The 2021 NFL season is upon us and I’m here to potentially destroy all your hopes and dreams for your team this upcoming season. If you are a Steelers, Dolphins, Bears or Saints fan, I recommend putting on your emotional armor as this may hurt you. If your going to read this and at the end of it you feel I am completely inept and unqualified to talk football, feel free to comment.
I’m going to start with an easy one here in the Saints. They lost Drew Brees and now Mike Thomas potentially wants out (per Ian Rapoport), Your QB room consists of Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston. You let Trey Hendrickson walk because of your spend first/ask questions later approach to handing out contract extensions. From last season to this season, your team has gotten worse, and thinking you can repeat as division winners or even sniff 12-4 is a pipe dream as long as Tom Brady is on the Bucs.
My biggest problem with the Saints is their offense. Sean Payton is hyped up as an offensive mastermind, but their offense is an Alvin Kamara injury away from being the worst in the league. If you watched the Saints in 2020, Kamara was the only reason the offense did anything. The Saints averaged the lowest intended air yards per pass in the league at 6.2 yards—checkdowns to to Kamara. Kamara led New Orleans in both rushing and receiving, which speaks to the incredible talent he is, but if you think Kamara can carry your team every week, his back is literally going to break. Your defense is still a top 10 unit; that is the good news. But for your team as a whole taking a step back is a safe bet.
The Pittsburgh Steelers
I’m going to be completely honest here. Most Steelers fans I’ve seen are clueless about the reality of their team. In 2020, the Steelers started 11-0 and their fans were calling them better then the Chiefs. Then they got embarrassed by the Washington Football Team and proceeded to get slapped by a real team in Buffalo. When the playoffs rolled around, Pittsburgh was absolutely clowned on live television by the Browns who, by the way, were without their head coach due to Covid.
Now here’s where things get real. Pittsburgh got worse this offseason. They lost Bud Dupree, Steven Nelson, and a three mainstays on the offensive line. ou thought it was a good idea to bring back a 40 year old Big Ben. The part that really gets to me is you think just drafting Najee Harris is going to magically make you be able to run the football and get you back to the postseason.
No. You went 12-4 after starting 11-0 and now in 2021, you have the hardest schedule in the league, according to opponent win percentage from 2020. I wouldn’t be surprised if the Steelers finished last in the AFC North. I’m almost certain that this team will not be playing football come Week 18.
The Miami Dolphins
This one kind of pains me. I like what the Dolphins are doing. I really like Brian Flores as a coach. But I’m not liking the heading of Tua Tagovailoa, and I have a bad feeling about Miami in 2021. Over the years, everyone has become so hard on young quarterbacks that the timeline for developing one has drastically shortened. In the past, we used to wait three years before saying whether or not a quarterback was the caliber of a NFL starting quarterback. For example, Josh Allen struggled in year one, progressed in year two, and blew up in year three.
The fact that there are people already calling Tua a bust after one year doesn’t give much hope for his future. The Dolphins’ roster has gotten much better, and they have surrounded Tua with some great weapons, but I can’t remember the last time a team’s success laid so heavy on a second-year quarterback. This roster is built to win now. They have great pieces on defense and solid weapons on offense; the only thing that can stop this team from being great is Tua.
But in year two, he has to learn a whole new offense and honestly I just can’t see him being able to bring this team further then they went in 2020. I don’t think it’s unrealistic to say Tua will be a decent QB this year, and I don’t think it’s out of the realm of possibility that Tua will lead his team to the postseason. In order for that to happen, a lot of things have to go right. I think it’s too much to ask from Tua to come in with a whole new offensive scheme and be great right away.
The Chicago Bears
Oh boy, where do I even start with this team? You went 8-8 last year just to get smacked by the Saints in the NFL Playoffs; all that did was hurt your draft position and give the brass reason to keep Matt Nagy and Ryan Pace around when they should’ve been fired after 2019. You replaced Mitch Trubisky with Andy Dalton, which I'm hard pressed to say is an upgrade.
Nothing else changed. The team wasn’t that good to start with, and all you did was change quarterbacks while the rest of your division got better. This team isn’t winning their division; there’s no chance of that as long as Aaron Rodgers is in prove-Brian-Gutekunst-wrong mode, or as long as the Vikings just play up to their potential. I’ll say this right now: the Bears aren’t isn’t making the playoffs and I don’t understand why they’re trying to.
You went out of your way to trade valuable draft capital for Justin Fields and you’re starting Andy Dalton? I understand Nagy comes from the Andy Reid coaching tree and Reid sat Patrick Mahomes for a year, but you don’t sit a promising rookie like Fields behind someone like Dalton. Nagy is clearly just trying to save his job at this point. Ryan Pace’s future with this organization hinges on whether or not Fields pans out or not because the last quarterback he traded up to draft isn’t on the roster anymore (Trubisky).