Plenty to be thankful for this NFL season

New Orleans Saints quarterback Drew Brees (9) smiles after an NFL football game against the Philadelphia Eagles in New Orleans, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. The Saints won 48-7. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

It’s Thanksgiving, so what better way to celebrate than to talk a little football, am I right?

Ah, football, the great buffer between those awkward family conversations at the dinner table.

College kids, you know what I’m talking about.

How’s school? Are you seeing anyone? What do you want to do with the rest of your life?

Good lord Aunt Kathy, right now all I want to do is stuff my face and have a few glasses of wine while I try to figure out whether the Cowboys are contenders or not.

Indianapolis Colts quarterback Andrew Luck reacts as he walks off the field following an NFL football game against the Tennessee Titans, Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018, in Indianapolis. Indianapolis won 38-10. (AP Photo/Michael Conroy)

Speaking of which, here’s what I’m thankful for this NFL season.

If nothing else, you can use it as a nice pivot from those all those conversations you’re trying to avoid.

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Young Franchise Quarterbacks

Seriously, how much fun was that Rams-Chiefs Monday Night game? If you didn’t watch it, shame on you.

The young offensive prodigy, Sean McVay, against the wily veteran Andy Reid.

I mean, my goodness, could you find two coaches that are any more different than the young, handsome McVay and Reid?

I’ll let you determine the rest on your own.

But there is one thing these guys unequivocally have in common – they know offense.

And the young QBs they are in charge of, Jared Goff and Patrick Mahomes, are lucky to have them.

Sure, they are plenty talented on their own, but you watched Goff with Jeff Fisher his rookie year. Coaching matters… a lot.

And it’s not just those two.

There’s DeShaun Watson and Carson Wentz and all the rookie quarterbacks we still have to wait and see on.

They’re ensuring that the league will be in good hands when the old guard decides to hang it up, which hopefully isn’t for a while.

I’m thankful for that.

And speaking of the old guys …

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Please don’t retire, ever!

I’m looking at you Tom Brady, Drew Brees, Ben Roethlisberger, Aaron Rodgers and Philip Rivers.

I am so thankful for you guys.

Brees, at 39 and Roethlisberger, at 36, are having the best seasons of their career. Brees had 25 touchdowns and 1, yes 1 interception this season.

And the Saints are absolutely carving up teams.

Roethlisberger, in the midst of his amazing season, had an awful game against Jacksonville. Or, should I say, an awful three quarters.

Late in the second quarter, he had thrown for 19 yards and two interceptions.

With three minutes left in the game, the Steelers trailed by 10, on the road, against a desperate team.

Seriously, what team comes back from that? One that is led by one of the best quarterbacks of all-time, who nimbly dove into the end zone with seconds left on the clock to send the Steelers to their sixth straight win.

And has there ever been a more underappreciated Hall of Fame QB than Rivers.

Yes, he is a Hall of Famer, that isn’t even up for debate.

Please, please, please, please appreciate these guys while you can.

They are some of the best to ever do it.

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And the guys in the middle

Russell Wilson and Andrew Luck are future HOFers and Cam Newton, Matt Ryan and Matthew Stafford might be.

They are damn good.

Wilson, like Rivers, is underappreciated and Luck, now that he’s healthy, is back to being one of the best in the league.

Ryan, Newton and Stafford can create a lot of divisiveness, but they are really, really good.

So yes, I’m thankful for the young, in their prime and old guard quarterbacks in the NFL.

We’re in a golden age right now. Enjoy it.

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But don’t get me wrong, I appreciate great defense to

Amidst the fireworks show that was Rams-Chiefs, the best player on the field was Aaron Donald, a defensive player.

And listen, I know there are many of you, mostly over the age of 45, that think dominant defenses are a thing of the past, and 54-51 is the new norm.

The rules are geared toward the offense! Put a dress on the quarterback! Back in my day, that was a clean hit!

Well, back in your day, seat belt use was optional, inflight smoking was allowed and it took the U.S. Surgeon General to make many of you realize that tobacco use was harmful to your health.

So you’ll forgive some of us for not taking the ‘back in my day’ argument as a ringing endorsement of better days.

But please, don’t paint me as a snarky millennial, we’re all friends here.

Unless you think Eli Manning should still be starting, then we might have issues.

Defenses just have to adjust. And they will. There are too many smart people in the NFL for that not to happen.

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In conclusion

But seriously, everyone have a great Thanksgiving. I hope you spend it with the ones you love, doing what you love.

And be thankful!

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