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How the NFL Would Look if Everyone Played for the Home Team

In sports, there’s no place like home. The desire to play in front of one’s hometown fans can sometimes be a bigger draw than money or weather. Just look at LeBron James. He left sunny Miami behind for the charms of home in decidedly less beautiful Cleveland. And while he was lambasted four years ago when he took his talents to South Beach, his move back home has been roundly applauded by all (except Miami Heat fans.) Could King James kick off a trend among professional athletes? Could we see players in all major sports heeding the call and returning home?

We decided to examine what the NFL might look like if some of the league’s biggest stars decided to play for their hometown teams. Your NFL tickets would never be the same.

Megatron and Superman Join Forces with the Atlanta Falcons

Cam, Calvin, and Demaryius might be the most entertaining offense in NFL history. Add in two Pro Bowlers on defense and the Falcons might be on the road to a Super Bowl.

Offense:

QB Cam Newton (IRL: Carolina Panthers)
RB Jonathan Dwyer (IRL: Arizona Cardinals)
RB Mike Tolbert (IRL: Carolina Panthers)
WR Calvin Johnson (IRL: Detroit Lions)
WR Demaryius Thomas (IRL: Denver Broncos)
WR Harry Douglas (IRL: Atlanta Falcons — Home Team Hero)
T Patrick Mannelly (IRL: Retired with Chicago Bears)
G Ben Grubbs (IRL: New Orleans Saints)
C Andrew Economos (IRL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
G Fernando Velasco (IRL: Pittsburgh Steelers)
T Gary Williams (IRL: Carolina Panthers)

Defense:

DE Robert Mathis (IRL: Indianapolis Colts)
DT Kedric Golston (IRL: Washington Redskins)
DT Andre Fluellen (IRL: Detroit Lions)
DE Charles Johnson (IRL: Carolina Panthers)
LB Justin Houston (IRL: Kansas City Chiefs)
LB Daryl Smith (IRL: Baltimore Ravens)
LB Chris Clemons (IRL: Jacksonville Jaguars)
CB Dunta Robinson (IRL: Free Agent)
S Eric Berry (IRL: Kansas City Chiefs)
S Antoine Bethea (IRL: San Francisco 49ers)
CB Rashean Mathis (IRL: Detroit Lions)


Michigan’s Favorite Sons Return to Play for the Detroit Lions

Nobody and I mean nobody is running on this front seven. Throw in a great offensive line, and the hometown Lions could be a serious force in the trenches.

Offense:

QB Drew Stanton (IRL: Arizona Cardinals)
RB Joique Bell (IRL: Detroit Lions – Home Team Hero)
WR Greg Jennings (IRL: Minnesota Vikings)
WR Marcus Thigpen (IRL: Miami Dolphins)
TE Antonio Gates (IRL: San Diego Chargers)
T Jake Long (IRL: St. Louis Rams)
G Todd Herremans (IRL: Philadelphia Eagles)
C Kyle Cook (IRL: Free Agent)
G Joe Berger (IRL: Minnesota Vikings)
T Joe Staley (IRL: San Francisco 49ers)

 Defense:

DE Calvin Pace (IRL: New York Jets)
DT Cullen Jenkins (IRL: New York Giants)
DT Kevin Vickerson (IRL: Denver Broncos)
DE Connor Barwin (IRL: Philadelphia Eagles)
LB Jason Babin (IRL: Free Agent)
LB LaMarr Woodley (IRL: Oakland Raiders)
LB Larry Foote (IRL: Arizona Cardinals)
CB Alan Ball (IRL: Jacksonville Jaguars)
S Don Carey (IRL: Detroit Lions — Home Team Hero)
CB Brandon Carr (IRL: Dallas Cowboys)

Da’ (Hometown) Chicago Bears

Considering how passionate Bears fans are, there’s no telling what this team could do when playing in front of a home crowd.

Offense:

QB Curtis Painter (IRL: New York Giants)
RB Pierre Thomas (IRL: New Orleans Saints)
RB Rashard Mendenhall (IRL: Arizona Cardinals)
WR Kevin Walter (IRL: Free Agent)
WR Jason Avant (IRL: Carolina Panthers)
TE Owen Daniels (IRL: Baltimore Ravens)
T Tony Pashos (IRL: Oakland Raiders)
G David Diehl (IRL: New York Giants)
C Anthony Castonzo (IRL: Indianapolis Colts)
G Jon Asamoah (IRL: Atlanta Falcons)
T Bryan Bulaga (IRL: Green Bay Packers)

Defense:

DE Rob Ninkovich (IRL: New England Patriots)
DT Fred Evans (IRL: Minnesota Vikings)
DE Larry English (IRL: San Diego Chargers)
LB Martez Wilson (IRL: Dallas Cowboys)
LB Andy Studebaker (IRL: Indianapolis Colts)
LB Joe Mays (IRL: Kansas City Chiefs)
LB O’Brien Schofield (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)
CB Charles Tillman (IRL: Chicago Bears — Home Team Hero)
S Sergio Brown (IRL: Indianapolis Colts)
CB Kelvin Hayden (IRL: Chicago Bears — Home Team Hero)

August 2016: Los Angeles Finally Gets its NFL Dream Team

Imagine the NFL comes to LA. If that team could attract its hometown defensive talent like this, then opposing quarterbacks would be smart to re-up their insurance policies.

Offense:

QB Matt Cassel (IRL: Minnesota Vikings)
RB Ryan Mathews (IRL: San Diego Chargers)
RB Toby Gerhart (IRL: Minnesota Vikings)
WR Steve Smith (IRL: Baltimore Ravens)
WR DeSean Jackson (IRL: Washington Redskins)
TE Tony Gonzalez (IRL: Retired with Atlanta Falcons)
TE Randy Clady (IRL: Denver Broncos)
G Alex Mack (IRL: Cleveland Browns)
C Ryan Kalil (IRL: Carolina Panthers)
G Chris Chester (IRL: Washington Redskins)
T Matt Kalil (IRL: Minnesota Vikings)

Defense:

DE Kenyon Coleman (IRL: Retired with Dallas Cowboys)
DT Haloti Ngata (IRL: Baltimore Ravens)
DT Paul Soliai (IRL: Atlanta Falcons)
DE Clay Matthews (IRL: Green Bay Packers)
LB Lance Briggs (IRL: Chicago Bears)
LB Heath Farwell (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)
LB Vontaze Burfict (IRL: Cincinnati Bengals)
CB Brandon Browner (IRL: New England Patriots)
S Troy Polamalu (IRL: Pittsburgh Steelers)
S Dashon Goldson (IRL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
CB Richard Sherman (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)

Party in the SF Bay: Tom Brady Joins the San Francisco 49ers

We’ve seen Tom Brady win Super Bowls with less receiving talent than this. He might be closer to 40 than 30, but I’m sure he could summon one last Golden Boy season playing in front of hometown fans.

Offense:

QB Tom Brady (IRL: New England Patriots)
RB Maurice Jones-Drew (IRL: Oakland Raiders)
RB Doug Martin (IRL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
WR James Jones (IRL: Oakland Raiders)
WR Steve Johnson (IRL: Buffalo Bills)
TE Julius Thomas (IRL: Denver Broncos)
T Mike Gibson (IRL: Arizona Cardinals)
G Logan Mankins (IRL: New England Patriots)
C Evan Dietrich-Smith (IRL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
G Andy Levitre (IRL: Tenessee Titans)
T Carl Nicks (IRL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers)

Defense

DE Lamarr Houston (IRL: Chicago Bears)
DT Justin Bannan (IRL: Free Agent)
DE Mike Patterson (IRL: New York Giants)
LB Larry Grant (IRL: Cleveland Browns)
LB D.J. Williams (IRL: Chicago Bears)
LB Wesley Woodyard (IRL: Tenessee Titans)
LB Desmond Bishop (IRL: Minnesota Vikings)
CB Eric Wright (IRL: Retired with San Francisco 49ers 49ers — Home Team Hero)
S Thomas DeCoud (IRL: Carolina Panthers)
S T.J. Ward (IRL: Denver Broncos)
CB Trumaine Johnson (IRL: St. Louis Rams)

It’s All About the U: Miami Stars Return Home to Play for the Miami Dolphins

The immense talent pool that once made the University of Miami national champions could make the Dolphins serious contenders. This team is stacked with Pro Bowlers and great veterans. This roster is so good it might be able to overcome its lack of an elite QB.

Offense:

QB Thaddeus Lewis (IRL: Buffalo Bills)
RB Frank Gore (IRL: San Francisco 49ers)
RB Chris Johnson (IRL: New York Jets)
WR Andre Johnson (IRL: Houston Texans)
WR Anquan Boldin (IRL: San Francisco 49ers)
WR Antonio Brown (IRL: Pittsburgh Steelers)
T Max Starks (IRL: Free Agent)
G Chris Myers (IRL: Houston Texans)
C Maurkic Pouncey (IRL: Pittsburgh Steelers)
T Kevin Boothe (IRL: Oakland Raiders)

Defense:

DE Jay Ratliff (IRL: Chicago Bears)
DT Vince Wilfork (IRL: New England Patriots)
DT Geno Atkins (IRL: Cincinnati Bengals)
DE Elvis Dumervil (IRL: Baltimore Ravens)
LB Jon Beason (IRL: New York Giants)
LB Jonathan Vilma (IRL: Free Agent)
LB Stephen Tulloch (IRL: Detroit Lions)
CB Asante Samuel (IRL: Free Agent)
S Antrel Rolle (IRL: New York Giants)
S Javier Arenas (IRL: Atlanta Falcons)
CB Antonio Cromartie (IRL: Arizona Cardinals)

Oh When The Peyton Come Marching Home to the New Orleans Saints

Of all the teams I constructed for this article, this is far and away the one I’d like to see happen most. Peyton reunited in New Orleans with his old buddy Reggie? Matt Forte and Vincent Jackson in Saints uniforms? What’s not to love?

Offense:

QB Peyton Manning (IRL: Denver Broncos)
RB Matt Forte (IRL: Chicago Bears)
RB BenJarvus Green-Ellis (IRL: Cincinnati Bengals)
WR Reggie Wayne (IRL: Indianapolis Colts)
WR Vincent Jackson (IRL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
WR Mike Wallace (IRL: Miami Dolphins)
T Andrew Whitworth (IRL: Cincinnati Bengals)
G Chris Clark (IRL: Denver Broncos)
C Lemuel Jeanpierre (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)
G Corey Hilliard (IRL: Detroit Lions)
T Chris Williams (IRL: Buffalo Bills)

Defense:

DE Jason Hatcher (IRL: Washington Redskins)
DT Kyle Williams (IRL: Buffalo Bills)
DT Glenn Dorsey (IRL: San Francisco 49ers)
DE Michael Bennett (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)
LB Jacob Cutrera (IRL: Tampa Bay Buccaneers)
CB Nnamdi Asomugha (IRL: Retired with Oakland Raiders)
S Ed Reed (IRL: New York Jets)
S Ryan Clark (IRL: Washington Redskins)
CB Tramon Williams (IRL: Green Bay Packers)

Carolina Welcomes Stars Home: Graham and Green to the Hometown Carolina Panthers

This team would set every receiving record on the books, not to mention boasting a crazy good pass rush. The people of Carolina need to start lobbying immediately.

Offense:

QB Armanti Edwards (IRL: Chicago Bears)
RB Vonta Leach (IRL: Free Agent)
RB Greg Jones (IRL: Houston Texans)
WR Roddy White (IRL: Atlanta Falcons)
WR A.J. Green (IRL: Cincinnati Bengals)
TE Jimmy Graham (IRL: New Orleans Saints)
T Sean Locklear (IRL: Atlanta Falcons)
G Jonathan Goodwin (IRL: New Orleans Saints)
C Greg Warren (IRL: Pittsburgh Steelers)
G Levi Brown (IRL: Free Agent)
T Travelle Wharton (IRL: Carolina Panthers — Home Team Hero)

Defense:

DE Julius Peppers (IRL: Green Bay Packers)
DT Tony McDaniel (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)
DT Desmond Bryant (IRL: Cleveland Browns)
DE Mario Williams (IRL: Buffalo Bills)
LB Rocky McIntosh (IRL: Detroit Lions)
LB James Anderson (IRL: New England Patriots)
LB Lawrence Timmons (IRL: Pittsburgh Steelers)
CB Cortland Finnegan (IRL: Miami Dolphins)
S Adrian Wilson (IRL: Chicago Bears)
S Rafael Bush (IRL: New Orleans Saints)
CB Johnathan Joseph (IRL: Houston Texans)

NFC West Exodus: Stars Leave the Northwest for DC

When you cherry pick from the two best teams in the NFC, you’re bound to end up with a great roster. The Redskins would be stacked if they could bring any of these guys to town, much less all of them.

Offense:

QB Russell Wilson (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)
RB Ahmad Bradshaw (IRL: Indianapolis Colts)
RB Rashad Jennings (IRL: New York Giants)
WR Josh Cribbs (IRL: New York Jets)
WR Percy Harvin (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)
TE Vernon Davis (IRL: San Francisco 49ers)
T Jermon Bushrod (IRL: Chicago Bears)
G Duane Brown (IRL: Houston Texans)
C Cullen Loeffler (IRL: Minnesota Vikings)

Defense:

DE Kendall Langford (IRL: St. Louis Rams)
DT Randy Starks (IRL: Miami Dolphins)
DE Darryl Tapp (IRL: Detroit Lions)
LB Akeem Jordan (IRL: Washington Redskins — Home Team Hero)
LB Jerod Mayo (IRL: New England Patriots)
LB Ahmad Brooks (IRL: San Francisco 49ers)
LB Paris Lenon (IRL: Free Agent)
CB DeAngelo Hall (IRL: Washington Redskins — Home Team Hero)
S Kam Chancellor (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)
S Chris Crocker (IRL: Free Agent)
CB Vantae Davis (IRL: Indianapolis Colts)

Before we get to Texas, let’s have an honest conversation about Texas football. There’s a reason that Friday Night Lights is set in Texas. The Lone Star State produces football players like Canada produces Hockey players. There are over 170 active NFL players who hail from there. If the Houston Texans and Dallas Cowboys could field teams of exclusively home town talent, they play each other in the Super Bowl every year. Just look at these squads.

All The Stars Come Home to the Dallas Cowboys

I think Jerry Jones believes in his heart of hearts that his current Cowboys team could beat this team. He’s wrong. Nobody is beating this team.

Offense:

QB Drew Brees (IRL: New Orleans Saints)
RB Fred Jackson (IRL: Buffalo Bills)
RB Adrian Peterson (IRL: Minnesota Vikings)
WR Michael Crabtree (IRL: San Francisco 49ers)
WR Emmanuel Sanders (IRL: Denver Broncos)
TE Martellus Bennett (IRL: Chicago Bears)
T Jason Peters (IRL: Philadelphia Eagles)
G Brian Waters (IRL: Dallas Cowboys – Home Team Hero)
C Jon Dorenbos (IRL: Philadelphia Eagles)
G Louis Vasquez (IRL: Denver Broncos)
T Wade Smith (IRL: Houston Texans)

Defense:

DE Jared Allen (IRL: Chicago Bears)
DT Evander Hood (IRL: Jacksonville Jaguars)
DE Henry Melton (IRL: Dallas Cowboys — Home Team Hero)
LB David Hawthorne (IRL: New Orleans Saints)
LB Von Miller (IRL: Denver Broncos)
LB Derrick Johnson (IRL: Kansas City Chiefs)
LB Daryl Washington (IRL: Arizona Cardinals)
CB Will Witherspoon (IRL: St. Louis Rams)
S Michael Huff (IRL: Denver Broncos)
S Michael Griffin (IRL: Tennessee Titans)
CB Chris Houston (IRL: Free Agent)

It’s Getting Hot in Houston with these Houston Texans

Another roster full of Texas Pro Bowlers. Another sure-fire Super Bowl team. Tell us in the comments below who you think would win in the Battle of Texas.

Offense:

QB Ryan Tannehill (IRL: Miami Dolphins)
RB Jacquizz Rodgers (IRL: Atlanta Falcons)
RB Jamaal Charles (IRL: Kansas City Chiefs)
WR Danny Amendola (IRL: New England Patriots)
WR Dez Bryant (IRL: Dallas Cowboys)
WR Josh Gordon (IRL: Cleveland Browns)
T Russell Okung (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)
G Andre Gurode (IRL: Oakland Raiders)
C Geoff Hangartner (IRL: Carolina Panthers)
G Scott Wells (IRL: St. Louis Rams)
T Trent Williams (IRL: Washington Redskins)

Defense:

DE Brian Orakpo (IRL: Washington Redskins)
DT Shaun Rogers (IRL: New York Giants)
DT Jonathan Babineaux (IRL: Atlanta Falcons)
DE Cory Redding (IRL: Indianapolis Colts)
LB Thomas Gafford (IRL: Kansas City Chiefs)
LB Patrick Bailey (IRL: Tennessee Titans)
LB Brett Goode (IRL: Green Bay Packers)
CB Josh Wilson (IRL: Atlanta Falcons)
S Earl Thomas (IRL: Seattle Seahawks)
S Danieal Manning (IRL: Cincinnati Bengals)
CB Quentin Jammer (IRL: Free Agent)

By Ryan Weisert for the ScoreBlog

 

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