Bold predictions for the 2021 NFL season with surprise Super Bowl contenders, NFL MVP winners, and the worst teams in the league.
It’s easy for anyone to look at the 2021 NFL season and just reel off bland takes about what they think will happen. Picking the Kansas City Chiefs and Tampa Bay Buccaneers to play in Super Bowl LVI might encompass the most likely outcome for this entire year, but where’s the fun in that? Anyone with a baseline knowledge of the league could predict that.
The fun, instead, comes from taking a nugget of truth or a belief and stretching it out. It comes from predicting the unexpected to come about. It comes from bold predictions. And luckily enough, we have some of those for the 2021 season. Specifically, with a tip of the cap to the 56th Super Bowl, we have 56 bold predictions for the upcoming campaign.
So let’s start that fun with some takes that probably won’t come true but, hey, we’re here to have fun. (Note: All odds mentioned are courtesy of WynnBet.)
56. Keenan Allen leads the NFL in receiving yards
Keenan Allen has clearly established himself as one of the premier wide receivers in the NFL over his career. And now that Justin Herbert is entering his second season and the Chargers wide receiver group is thin, he’s finally going to get his due by leading the league in receiving. He has only the 10th best odds (tied with a slew of others) to finish with the most receiving yards, which makes sense after he wasn’t even top 10 last year. Even still, he has the opportunity to do so.
55. Joe Burrow finishes among top 5 in passing yards
Most everyone is aware Joe Burrow is returning from a torn ACL, which might lead some to believe that you shouldn’t bank on him putting up big numbers. Don’t fall into that.
Point blank, the Bengals are still a bad football team. The defense has plenty of leaks and the offensive line isn’t going to allow Joe Mixon to succeed. As such, Burrow is going to have to air it out to keep his team competitive, which will lead to a monster year in terms of yardage — though not so much in terms of wins.
54. Carolina Panthers finish second in the NFC South
No one is shocked to find the defending champion Buccaneers as the favorites in the NFC South but the Panthers and Falcons are both at +900 to win the division, sitting behind both Tampa and the Saints.
Part of that has to be the unknown of Sam Darnold and more has to be the offensive line. However, Matt Rhule should have this defense taking another step forward and Joe Brady could salvage Darnold with a talented skill group. Given questions about Jameis Winston and the Saints in addition to the Falcons as well, Carolina could pick up the silver medal in the division.
53. Marquez Valdes-Scantling leads Packers in receiving TDs
Davante Adams is the clear-cut top wide receiver in Green Bay, which he showed with 1,374 yards and 18 touchdowns last season. Tight end Robert Tonyan also added 11. But those big numbers are a bit hard to repeat. Marquez Valdes-Scantling was third on the team with six scores but, after a strong training camp, I think he’ll emerge as a bigger weapon in the 2021 NFL season. In fact, the chips will fall where he leads the Packers in touchdown receptions.