With the Jets out of the Playoffs, which team would you like to see win?
Here is how I personally see the NFC teams in terms of rootability. Here is the criteria I used.
1. Likability of key members of the team.
2. How much pain has the fanbase been through? A championship will mean more to fans of teams that have suffered.
3. Ties to the Jets.
4. Implications of rivalries.
5. What are the best storylines?
Here is how I rate the teams.
The owner trumps everything else here. It is very difficult for me to pull for a team owned by the guy. The horrible things he has done could fill an encyclopedia. Charging fans to come to training camp? Selling old airline peanuts at the stadium? Suing fans? Snyder has done it all and even more. He is meddlesome. He doesn't let his football people do their jobs. He might be the worst owner in professional sports.
They just won a championship two years ago so their fans have tasted recent glory. I also can't forgive them for handing the Patriots last year's Super Bowl. Plus Pete Carroll is a reminder of a dark time in Jets history. Russell Wilson is a lot of fun to watch, though.
4. Green Bay
I don't really have anything against the Packers, but I also can't think of many reasons to root for them. They are a storied franchise that won a championship in the last six years. What is the great storyline? Is it Aaron Rodgers overcoming the loss of Jordy Nelson?
Vikings fans are one of the few groups that can give Jets fans a run for their money when it comes to heartbreak. There's a lot to like about this team too. They seem well-coached. They have built their roster the right way acquiring young talent. Plus it's cool that the team has returned to its roots the last two years and is playing in the elements in Minnesota. On the other hand, Adrian Peterson.
There aren't many things I enjoy more than watching a quarterback make the leap. It seems like that has happened this year with Cam Newton who has thrived despite lacking great receiver play. I also think there's something cool about their defense. In a league that seems to not value 4-3 linebacker, the Panthers are the exception. Plus it's easy to root for old friend Jerricho Cotchery.
This team has been tortured for decades in three different cities. This is just their 11th trip to the postseason in close to a century of football. Their only Super Bowl was a last second loss. They've got the coach nobody wanted, who thought his career was over when he was run out of Pittsburgh as a coordinator. They have the quarterback everybody thought was washed up. They've got Todd Bowles ties. And there's some fun symmetry here. The first year of the new Arizona regime, they were a surprise 10-6 team that missed the Playoffs from bad luck. They kept improving from there even thought almost everybody expected them to take a step back.