might ride Derrick Henry all the way to an AFC South title.

Washington Football Team

Trick or Treat: Trick
Candy comparison: Almond Joy

They’ve got some nice ingredients, starting with a veteran coach and promising defenders, but too often their fill-in quarterback, Taylor Heinicke, gets nutty in crunch time.


https://www.cbssports.com/nfl/news/trick-or-treat-sorting-all-32-nfl-teams-as-contenders-or-pretenders-with-halloween-candy-comparisons/