2021 NFL Season: Who Will Win Super Bowl 56 in Los Angeles?

by Alexis Kraft
1 comment

Predicting the NFL season is not easy. While it should have been obvious, very few people were picking Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to win. The 2021 NFL season will be just an unpredictable.

Last year, I decided to take on the seemingly impossible task of predicting every single game of the NFL season and postseason along with award predictions.

I decided to do so once again for the 2021 NFL season with detailed predictions and some bold takes. On the slight change that I get ANY of these predictions right, I will be considering myself a NFL season prophet. Bragging rights all around! 

I will break down each game by week, throwing in some wild stat predictions or player milestones. The odds of me correctly guessing even 10% of these predictions are low, but nevertheless, I am embarking on a noble quest to do my best.

I have bolded the winners for each match-up, for your convenience. 

Week 1

Cowboys at Buccaneers (TNF)
Seahawks at Colts
Jaguars at Texans
Eagles at Falcons
Chargers at Washington Football Team
Steelers at Bills
49ers at Lions
Vikings at Bengals
Jets at Panthers
Cardinals at Titans
Browns at Chiefs
Dolphins at Patriots
Broncos at Giants
Packers at Saints
Bears at Rams (SNF)
Ravens at Raiders (MNF)

To start off the first Week of the 2021 NFL season, I don’t predict there will be too many surprises. The first game of the season has the Dallas Cowboys traveling to Tampa Bay to take on the reigning Super Bowl champions.

I expect the Bucs to blow “dem’ boyz” out on their home turf. Sunday brings a potential upset, with the Kansas City Chiefs losing at home to the Cleveland Browns. My prediction for this game is that Baker Mayfield throws for 3+ touchdowns against a less-than-stellar Chiefs secondary. I also predict that Nick Chubb rushes for over 100 yards.

Sunday night football will be a showdown between the Los Angeles Rams, and the visiting Chicago Bears. Unfortunately, I don’t think this will be an exciting game. The Rams should easily defeat the Bears in SoFi Stadium. 

Week 2

Giants at Washington Football Team (TNF)
Raiders at Steelers
49ers at Eagles
Texans at Browns
Broncos at Jaguars
Saints at Panthers
Rams at Colts
Bills at Dolphins
Patriots at Jets
Bengals at Bears
Falcons at Buccaneers
Vikings at Cardinals
Titans at Seahawks
Cowboys at Chargers
Chiefs at Ravens
Lions at Packers (MNF)

Week 2 of the 2021 NFL Season will be packed with the most last-second, close win games that we see all season. To start us off on Thursday night, there will be an epic showdown between the New York Giants and Washington Football Team in D.C.

The battle between New York’s revamped offense and Washington’s strong defense will be the highlight of the game. Saquon Barkley will put on a show, rushing for over 100 yards and scoring two touchdowns: one rushing, one receiving. Terry McLaurin will also score two touchdowns for Washington. The game will be decided on a field goal at the end of the game by Dustin Hopkins

Expect a similar game from the Patriots vs. Jets in which Zach Wilson will earn his first win of the 2021 NFL season by throwing a last minute touchdown to Elijah Moore. This will be the Jets’ first win over the New England Patriots in ten years.

I also expect the Titans to beat the Seahawks in a thriller in Seattle, with Sunday night’s match up of Chiefs vs. Ravens being an epic battle between Patrick Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. Ultimately, I predict Clyde Edwards-Helaire rushing for a last minute touchdown for the Chiefs, sealing an important win. 

Week 3

Panthers vs. Texans (TNF)
Chargers at Chiefs
Cardinals at Jaguars
Bears at Browns
Washington at Bills
Colts at Titans
Saints at Patriots
Falcons at Giants
Bengals at Steelers
Ravens at Lions
Jets at Broncos
Dolphins at Raiders
Buccaneers at Rams
Seahawks at Vikings
Packers at 49ers (SNF)
Eagles at Cowboys (MNF)

The story of the 2021 NFL season in Week 3 will most likely be the Bengals upset win over the Steelers in Pittsburgh. My expectation is that Joe Burrow and Ja’marr Chase have an electric connection that heats up as the season goes on. Burrow will throw at least two touchdowns to Chase in this game. While the Steelers defense has an unusually shaky game, the Bengals capitalize and win a division matchup.

The Titans barely squeak out a win against the Colts at home, while Lamar Jackson throws five touchdowns against the Detroit Lions. Unfortunately, the Buccaneers win a a close game against the Rams in Los Angeles, while the Seattle Seahawks steadily defeat the Minnesota Vikings in Minneapolis.

On Sunday night, Aaron Rodgers will go ballistic for his typical revenge game against the 49ers, throwing four touchdowns in a blow-out win for the Packers. Monday night’s match-up is barely watchable, with a boring game between the Eagles and Cowboys. The Cowboys win because of Ezekiel Elliott. Apparently, the extra muscle he’s added in the offseason helped.

Week 4

Jaguars at Bengals (TNF)
Titans at Jets
Lions at Bears
Colts at Dolphins
Browns at Vikings
Washington at Falcons
Texans at Bills
Giants at Saints
Chiefs at Eagles
Panthers at Cowboys
Seahawks at 49ers
Cardinals at Rams
Steelers at Packers
Ravens at Broncos
Buccaneers at Patriots (SNF)
Raiders at Chargers (MNF)

Thursday night’s matchup between the Jaguars and Bengals of the 2021 NFL season is going to be surprisingly thrilling. Trevor Lawrence versus Joe Burrow is something we have all seen before. I don’t expect their college rivalry to disappear now that they’re both in the NFL. Both QB’s will throw for at least three touchdowns, with Joe Burrow managing to seal a win for his team with a last minute bomb to Ja’marr Chase (like I’ve said, don’t sleep).

Josh Allen from the Jaguars will have two sacks, while Travis Etienne will have a touchdown run for over 60 yards.

On Sunday, Jared Goff will win his first game as a Detroit Lion in Chicago, having an impressive performance against Khalil Mack and the Bears defense. Cooper Kupp of the Los Angeles Rams will have three touchdowns against the Arizona Cardinals, while Davante Adams has a flashy game of two touchdowns against the Steelers. The highlight of the week will be Tom Brady’s return to New England, where he will steadily beat the New England Patriots and throw for three touchdowns against his former team. 

Week 5

Rams at Seahawks (TNF)
Jets at Falcons
Patriots at Texans
Lions at Vikings
Eagles at Panthers
Saints at Washington
Titans at Jaguars
Dolphins at Buccaneers
Packers at Bengals
Broncos at Steelers
Bears at Raiders
Browns at Chargers
Giants at Cowboys
49ers at Cardinals
Bills at Chiefs (SNF)
Colts at Ravens (TNF)

This week of the 2021 NFL season starts off with the Rams winning a tightly contested game against the Seahawks in Seattle. Matthew Stafford throws a late-game touchdown to Robert Woods. Jalen Ramsey also will have an outstanding interception this game. Aaron Donald sacks Russell Wilson; no doubt causing Russell to complain, once again, to Pete Carroll about getting sacked so much.

On Sunday, watch out for a few upsets.

For starters, the Jets will squeak out a win against the Atlanta Falcons during their game in London. Then, the Dolphins will deliver a major upset to the Buccaneers in Tampa, in large part to Jaylen Waddle’s multi-touchdown game. The Cleveland Browns will also win a physical game against the Chargers in Los Angeles, with Odell Beckham Jr. scoring his first two touchdown game in over two years. Lastly, the Bills will steadily defeat the Chiefs in Kansas City. On Monday night, the Ravens will blow-out the Colts. Obviously. 

Week 6

Buccaneers at Eagles (TNF)
Dolphins at Jaguars
Vikings at Panthers
Chargers at Ravens
Rams at Giants
Texans at Colts
Chiefs at Washington
Packers at Bears
Bengals at Lions
Cardinals at Browns
Cowboys at Patriots
Raiders at Broncos
Seahawks at Steelers (SNF)
Bills at Titans (MNF)

Look out for a pretty boring Week 6 of the 2021 NFL season from a matchup standpoint. The most exciting matchup is probably going to be the Dolphins and Jaguars in London, with the Dolphins just barely beating the Jaguars. I expect the Jaguars to play well despite their loss. Trevor Lawrence looks electric, throwing for three touchdowns.

The Packers lose in Chicago, in an outrageous upset, because the Bears defense steps up, as they must, against Aaron Rodgers. The Bears defense rises to the occasion and David Montgomery also rushes for two touchdowns.

The Raiders barely beat the Broncos in Denver, with an outrageous play for Derek Carr late in the fourth quarter, resulting in a touchdown. Monday night brings a somewhat interesting matchup between the Bills and Titans. Ultimately Josh Allen pulls the Bills to a narrow win in Tennessee. 

Week 7

Broncos at Browns (TNF)
Chiefs at Titans
Washington at Packers
Bengals at Ravens
Panthers at Giants
Falcons at Dolphins
Jets at Patriots
Eagles at Raiders
Lions at Rams
Bears at Buccaneers
Texans at Cardinals
Colts at 49ers (SNF)
Saints at Seahawks (MNF)

The biggest story of Week 7 of the 2021 NFL season is going to be that the Texans get their first win of the season against the Arizona Cardinals. It will be an absolute head scratcher of a game, with many wondering how the Cardinals managed to lose to the Texans, the worst team in the football. Nevertheless, the Texans will win, cementing one of two wins that they get next season.

Sam Darnold will put on a show in his old stomping grounds of MetLife, leading his Panthers to a steady victory against the Giants. Jalen Hurts will have an incredible game in Las Vegas against the Raiders, throwing for FIVE touchdowns. Carson Wentz also will somehow manage to lead his Colts to a narrow win over the 49ers in San Francisco. 

Week 8

Packers at Cardinals (TNF)
Panthers at Falcons
Titans at Colts
Dolphins at Bills
Bengals at Jets
Steelers at Browns
Eagles at Lions
Rams at Texans
49ers at Bears
Patriots at Chargers
Jaguars at Seahawks
Buccaneers at Saints
Washington at Broncos
Cowboys at Vikings (SNF)
Giants at Chiefs (MNF)

The biggest story of Week 8 of the 2021 NFL season is going to be Trey Lance vs. Justin Fields in Chicago. At this point in the 2021 NFL season, both of these rookie quarterbacks will already be starting. It won’t be a pretty game from either quarterback, but they will both show signs of promise as Justin Fields leads his team to a narrow win at home.

For a relatively boring week, there will be a thriller in New Orleans as the Buccaneers take on the Saints. The Buccaneers will end up winning a close game, but the real story is going to be Alvin Kamara’s three touchdown game in a dominating performance. Sunday night’s game will be boring, but surprising to many. The Cowboys win a low-scoring game on the road against the Vikings.

Week 9

Jets at Colts (TNF)
Raiders at Giants
Falcons at Saints
Bills at Jaguars
Browns at Bengals
Patriots at Panthers
Broncos at Cowboys
Vikings at Ravens
Texans at Dolphins
Chargers at Eagles
Packers at Chiefs
Cardinals at 49ers
Titans at Rams (SNF)
Bears at Steelers (MNF)

Darren Waller will score three touchdowns against the New York Giants. It will be one of the most dominating performances we’ve seen from a tight end in a long time. Joe Burrow will lead the Bengals to a thrilling win against the Browns in Cincinnati, in a game that no one expects the Bengals to win. Once again, Ja’marr Chase exceeds expectations and puts on a show.

Drew Lock delivers for the Broncos in Dallas, throwing for three touchdowns in his best performance to date. Jerry Jeudy will put on a show for the -other- Jerry (Jones) in Dallas. Justin Herbert will also have an incredible week against the Eagles, finding Keenan Allen twice in the end zone.

The Titans will barely beat the Rams on Sunday night football in Los Angeles, winning via a field goal in the last seconds of the game. On Monday night, Justin Fields will light it up against the Steelers in Pittsburgh, completing an upset win for his team. 

Week 10

Ravens at Dolphins (TNF)
Saints at Titans
Bills at Jets
Lions at Steelers
Jaguars at Colts
Buccaneers at Washington
Browns at Patriots
Falcons at Cowboys
Panthers at Cardinals
Vikings at Chargers
Eagles at Broncos
Seahawks at Packers
Chiefs at Raiders (SNF)
Rams at 49ers (MNF)

Najee Harris has his best game of the 2021 NFL season against the Detroit Lions, rushing for two touchdowns. Harris will add a receiving touchdown in a stellar win. Carson Wentz finds Michael Pittman Jr. twice in the end zone, with Johnathan Taylor rushing for two touchdowns to give the Colts a commanding win over their division rival Jaguars at home.

Russell Wilson will pull off an (upset?) against the Packers in Green Bay, with D’Wayne Eskridge getting his first touchdown of the season. The Chiefs will beat the Raiders in Las Vegas, although not by much. 

Week 11

Patriots at Falcons (TNF)
Ravens at Bears
Packers at Vikings
Colts at Bills
Lions at Browns
Washington at Panthers
Texans at Titans
49ers at Jaguars
Dolphins at Jets
Saints at Eagles
Bengals at Raiders
Cowboys at Chiefs
Cardinals at Seahawks
Steelers at Chargers (SNF)
Giants at Buccaneers (MNF)

The Patriots are going to obliterate the Falcons on Thursday night football, except they won’t have to come back from any lead like they did in the infamous Patriots-Falcons super bowl. It will be an easy win, with Mac Jones starting his first game of the season.

Ron Rivera will beat his former Panthers in a close game in Carolina. Terry McLaurin will score a game winning touchdown with less than a minute left. Zach Wilson will absolutely dominate in an upset-win in Miami, leading his team to victory with four touchdown passes.

Kyler Murray will manage to pull off an upset in Seattle, in large part to adding rushing yards himself. Daniel Jones will lose to the Buccaneers on Monday Night Football, but not before throwing three touchdown passes and escaping some crazy sacks. 

Week 12

Bears at Lions (TNF)
Raiders at Cowboys
Bills at Saints
Steelers at Bengals
Panthers at Dolphins
Eagles at Giants
Titans at Patriots
Falcons at Jaguars
Buccaneers at Colts
Jets at Texans
Chargers at Broncos
Vikings at 49ers
Rams at Packers
Browns at Ravens (SNF)
Seahawks at Washington (MNF)

The highlight of Week 12 of the 2021 NFL season will be a crazy game between the Raiders and the Cowboys. Derek Carr will play unusually elite, teaming up with Henry Ruggs for three touchdowns. Josh Jacobs will also rush for over 100 yards.

However, Dak Prescott will throw for three touchdowns of his own, including one to Zeke Elliott. A sack by Maxx Crosby on fourth and goal will ultimately win the game for the Raiders.

In Miami, Sam Darnold will rush for a last minute touchdown to lead his Panthers to victory. Dalvin Cook will rush for over 100 yards and get two touchdowns in San Francisco, to lead his Vikings to a win.

The Rams will put up a valiant effort in Green Bay, but ultimately be overpowered by the combination of Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams. 

Week 13

Cowboys at Saints (TNF)
Colts at Texans
Vikings at Lions
Giants at Dolphins
Buccaneers at Falcons
Broncos at Chiefs
Eagles at Jets
Cardinals at Bears
Chargers at Bengals
Washington at Raiders
Jaguars at Rams
Ravens at Steelers
49ers at Seahawks (SNF)
Patriots at Bills (MNF)

Jalen Hurts will fight for his life in New York, leading his team to a narrow win against the Jets by rushing for two touchdowns. Justin Fields will use the home crowd’s energy in Chicago to lead his Bears to a solid upset victory against the Arizona Cardinals.

The Rams will blow-out the Jaguars, while Lamar Jackson narrowly defeats the Steelers in Pittsburgh. Jackson throws a perfect touchdown pass to Mark Andrews. On Monday night, Josh Allen will look exceptional with 3+ touchdowns against the New England Patriots at home.

Week 14

Steelers at Vikings (TNF)
Saints at Jets
49ers at Bengals
Falcons at Panthers
Seahawks at Texans
Raiders at Chiefs
Ravens at Browns
Cowboys at Washington
Jaguars at Titans
Giants at Chargers
Lions at Broncos
Bills at Buccaneers
Bears at Packers
Rams at Cardinals

The Vikings will win an upset at home in Minneapolis because of Justin Jefferson. He will make a couple phenomenal plays against a tough Steelers defense that will ensure his team’s victory. A massive battle in Cleveland between the Ravens and Browns will be chippy, with J.K. Dobbins winning the game on a phenomenal run.

Justin Herbert and Daniel Jones duke it out in Los Angeles (get the reference?), with Herbert prevailing by a narrow margin. Josh Allen outperforms Tom Brady in Tampa, steadily beating the Buccaneers. 

Week 15

Chiefs at Chargers (TNF)
Raiders at Browns
Patriots at Colts
Panthers at Bills
Washington at Eagles
Jets at Dolphins
Titans at Steelers
Packers at Ravens
Texans at Jaguars
Cowboys at Giants
Cardinals at Lions
Bengals at Broncos
Falcons at 49ers
Seahawks at Rams
Saints at Buccaneers (SNF)
Vikings at Bears (MNF)

The Chiefs and Chargers will put on an absolute show for Thursday night football in Week 15 of the 2021 NFL season. Mahomes said he would believe Herbert is a threat “when he see’s it”, and well, he is going to wish he hadn’t.

Herbert will throw for 3+ touchdowns, leading his team to a narrow victory at home in Los Angeles. The Chargers defense will also sack Mahomes four times.

Carson Wentz will have his best game of the season at home against New England, finding T.Y. Hilton in the end zone twice. Lamar Jackson will pull off an upset against the Packers by finding rookie Rashod Bateman in the end zone twice. J.K. Dobbins will also rush for over 100 yards.

Tom Brady will throw 3+ touchdowns against the Saints, including to rookie Jaelon Darden for his first career touchdown. 

Week 16

49ers at Titans (TNF)
Browns at Packers (Saturday)
Colts at Cardinals (Saturday)
Lions at Falcons
Rams at Vikings
Jaguars at Jets
Giants at Eagles
Bills at Patriots
Ravens at Bengals
Chargers at Texans
Buccaneers at Panthers
Bears at Seahawks
Broncos at Raiders
Steelers at Chiefs
Washington at Cowboys (SNF)
Dolphins at Saints (MNF)

Week 16 of the 2021 NFL season starts off with a surprising nail-biter in Nashville between the 49ers and the Titans. Trey Lance will find Brandon Aiyuk and Deebo Samuel in the end zone; as well as rush for a touchdown of his own.

Ryan Tannehill will ultimately prevail, however, by finding Julio Jones twice and having the reliable Derrick Henry run in for a few touchdowns. Nevertheless, the game will be close and a fun Thursday Night Football experience.

The battle between the No. 1 and No. 2 overall picks, Trevor Lawrence and Zach Wilson, will occur in New York. Lawrence ultimately prevails as the winner by leading his team to a close win over the Jets. Both rookie quarterbacks will shine, proving they were worthy of their high picks. Saquon Barkley will rush for three touchdowns against the Philadelphia Eagles in a blow-out. 

Week 17

Giants at Bears
Jaguars at Patriots
Buccaneers at Jets
Falcons at Bills
Chiefs at Bengals
Cardinals at Cowboys
Dolphins at Titans
Raiders at Colts
Eagles at Washington
Panthers at Saints
Broncos at Chargers
Texans at 49ers
Rams at Ravens
Lions at Seahawks
Vikings at Packers (SNF)
Browns at Steelers (MNF)

AJ Green will have a phenomenal week for the Arizona Cardinals this week against the Dallas Cowboys. In what will be a close game, Arizona ultimately will prevail because of their much-improved defense.

The Dolphins will win a close game in Tennessee against the Titans, due to a two sack game from rookie Jaelen Phillips. Rookie Jevon Holland will also get an interception for Miami. Washington football team will win a close game with their division rival, the Philadelphia Eagles, with running back Antonio Gibson rushing for over 100 yards and two touchdowns. 

Week 18

Washington at Giants
Bengals at Browns
Saints at Falcons
Steelers at Ravens
Jets at Bills
Packers at Lions
Panthers at Buccaneers
Colts at Jaguars
Patriots at Dolphins
Bears at Vikings
Cowboys at Eagles
Titans at Texans
Chiefs at Broncos
Chargers at Raiders
Seahawks at Cardinals
49ers at Rams (SNF)

The last week of the 2021 NFL season will be intense due to the division rival matchups that often prove crucial for playoff seeding. While there aren’t any crazy upsets this week, the Broncos will put up an impressive “last stand” against the Chiefs, forcing the Chiefs to kick a field goal for a last minute victory.

The Raiders will ultimately lose to the Chargers, but not before Justin Herbert is sacked four times. The Seahawks will also win narrowly in Arizona, with DK Metcalf powering through a few defenders for a last minute touchdown. 

NFC West Standings

Los Angeles Rams: 14-3
Seattle Seahawks: 11-6
San Francisco 49ers: 8-9
Arizona Cardinals: 7-10

To my excitement, I confidently predict that the Rams will win the NFC West this season. The Rams have their most talented roster in decades. Should they be lucky enough to be relatively healthy this season, execute their gameplay, and play to their full potential, the Rams should easily win the NFC West.

The Seahawks will be a team to look out for. The new Seahawks offense of Russell Wilson, DK Metcalf, D’Wayne Eskridge, Tyler Lockett, Gerald Everett and Chris Carson will be solid. I am not entirely sold on the Seahawks defense yet, which is why I expect them to still lose six games.

As far as the 49ers go, I do expect Trey Lance to take over for Jimmy Garappolo before mid-season. However, I expect Lance to endure the typical NFL Quarterback growing pains, taking a bit to find his rhythm. The 49ers defense should perform better than they did last season, led by a healthy Nick Bosa.

As far as the Cardinals go, I just don’t see all their new pieces meshing that well together. Sure, they have Kyler Murray, DeAndre Hopkins, AJ Green, Christian Kirk, James Conner and rookie Rondale Moore. However, that is a lot of new pieces that I don’t expect to work as fluidly together as they appear. The Cardinals defense should play well this season, however. I don’t think JJ Watt makes as big of an impact as expected.

NFC East Standings

New York Giants: 9-8
Washington: 7-10
Dallas Cowboys: 6-11
Philadelphia Eagles: 5-12

The NFC East has the reputation for being the “worst division in football”, which at times is fair, but not due to lack of talent. NFC East teams just don’t seem to execute on game day, and I don’t think that changes this season.

However, I do expect the New York Giants to surprise people by being the most dominant team in their division. A lot of people aren’t sold on Daniel Jones as being the new heir at quarterback for the Giants, but this season he will have Kenny Gollady, Darius Slayton, rookie Kadarius Toney, Saquon Barkley, Evan Engram and Kyle Rudolph at his disposable. Jones steps up and leads this offense to new heights (albeit, 9-8 “heights” but you get what I mean).

Washington Football Team has the best defense by far in this division, but I am not sold on their offense yet. Ryan Fitzpatrick is the best quarterback on their roster, and will most definitely be the starter for Washington for most, if not all, of the season. Their offense, with the exception of Terry McLaurin and Antonio Gibson, is less than stellar. The defense will keep Washington competitive.

Some might be surprised that I have the Dallas Cowboys going 6-11, but this is mostly due to the difficulty in their schedule. Surprisingly, the Dallas Cowboys defense could find it’s rhythm this season, with the additions of rookies Micah Parsons, Kelvin Joseph and Israel Mukuamu.

Lastly, the Philadelphia Eagles just seem like a bunch of misfits on offense. While Jalen Hurts showed flashes of potential last season, I am not completely sold on him yet. A wide receiver group of Devonta Smith, Jalen Reagor, Travis Fulgham and Quez Watkins just seems awkward. It doesn’t get much better for the Eagles on defense either, with the only stars being Fletcher Cox and Darius Slay.

NFC North Standings

Green Bay Packers: 13-4
Minnesota Vikings: 8-9
Detroit Lions: 6-11
Chicago Bears: 5-12

I know what you’re thinking; another division where the majority of the teams have a losing record. I have to admit, I was surprised when I was doing my predictions by how many teams have losing records this year. There is a huge disparity between teams having “easy” schedules, and teams having “difficult” schedules this year.

I should point out, as you read earlier, that I am expecting Aaron Rodgers to play for the Packers this season. Rodgers will feel that he has a lot of prove and to play with a major chip on his shoulder. Davante Adams and rookie Amari Rodgers should get the majority of passes this season, while Aaron Jones leads the run game.

As far as the Vikings go, I am not particularly hopeful that their offense does much, with the obvious exception of Justin Jefferson. My faith in Kirk Cousins is somewhat dwindling, so expect a heavy emphasis on Dalvin Cook on the run game.

Jared Goff and the Detroit Lions will have a less than impressive season. Their wide receiver core is just not good, with rookie Amon-Ra St. Brown already looking like the most talented of the group. Breshard Perriman, Tyrell Williams, and Quintez Cephus aren’t going to get the job done.

Lastly, the Chicago Bears might not have the best season in terms of wins, but expect rookie quarterback Justin Fields to give the city of Chicago hope again. While I don’t think Fields will start the season for the Bears, I do expect him to come in mid-season and impress. The Bears defense should perform well per usual, which keeps them competitive. 

NFC South Standings

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 15-2
Atlanta Falcons: 7-10
Carolina Panthers: 6-11
New Orleans Saints: 4-13

Some of you might not like to hear this, but the Buccaneers are going to be even better this season than they were last season. Aside from quarterback Tom Brady, the Bucs gave brought back their entire super bowl winning offense.

The Atlanta Falcons might have lost all-star receiver Julio Jones, but they added the best tight end prospect in a decade with Kyle Pitts. Calvin Ridley and Gage Russell are impressive receivers, while rookie Frank Darby should also contribute significantly. The defense doesn’t have a lot of talent and it’s because of the offense this team wins seven games.

The Carolina Panthers are led by quarterback Sam Darnold this season, who I expect to play well. With all-star running back Christian McCaffrey and a wide receiver trip of DJ Moore, Robby Anderson and rookie Terrace Marshall, I think the Panthers offense will get into a good grove this season.

The Saints are going to play terrible this season. I just don’t think Jameis Winston or Taysom Hill is going to cut it at quarterback. The only real weapons that the Saints have on offense are Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, who won’t perform as well without a great quarterback. The Saints defense is also abysmal, with the exception of Marcus Davenport and Marshon Lattimore. However, expect some good play from defensive rookies Payton Turner, Pete Werner and Paulson Adebo. 

AFC West Standings

Los Angeles Chargers: 14-3
Kansas City Chiefs: 14-3
Las Vegas Raiders: 7-10
Denver Broncos: 4-13

Watch out for the Los Angeles Chargers this season. Seriously. I expect Justin Herbert to have his best season yet, which could only be hindered by a potential lack of weapons on offense. The real story here though might be the defense; Joey Bosa, Justin Jones, Jerry Tillery and Uchenna Nwosu up front will give opposing offenses problems.

The Kansas City Chiefs will be good this season (shocker) with the only thing really hindering them being their defense. While they have some stars in Chris Jones and Tyrann Matheiu, their secondary is shaky.

The Las Vegas Raiders will be okay. I’m just not a huge ran of their receiving core, with the exception of Henry Ruggs III. The real backbone of the Raiders offense is going to be the duo of Josh Jacobs and Kenyan Drake. The Raiders defense could potentially surprise people, with rookies Trevon Moehrig and Malcom Koonce getting a lot of playing time.

Lastly, the Denver Broncos are going to struggle this season. As much as I like Drew Lock, something hasn’t been clicking for him on Denver’s offense. Something to look out for from the Broncos defense are rookie cornerbacks Patrick Surtain II and Kary Vincent Jr., who I expect to play very well this season. 

AFC East Standings

Buffalo Bills: 15-2
New England Patriots: 9-8
Miami Dolphins: 9-8
New York Jets: 4-13

Long are the days that the New England Patriots easily clinched the AFC East division. This season, the Bills will absolutely dominate. I have to admit, I’m not the biggest fan of their wide receiver core, since I think Stefon Diggs is their only true elite receiver. But thanks to Josh Allen, I expect Gabriel Davis, Isaiah Hodgins, and rookie Marquez Stevenson to have good seasons.

The New England Patriots garnered a lot of attention in the offseason by signing a lot of star free agents, such as tight ends Jonnu Smith and Hunter Henry. I’m just not sold on their quarterback situation. A good running back duo of Damien Harris and rookie Rhamondre Stevenson will keep the Patriots offense fluid.

The Miami Dolphins will play well this season, with a solid wide receiver trio of DeVante Parker, Will Fuller and rookie Jaylen Waddle. Quarterback Tua Tagovailoa will have to play better, however, to solidify his status as Miami’s franchise quarterback.

Lastly, while the New York Jets have added a potentially dangerous quarterback in Zach Wilson, there’s a lot of transition happening. I expect the Jets defense to play well under new head coach Robert Saleh, who is notoriously a great defensive mind, but I just expect them to take time to adjust.

AFC North Standings

Cleveland Browns: 13-3
Baltimore Ravens: 12-5
Cincinnati Bengals: 6-11
Pittsburgh Steelers: 5-12

The Cleveland Browns might have the most complete roster of the 2021 NFL season. If said any time within the last decade, would have been a cruel joke, considering the Browns history. But, I really mean it. With an offense led by Baker Mayfield, I expect the Browns offense to play on an elite level this season. However, their defense might even be more impressive with Myles Garrett leading the way.

The Baltimore Ravens will see a resurgence this season with the help of quarterback Lamar Jackson. I’m excited to see what the wide receiver duo of Marquise Brown and rookie Rashod Bateman open up for Jackson. The Ravens defense might not necessarily play on a high level, but look out for linebacker Patrick Queen and cornerback Marlon Humphrey to stand out.

The Bengals will have Joe Burrow back this season, who had to leave his rookie season early due to a torn ACL. This season, I expect him and his old college receive Ja’Marr Chase to have an electric connection. The Bengals defense is a wild card.

Lastly, I just am not sold on the Pittsburgh Steelers this season. I do think they have some offensive threats in receivers JuJu Smith-Schuster, Chase Claypool and Diontae Johnson, along with rookie running back Najee Harris, but Big Ben is on the decline. I’m not entirely enthusiastic about their offensive line, either.

AFC South Standings

Tennessee Titans: 14-3
Indianapolis Colts: 8-9
Jacksonville Jaguars: 3-13
Houston Texans: 2-14

Some might say that I’m too high on the Titans, but I don’t think so at all. Ryan Tannehill played well last season, and this season he will have Julio Jones and AJ Brown as his receiver tandem, along with Josh Reynolds and rookie Dez Fitpatrick. Running back Derrick Henry is arguably the best in the NFL right now, and I expect him to have another electric season.

The Colts have a new quarterback in Carson Wentz, but I don’t think he will improve much from his final seasons in Philadelphia.The Colts might have a sneakily good defense, however, with linebackers Bobby Okereke and Darius Leonard teaming up with rookie Kwity Paye.

The Jaguars, unfortunately for Trevor Lawrence fans, will really struggle this season. I don’t have faith in Urban Meyers to completely transform this team. Travis Etienne and James Robinson might be a good one-two punch for the run game, but I expect an awkward game plan from Urban Meyer.

Lastly, the Houston Texans, who in my opinion are the worst team in football, will be cringeworthy this season. While I like Tyrod Taylor at quarterback, it feels like the Texans just took a bunch of random receivers and threw them on the roster. The defense also seems confusing, with not much going on except Charles Omenihu and Ross Blacklock. The Texans most likely will be in tank mode for a franchise quarterback in 2022. 

WILD CARD Weekend

Chargers at Browns
Ravens at Titans
Patriots at Chiefs

Seahawks at Giants
Vikings at Packers
49ers at Rams 

I’m not sure about you, but it still feels a little strange to me to have six games during wild card weekend. However, it’s more football to watch, and I will never complain about that.

To start, I think the Chargers and Browns game will be close, but the Browns will ultimately overtake the chargers due to their more talented roster. I think the Browns tough secondary will be too much for Justin Herbert to overcome.

The Titans will beat the Ravens at home, in large part due to their unstoppable wide receiver duo of Julio Jones and AJ Brown, which will prove to be too much for a less than awesome Ravens secondary.

New England will lose heavily in Kansas City, with the Chiefs defeating the Patriots easily. Look out for rookie Cornell Powell to have a big game, as well as running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire to rush for over 100 yards. 

The NFC will start off with the Seahawks embarrassing the Giants in New Jersey. I just think the Seahawks offense will overtake an “okay” Giants defense. DK Metcalf will also show off, having a flashy touchdown that remains a highlight for weeks.

The Packers will make their home crowd of Green Bay happy by defeating their division rival, the Vikings, by a large margin. Aaron Rodgers will throw for 3+ touchdowns, with two of them being to rookie Amari Rodgers. The Vikings will leave pretty embarrassed, but they lost to the much better team.

Lastly, the Rams will win at home against their division rival, the 49ers, by two touchdowns. Matthew Stafford will earn his first playoff win, throwing for three touchdowns. Rams running back Cam Akers won’t score a touchdown, but he will still impress with some solid runs.

Divisional Round

Titans at Chiefs
Browns at Bills

Packers at Rams
Seahawks and Buccaneers 

The AFC divisional round playoffs will start with an electrifying game between the Titans the Chiefs, that goes to overtime. AJ Brown will play out of his mind, absolutely dominating the Chiefs secondary and making some memorable plays. However, Patrick Mahomes will step up during overtime to throw an amazing touchdown pass to DeMarcus Robinson, sealing the playoff win for the Chiefs.

The Browns will upset the Bills in Buffalo, winning by a touchdown towards the end of the game. However, the Bills will dominate the Browns for most of the game, which will make their loss even more upsetting. 

The Packers and the Rams will have an absolute battle in Los Angeles, fueled by their electrifying offenses. Matthew Stafford will find Cooper Kupp for two touchdowns, with one being late in the game that ultimately leads the Rams to a narrow win. However, Davante Adams will have his best playoff performance to date, with at least two touchdowns. The Rams ultimately win, but expect this to be a game people talk about for a long time.

Unfortunately for the Seahawks, the Buccaneers will win easily at home. Tom Brady will look how he typically does in the playoffs: polished and prepared. The Seahawks defense will ultimately fall apart, leaving Tampa Bay cheering for their winning Buccaneers all night long. 

Conference Championships

Browns vs. Chiefs

Rams vs. Buccaneers 

I expect a major upset win for the Browns over the Chiefs in playoff championship. This is solely because the Browns defense is simply more talented, and talented enough to take on even the electric Chiefs offense. It will be a shock, but the Browns will win by at least two touchdowns. Be on the lookout for Baker Mayfield to play better than he ever has.

For the NFC, I expect a major battle.

The Rams will be the underdogs, going into Tampa Bay to take on the reigning Super Bowl champion Buccaneers. However, Matthew Stafford is hungry to prove himself, as is the rest of the Rams team. Be on the lookout for an experienced Robert Woods to make some big plays over the Buccaneers secondary. It’s going to be a game that Rams fans talk about for decades. 

Super Bowl

Browns vs. Rams

The Los Angeles Rams will win the Super Bowl in their home stadium of SoFi for the first time since 2000. It will be a close game, that is led by both teams impressive defenses. While low-scoring, both teams will capitalize on the few offensive opportunities that they do get. Odell Beckham Jr. and Cooper Kupp have insane touchdown grabs. Ultimately, in the end, the Rams will defeat the Browns by a touchdown in the fourth quarter from Cam Akers. 

Awards

2021 NFL Season MVP: Justin Herbert
Offensive Player of the Year: Derrick Henry
Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Donald
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Ja’marr Chase
Defensive Rookier of the Year: Jaelen Phillips
Comeback Player of the Year: Saquon Barkley
Coach of the Year: Sean McVay

Some will be surprised that I have projected Justin Herbert to the be the 2021 NFL season MVP, especially because I am not completely sold on his supporting cast for offense. However, I have seen tremendous growth and potential from Herbert. He will be the catalyst for a surprisingly successful Chargers offense.

Derrick Henry is probably not a surprising pick for Offensive Player of the Year. However, with opposing teams putting so much emphasis on the wide receiver duo of AJ Brown and Julio Jones, they might shockingly allow for dominating performances from Derrick Henry.

Defensively, Aaron Donald will continue being a par above the rest. I’m not saying this as a biased Rams fan: there has never been a defensive player like Aaron Donald, and everyone knows it. 

For the rookies, I think it will be an easy choice to pick Ja’Marr Chase as Offensive Rookie of the Year. He will have an electric connection with Joe Burrow, and dominate most games he is in. On the defensive side, Jaelen Phillips might shock people by absolutely crushing his opponents every game. He will be in a good scheme in Miami, and will show that he was deserving of all the hype he had going into the draft.

Comeback Player of the Year is going to go to Saquon Barkley. After tearing his ACL in Week 2 of the 2020 NFL Season, Barkley will be on a mission to make up for lost time. With an improved Giants offense and offensive line, I expect Barkley to lead the NFL in rushing yards this upcoming season. 

Lastly, Sean McVay will win Coach of the Year. His only real competition might be his former protege Brandon Staley of the Chargers. McVay will find success in an improved offensive scheme with Matthew Stafford, making him a great choice for this award.

So, in short, I have the Los Angeles Rams defeating the Cleveland Browns in the 2022 Super Bowl I expect it to be a thrilling game, but one in which the Rams easily win in their home stadium of SoFi.

The 2021 NFL season is one that I am much looking forward to; after the 2020 season with empty stadiums, intense covid protocols, and a world on fire, I think we can all agree that it feels good to have football – per usual – back. 

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Joe
Joe
4 days ago

Haha you’re not winning the Super Bowl this year. Keep dreaming.

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