I think we all can agree that because of COVID-19 and other factors last season was different from other seasons. But this season is different. Oh, wait, what’s that? DeAndre Hopkins said what? Cole Beasley said that? Now I’m starting to think the 2021-2022 season will be exactly like the 2020 season, here we go again.
In this article, I will try my best to predict how last year’s playoff teams will do this season. I’m no expert, but I’ve been watching the game for a long time and think I know more than say, Skip Bayless. Actually, I know for a fact I know more than Skip Bayless.
I’ll start off with the team that will perform the worst out of last year’s playoff teams, the Indianapolis Colts. The Colts have a great coach in Frank Reich, an above-average defense, and some talented running backs in Jonathan Taylor and Marlon Mack. That’s about it for the Colts. Their week 1 quarterback is going to be Jacob Eason, let me repeat that for emphasis their starting quarterback is going to be Jacob “effing” Eason! They have no good receivers, not even some average wide receivers which is going to make Eason’s job a lot harder. And Frank Reich is known for being a quarterback whisperer but he’s not known for being a running back guru. He will most likely overutilize the passing game and run the ball only when necessary. The Colts have a good defense, but not the type of defense that could carry a team to the playoffs or even a winning record. I’d say the Colts finish with 6 wins, with their floor being 4 wins, and their ceiling 7 wins.
I’ll be honest this article had no planning behind it and because I went with the Colts first I’m going to make myself finish off the AFC before I jump over to the NFC.
Last year’s 2 seed in the AFC was the Buffalo Bills are next on my list of teams and are a team that could make a run at the Super Bowl. The Bills have a great coach in Sean McDermott, a superstar quarterback in Josh Allen, a great receiver in Stefon Diggs, and a get the job done type of defense. So why am I not sold on the Buffalo Bills? I’m not quite sure. I guess I don’t believe in a player being clutch until they actually are clutch. Josh Allen didn’t get it done when the going got rough last year in the playoffs, so how can I say they have a real shot at beating the Chiefs? I can’t, I just can’t!
The running game is okay, but Sean McDermott will work his magic and make Singletary an above-average running back for the Bills. And the defense will do its job and can be relied on in big moments. So I guess what I’m saying is, the Bills are a perennial playoff team but they will never actually win the Super Bowl or even make it there.
Ugh, now I have to talk about the Steelers. I want to make this quick, but I don’t think I can refrain from going on a Ben Roethlisberger rant. Every football fan needs to hear this, the Ben Roethlisberger we all know and love is dead. He’s no longer 36, he’s 39 and can’t throw the ball further than 35 yards. The Ben Roethlisberger that seemed to be 35 for 10 years is no longer with us, he’s turning 40 in march and his play the last year and a half has reflected that fact. He isn’t mobile in the pocket anymore, but also can’t throw deep under pressure. Mike Tomlin has a real problem on his hands, but luckily he has the next superstar of this league, Najee Harris.
Najee Harris is going to win everyone over this upcoming season because of his work ethic and his amazing play. I’ve read stories about Harris that say that the coaches literally have to kick him out of the gym at night because they have to close the facility for the night. Now that’s the type of player you want on your team, and I know for a fact Najee Harris will rule the league someday.
The Steelers have one of the best coaches in the league, a good defense, and a future superstar in the backfield so I wouldn’t be surprised to see them in the playoffs. But Ben Roethlisberger might hold them back, and we need to accept the Ben Roethlisberger of old is GONE.
The Cleveland Browns are an interesting team if you like the type of team that is fine playing gritty, dirty, cold games in mid-November on the back of their running backs. Kevin Stefanski has seemingly given up on the entertainment aspect of football and is content with winning 7-3 games every week. Which I’m sure Cleveland fans are fine with because they will take anything they can get in the sports department. The Browns have the best 1-2 punch in terms of running backs in the league with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Baker Mayfield isn’t going to be their savior after all, but instead a game manager. I’m sure he’s real happy with that role. NOT.
Stefanski is a good coach, they have a good defense, and they have a good enough offense so they will most likely be back in the playoffs this year. Unless they suffer from an epic collapse, something Cleveland fans are all too familiar with.
Now onto the Tennessee Titans, a team that will continue to make the playoffs every year until they don’t. Which sounds stupid, but it’s the truth. The Titans are a perennial playoff team, but they will never make/win the Super Bowl. The Titans will ride the Ryan Tannehill wave for the next year or two and then ditch him and hold onto Derrick Henry for dear life.
I think the Titans have a decent team this year. Meaning they have a good offense, but a bad defense. Their defense will be the end of them, but try to stick with the philosophy that a good defense is an even better offense. The Titans have a good receiving core if Julio Jones has a bounce-back year and a decent receiving core if he doesn’t have a good year. Derrick Henry will probably win the MVP if the voters get tired of Patrick Mahomes so at least the Titans will have that.
Damn, now I have to talk about the Ravens. All I’m gonna say is this if Lamar Jackson trusts himself to throw the ball downfield the Ravens are a serious team, but if he doesn’t they are a perennial playoff team and that’s it.
The final team in the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs. They have Patrick Mahomes, Tyrek Hill, Travis Kelce, and a good enough defense. What do you think they’re gonna do this season? The answer is win the Super Bowl, just in case you were wondering.
Moving onto the NFC, I’m going to start off with the Bears. The Bears aren’t going to be good because Justin Fields isn’t fully developed yet and Andy Dalton sucks so be ready for the Bears to win 6 games this year.
The Saints have an interesting team this year, I can’t really figure out if they’re a good team or not. Jameis Winston will either flourish or flounder under Sean Payton, it’s that simple. Will Jameis continue to throw into triple coverage or settle for the check-down pass to their best receiver Alvin Kamara who also doubles as a running back. The defense is average, but Sean Payton is a great coach so expect to see the Saints in the playoffs. Unless Jameis has another 30/30 season.
The Seahawks are another team that will either be really good or really bad. I can’t tell if Russell Wilson likes being in Seattle anymore and I wouldn’t blame him if he wanted to leave. Wilson isn’t the type of player that’s content with one ring, you can tell he wants to be on a contender, I’m just not sure Seattle is a contender. They have a terrible defense, which cancels out the offense making it tough to win games. How many more seasons can Russ take where he throws for 4,500 yards and 37 touchdowns, but only makes it past the Divisional round, or even worse, no playoffs at all?
The Los Angeles Rams are a good team I think. They have a great defense, maybe even the best defense in the NFL, but how much can we trust their offense. Is Matthew Stafford going to be the same player he was back in Detroit? Are Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp going to connect with Stafford the same way they did with Jared Goff? And will Darrell Henderson Jr. have a breakout season? My answer to those questions are no, no, and no. I think Stafford will be a lesser version of himself, but McVay will call the right plays for him allowing Stafford to be labeled a game manager. Woods and Kupp will be just fine even if they won’t have the same chemistry with their new QB. And Darrell Henderson Jr. will not be a replacement for Todd Gurley that’s for sure. Their defense will carry them to a winning record maybe even to the playoffs. I’d say their ceiling is 10 wins and their floor is 7.
The Washington Football Team made the playoffs last year and nearly beat the Bucs. Will they win the crappy NFC East? Probably. Will they have more than 7 wins? Most likely not. Do I hate the Washington Football Team with a passion? Very much, yes.
The Buccaneers have Tom Brady. Do I have to say anything else?
The last team on the list is the Green Bay Packers. The Packers haven’t been talked about much this offseason, Aaron Rodgers has, however. Rodgers is a veteran so I don’t expect all this nonsense to affect his play whatsoever. I do think the Packers are a contender this season as long as their defense cleans up their act. Rodgers and Adams might be playing in Green Bay for one last season, will they make it count?