The NFL 2021 season is upon us soon! Baseline Times brings you the official NFL 2021 Division Previews. We hope to give you the guidance of many fantasy football wins, success on your betting tickets, and ultimately may your team satisfy you this season. Check out our NFL 2021 Division previews below!
Adam & Mitch return to the 1st & 10 Podcast for the 2021 NFL season! In this episode, the dynamic duo refreshes everyone’s mind about the offseason and move on to 2021 predictions!
Only one new Quarterback enters the NFC West this season while another stays after advising that he needed more protection. Hello J.J. Watt and welcome to the NFC! On paper one could say this division looks like one of the toughest. However, in 2020 it may have been a little underwhelming for the teams that made the playoffs. The Rams and Seahawks battled in Wild Card weekend only to have Los Angeles move on and lose in Green Bay in the Divisional Round. This divisional should have the eyes on a potential disruptor to another Brady-Rodgers NFC Championship game. Let’s get on with the NFC West 2021 preview!
- Key Additions: DL J.J Watt, WR A.J. Green, CB Malcolm Butler, QB Colt McCoy
- Key losses: LB Haason Reddick, RB Kenyan Drake, TE Dan Arnold
- Starting Quarterback: Kyler Murray
- Last season: 8-8
2021 outlook: It’s hard to say that the Cardinals didn’t have one of the better offseasons and addressed the bigger holes. With J.J. Watt and Malcolm Butler entering the defense gets veteran help that can still be effective at a high level. The Cardinals defense finished tied for fourth place in total sacks with 48 in 2020 (Tampa Bay also had 48 sacks). Murray has to take another leap as a young QB and adding A.J. Green as another veteran WR helps the case. It’s time for the Cardinals to land a spot in the playoffs but the division itself becomes an issue. Los Angeles, Seattle and San Francisco are on the schedule twice so division games are important for Arizona. They were 2-4 against the division in 2020. Kliff Kingsbury has a 5-10-1 and 8-8 record so far as Head Coach. I’m sure entering year three of a four year deal making the playoffs becomes a necessity for his career.
Los Angeles Rams
- Key additions: QB Matthew Stafford, WR DeSean Jackson,
- Key losses: QB Jared Goff, OLB Samson Ebukam, S John Johnson III, RB Malcolm Brown, TE Gerald Everet
- Starting Quarterback: Matthew Stafford
- Last season: 10-6
2021 outlook: As mentioned in our 2021 NFC North preview, the Lions and Rams did the QB swap. Both sides of the argument brings a fair point. Jared Goff is gone but he is also younger, better, and the Lions ran away with draft picks. Stafford (when healthy) is still considered a productive QB. After the Rams Super Bowl LIII (2018 season) the run game became more efficient but the passing game declined. Out went Goff and now insert Stafford. Sean McVay should be trusted to make this work with a new QB. The offense can thrive but ultimately the defense will be in question. The schedule for the Rams includes the Packers, Colts, and Ravens on the road and one game against the 49ers in San Francisco. A tough AFC team in Tennessee is also on the schedule. Division games would be just as important for any team in the NFC West at this point. We could say play the safe bet and don’t expect the Rams to win the division this season but a close runner-up.
San francisco 49ers
- Key additions: C Alex Mack, DE Samson Ebukam, WR Mohamed Sanu,
- Key losses: WR Kendrick Bourne, DE Kerry Hyder Jr., CB Ahkello Witherspoon, RB Tevin Coleman, RB Jerick McKinnon, CB Richard Sherman
- Starting Quarterback: Jimmy Garoppolo
- Last season: 6-10
2021 outlook: We should address adding Trey Lance as the third overall pick in the 2021 NFL Draft meant Jimmy Groppolo ain’t the answer in San Fran. Well, the 49ers are giving it a shot with Garoppolo as the clear QB1 until further notice. However, Lance has looked nice in preseason. The biggest plus for the 49ers finishing ranked fifth in the NFL in total defense last season. This is on top of pass rushers Nick Bosa, Dee Ford and cornerback Richard Sherman, combined to miss 40 games due to injuries. However, the man behind the plan was Robert Saleh who is now the newest Head Coach of the New York Jets this season. The new Defensive Coordinator is DeMeco Ryans who enters his first year as a DC in the NFL. Richard Sherman’s NFL future is not looking great as he’s now a free agent. Nonetheless the 49ers will have the biggest question mark in the division. Can the offense keep the team afloat should the defense need some time under new leadership? If there is a team that competes but finish last in this division it’s probably the 49ers.
- Key additions: G Gabe Jackson, DE Kerry Hyder Jr., TE Gerald Everett, WR D’Wayne Eskridge, CB Ahkello Witherspoon, DE Aldon Smith
- Key losses: RB Carlos Hyde, WR Phillip Dorsett, CB Shaquill Griffin, TE Jacob Hollister, DT Jarran Reed, WR David Moore
- Starting Quarterback: Russell Wilson
- Last season: 12-4
2021 outlook: Russell Wilson is normally in the media for other reasons besides the NFL. Part of that is due to his wife being Ciara the R&B singer she is. However, earlier this year Wilson made things public about his feeling with the future of the franchise. He commented on being “hit too much” which created trade rumors galore of course. However, Russ has a point. Wilson has been sacked 394 times in 144 regular-season games. According to ESPN Stats & Information research. Fair point Mr. Wilson, fair point. Shane Waldron is a first-time offensive coordinator in Seattle this season. The turnaround for the Seahawks would be to move away from the run-heavy offense that Pete Carroll influences. Roster moves made didn’t quite upgrade Seattle more than what they were last season.There isn’t a true stud pass rusher unless one emerges this season for the Seahawks. However, Wilson’s abilities and resume clearly explains he will keep you in a game any given day. There shouldn’t be a surprise to see Seattle playing as a higher seed come Wild Card weekend or repeat as the Division winner in 2021.
A few new exciting notes about the AFC South this year features young and old. The Tennesse Titans landed WR Julio Jones via trade from the Atlanta Falcons. The veteran receiver joins a Titan team that made some sort of improvement in 2020 by playing in Wild Card Weekend. The freshest face in the division is Rookie QB Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars and he’s got some interesting reinforcements behind him. The Colts were trying for a new QB this season but he’s now injured and the Texans have a lot of uncertainty surrounding theirs. Strap in for the NFL 2021 AFC South preview!
- Key Additions: WR Nico Collins, RB Phillip Lindsay, DB Desmond King, TE Brevin Jordan, RB Mark Ingram, RB Rex Burkhead, WR Chris Conley, QB Tyrod Taylor
- Key losses: DL J.J. Watt, LB Benardrick McKinney, WR Will Fuller, CB Vernon Hargreaves
- Starting Quarterback: Tyrod Taylor
- Last season: 4-12
2021 outlook: A really disappointing end to the Texans season was J.J. Watt (then a Texan) walking off the field letting his QB know he was sorry for “wasting” the 2020 season. It wasn’t only the issue with Houston’s team as Watson now faces allegations of misconduct with former masseuses. Watson also wanted to be traded out of Houston however, the Texans management advised he would still be a Texan for now. While Watson is partcipating in training camp and around the team, there is still a dark cloud over the team. Out goes J.J. Watt (to Arizona) while the Texans did beef up their RB depth by signing Mark Ingram, Rex Burkhead, and Philip Lindsay. The prime WR core is made up by Brandin Cooks, Chris Conley, and Keke Coutee. On paper with Watson, this team still looks great offensively. Defensively, the Texans may struggle to defend the run losing J.J. Watt means some of the depth will have to play better this season for the interior of the Texans defense. Further out to the secondary it is the strong point of the defense but definitely not one of the top in the NFL. For now Tyrod Taylor gets the start and the Texans season looks like another wasted one.
- Key additions: QB Carson Wentz, DE Kwity Paye, OT Eric Fisher, DE Dayo Odeyingbo, TE Kylen Granson, OT Sam Tevi, DE Isaac Rochell, DT Antwaun Woods
- Key losses: QB Philip Rivers, OT Anthony Castonzo, DE Justin Houston, DE Denico Autry, LB Anthony Walker, S Malik Hooker, OT Le’Raven Clark
- Starting Quarterback: Carson Wentz
- Last season: 11-5
2021 outlook: An amazing turnaround in 2020 as the Colts went 11-5 and gave a fight in the Wild Card weekend against the Bills only to lose 27-24. Philip Rivers was on his last leg of his career and proved that he could help elevate a team to the next level. Rivers is currently coaching high school football in Alabama but hasn’t ruled out returning to the NFL. What’s next for the Colts? They traded for Carson Wentz. Something was successful in Indianapolis last season and with Rivers on the retirement path the Colts were desparate to fill a servicable QB this season. T.Y. Hilton is on a little bit of a decline but Michael Pittman Jr is a key to the receiver core this season. Defensively, the Colts remain a stronger unit across the league. Best case scenario? Wentz returns in a heroic fashion while leading the Colts into the playoffs. However, if this is the case the Titans will have compeition to lock up the division title this season.
- Key additions: QB Trevor Lawrence, WR Marvin Jones, RB Carlos Hyde, DT Roy Robertson, WR Phillip Dorsett, CB Shaquill Griffin, DT Malcolm Brown,
- Key losses: WR Chris Conley, TE Josh Oliver, CB Josiah Scott, WR Dede Westbrook
- Last season: 1-15
2021 outlook: Well what do we have here? Urban Meyer is coaching in the NFL for a franchise that had the number one pick. Hyped as the next best thing in the NFL is Lawrence but he’s joined by his fellow RB at Clemson, Travis Etienne who also was drafted by the Jaguars. Better yet, Jacksonville’s GM Trent Baalke took over as interim GM in 2020 but later upgraded as the GM. His era of Lawrence and Meyer starts now to turnaround a franchise that has only three Division Championships and seven playoff appearances. While the Jaguars are one of the younger franchises (est. 1995), their most recent 2017 season was the most successful as the only AFC South division championship in the modern era of divisions. Adding WR Marvin Jones next to D.J. Chark and Phillip Dorsett II signing gives a few more quality targets for Lawrence. RB James Robinson is the clear RB1 on this team for now. Overall, Jacksonville has a future to be excited about and anything more than one win this season means you did better than the last.
- Key additions: WR Julio Jones, OLB Bud Dupree, DL Denico Autry, CB Janoris Jenkins, OT Kendall Lamm, OLB Ola Adeniyi, DB Chris Jones, CB Janoris Jenkins
- Key losses: CB Malcolm Butler, WR Adam Humphries, WR Corey Davis, TE Jonnu Smith, &nbsp;OLB Jadeveon Clowney, DB Desmond King, OL Jamil Douglas, CB Adoree’ Jackson
- Starting Quarterback: Ryan Tannehill
- Last season: 11-5
2021 outlook: Down went the divsion winner last season in the first round against the Baltimore Ravens. While the game was mostly competitive the Titans have to feel like 2021 can be different. That being said Lamar Jackson threw for 179 yards, 0 TD (1 rushing TD), and threw 1 interception. There was all the opportunity to win the game. However, it was Jackson who also led the Ravens with 16 rushes, 136 yards in the 20-13 Wild Card win last season. Long story short? Maybe defend the run a little bit better to advance? A.J. Brown is the biggest target for Tannehill but you wanna add Julio Jones to the mix now? Sounds lovely! However, the biggest concern for the Titans is keeping the clamps on defensively. They allowed 398.3 yards per game which was the fifth worse in the NFL last season. The good news is that the defense has been reconfigured. This offseason the Titans spend more than $132 million on defensive players. Shane Bowen is appointed the Defensive Coordinator this season to lead hopefully a better effort. Certainly, a change from Mike Vrabel making the defensive calls. Tennessee could be that team we told you not to doubt come playoff time.
Two teams will feature new Quarterbacks in the 2021 season. Fortunately, if you’re a Green Bay fan that does not include you. All signs still point to the Packers are the favorite to win this division. With the playoff expansion, last season the Chicago Bears felt the benefit of playing on Wild Card weekend with an 8-8 record. The door is open in the NFC to take advantage of a similar scenario this season. The Vikings might have a ceiling to enter Wild Card but definitely not the division. Let’s find out what to expect in the NFC North 2021 preview!
- Key Additions: QB Andy Dalton, CB Desmond Trufant, OLB Jeremiah Attaochu, OL Elijah Wilkinson, LB Christian Jones, WR Marquise Goodwin, CB Desmond Trufant
- Key losses: RT Bobby Massie, DL Roy Robertson-Harris, QB Mitchell Trubisky
- Starting Quarterback: Andy Dalton (for now) and possibily by season’s start Justin Fields
- Last season: 8-8
2021 outlook: Holy Quarterback carousel for the Bears. Nick Foles and Mitchell Trubisky has turned into Justin Fields and Andy Dalton for the QB1 spot in 2021? However, this might be the next best thing for Chicago. They spent a large part of the offseason reworking contracts and re-signing their core defensive players. WR Marquise Goodwin did not play in the 2020 season due to COVID-19 but he is back for the Bears. He joins Allen Robinson III as the other prime WR for the Bears offense. Cole Kmetz is taking over at Tight End with Jimmy Graham as the second option. The offensive line saw no major upgrades and the defense will be the best case scenario to push this ball cub to an 8 win season again. In this division if the Vikings show a underwhelming hand again the Bears could knock on Wild Card weekend. However, much less likely if Justin Fields gets the nod as the starter midway through the season (and doesn’t this feel like Deja Vu Bears fans?).
- Key additions: QB Jared Goff, WR Breshad Perriman, RB Jamaal Williams,
- Key losses: WR Marvin Jones Jr., K Matt Prater, WR Kenny Golladay, WR Mohamed Sanu, CB Desmond Trufant
- Starting Quarterback: Jared Goff
- Last season: 5-11
2021 outlook: One of the first teams to make a Quarterback change was the Lions and Rams. Basically, swapping starting Quarterbacks (Matthew Stafford is a Ram) and maybe hoping this is part of the fix for both teams? The Lions best WR arguably in Kenny Golladay is out but Detroit did aquire Brashad Perriman this offseason to help fill a WR spot. T.J. Hockenson remains as a target for Goff while the run game is led by D’Andre Swift&nbsp;and Jamaal Williams primarily. This team enters some rebuilding mode and especially since they ran away with two first-round picks and a third in the trade that sent Goff to Detroit. While some might feel that the Lions got better at quarterback the team is clearly rebuilding their defense by releasing Desmond Trufant, Justin Coleman, and Danny Shelton. A five win team at the most again? Most of us can agree on that and it’s probably better to catch a Pistons game this season with the young exciting Cade Cunningham.
Green Bay Packers
- Key additions: LB De’Vondre Campbell
- Key losses: DL Montravius Adams, RB Jamaal Williams,
- Starting Quarterback: Aaron Rodgers
- Last season: 13-3
2021 outlook: The NFC’s best team based on overall record last season almost didn’t return their franchise QB? Well good news, Aaron Rodgers is a committed Green Bay Packers QB1 until further notice. Most of their offseason was probably spent smoothing over Aaron Rodgers and enciting him to return to the team. However, part of Rodgers’ complaints was not being included in the offseason discussions and direction with the team. Hopefully, a part of the signings and re-signings also included Rodgers this past summer. What’s next for the Packers? An attempt to secure the number one spot in the NFC again and this time beat the Buccaneers? Hard to say the Packers will be knocked off as a top three team in the NFC this season. With that being said it’s not impossible for Green Bay to secure a 13-14 win season in 2021. Likewise the Ravens, they are in a prime spot to go to the Super Bowl but have failed recently. Maybe Rodgers gives it one more year and then it’s time to peace out?
- Key additions: DT Dalvin Tomlinson, LB Nick Vigil, CB Patrick Peterson, WR Dede Westbrook
- Key losses: TE Kyle Rudolph, K Dan Bailey, LT Riley Reiff
- Starting Quarterback: Kirk Cousins
- Last season: 7-9
2021 outlook: When you lose one of the better offensive linemen (Riley Reiff) in the league you have to wonder what direction do the Vikings want to take here? Stefon Diggs was traded to the Buffalo Bills last year and this season comes with cuts to Kyle Rudolph with Reiff included. Salary cap could be a concern as the Vikings were punished for a salary cap violation in 2019. However, did the Vikings really get better as a team? Will Kirk Cousins make decisions and throws that puts the Vikings over the Packers? Probably not. The promosing part of the roster is still the backfield with Dalvin Cook. Adam Thielen, Justin Jefferson, and K.J. Osborn are the prime targets for Cousins again this year. The Vikings were at the bottom in defending the run and is still a concern this season. That 7-9 record could repeat should Chicago (or Detroit) overachieve in the division this season.
Three of the four AFC North teams held significant positions in the standings for the 2020 season. The Browns and Steelers battled in the Wild Card weekend only for the Browns to move to lose to eventual AFC Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs. After a disappointing playoff game against the Bills, the Ravens are still not over the hump to get to a championship. Here is the quick preview for the 2021 AFC North Division!
- Key Additions: OT Alejandro Villanueva, OT &nbsp;Kevin Zeitler, RB Gus Edwards, G Kevin Zeitler, DE Derek Wolfe, WR Sammy Watkins
- Key losses: OT Orlando Brown, DE Yannick Ngakoue, OLB Matthew Judon
- Starting Quarterback: Lamar Jackson
- Last season: 11-5
2021 outlook: It almost seems like its time for the Ravens to make that Super Bowl run happen. But then Patrick Mahomes still is employed by the Chiefs and for a long time. The only thing standing in the way of the Ravens getting a shot in Los Angeles in Feburary 2022 for the championship will be themselves being able to win the big playoff games. This team should be in tact to be a top team season after season with the current core roster still in place. It’s Lamar Jackson‘s time to shine again. He’s 1-3 in the playoffs, has thrown more interceptions in the last two playoffs than touchdowns. Something has to give at the QB position to be better in the playoffs otherwise the Ravens are just another great regular season team only. The division is definitely winnable for them this season however.
- Key additions: DE Trey Hendrickson, CB Chidobe Awuzie, CB Mike Hilton, DT Larry Ogunjobi, CB Eli Apple, WR Ja’Marr Chase
- Key losses: DT Geno Atkins, WR A.J. Green, DE Carl Lawson
- Starting Quarterback: Joe Burrow
- Last season: 4-11
2021 outlook: Burrow was 10 games into his Rookie season before a knee injury derailed the rest of the season. Five interceptions in the 10 games put Burrow at 5th best out of Quarterbacks in 2020. If he even kept that pace you could argue that he was on pace similar to what eventual champion Tom Brady did on paper (12 INT). The Bengals let go some long-time talent this offseason but now focus on a new direction. Ja’Marr Chase was taken with the fifth pick in the 2021 NFL Draft this past spring. A former LSU teammate of Joe Burrow and now reunited in the pros. These college matchups are becoming more common but the Bengals are filling holes to move on from Andy Dalton and now A.J. Green. A hefty part of their offseason was building up the defense. Starting to notice a trend here? Some of the young offensive cores have arguably a better defense than offense which is like a safety net for the young QB and his learning curve. The Bengals are still slated to be around a 4-6 win team. Anything more than that is overachieving.
- Key additions: DT Marvin Wilson, CB Troy Hill, DE Jadeveon Clowney,
- Key losses: OT Kendall Lamm, DT Larry Ogunjobi, CB Terrance Mitchell
- Starting Quarterback: Baker Mayfield
- Last season: 11-5
2021 outlook: This is an outlook we can say is very bright. The Browns clearly have talent on both sides of the ball and on paper might be the best of the division (depends who you’re talking to). Cleveland has done nothing but trended upwards last season. After their season opener loss to the Ravens last season, they went on a four game win-streak and never looked back. In fact they would win another four games in a row later in the season to finally beat the Steelers in the Wild Card round. Signing Clowney finally and with their current roster makes this defensive line one of the top tiers in the league. Something is working in Cleveland and the offensive core seems set with Baker Mayfield at the helm, Odell Beckham, Jarvis Landry, and Nick Chubb as targets and serious threats for any defense in the NFL. The Browns are set up this season on paper to make serious noise as an AFC contender. However, their divsion rival, the Baltimore Ravens could force the Browns into the Wild Card weekend again if the competition stays close this season. Will the Browns take the leap to contenders this season? Let’s find out.
- Key additions: OT Joe Haeg, C BJ Finney, RB Kalen Ballage, QB Dwayne Haskins
- Key losses: CB Mike Hilton, CB Steven Nelson, OLB Bud Dupree
- Starting Quarterback: Ben Roethlisberger
- Last season: 12-4
2021 outlook: There might be a new division leader this season should the Steelers not have some sort of overacheiving part of their season in 2021. WR JuJu Smith-Schuster is back on a one-year deal and the Steelers have more key losses than additions to help their case in 2021. The division is obviously much better with Cleveland and Baltimore but it feels like they haven’t gotten up to speed with the arms race in the division. One extra win made the difference between the Steelers having to let a tie breaker decide on who won the division last season. Pittsburg would have won all tie breaker scenarios against the Browns and Ravens but an overacheiving 11-0 start helped that cause. The most the Steelers can hope for is to squeeze out wins against the division rivals. They’ll have games that are winable against Denver, Cincinatti twice, Chicago, and Detroit. However, that’s as far as you could say are sure wins as the rest of the schedule plays out against tough teams like Baltimore, Cleveland, Tennessee, Buffalo, Green Bay, Seattle, and Kansas City.
We will start this preview with a little more positive thoughts. Dak Prescott is supposed to return from his gruesome injury last season. The Eagles are trying out a Quarterback change while Washington is still the Washington Football team. Post-Eli Manning isn’t looking too great for the New York Giants but Saquon Barkley also needs a consistent healthy season. Health is WEALTH in the NFC East this season.
Here is the quick preview for the 2021 NFC East Division!
- Key Additions: LB Micah Parsons, LB Keanu Neal, CB Kelvin Joseph, DB Damontae Kazee, DL Chauncey Golston, DL Osa Odighizuwa
- Key losses: CB Chidobe Awuzie, QB Andy Dalton, OT Cam Erving, LB Joe Thomas
- Starting Quarterback: Dak Prescott
- Last season: 6-10
2021 outlook: In the first five games for the Cowboys 2020 season they were 2-3 and had a bit of an underwhelming start for a team primed to win the divison. Prescott going down in the fifth game (although Dallas won that game), set the tone for the rest of the season. A lousey 6-10 season and Ezekiel Elliot rushing for a career low 979 yards all season helped the 7-9 Washington Football Team capture the divison in 2020. Prescott was slowed by a should strain entering the 2021 training camp. However, the Cowboys and Dak are both taking things slow and awaiting for September 9th’s season opener in Tampa to determine his status. The Cowboys come into this season as the most polished team overall in the division if healthly. Sure 979 yards for Elliot was his worse so it can only get better from there. Again, barring injuries to key players will be the best thing in order for Dallas to win the NFC East this season. Favorites to win the division but a long way to be considered contenders for the Super Bowl.
- Key additions: OL Landon Dickerson, CB Steven Nelson, WR Greg Ward
- Key losses: QB – Carson Wentz, WR DeSean Jackson
- Starting Quarterback: Jalen Hurts
- Last season: 4-11
2021 outlook: The Jalen Hurts era officially begins in Phildelphia. Signing Joe Flacco is a sign and security for Hurts to know that the Eagles are fully committed to him as their prime QB1. The Eagles appear to move on with their lives away from Wentz and enter a rebuild? Drafting WR Devonta Smith is hope that him and Hurts turn out to be one hell of a fast QB and WR combo that defenses struggle to keep up with. The Eagles signed Shane Steichen as the new offensive coordinator. The positive in that is Steichen can be credited with the success of Chargers young QB Justin Herbert. Dallas Goedert is the favorable Tight End now that Zach Ertz is a thing of Philly’s past like Carson Wentz. What doesn’t give much hope to Phildelphia is their schedule. This season they will face the NFC South that includes Tampa Bay and New Orleans as more superior teams. Kansas City, San Francisco, Los Angeles Chargers, and Dallas twice means the Eagles may have a tough window winning more than 7 games.
New York Giants
- Key additions: WR Kenny Golladay, TE Kyle Rudolph, WR Kadarius Toney, CB Adoree’ Jackson, OLB Azeez Ojulari
- Key losses: DT – Dalvin Tomlinson, OLB Kyler Fackrell, QB Colt McCoy
- Starting Quarterback: Daniel Jones
- Last season: 6-10
2021 outlook: Can Saquon Barkley stay healthy finally? That is the biggest question for a team that seemed to be on the brink of top five draft pick last season. The third game of the 2020 season started a long season without Barkely who was injured with a torn ACL. The star running back also has missed 17 games in three seasons. If you’re good at math he’s basically missed a season worth of games. Daniel Jones is the post-Eli Manning Quarterback who doesn’t seem to live up to expectations as the next best thing for the Giants. This season the Giants will have new additions at the Wide Receiver position for Jones to target but Barkley staying healthy would open up wonders for the Giants on offense. Defensively, the Giants can defend the run well and their defensive additions this season should improve their defense overall. How do the Giants pan out this season in the division or NFC? Possibily as close as the Washington Football Team’s 7-9 record last season but missing the playofs.
Washington Football Team
- Key additions: QB – Ryan Fitzpatrick, T Gabe Wright, OL Najee Toran
- Key losses: OT Geron Christian, DE Ryan Kerrigan, S Bobby McCain
- Starting Quarterback: QB – Ryan Fitzpatrick
- Last season: 7-9
2021 outlook: The defending division CHAMPS! That’s right the Washington Football Team might not have a clear cut name or mascot however, they are champions of something. Securing the fourth seed in the playoffs meant hosting a playoff home game last season. However, that home game was against the eventual champions Tampa Bay Buccaneers. With Chase Young as the standout on their defensive side, Washington’s best attribute is their defense. However, on the offensive side is the biggest question mark. Sure Fitzmagic tried his best to push the Dolphins into the playoffs but he isn’t the answer to a long term future at Quaterback for this team. WR Terry McLaurin is the best option to throw at and the run game is Antonio Gibson and J.D. McKissic. Defensively, Washington could maybe pull out 3-4 wins and an overacheiving 2-3 more wins with Fitzpatrick’s leadership? If all bodes well for the Cowboys this season sorry Washington, back to the bottom you battle for in the NFC East.
Surprise surprise at the Miami Dolphins last season? A division that Tom Brady in a New England Patriots jersey once couldn’t see much success in for years. The newest division leader that comes up is the Buffalo Bills. Besides that, the Dolphins gave one hell of a run to almost make the playoffs. The Patriots were active this past offseason and maybe the tables have turned. The AFC East finally a more competitive division overall?
Here is the quick preview for the 2021 AFC East Division!
- Key Additions: RB – Matt Breida, QB Mitchell Trubisky,
- Key losses: WR – John Brown
- Starting Quarterback: Josh Allen
- Last season: 13-3
2021 outlook: The Bills should still be favored to win this division however, there could be just a little more flavor added to the mix this season. The Dolphins and Patriots appear to come into the 2021 season a little bit more prepared to be taken seriously. Should it bother the Bills winning the division? No. The real problem for Buffalo is going to be overcoming the more serious threats in the AFC. That’s right, looking at Baltimore, Kansas City, Tennessee, and Cleveland. Buffalo is seeking its third straight winning season and trip to the Super Bowl. Stefon Diggs, Cole Beasley, and Emmanuel Sanders are the best targets to throw to and the Bills add Matt Breida to the mix in the backfield. Sounds like they are staying put with most of last year’s defensive roster but that’s the key. The Bills defense will have to flex this season since no major additions was added to that side this past offseason.
- Key additions: QB – Jacoby Brissett, RB Malcolm Brown, DT – Adam Butler, CB – Justin Coleman, WR – Will Fuller V
- Key losses: QB – Ryan Fitzpatrick, LB – Kyle Van Noy, NT – Davon Godchaux
- Starting Quarterback: QB – Tua Tagovailoa
- Last season: 10-6
2021 outlook: Rumors of Dashaun Watson preferring Miami as a destination once was the glarious of times until his legal troubles came to light. The Dolphins might see that as a blessing in disguise as they are now focused on Tua Tagovailoa. Fitzpatrick is now the Quarterback of the Washington Football as the Dolphins stay with their main offensive core as last season. Adding Will Fuller V is a huge deal for a WR core that needed a player with some explosiveness. Tua’s inexperience could be overshadowed if Fuller stays healthy and able to give his young QB more confidence to throw. The defense for Miami improved nonetheless and has been their strong point while allowing the offense to groom over the past couple of seasons. With an added 17 weeks don’t be suprise if the Dolphins win 10+ games this season. Miami also can’t bank on getting better as why they’ll win more as the Patriots could make the argument as well and spice up the division battle.
New England Patriots
- Key additions: QB – Mac Jones, TE- Hunter Henry, WR – Nelson Agholor, TE – Jonnu Smith, LB – Kyle Van Noy
- Key losses: DT – Adam Butler, S – Terrence Brooks, LB – Matthew Judon
- Starting Quarterback: Mac Jones
- Last season: 7-9
2021 outlook: With the official news that Cam Newton is no longer with the Patriots, guess who? Mac Jones! The worse part about this for Cam is that the Patriots were active this past offseason. Adding some offensive threats in Smith and Henry as the prime Tight Ends and Nelson Agholor as a receiver. This is more appealing than what the Patriots put on the table for Newton last season. However, the bright spot is that the Patroits went 7-9 and really worked the free agency to fill their gaps or re-sign key defensive players. New England, on paper, should be knocking on the door of the division championship against Buffalo this season. With Belichick still at the helm it’s hard to count the Patriots out but talent of the Ravens, Chiefs, and Browns could outlast them in the AFC.
New York Jets
- Key additions: QB – Zach Wilson, DE – Carl Lawson, DE – Vinny Curry, RB Tevin Coleman, WR – Keelan Cole, WR Corey Davis, CB Justin Hardee
- Key losses: QB- Sam Darnold, OLB – Jordan Jenkins, WR – Breshad Perriman, DE – Henry Anderson
- Starting Quarterback: QB – Zach Wilson
- Last season: 2-14
2021 outlook: The Jets gave up on Sam Darnold three years in and now with new Head Coach Robert Saleh. The hiring of Saleh hopes to add some of his defensive sucess he’s had as the Defense Coordinator of the San Fransisco 49ers from 2017-2020. However, hot from the draft is QB Zach Wilson who the Jets won a measly 2 games just to secure the BYU product. Not saying that’s a bad thing however, the offense features RB Tevin Coleman and WR Jamison Crowder at best beyond the QB position. Jeff Ulbrich was hired by Saleh to run the defense. However, the best defensive signing was DE Carl Lawson to beef up the defensive line but don’t expect much from the Jets secondary. Saleh hasn’t gotten the full opportunity to rebuild the defensive side in one summer. Expect much of the same for the Jets in 2021 as they did in 2020. A few winable games on their schedule but hopefully a fun game on December 26th as Wilson faces off against the number one overall pick Trevor Lawrence and the Jaguars.
The NFC South and the AFC West may have a very compelling argument that their respective division winners last season are in the same boat, almost I add. While the Buccaneers returned all of their starting championship squad the Cheifs had minor roster changes but look to easily win the 2021 AFC West Division this season yet again. With that said the Denver Broncos bring in a new Quarterback while the Chargers have hope with their young Quarterback, Justin Herbert. What did the Raiders do to get better?
Here is the quick preview for the 2021 AFC West Division!
- Key Additions: CB Kyler Fuller, CB Ronald Darby, RB Javonte Williams
- Key losses: A.J. Bouye
- Starting Quarterback: Teddy Bridgewater
- Last season: 5-11
2021 outlook: The Broncos focused a little more on bolstering up their defense this past offseason and reasonably so. Teddy Bridgewater gets the start but it could still be a long year for the Broncos on offense. However, their bright spot is WR Jerry Jeudy and WR Courtland Sutton returns from an ACL injury. The backfield is Melvin Gordon who had his best rushing reason since 2018 (885 yards with L.A. Chargers). He rushed for 986 yards in 2020, his first year as a Bronco. The Broncos chose Patrick Surtain II in the 2021 Draft and RB Javonte Williams that also can play a huge part next to Denver’s respective pro bowl talent. They’ll be facing some solid defenses such as Baltimore, Kansas City (twice), and Cleveland. Unless the offense overachieves the Broncos are looking at another 5-11 season scenario.
Kansas City Chiefs
- Key additions: OT – Orlando Brown, G – Joe Thuney, DT – Jarran Reed
- Key losses: T – Eric Fisher, T- Mitchell Schwartz
- Starting Quarterback: Patrick Mahomes
- Last season: 14-2
2021 outlook: We can argue that the Chiefs sort of coasted into the Super Bowl last season. They dodged a bullet in the playoffs when Patrick Mahomes went out in the playoffs against the Browns. However, they squeeked out a 22-17 win. They had no problem beating up the Bills 38-24 but Super Bowl LV was a different beast. Could we very well see another repeat of the Buccaneers and Chiefs in Super Bowl LVI? Absoluately, with Mahomes manning this team the sky is the limit. They addressed beefing up the frontline that Mahomes sit behind. That could almost be equal as Tampa brining back their entire starting roster.
Las Vegas Raiders
- Key additions: WR John Brown, C- Nick Martin, DE- Yannick Ngakoue
- Key losses: T – Trent Brown, C- Rodney Hudson, G – Gabe Jackson
- Starting Quarterback: Derek Carr
- Last season: 8-8
2021 outlook: Las Vegas and their shiney new arena is lovely but an 8-8 season may have been a little underwhelming for it’s debut season. Did the Raiders go out and get better this season? That is hard to say with their way of attempting to retool an offensive line. If the O-line didn’t get any better this season what are we to expect? John Brown is a nice addition to the team this season next to Henry Ruggs III. Josh Jacobs is trending upwards as a consistent 1,000-yard rusher a season as he’s rushed for 1,000-plus yards in his first two seasons with the Raiders. Gus Bradley takes over as the defensive coordinator with a little overhaul of personnel on the defensive side for this team. Their biggest question mark will be if the defensive end performs there shouldn’t be a reason this team knocks on the door of the playoffs or secures a wild card spot at least.
Los Angeles Chargers
- Key additions: Head Coach Brandon Staley, OT – Rashawn Slater, TE Jared Cook
- Key losses: TE Hunter Henry, LB – Melvin Ingram
- Starting Quarterback: Justin Herbert
- Last season: 7-9
2021 outlook: Brandon Staley its go time for the new Head Coach. He’s taking over responsibility of calling the defensive plays but most importantly says he’s open to hearing his team’s suggestions for offensive. The Chargers look great with a line up of Herbert, Austin Ekeler, Kenan Allen, and Mike Williams. Justin Jackson sits in the backfield behind Ekeler. It sounds like we may not get much of an idea of the offense in reality until the season wears on. However, defensively the Chargers will need Derwin James Jr. in the line up next to Joey Bosa, Drue Tranquill, and Kenneth Murray Jr. All names mentioned are probably the best bet for Staley to succeed defensively. However, the talent may be lacking behind them. Herbet has proven he’s a QB1 in the NFL. Another step in the right direction could help the Chargers knock on the door of the playoffs. However, it would be shocking if they finished last in this division (see Denver).
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