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Saddest Story Lines From The 2021 NFL Season

The worst rolls of the dice in 2021.

Jacksonville Jaguars v Tennessee Titans Photo by Wesley Hitt/Getty Images

As the NFL regular season comes to a close and teams have figured out whether they’ll be playing meaningful football in January, let’s take a trip down memory lane. Some people believe the worst place for a team to be is in the gutter. The bottom of the barrel and at the bottom of the league...most of the teams you see at the bottom of the league, you expect to be there. For Texans fans, nobody came into this season with any hope, so when the Texans finished close to the bottom, nobody was shocked.

However some fans of other teams came into this season with one of the worst feelings from the outside looking in. That feeling was false hope. False hope that they could do something, that they would bounce back from a bad season. False hope that maybe their young signal-caller would take leap forward, only for all their hopes and dreams to be dashed. et’s take a look back at all the wrongfully placed optimisms from this past season.

The Cleveland Browns are Super Bowl contenders.

At the start of the year, the Browns had real Super Bowl aspirations. Phrases like, “Baker will prove the doubters wrong”, “Odell is finally back and healthy”, “Our defense is elite” were just some of the many things Browns fans thought about their team. Fast forward to the present day, and the Browns are not only out of the playoff race, but there are rumblings that the Browns will be looking for a new quarterback in the offseason.

Baker Mayfield was truly a bright spot for Browns fans at one time, since they hadn’t had a promising quarterback since Tim Couch. Now Cleveland fans are in shambles and are lambasting the same man who they once praised. Norman Osborne, speaking to Peter Parker in the original Spiderman, sums up the Browns and Mayfield perfectly:

They found you amusing for a while the people of this city, but the one thing they love more than a hero is to see a hero fail, fall, die trying. In spite of everything you’ve done for them eventually they will hate.

The NFL stands for Not For Long. It looks Baker Mayfield has run out of time with the Browns.

Seattle Seahawks and Chef Russ for MVP

It’s the end of an era in Seattle whether or not they bring Russel Wilson back. The talent around him isn’t good enough to support a Super Bowl run, and the defense is too heavy to carry them all the way. Although nobody really thought the Seahawks would be Super Bowl contenders, most people, including myself, still had them as a relevant team. Wilson has always been a good regular season quarterback; this year, thanks to injuries, a terrible defense, and subpar offensive line, the Seahawks really fell flat.

The worst part about all of this is Jamal Adams. The Seahawks don’t even have their first round pick this year, thanks to Adams, and now they’ll be stuck paying him for the next few years.

Should the Seahawks fire Pete Carroll? I think so. It’s time for a change in Seattle. It’s nothing against him. It’s just not working and it’s only going to get worse.

Should the Seahawks trade Wilson? Whether he demands out or not, it would be wise to trade him. I know he’s a fan favorite, but even if you keep him, what’s your ceiling? Can you honestly tell me Wilson can carry his team to another Lombardi Trophy? Even if they fire Carroll and Ken Norton and bring in new players, this Seahawks roster is on the decline while the 49ers, Rams and Cardinals are all on the rise. Seattle needs pieces for the future. Just leave your good years behind you and move forward.

The Minnesota Vikings were primed to take the NFC North amidst the Aaron Rodgers controversy.

I hate the Minnesota Vikings with a passion. This one is personal to a hurtful degree. At the start of the year, we here at BRB picked our division winners, playoff teams, Super Bowl match-ups, and Super Bowl winners. I had the Vikings wining the NFC North. That’s not all. After a few weeks into the season, I didn’t admit it was a bad prediction; I doubled down on it. Now I may be dumb, but I’m not stupid, and it doesn’t take a genius to see that the Vikings suck.

Mike Zimmer needed to be fired. The whole defense needs to be rebuilt from the ground up. As much as I hate the Vikings, I can admit they showed flashes of what they could’ve been. They beat the Packers and went toe to toe with some of the best teams in the league. They lost all but one of their games by eight points or less. The Bengals, Cardinals, Cowboys, Rams were all one-score losses. This team could’ve been great, but they just lost the close games, and that usually comes back to the coaches. As much as everyone wants to blame Kirk Cousins, it wasn’t his fault. This team has a competitive roster in place with Pro Bowl talent scattered across the line-up. The Vikings are up there with the Browns as greatest 2021 disappointments.

Urban Meyer + Trevor Lawrence = Next Great Head Coach/Quarterback Duo.

The only reason this one makes the cut is because of just how bad the situation was in DUVAL. The best thing to happen to the Jacksonville Jaguars is that they beat the Indianapolis Colts, which eliminated Indy from the NFL playoffs. They still managed to pick up the first overall pick in back-to-back drafts. Outside of that, 2021 was a mess.

Trevor Lawrence was regarded as the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck and John Elway. Urban Meyer was no random college coach; he was a very successful and one of the best to ever do it. At the start of the year, it looked like a good match, but it fell apart very quickly. On the football side of things, few expected the Jaguars to be any good, but they were a full-on train wreck. Lawrence looked horrible and the play-calling wasn’t helping him. Jacksonville’s defense allowed free and easy points except against Buffalo. I’m in no way calling Lawrence a bust, because I still believe he’s going to be a great player, but this was a terrible year for the Jaguars.