Slowly but surely, the 2021 NFL season is coming around the corner, and with that follows Cowboys fans claiming that “This is the year” once again. Along with them are many other fans looking forward to the moves their favorite team made in the offseason. Riding this anticipation, we take a look at our top five teams who will attract the spotlight in the 2021 NFL Season.
#5: The Washington Football Team
Coming off of a surprising run in the postseason that almost upset the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Washington Football Team is carrying some hefty momentum as they also had one of the strongest offseasons in the entire league heading into the 2021 NFL season. Washington managed to bring in Panthers receiver Curtis Samuel and Titans wideout Adam Humphries to create a very strong pass attack behind star pass-catcher Terry McLaurin, as well as adding great depth along the offensive line with the addition of three bruisers at the tackle, guard, and center positions. The team without a name will be one of the most-watched teams in the 2021 NFL season.
#4: The Arizona Cardinals
There can be no excuses for the Arizona Cardinals in the 2021 NFL season, as they have finally secured another elite pass-rusher to pair with Chandler Jones in some guy named J.J. Watt. I don’t know the guy, but they say he’s pretty good at football. Arizona already has an elite pass offense with quarterback Kyler Murray improving more and more each season. It also doesn’t hurt that he’s throwing the ball to 3x All-Pro wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins. Because they have significantly improved their defense with the addition of Watt, anything short of a Divisional Round appearance in the postseason should be considered a failure and must result in the termination of head coach Kliff Kingsbury’s contract.
#3: The New York Jets
This is not a joke by any means. The New York Jets will be a completely different NFL team in 2021. In case you have yet to notice, they selected a quarterback in the draft named Zach Wilson, and he has the raw and insatiable talent only seen in quarterbacks with the last names Rodgers and Mahomes. Though it’s still rather early, it’s safe to say that the New York Jets have finally found a quarterback that can be known for more than the Butt Fumble. Along with a bright young talent under center, the Jets also brought in a plethora of free agents that will give the team an entirely new look on both sides of the ball. General manager Joe Douglas is giving Jets fans something they haven’t felt since Joe Namath was on the roster during the 1960s-70s: hope. To lead this team towards the win column is the newly signed and high-appraised Robert Saleh, a former defensive coordinator for the San Fransisco 49ers. The fans have trusted Joe thus far, and they won’t stop after they see the team he’s put together.
#2: The Tampa Bay Buccaneers
It goes without saying, that the defending Super Bowl champions would make this list, especially when they’re the first time in NFL history to have all 22 starters from the 2020 season return the following year. It’s a bold move to assume from a management standpoint that there wasn’t a single position on your roster that was worth considering upgrading. Upon seeing that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers finished the 2020 NFL season with the third best offense in points scored for, and the eighth best defense in terms of points allowed, it’s understandable that after absolutely dismantling the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl, there aren’t too many weaknesses. However, in the NFL, what’s effective one season is not as effective the following year. If the Buccaneers are firm on keeping the gang together, they must really have an ace up their sleeve. Quarterback Tom Brady was able to convince tight end Rob Gronkowski out of retirement for another ring. Perhaps we see the same thing with a certain slot receiver named Julien Edelman? Or maybe we see Kevin Durant ask to get traded to the NFL from the NBA to win a championship.
#1: The Green Bay Packers
There is no team in the NFL that has a bigger spotlight than the Green Bay Packers, as it was released that 2020 league MVP, Aaron Rodgers, mentioned to some members of the organization that he did not want to return to the team this Fall. Not only has this press release split the entire fanbase in half, as stated by team president Mark Murphy, but it’s left immense uncertainty on whether it will be the veteran, and future Hall of Fame player, who will take his natural place under center as he’s done his 16-year career with the Pack, or if it will be the second-year quarterback who GM Brian Gutekunst traded up in the first round to draft in Jordan Love. Even if Rodgers does report back to the Green Bay Packers for the 2021 NFL season, it’s likely that it will be the last time he does so, which makes their campaign that much more imperative. If he does not return, then not only will the Packers be a shell of what they were with him, but some other team will receive one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever grace the game of football. Either way, the Cheeseheads are the number one team to keep an eye on throughout the 2021 NFL season.