The 2021 NFL season is upon us but who will make the post season? Who will go all the way? And who might as well not bother? We take a look at every team in every division with our 2021 NFL season preview.
2021 NFL season preview
The NFC West is probably the toughest division in football right now. The headline team are the LA Rams who were able to bring in Mathew Stafford during the offseason, adding to an already contending roster.
Then the Seattle Seahawks are close behind them with Russell Wilson once again leading the charge. There was a lot of talk of a busy free agency too but that never really happened. Whether that hampers them this season, time will tell. They’d be a banker for the post season but for the NFC conference being chock full of talent.
Going up against teams like the San Francisco 49ers hardly makes it easier either. The 49ers drafted Trey Lance in the first round but their biggest upgrade is going to be the return of practically their entire roster having been hammered by injuries last season. Now though the have a clean bill of health ahead of the curtain raiser. It’s worth noting that last time they had an injury free run they made it to the Super Bowl.
Finally, we come to the Arizona Cardinals. They made the biggest jump in the offseason by snagging JJ Watt, AJ Green and Zaven Collins. Momentum is going to be huge because all four of these teams have strong chances to make it into the playoffs.
Our 2021 NFL season preview moves on to the NFC North where there is one standout team, the Green Bay Packers. They didn’t make any huge improvements but retained Davante Adams and, more importantly, MVP Aaron Rodgers meaning they have a real chance of going the distance.
The Minnesota Vikings have made a series of small moves in order to patch up their defense. That said, their most notable acquisition was the drafting of an offensive lineman in the first round in Christian Darrisaw. Offensively, the Vikings are a force to be reckoned with but defensively the phrase ‘chocolate teapot’ springs to mind; they simply weren’t up to the task and it remains to be seen whether those roster tweaks will work.
Then you have the Chicago Bears who have the chance to be a huge contender this year. Justin Fields has the potential to power them up the rankings but there is going to be some serious man management required. Why? Well, as baffling as it is, Andy Dalton was promised the starting role. Fields is a better option for the team but how that is handled could be vital to how things unfold.
Finally, we have the Detroit Lions. They added Jared Goff but lost longtime starter Mathew Stafford; that’s a serious downgrade. The Lions will not be in the post season mix.
The reigning champions, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, retained all 22 of their starters from last season and are in perfect position to compete once again.
Trailing right behind them are the New Orleans Saints. They had a better record than the Buccs last year but having lost their future Hall of Fame quarterback Drew Brees are likely to be significantly weaker. Jameis Winston has been named as the new starter; he could either take this team to the post season or run them into the ground.
The Carolina Panthers took a step in the right direction by grabbing Sam Darnold from the New York Jets whilst Christian McCaffrey coming back from injury is another big plus. They’re definitely on the right track but it still feels like this will be a year of progression and not playoffs.
The last remaining team in the NFC South is the Atlanta Falcons. They signed Kyle Pitts, which should be a solid addition but lost Julio Jones. Safe to say they aren’t ready to compete for the playoffs this year.
We started our NFC preview of the 2021 NFL seasons with the best division and end with the worst. The Washington Football Team are fancied to lead the pack with their new quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick. ‘Fitz’ as he is more affectionately known, is somewhat inconsistent but, given the strength of the other teams, a half decent year out of him should be enough.
Behind them you have the Dallas Cowboys. They’ll be a much better side this year with their offense boosted massively by the return of Dak Prescott. Assuming Prescott returns to form they could compete for a playoff spot but question marks remain over their defense.
The other teams in the division are the New York Giants, who have quietly gone about their business and could flirt with the playoffs. Daniel Jones will play a pivotal role to their success whilst Saquon Barkley, Adoree Jackson and Kenny Golladay help to round them off.
Last but not least we have the Philadelphia Eagles. Forget about them as, at best, they’re ‘in transition’ and at worst they are a mess. They’ve got a new head coach and a new starting and unproven quarterback in Jalen Hurts. It could workout for them longer term but this year? Not for our money.
Our 2021 NFL season preview moved onto the AFC and we begin with the Kansas City Chiefs. Not only do they boast Patrick Mahomes but they’ve bolstered their offensive line with Joe Thuney and Orlando Brown too. They’re nailed on for the playoffs and will fancy their chances of going to the Super Bowl again.
You’ve then got the Denver Broncos, who have Teddy Bridgewater to potentially take them to the playoffs but that is probably pushing their ceiling pretty hard.
Another team that will definitely hold playoff aspirations is the Los Angeles Chargers. Brandon Staley will have them solid on the defensive side of games and with Justin Herbert to throw the football around they’ll have a good chance of winning most games.
The Las Vegas Raiders complete the AFC West but it’s hard to see them doing much. Defensively they’re bang average with free agency addition Kenyan Drake hardly an upgrade on Josh Jacobs. A mediocre campaign awaits.
The AFC North is a division that is wide open and, as such, it’s going to be tough to get out of. The Pittsburgh Steelers topped the standings last year and have nabbed Najee Harris to finally establish a rushing attack. They did suffer a collapse last season though so there are a few doubts about their mentality.
The Baltimore Ravens probably fancy their chances here with Lamar Jackson a star at quarterback; they have just suffered a notable blow in pre-season though with J.K. Dobbins brutally tearing his ACL.
After sticking two fingers to the critics last year by reaching the divisional round the Cleveland Browns will fancy another run to the playoffs. They have also welcomed back Odell Beckham from his injury lay off, which instantly improves them.
Finally, we have the Cincinnati Bengals, they the only team that won’t be competing. Joe Burrow is phenomenal and it’s just a shame about the atrocious offensive line he has to work with. This group is just not ready to compete in 2021.
Next up in our 2021 NFL season preview is rather predictable AFC South. We begin with the Indianapolis Colts. They’ve got a talented roster who will fancy themselves for the post season. Just how far they go depends on Carston Wentz, who arrived in a trade deal. If he can get back to his MVP winning form then they could do it all. If he’s ‘meh’ then it will be a limp exit.
The Tennessee Titans are another franchise which will expect to playing the postseason this year. They added Julio Jones to an offense that already has A.J. Brown, Ryan Tannehill and Derrick Henry. Their defense raises some concerns but they should still have enough about them.
Then its the Jacksonville Jaguars, who have some hope behind Trevor Lawrence and should see some flashes of his superstar potential this year. Despite that, the rest of their roster is inexperienced and, frankly, not talented enough to make the postseason in a tough conference.
Finally, there is the Houston Texans. They’re a mess now that Deshaun Watson has demanded a move away and refuses to play for them. At least they can cling to the addition of running backs Mark Ingram and Philip Lindsay.
Last, but not least, we round off our 2021 NFL season preview with the AFC East, which is loaded with positives. The Buffalo Bills should be locked in for the postseason courtesy of the excellence of Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs. They also added Emmanuel Sanders to the fold in the offseason.
The Miami Dolphins are a young and hungry team that is just a quarterback away from Super Bowl contention. Tua Tagovailoa is the question mark. He was hyped in collegiate level football and if he can deliver anywhere close to his potential then they will make the cut.
The New York Jets haven’t had much to celebrate about in recent years; Zach Wilson could give them some life though. Don’t get us wrong, they still aren’t close to competing, it’s just that Wilson could speed that timeline up and, if nothing else, it gives fans hope for the future.
Lastly, we have the New England Patriots. They missed the playoffs last year but are getting a ton of players back after they opted out due to COVID-19 concerns in 2020. They need a class quarterback showing to prove they’ve not just been the Tom Brady Bunch all this time.
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