Another NFL season is upon us and this one is bigger than ever before. With the NFL adding an extra game to their regular season, fans will be treated to the longest NFL season ever. From division winners to the biggest disappointment, this is the 2021 NFL season preview.
2021 NFL Season Preview and Projections
MVP: Josh Allen, Quarterback, Buffalo Bills
The evolution of Josh Allen will be complete in 2021. Allen will lead the Bills to the best record in football while accounting for over 50 touchdowns (44 passing/7 rushing).
A stinging loss in the AFC championship game will motivate Allen to elevate his game to elite quarterback status. No player will be more crucial to their team’s success than he will be to getting the Bills to the super bowl.
DPOY: Nick Bosa, Defensive End, San Francisco 49ers
Nick Bosa is an absolute menace on the field. This is further highlighted by the dip in production from the 49ers defense in 2020 when Bosa missed 14 games due to a torn ACL. A championship-caliber defense lost its edge and went from 13-3 to 6-10.
In his rookie season, Bosa flashed the ability to be the most dominant defender in the league. He stacked up 80 quarterback pressures, an NFL rookie record. Now returning from that torn ACL, Bosa looks to pick up where he left off. The 49ers will have the spotlight to showcase just how great he is. The 49ers will be featured in five prime-time games this season, and all of the world will be exposed to Nick Bosa restoring the 49ers’ defense to past dominance.
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Justin Fields, Quarterback, Chicago Bears
It will not be long before Bears quarterback Andy Dalton is caressing a clipboard in Chicago. The fact that the Bears haven’t already made the switch to Justin Fields is quite baffling. Watching Fields in pre-season, it is evident that he is the best quarterback on their roster and gives them the best chance to win.
Bears Head Coach Matt Nagy knows this and it won’t take long for him to pull the trigger.
Trailing early on Sunday Night Football in Week 1, Nagy will turn to Fields. It is from here that the legend begins. Fields will dazzle a national audience, coming up just short in a dramatic comeback effort against the LA Rams. From there on, the Bears will soar into the playoffs riding their phenomenal rookie quarterback.
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Micah Parsons, Linebacker, Dallas Cowboys
The field will fail to impress. Micah Parsons’ stat line will win him this award. Playing on a bad team, he will accumulate a high volume of tackles, sprinkle in a few splash plays and walks away with the award no one else is eligible for.
Coach of the Year: Ron Rivera, Washington Football Team
Washington made some waves in 2020. In 2021, they’re going to demolish a beach house or two. Wherever Rivera goes, he brings a stellar defense along with him. In 2021, it won’t be just the defense that keeps Rivera’s WFT in the title hunt. Wide receivers Terry McLaurin and Curtis Samuel will be a tough pair to cover for opponents (once Samuel is back from IR). With these two, the WFT will be able to muster a legitimate offense.
Rivera will make a bold move that will win him this award. Knowing his team has a ceiling with quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, he will switch mid-season to wild-card wonder Taylor Heinicke. Riverboat Ron will roll the dice on this young quarterback and come out Coach of the Year.
Comeback Player of the Year: Jameis Winston, Quarterback, New Orleans Saints
Written off as a bust with the Bucs, Jameis Winston will flourish in New Orleans. Winston has displayed the physical ability to put up big numbers in terms of yards and touchdowns. Unfortunately, he has also displayed awful decision-making that put up big numbers in fumbles and interceptions.
Saints Head Coach Sean Payton will coach him up, eliminating the ugly turnovers and giving the Saints an offense that will look better than it has in years.
Biggest Surprise: New York Jets
Rookie Head Coach Robert Saleh will be the man to resurrect the New York Jets to relevance, and it starts now. Mixing enthusiasm and intelligence, Saleh will build a smart, disciplined team that will execute with intensity and passion.
Rookie quarterback Zach Wilson will have some awful games, but he will also have some incredible ones. Expect off-season addition, wide receiver Corey Davis, to have a tremendous impact on the Jets offense. Davis will become a legit number one wide receiver while working with a budding Wilson. All of this will amount to a Jets team on the verge of the playoffs, who sadly, will get edged out by an old foe, the New England Patriots.
Biggest Disappointment: Matthew Stafford in LA
For a quarterback who hasn’t won a playoff game, Matthew Stafford sure is being held in high regard. Even Jared Goff, Shaun King, and Mark Sanchez won a playoff game in their mediocre careers. Yet, somehow, a player who has never won much of anything, is expected to get the Rams back to the promised land? Pardon my skepticism.
The hard truth is, the Rams traded way too much for a quarterback with a career passer rating worse than Kirk Cousins and Jimmy Garoppolo. Not to mention, slightly-above-average Stafford is coming off of a season plagued by injuries. He will fail in LA, and the Rams will regret trading for him for years to come.
AFC Standings, Playoffs, and Champion
Wild Card Round – Patriots over Chiefs, Browns over Steelers, Dolphins over Titans
Divisional Round – Bills over Patriots, Browns over Dolphins
AFC Championship Game – Bills over Browns
NFC Standings, Playoffs, and Champion
Wild Card Round – 49ers over Packers, Saints over WFT, Bears over Seahawks
Divisional Round – Bucs over Saints, 49ers over Bears
NFC Championship Game – 49ers over Bucs
Super Bowl LVI
49ers 34 – Bills 26
Super Bowl MVP: 49ers Wide Receiver Deebo Samuel