NFL Preview 2020-21

Super Bowl: Seattle Seahawks over Baltimore Ravens

NFL+Preview+2020-21

Harrison Kemmer, Sports Editor and Life and Arts Editor

The NFL season is just around the corner, and hopefully it will be able to provide some normalcy in this unprecedented year. The start of the season provides everyone with hope, as they have reasons to think their team will win the Super Bowl. In 2020, football is needed more than ever before, and on Thursday, September 10 at 7:20 P.M., it will finally be here. The Chiefs host the Texans to begin defending their Super Bowl on that day. While the NFL season is providing hope, there is still some sad news… stadiums will range from no fans to no fans for the first couple of home games to 25 percent capacity, as reported by ESPN. With or without fans, the NFL is a welcome, familiar sight for everyone. 

Season Predictions 

AFC North

Baltimore Ravens 13-3 

Big question – Can quarterback Lamar Jackson play even 75 percent as well as he did last year?

Team MVP – Quarterback Lamar Jackson 

Breakout Player – Wide Receiver Marquise Brown 

Bust Player(Player that will not play as projected/ have a down year) – Right Guard D.J. Fluker  

 

Pittsburgh Steelers 10-6

Big question – How healthy is quarterback Ben Roethlisberger?

Team MVP – Edge Rusher TJ Watt

Breakout Player – Linebacker Devin Bush 

Bust Player – Tight End Eric Ebron 

 

Cleveland Browns 8-8

Big Question – Can the offense do enough to end the Brown’s 17-year playoff drought?

Team MVP – Defensive End Myles Garrett

Breakout Player – Linebacker Sione Takitaki

Bust Player – Quarterback Baker Mayfield 

 

Cincinnati Bengals 4-12

Big question – Will quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver A.J. Green develop chemistry that shows promise for the Bengals future?

Team MVP – Running Back Joe Mixon

Breakout Player – Quarterback Joe Burrow

Bust Player – Whole offensive line 

 

AFC South 

Indianapolis Colts 11-5

Big Question – Can quarterback Phillip Rivers avoid the late game interceptions that plagued him last year?

Team MVP – Offensive Guard Quenton Nelson

Breakout Player – Running Back Jonathan Taylor

Bust Player – Running Back Marlon Mack

 

Tennessee Titans 10-6 

Big Question – Was quarterback Ryan Tannehill’s previous season a fluke or for real?

Team MVP – Running Back Derrick Henry

Breakout Player – Wide Receiver Corey Davis

Bust Player – Linebacker Vic Beasley

 

Houston Texans 4-12

Big Question – Who can come close to filling wide receiver Deandre Hopkins’ shoes? (Hopkins was traded to the Arizona Cardinals this offseason.)

Team MVP – Defensive End J.J. Watt

Breakout Player – Running Back David Johnson (He would be more of a comeback player and not a breakout player.)

Bust Player – Wide Receiver Will Fuller V

 

Jacksonville Jaguars 2-14

Big Question – Can quarterback Gardner Minshew II prove he is the guy in Jacksonville?

Team MVP – Wide Receiver D.J. Chark

Breakout Player – Edge Rusher K’Lavon Chaisson 

Bust Player – Quarterback Gardner Minshew (Sadly for Minshew, he has very few weapons to work with, and I don’t know how he can succeed this year, which is unfortunate because he is actually a good quarterback. 

AFC East 

Buffalo Bills 11-5 

Big Question – Can quarterback Josh Allen improve his deep ball accuracy?

Team MVP – Cornerback Tre’Davious White

Breakout Player – Running Back Devin Singletary 

Bust Player – Defensive Tackle Ed Oliver 

 

New England Patriots 10-6 

Big Question – How is the quarterback position going to work? Will it be Cam Newton, Jarrett Stidham, or maybe even Brian Hoyer starting, or will it be two or even all three playing in games?

Team MVP – Cornerback Stephon Gilmore 

Breakout Player – Quarterback Cam Newton (comeback player)

Bust Player – Running Back Sony Michel 

 

Miami Dolphins 6-10

Big Question – If quarterback Tua Tagovailoa gets to play this year, when will it be? There is also a second big question for this team. How will the offensive line develop?

Team MVP – Cornerback Byron Jones 

Breakout Player – Tight End Mike Gesicki 

Bust Player – Wide Receiver DeVante Parker

 

New York Jets 3-13

Big Question – Can quarterback Sam Darnold show that he is the franchise QB for the Jets?

Team MVP – Running Back Le’Veon Bell

Breakout Player – Offensive Tackle Mekhi Becton

Bust Player – Quarterback Sam Darnold

 

AFC West 

Kansas City Chiefs 11-5

Big Question – Can the defense continue to improve like it did last year?

Team MVP – Quarterback Patrick Mahomes  

Breakout Player – Running Back Clyde Edwards-Helaire 

Bust Player – Defensive End Frank Clark 

 

Las Vegas Raiders 10-6

Big Question – Like the Dolphins, there are two big questions for this team. 

  1. Can quarterback Derek Carr prove he can start and be productive for the Raiders?
  2. Is this defense equipped to slow down the Chiefs twice a year?

Team MVP – Running Back Josh Jacobs 

Breakout Player – Defensive End Clelin Ferrell

Bust Player – Quarterback Derek Carr

 

Los Angeles Chargers 7-9

Big Question – Can this offense keep pace with the Kansas City Chiefs?

Team MVP – Defensive End Joey Bosa

Breakout Player – Tight End Hunter Henry

Bust Player – Cornerback Desmond King

 

Denver Broncos 6-10

Big Question – Is this offense going to be able to play well, or do they just look good on paper?

Team MVP – Edge Rusher Von Miller

Breakout Player – Quarterback Drew Lock 

Bust Player – Running Backs Melvin Gordon and Philip Lindsey 

 

NFC North 

Green Bay Packers 12-4

Big Question – This is an off the field question that could relate to on the field. What is the relationship between quarterback Aaron Rodgers with the higher-ups of the team after they drafted QB Jordan Love 26th overall and didn’t pick any receivers?

Team MVP – Wide Receiver Davante Adams

Breakout Player – Runningback AJ Dillon

Bust Player – Running Back Aaron Jones 

 

Minnesota Vikings 7-9

Big Question – After losing five members of their secondary, will the new players be able  to successfully fill the holes?

Team MVP – Running Back Dalvin Cook

Breakout Player – Wide Receiver Justin Jefferson

Bust Player – Tight End Kyle Rudolph

 

Detroit Lions 4-12

Big Question – Is this head coach Matt Patricia’s last year to show he is capable of turning this team around?

Team MVP – Cornerback Jeff Okudah (As a rookie, he would normally be considered the breakout player, but I think he is going to be great and be the team MVP.) 

Breakout Player – Running Back D’Andre Swift

Bust Player – Quarterback Matthew Stafford

 

Chicago Bears 4-12

Big Question – Moving forward, will the starting quarterback be Mitchell Trubisky, Nick Foles, or a QB in the 2021 NFL Draft?

Team MVP – Linebacker Khalil Mack

Breakout Player – Linebacker Roquan Smith 

Bust Player – Quarterbacks Mitchell Trubisky and Nick Foles

2nd Bust Player – Kickers Eddy Piñeiro and Cairo Santos… it’s the Bears

 

NFC South 

New Orleans Saints 13-3

Big Question – Is quarterback Drew Brees (41) going to be able to win another Super Bowl before he retires?

Team MVP – Running Back Alvin Kamara 

Breakout Player – Linebacker Zack Baun

Bust Player – Tight End Jared Cook 

 

Tampa Bay Buccaneers 13-3 

Big Question – Can quarterback Tom Brady be successful without his ex-head coach Bill Belichick, which brings another question… is Tom Brady (43) a system QB?

Team MVP – Wide Receiver Mike Evans 

Breakout Player – Running Back Ronald Jones 

Bust Player – Tight End Rob Gronkowski 

 

Atlanta Falcons 7-9

Big Question – Will quarterback Matt Ryan, running back Todd Gurley II, and wide receiver Julio Jones be the terrific trio we know they can be, or will they be a bust?

Team MVP – Wide Receiver Julio Jones 

Breakout Player – Tight End Hayden Hurst 

Bust Player – Quarterback Matt Ryan (Not completely a bust, just not as good as usual… a down year.)

 

Carolina Panthers 4-12

Big Question – Did new head coach Matt Rhule make the right choice by drafting seven defensive players and zero offensive players?

Team MVP – Running Back Christian McCaffrey

Breakout Player – Quarterback Teddy Bridgewater (Comeback Player)

Bust Player – Wide Receiver Robby Anderson

 

NFC East 

Dallas Cowboys 13-3

Big Question – Was new head coach Mike McCarthy the missing piece to making this team a Super Bowl contender?

Team MVP – Running Back Ezekiel Elliott

Breakout Player – Cornerback Chidobe Awuzie 

Bust Player – Left Guard Connor Williams 

 

Philadelphia Eagles 9-7 

Big Question – Can the team stay healthy, and if so, can Carson Wentz win his first playoff game?

Team MVP – Defensive Tackle Fletcher Cox

Breakout Player – Wide Receiver Jalen Reagor 

Bust Player – Wide Receiver DeSean Jackson 

 

Washington Football Team 4-12

Big Question – First of all, we hope new head coach Ron Rivera has a quick battle with cancer that he wins. Get well soon Coach. Second, congratulations quarterback Alex Smith on returning to play from that brutal leg injury. Third, are defensive end Chase Young and quarterback Dwane Haskins the cornerstone pieces of this franchise? And will they find a team name anytime soon?

Team MVP – Defensive End Chase Young (A rookie, but I predict that he will be awesome.)

Breakout Player – Quarterback Dwane Haskins

Bust Player – Linebacker Reuben Foster (He won’t be able to get on track after missing a year.)

 

New York Giants 2-14

Big Question – Can the defense show that there are players to build around, or will there be a complete overhaul after the season on that side of the ball?

Team MVP – Running Back Saquon Barkley 

Breakout Player – Safety Jabrill Peppers

Bust Player – Wide Receiver Golden Tate

 

NFC West 

Seattle Seahawks 15-1

Big Question – Can safety Jamal Adams return this defense to their Legion of Boom days?

Team MVP – Quarterback Russell Wilson 

Breakout Player – Wide Receiver D.K. Metcalf 

Bust Player – Running Back Chris Carson 

 

Arizona Cardinals 10-6

Big Question – In his second year as head coach, will Kliff Kingsbury be able to translate his offense from college to the pros with the help of wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins who was acquired in a trade?

Team MVP – Wide Receiver DeAndre Hopkins  

Breakout Player – Linebacker Isaiah Simmons 

Bust Player – Wide Receiver Christian Kirk 

 

San Francisco 49ers 9-7

Big Question – Will the 49ers be able to avoid the struggles that usually come with losing a Super Bowl?

Team MVP – Tight End George Kittle 

Breakout Player – Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo 

Bust Player – The running backs 

 

Los Angeles Rams 4-12

Big Question – There are two very important questions for the Rams this year.

  1. Can head coach Sean McVay and the leaders of this team spark a rebound from last year’s disappointing season?
  2. Which running back is going to step up and fill Todd Gurley II’s shoes? (Gurley signed with the Falcons this offseason.)

Team MVP – Defensive Tackle Aaron Donald

Breakout Player – Running Back Cam Akers

Bust Player – Kicker Sam Sloman