56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season

SPIN Football preview

Only a few things are certain in this world: death, taxes and the NFL dominating the fall (and winter). Last year’s weird season ended in the familiar fashion of Tom Brady winning the Super Bowl. Snore. This year, with fans returning to full capacity stadiums, it *should* feel like the NFL of recent memory for fans, players and coaches alike.

Just like we have for the past two seasons, we’ve asked our expert panel of musicians how they think the season will unfold for their favorite teams. On top of the usual crew, we’ve added a bunch more who aren’t afraid to hit the mat in support of their favorite team. The one wrinkle that threw off a lot of those 8-8 predictions? The 17 game season. It will lead to more strange things and having an extra game to cheer or jeer will make the rest of the year more eventful.

As usual, everyone is excited about what’s to come once things kick off tonight in Tampa Bay and the rest of Week 1. But enough from me, here’s what everyone had to say.

 

Jerry Cantrell, Alice in Chains
Seattle Seahawks

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Michael Fabiano

 

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? What do you think is this group’s window and can they capitalize on it?
I’m glad to see that we locked up Jamal Adams. That bodes well for the defense. Anytime you have Russell Wilson at QB, you have a chance. I’d like to see them get Duane Brown handled for Russ. Ultimately, the window is as long as we have Russell Wilson, Pete Carroll and John Schneider together.

Being that this is the greatest run in team history, (2012-present) do you think Carroll has many more years left? What about those Wilson trade rumors? Bad or good for morale?
Pete has been a coach for a long time. If you go by his enthusiasm he’s like a 21-year-old. I’m happy to have Pete for as long he wants to coach, and we’ve had our best run under his tenure. He’s the best Seahawks coach in their history. I don’t know how many more years he has left, but I’m going to enjoy every one of them. As for Wilson, the NFL is a business, so you can’t fault someone for looking to maximize his opportunities in the league. I think players understand that.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Seahawks? What’s their ceiling/floor?
A playoff appearance and around 10-11 wins if the team can stay healthy.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Seahawks?
DK Metcalf is taking big leaps every year, and I think he’ll take another one forward. The guy is a beast on the football field. His route running has improved every season, and I think he’s seeing the field well and where he needs to be, and the rapport between he and Russell strengthens every year.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Baltimore and Tampa Bay, Tampa Bay wins.

 

Patrick Carney, The Black Keys
Cleveland Browns

 

Patrick Carney Josh Brasted/Getty Images

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is this the year the Browns finally are back?
I think that they’re definitely finally back and watching the preseason games and stuff, it’s the first time since I was a kid that I’m confident that they are actually have a really good team. I think it sucks that they have such hard competition in their division. This may be the toughest in all football, but just having to play against the Steelers. If Mayfield can deliver the goods you know, we’re gonna have an insane year. I have faith in him.

Thoughts on the OBJ trade? He has helped or hurt or even worse, done nothing for the team?
If he can stay healthy, I think Beckham can be a big contributor this year. I think anytime a player of that stature comes to a team like Cleveland that was rebuilding and kind of in the fucking gutter is a booster of morale. At this time I think he’s actually got to live up to some of the other players on the team. There’s a good kind of chemistry going on with the team right now and the defense is on fire.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Browns? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I’d like to see them go 11-6. There’s no way they’re gonna be less than .500 and if they are, I’m going to stop watching football.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Browns?
I think when you talk about the Browns and you talk about the team that has had something like 26 quarterbacks, it’s always going to be on what Baker can do.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I’d like to see Aaron Rodgers with the Packers in there. Of course, you need to see the Browns in there. But I think if I had to really take a bet I would put money down on Rodgers. He’s got a point to prove. Outside of the Titans or Browns, that’s the only team I’d be happy to see win.

 

Butch Vig, Garbage
Green Bay Packers

 

Butch Vig Courtesy of Butch Vig

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? What happens with Rodgers this year?
Everyone is assuming this will be Aaron Rodgers last year in Green Bay, so I feel there is a legitimate “Super Bowl or Bust” attitude among the players and organization. As usual, the fans are quite anxious, but so far in camp, Rodgers has been very relaxed. That’s a good sign. “Relax.”

Do you think the team can get over the NFC championship loss? Does the team have enough to get back there?
The Packers were a couple plays away from going to a Super Bowl the last 2 years. While it’s tough to suffer stinging defeat, I think this year’s squad has the experience and mental toughness to be back in the hunt.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Packers? What’s their ceiling/floor?
The Packers need to win the NFC North, that is their first goal, as that gets them a playoff bid. I don’t expect much from Goff and the Lions, but both the Bears and Vikings could be in the hunt for the NFC North crown.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Packers?
I think Darnell Savage will have another great year at safety and make the Pro Bowl. And I have high hopes for rookies Amari Rogers at slot receiver and Eric Stokes at cornerback.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
The Packers will win the NFC North with an 11-6 record.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
It’s hard to not pick the Bucs as they return all 22 starters from last year’s championship squad, but with a chip on his shoulder and a little mojo I’m taking Rodgers and the Packers to defeat the Bucs in the NFC Championship Game and then take down the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl 31-27.

 

Alice Cooper
Detroit Lions

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Jenny Risher

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you going to miss Stafford? Excited about Goff?
Well, I’m gonna miss Stafford because since he joined the Lions, he was always a great quarterback. I’m even going to watch and see what he does with the Rams because I’ll be a Stafford fan. Getting Goff was a very good trade. A lot of people are iffy on this, but I’ve got a feeling that Goff is a big tall young guy that can see over the line and he’ll be throwing to Perriman, which I think is a very, very good deal. [Editor’s note: we spoke to Alice prior to Perriman being cut.]

Thoughts on the new coach/management (again)?
I understand that the coach and management are very controversial, which I like. I think Detroit needs controversial management.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Lions? What’s their ceiling/floor?
If the Lions finish .500 or better, I’m always happy. That doesn’t mean they can’t finish better than that. Every team is in a state of rebuilding just about almost every season somebody leaves and somebody comes in and you have to rebuild everything.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Yeah, they could make the playoffs. I think they would they could go you know, they could win nine or 10 games.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I know this sounds absolutely crazy. But I can’t see Kansas City or Buffalo, and the Buccaneers again. I don’t think you can bet against Brady. I just think that he brings the idea that we can win no matter what. I would love to see a couple of teams that have never been in the Super Bowl. I’d love to see you know the Lions and somebody else, but I’ve got a feeling that you’re going to see a repeat of last year. And who knows, Kansas City might even show up this year. I would say this time Kansas City wins it

 

Joey Santiago, Pixies
New York Jets

 

Joey Santiago Pixies Courtesy of Joey Santiago

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
They will continue being the Jets. The best at being the worst.

Have the Jets hit rock bottom?
Yes. Several times. They hit rock bottom last year when they upset the Rams. Yes, they gave winning a bad name. The Jets have developed special pads to make the sharp edges at Rockbottom bearable. They’re switching their name to The New York Jets of Rockbottom.

Is Zach Wilson the quarterback of the future?
Yes. Just for the mere fact that time moves forward.

Do you think Darnold got a raw deal?
No. He’ll be fine. Zach got the raw deal.

Are you confident in the management?
Yes. Management will get them to the bottom.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Jets?
They will suck. They are spelunkers in the constant quest for rock bottom.

What’s their ceiling/floor?
Picture a beautiful dollhouse. Now stomp on it several times until the ceiling and floor are one.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Jets?
The benchwarmer for he is safe.

Do they make the playoffs?
False.

What’s their record?
South of rock bottom.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Any team but the Jets vs I couldn’t care less.

J-E-T-S Jets Jets Jets! Even that chant is awful. Four syllables followed by three. C’mon! Even Jets’ fans can’t bare to say Jets one more time.

 

David Lovering, Pixies
New England Patriots

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Courtesy of David Lovering

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
This new Patriots variant is hard to tell at this moment. Fingers crossed they will proliferate in wins this season.

Is this Belichick’s last hurrah?
I’m guessing that three times is the charm no matter what, so I’d give him one more season then to retire.

Do you miss Brady?
I don’t that much. I still follow him with the Bucs and was happy with their win. And for what he’s given N.E. all those years, I feel fulfilled and to be without.

Is Mac Jones the future?
Possibly. He’s proven himself prior. I’m hoping for a surprise.

Can the Pats rebound after an un-Pats year and signing all those free agents?
I think they can prevail. Given a new outlook and prospects, any team, especially the Patriots can capitalize.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Pats?
Reasonable is not in my vocabulary for hoping with the Pats. I straight-up want my team to win.

What’s their floor/ceiling?
13-4.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Pats?
Sony Michel as usual for me. He’s awesome. [Editor’s note: Michel got traded to the Rams days after this response.]

Do they make the playoffs?
That would be my dream fulfilled for the umpteenth time. Hope so.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Bucs vs. Pats and still a Brady fan.

 

Benny Horowitz, Mercy Union / The Gaslight Anthem

 

Benny Horowitz Courtesy of Benny Horowitz

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Can the defense carry the Giants?
I don’t think we’re back to the days of the Big Blue Wrecking Crew, but, I’m eager to see this defense in action.  This unit has the potential to be a top 10, and a true nuisance in the secondary.  The other side of the ball is what will keep us from being a winning squad.

What do you think of all the talent they’ve brought in to rebuild the offense?
I’m not happy with the rebuild because it included very little for the offensive line. With the youth and accident-prone players on that side of the ball, the mix could be ugly again. I appreciate taking some swings on targets for Jones, but giving him some time to throw to them is significantly more important.

Is Judge the answer to the Giants’ problems?
Judge seems good and has it moving in the right direction, I’m close to becoming a believer…but, the jury is still out. Zing.

Who’s the QB of the future for the Giants?
Jones, 100%. The decision on his future will come within the first half of the season, but does it matter? The Giants have not addressed that position in the draft and will have to start from zero. It’s not in sync with the timeline of the defense. That falls on Gettleman, so if they have to tear down the QB position, it would be reasonable to think he goes down with it.

What’s your realistic hope for the season? What’s their ceiling/floor?
My hope for this season is simply marked improvement and a clearer road ahead. It’s been a rough decade, and I just want to see a solid foundation built again. The ceiling is competing for a Wild Card game… and the floor is the bottom of the league.

Who’s the player to watch on the Giants?
Xavier McKinney is exciting, and I think he could break out with a larger role this season. On the offensive side of the ball, can Engram put it all together?  A few games a season you see the talent and potential, and it’s followed with a bombed game of drops and sloppy routes.  Very big for the offense if he can keep it together.

Do the Giants make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Even with an average division, it’s hard to see a playoff season.  But, historically, the most pre-season pessimism usually leads to the best results. Any season I’ve been optimistic is met with failure. It’s the Giants way. 8-9 if all things break right.

What’s your Super Bowl prediction?
Chiefs/Packers in the Super Bowl. Neither QB will be stopped, one with sheer talent and one with talent and a huge shoulder chip to polish. Chiefs are the NFL champions.

 

Bret Michaels, Poison
Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Bret Michaels Pittsburgh Steelers Courtesy of Bret Michaels

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is this it for Tomlin and Roethlisberger?
My prognosis for the Pittsburgh Steelers will remain, as always – I truly believe we are going to the Super Bowl. You have to believe to receive, and I believe in black and gold. As far as Ben Roethlisberger, he is an incredible Hall of Fame quarterback. He looks, as always, like he is coming back into the season with that unbroken fighting spirit to win. Mike Tomlin and I are brothers of the same birthday – March 15th.

The Ides Of March. Mike is an incredible, unbelievable coach and I hope that we never lose him. He’s a great leader, as well as a players’ coach, and has the heart of a lion.

For the first time in a very long time, the future looks murky for the Steelers, what do you think happens with their existing core?
The answer is simple: you cannot look at any season as murky, you look at everything with the way to fix it, improve it. Most importantly, believe in the players, the staff and the personnel that the Steelers have and then use the energy of the fans like me to bring that Steeler Nation power to be the 12th man on the team.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Steelers? What’s their ceiling/floor?
When you’re a Steeler fan, you are not reasonable. We’re going into every game, wanting to win every battle and then you’ve won the war. I cannot say my hopes are reasonable – my hopes are that they go to the Super Bowl! They’ve got great players and a great team and the slate is clean. It’s a fresh start, they’ve got the skills, they’ve got the thrills, what they’ve got to focus on is the willpower to push through all the gameday adversity on & off the field. My reasonable hope is they win every game.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Steelers?
When you’re a team, every single player matters – from all offense, defense, special teams – you’re only as good as your weakest link, you bring everyone up & all ships rise. But we have incredible talent on this team and although there are amazing marquee names, it will take every member of the team to give 1000% to get to the Super Bowl as this year we are going up against not only incredible opposing teams but ones that you can never underestimate their willpower to want to win no matter what their record is.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record? What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I feel the Steelers will meet the Buccaneers. Tampa Bay is driven to win again this year. They kept their team together and will be tough to beat. My prediction is a badass Super Bowl with me playing halftime – the biggest party ever! And the Steelers pulling out a close victory. As I have lots of great friends in Tampa, I know their spirit to win as I was there for the Lightning’s Stanley Cup win. It’s going to be a tough city to beat, but I love the challenge.

 

Tom Wisniewski, MxPx
Seattle Seahawks

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Jered Scott

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
Overall, I think we have a solid team that will compete in one of the hardest divisions in all of the NFL. I think the Seahawks have a window of opportunity early in the season on offense with a new offensive coordinator joining the team. The lack of film on THIS offense will make game planning for us harder this year, at least in the first half of the season.

What do you think is this group’s window?
Our window is open as long as Russell Wilson is our QB. He is an elite competitor. When given time, he can pick a defense apart. DK Metcalf is going into his third season which is when wide receivers usually really “get” the NFL game.

Being that this is the greatest run in team history, do you think Carroll has many more years left?
Pete is younger at heart than most of the head coaches in the NFL. He just signed an extension, which was a formality, and he will coach in Seattle until he retires. I think he has 6-8 years left coaching.

What about those Wilson trade rumors? Bad or good?
The trade rumors were purely off-season “slow news day” stuff and posturing for Russell’s next contract negotiation. He was never going anywhere.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Seahawks? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Ceiling = Super Bowl champions! Floor = 8-9 barring Russell getting hurt for a significant time.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Seahawks?
D’Wayne Eskridge – WR. He is basically Percy Harvin on a team with a firmly entrenched WR1 and WR2 in DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett. The opposing team’s CBs will be too busy dealing with them and D’Wayne will be one-on-one in the WR3 spot.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I absolutely think the Seahawks will make the playoffs. Our division is really tough, so while I want it to be as a division champion, we may end up a wild card. 12-5 is my prediction.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Everyone should be picking the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to repeat their Super Bowl matchup against the Kansas City Chiefs, not teams are far too good to argue against. My feeling is that parity is what makes the NFL great and that it is INCREDIBLY HARD to repeat a Super Bowl run.

The fan in me wants to pick the Seahawks for the NFC, but Aaron Rodgers is pissed off right now, and he is a force even when he’s just plodding along through another season. When he’s pissed though, he’s damn near impossible to stop, so I have to pick Green Bay to represent the NFC.

For the AFC, I’m going with the Buffalo Bills. Josh Allen is on his third season and should really see the game slow down for him this year. They looked destined to represent the AFC by midseason last year and I think they find a way to get back to the Super Bowl this year and avenge Jim Kelly and the ’90s Bills.

As for the winner: Bills 31 – Packers 28.

 

Dave Hause
Philadelphia Eagles

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Blood Harmony Records

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
My prognosis for the team is probably more optimistic than most, but I’m friends with the king of the Philadelphia Eagles, Reuben Frank, and he’s taught me to stay positive, against all odds. Also, my brother, Tim, is where I go to get most of my takes on sports (he could be a sportscaster). I’m thinking an 8-9 record is where they end up. Their defense has been maligned for some time, especially in the secondary, but they made some key signings and brought in a DC that people in the know seem stoked on. I think the defense can keep games close. A record like that might actually contend for the division title seeing how weak it’s been in recent years.

Are you happy with this rebuild?
I have to hand it to Howie Roseman. I thought he should have been the first to go before Wentz, and certainly before Pederson given his track record with draft picks. However, flipping Wentz for potentially a first rounder and getting them in position to have three first round picks in next year’s draft was impressive. What he does with those picks is another story. The rebuild is really too early to make a determination on. After next year’s draft, we will have a much better sense of where things are heading. We are in the post-Super Bowl, post-Wentz/Pederson debacle fallout period.

Was getting rid of Wentz/Pedersen the answer? Do you believe in Hurts and upper management?
Yeah, getting rid of Wentz was a must. He’s a bum. I was at the LA game where he went out with the big injury and played like a champion, but I’ve always felt there was something not quite right about Wentz since then, which is why I loved Foles and his glorious run to the Super Bowl. Anyhow, it was time for both sides to move on. The jury is still out on the Pederson front. Probably safe to bet he wouldn’t have won a second Super Bowl in Philadelphia, though, so who knows. Maybe it’s for the best? Start anew with someone else? He seemed to lose his spark.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Eagles? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Their floor is finishing with three or four wins this season. Their ceiling is probably around 10 wins. Sneaking into the playoffs is about the best we could hope for with the current roster.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Eagles?
DeVonta Smith, without a doubt. He is a guy that was so much fun to watch and he’s got the right mindset. The fact that he’s a smaller guy is also right up Philadelphia’s alley. He’s a quintessential Philly guy. Smaller and undersized but works harder than everyone else and is dedicated to his craft. Definitely a guy that’s easy to get behind.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I think they probably miss out on the postseason by a couple of games. I’m thinking they end up at 8-9.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Can’t really bet against Brady getting back to the Super Bowl. Probably an even safer bet that the Chiefs make it back in with that Pat Mahomes. He’s incredible. I’m taking the Chiefs in the Super Bowl rematch.

 

Murs
Jacksonville Jaguars

 

Murs Aaron Kremen

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
We will definitely win more games than we did last year

Can you deal with another rebuild?
The short answer is yes, the long answer is last year I tried being an L.A. Chargers fan because I live down the street from the stadium. I enjoyed watching the Jaguars go 1-15 more than I enjoyed watching the Chargers actually win games. I’m in this for life.

Do you believe in the hiring of Urban Meyer and do you think Trevor Lawrence is the real deal?
As a Florida Gators fan, I most definitely believe in the hiring of Urban Meyer. It’s fun and nostalgic but can he get it done at the pro level? Who knows? I wanted them to draft Trey Lance but we’ll see how Trevor Lawrence plays out somewhere in my head I think he’s the next Blaine Gabbert maybe it’s the hair but I’m hoping he proves me wrong.

Is the team finally headed in the right direction?
There’s only up to go from last season.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Jaguars?
Better than last season.

What’s their ceiling/floor?
2-15 is the floor. First round win in the playoffs ceiling.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Jaguars?
Jay Tufele/James Robinson.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Yeah. 9-8.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Green Bay Packers vs Bills.

 

Jacoby Shaddix, Papa Roach
San Francisco 49ers

 

Jacoby Shaddix Brixton Shaddix

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you expecting a big bounce-back?
If the team stays healthy this year we will be a contender to take it all. We have so many amazing players on both offense and defense its ridiculous.

Is Jimmy G or Trey the answer?
Honestly, the combination of having both Jimmy and Trey at QB is the answer. Trey is gonna push Jimmy to be his best and if he isn’t killing it Trey can step in and lead the team. Nice to have depth at the QB position.

Does the D go even harder and bigger than the Super Bowl year?
Defense wins games! That’s my belief. Our defense is off the chain. Nuff said.

What are your reasonable hopes for the 49ers? What’s their ceiling/floor?
We definitely have the ability to take the NFC West if not the NFC conference altogether. Like I said earlier if we stay healthy and play our best we have a shot to take it all. Yeah, there’s some great teams out there but the Niners are stacked this year and hungry as fuck!!!

Who is your player to watch this year on the 49ers?
Like I said earlier I believe Defense wins games and now that Nick Bosa is back and healthy I can’t wait to watch him destroy it this year. He’s just an exciting football player to watch!

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Oh hell yeah, we make the playoffs as far as The regular season goes there will actually be 17 regular season games this year. So I think they will go 14 wins 3 loses. I believe it I’m putting it out in the cosmos! Like E-40 says “bang bang Niner gang!”

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I would love to go to the Super Bowl against the Chiefs and beat them. But we will take anybody!!!! Let’s go NINERS!!!!!

 

Andy Biersack, Black Veil Brides
Cincinnati Bengals

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Courtesy of Andy Biersack

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Can Burrow rebound from the ACL injury and will he be the franchise QB he’s expected to be?
That remains to be seen. I think that he certainly seems confident in his ability to do it. I think a lot of it just comes down to whether he’s comfortable in the pocket and we’ll that in Week 1.

A lot of people have talked about the offensive line and there’s a narrative that they’ve done nothing. But the entire line is essentially a different starting line than what we had last year. I’m optimistic that there’ll be at least some change, and then things will get a little bit better.

Is this Taylor’s last stand? Can you expect moderately good things from the coaching this year?
At the end of the day, we had Marvin Lewis for 16 years. I don’t know that any other coach will come in and have that same kind of tenure. If he doesn’t produce, I could definitely see a situation where he’s not around. I think that they’ve given them the requisite number of years to try to figure it out and going from a basement-dwelling team to a team that hopefully can be in contention for winning the division.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Bengals? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I think that this offense has a chance to be really explosive. They could be a 10 win team, but they can also be a four-win team. I’d like to say six wins as a floor just because I’d like to see some improvement over last year.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Bengals?
Let’s see what the hell happens with your Ja’Marr Chase who has obviously has struggled in the preseason. It would be hard-pressed to say anybody other than on the offensive side to see if he ends up being the star that we need him to be the AJ Green replacement that we need him to be, but we’ve got a pretty good receiving corps with a lot of weapons. But seeing what Ja’Marr Chase turns into will be the most interesting thing.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Let’s say 10-7 we’ll go with that because there’s another game in the season.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I’ll say the same thing that I’ve been saying every year when I do this. Kansas City versus Green Bay Green Bay with Rodgers last stand.

Justin Foley, Killswitch Engage
New York Giants

 

(Credit: Courtesy of Justin Foley)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you happy with this rebuild? Is Judge the answer?
First of all, I’m glad that I was so wrong last year, and that the team was competing for a division title! What an exciting year it was, losing every week and then celebrating when all the other stupid teams in the division lost too. Honestly though, when Saquon went down Week 2, I was expecting a two or three-win season, so I have to give Judge credit for the team competing. I think he could stick around for a while. They really should be better this year, they definitely spent the money trying.

Is this Gettleman and Jones’ last stand? Do you believe in the roster and does Saquon bounce back?
I do think this is a make-or-break year for Jones. He needs to prove that he can beat someone besides the Football Team. They got him, Golladay, so he doesn’t have any more excuses. Well, unless he is pressured every drop back. The offensive line is still pretty suspect. But if Saquon is himself, which I expect him to be, that will at least give them a running game and balance things somewhat. As for Gettleman, can last year be his last year?

What are your reasonable hopes for the Giants? What’s their ceiling/floor?
After a surprising 6-10 year, OK, a shocking 6-10, I have to at the very least hope for 9-8, right? I mean, all the other stupid teams in the division are stupid and a bunch of losers, and I’m not scared of any of them, so they should sweep the division and split the rest for an 11-6 season. But they’ll probably go 6-10-1 or something. Anything worse and the franchise should just call it a day.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Giants?
It has to be Jones. He needs to show that he is the guy. There’s nothing worse than a franchise insisting that they have a franchise QB and then being awful year after year. If Jones doesn’t step up big time this year they need to pull the plug on it.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I think they will make the playoffs, but in a similar fashion to how they almost made it last year, aided by the ineptitude of the NFC East. 9-8. Then they’ll lose at home to a 12-5 wild card team.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
They’re gonna have that Super Bowl thing again this year, huh? Ok. Aaron Rodgers goes nuts and carries the Packers there, but they lose to the Browns. Or the Bills. Or any team that can end years and years of fanbase suffering. But I’ll say Browns.

 

David Cook
Kansas City Chiefs

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Bill Althaus/The Examiner

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you confident in the team or do you think they’ve peaked?
I’m of the mind that the AFC road to the Super Bowl still runs through Arrowhead, assuming health doesn’t become too much of a season-long issue. I don’t think anything happened this off-season that would have changed that.

After getting punched in the face during the Super Bowl, do you think Mahomes and co have what it takes to get up and dominate again?
I do. Our revamped O-line should allow our offense to have some different wrinkles this season. And as long as the defense can be a top 10 or 15 squad, I think KC will be a tough out.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Chiefs? What’s their ceiling/floor?
It seems like the vibe is Super Bowl or bust. And I’m all for that.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Chiefs?
There are quite a few answers here. The new guys on the offensive line. Chris Jones’ move to Defensive end. But I’ll go with Mecole Hardman. With Sammy Watkins leaving, can Hardman fill the role of the No. 2 guy behind Tyreek Hill, or will Demarcus Robinson or Cornell Powell step up and take that spot? Or another WR on the preseason roster?

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Yes, they make the playoffs. Only substantial injuries keep that from happening. For the record, I’ll go with 14-3, and another Super Bowl appearance.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I’ll go with a KC-TB rematch, with KC avenging last year’s loss.

 

Soup, Jurassic 5/ Fullee Love Collective
Dallas Cowboys

 

Soup J5 Courtesy of Soup

 

I didn’t even wanna do this, but my guy Daniel wouldn’t let up! In some sick way, I think he enjoys the fact that I’m a Cowboys fan and ain’t seen prosperity in 26 years. You would think that when I friend see another in an abusive relationship, they would call for help! (not this guy).

Predictions: Cowboys, 8-9
Playoffs: Maaaaan, don’t be asking me bout no playoffs!

But seriously all jokes aside, this season for me is up in the air. I do however like the fact that Jerry finally stopped being petty with Jimmy Johnson and will put him in the ring of honor, which has been more than long overdue. Maybe this will help wash away some of that curse that has followed us since he left (or fired, however, you see fit).

The hiring of Dan Quinn should help, with defense, it’s still our biggest hole in the boat to fill, but at least I feel we won’t sink to the bottom like last year. The offense is always the priority, so there’s no worries there, let’s just hope Zeke can hold on to the ball more than not!

 

Tim ‘Ripper’ Owens, KK’s Priest
Cleveland Browns

 

(Courtesy of Tim “Ripper” Owens)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
Everything looks like it should be good, but this is the Browns and when everything looks good it never works out. Haha! But really it should be good and I think they have it together

Is this the year the Browns finally are back?
They were back last year because they finally made the playoffs. Let’s see if they can keep that momentum.

Thoughts on the OBJ trade? He has helped or hurt or even worse, done nothing for the team?
I think he could be traded, but his attitude has been great with the Browns and he seems to want to be there! I think they will figure out the best way to use him…

What are your reasonable hopes for the Browns? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Well, it would be nice to have them in the playoffs again, but every time they get people excited and Cleveland is on board the ship sinks! I think they have too good of a team and staff to sink now and should make the playoffs. We will see what happens from there

Who is your player to watch this year on the Browns?
I guess Nick Chubb. If he has a full healthy year he could put up huge numbers

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
It would surely be nice. I’m VERY cautiously optimistic. I’m thinking maybe 10-7 or 11-6.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Maybe KC vs GB.

 

Serengeti
Chicago Bears

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Courtesy of Serengeti

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Excited about Fields? Are you gonna miss Mitch?
Bears can fly under the radar this year. Not too many expectations and the focus of the NFC North will be on Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Super excited for Justin Fields. Endless potential. Also wearing #1 will help disgraced double doink kicker Cody Parkey, who last wore that number, move on with this life. Justin can build upon his redeemer gimmick and given that he’s signed with Adidas they can begin his “Fields of Dreams” campaign. Shunned Chicago notables emerge from the cornfield, first Rex Grossman, then Steve Bartman, and finally Kanye West. Cut the check Adidas.

Miss Mitch? The only thing I will miss is people in Chicago constantly mispronouncing his last name. Either Tribitski or Trubinski, every version of Mitch wasn’t good at quarterback.

Is this Nagy’s last stand? Can Mack lead the D to their 2018 heights?
Make or break year for Matt Nagy. He needs to commit more to the run and ditch the visor for a new look. I’d recommend the Ivan Lendl sun hat or a vest with a defined goatee look like Stone Cold Steve Austin.

The star of the defense this year will be new coordinator Sean Desai. As the first person of Indian descent to be named an NFL coordinator, Sean will revitalize an already talented defense with a focus on takeaways.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Bears? What’s their ceiling/floor?
The ceiling is a Super Bowl. The floor is an 8-9 season with Andy Dalton playing all 17 games like Andy Dalton.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Bears?
WR Darnell Mooney is going to have an All-Pro year.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Yes. At least 10 wins. Berenger at tight end.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Bears vs Buffalo, the Great Lakes Bowl. Chicago wins by default when half of the Bills team contracts the Delta variant at an unmasked Super Bowl pre-party hosted by Griselda.

 

Brent Rambler, August Burns Red
Philadelphia Eagles

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Courtesy of Brent Rambler

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you happy with this rebuild?
I think the Eagles will end up in a similar spot as last year record-wise. I think they will be an exciting team to watch, but I think they will have a lot of mistakes on the offensive side of the ball that make the games frustrating. I’m not generally stoked on the rebuild as I think the Eagles constantly waste time at the running back position. We have an excellent running back in Miles Sanders and the Eagles win games when he touches the ball a lot, however, the Eagles constantly pick up and let go of running backs. I’m sure it’s annoying for Miles Sanders because it doesn’t show that the team has confidence in him.

Was getting rid of Wentz/Pedersen the answer? Do you believe in Hurts and upper management?
I don’t know that getting rid of Doug was necessary, but I think letting go of Carson was a great choice. He can’t stay healthy and seems to have a hero complex that makes him feel the need to carry the team at all times versus just making the right play. I think Jalen Hurts is a winner and I like that. As long as he makes good decisions he will be a good quarterback. I think that it’s time for upper management to be shuffled around a bit. I think Devonta Smith was a dice roll of a draft pick due to his size. He’s already injured and I’m pretty sure that will be a common theme moving forward.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Eagles? What’s their ceiling/floor?
My reasonable hopes are that we get some fun games to watch, but I think they have a really low floor. I could see them losing a lot of games.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Eagles?
Miles Sanders if he gets the damn ball.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
NO! 6-11.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
My Super Bowl matchup is the Packers vs Chiefs. Chiefs win.

 

Spike Slawson, Me First and the Gimme Gimmes
Pittsburgh Steelers

 

(Credit: Audra Morse)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is this it for Tomlin and Roethlisberger?
At the risk of showing my age, I must admit I’m more of a Knoll/Bradshaw adherent, although I bet you could cut glass with Bill Cowher’s facial profile. At least with a weakened Steelers, the bar will be sufficiently lowered for the Browns to limp over once in a while.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Steelers? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Their floor should be to pool their money and save the Original Hot Dog on Forbes Ave. Mark Cuban was supposedly gonna save the day, but no dice. Best fries on the planet, and on the weekends the “dining room” was like 10 fistfights waiting to happen. Ceiling schmeiling.

For the first time in a very long time, the future looks murky for the Steelers, what do you think happens with their existing core?
Though he was talking about baseball, I think Earl Weaver’s quote is appropriate here: “If you know how to cheat, start now.” (See also: Weaver’s musings on “team speed.”)

Who is your player to watch this year on the Steelers?
Watch out for their new running back Najee Harris. He is originally from the Bay (where I currently reside) and was just drafted by the Steelers. He may wind up putting a positive spin on any concerns about Roethlisberger’s age and/or Tomlin’s post-season chops.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I foresee a Steelers vs. Cowboys Super Bowl where the former decisively rout the latter, and take their rightful place as America’s Team, and therefore Pittsburgh as America’s City (Imagine Snoop Dogg wearing a Cowboys jersey!). Win or lose, though, as a gesture of loyalty and goodwill to the team and city, I am definitely setting a car on fire that night. It’s the right thing to do.

 

White Dave
San Francisco 49ers

 

(Credit: Anshil Popli)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you expecting a big bounce-back?
The 49ers are in store for a big year with a healthy supporting cast and a new exciting prospect at the quarterback. I think the 49ers are in a position to compete for the Super Bowl.

Is Jimmy G or Trey the answer? Does the D go even harder and bigger than the Super Bowl year?
I have full faith in Jimmy G but the best ability is availability and if he can’t stay healthy, then it’s Trey Lance’s time. The defense must step up and be better than they were last year no matter who the starting quarterback is. Defense still wins championships.

What are your reasonable hopes for the 49ers? What’s their ceiling/floor?
The 49ers should compete for a playoff spot, but it’s very easy to fall behind early in the season. They must start off hot and finish games with authority and not let teams linger around.

Who is your player to watch this year on the 49ers?
Fred Warner is my favorite player to watch because he’s the captain of the defense and as far as he goes, the team goes. We have exciting prospects on offense, but the game is won on the defensive side of the ball.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
The 49ers make the playoffs with a 10-7 record easily.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
My predictions for the Super Bowl are a Tampa Bay-Kansas City rematch. I believe both teams have gotten better and no one else has made significant enough moves to displace them in the rankings.

 

Luke McNeill, The Copyrights
Denver Broncos

 

(Courtesy of Luke McNeill)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
I think (like all delusional fans) that the Broncos are gonna overachieve! The best defense in football is back and healthy, but it’s still the Chiefs’ division. I predict 10-7 and a Wild Card.

Are the Broncos ever going to solve their QB issues?
Yes, because I have a suspicion Aaron Rodgers will get traded there midseason. If that’s the case, SB champs!

In recent years, seems like the Broncos are always on the edge of being good or bad, do you see that trend stabilizing this year one way or another?
I think they were on the edge of bad last year because of injuries, especially losing the best LB in football in Von Miller. This year if they stay relatively healthy I think they’ll have a winning record no matter the QB situation. Drew Lock can only get better.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Broncos? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Reasonable hopes are that they get a wild card, maybe win a playoff game, but I don’t see them getting past KC or Buffalo. The ceilings obviously much higher if they get Rodgers, and I honestly think if they do and get into the playoffs, they’re a super bowl threat.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Broncos?
I think either Jerry Jeudy is gonna be a star wide receiver, or Noah Fant is gonna be a star tight end. Hopefully both!

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
10-7, make the playoffs via a Wild Card.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Kansas City beats the L.A. Rams.

 

Tony Esposito, White Reaper
New York Giants

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Grace Lillash

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you happy with this rebuild? Is Judge the answer?
I would have loved to have seen them address the offensive line in the draft, so it’s disappointing to be going into this season with a similar O-line unit from last year. But maybe with the new guys like Kenny G and Kadarius Toney, we’ll have some people open before the pocket disintegrates. Probably not though. I like Joe Judge a lot, and I’d love to see him lead the Giants to success over the next few decades or so.

Is this Gettleman and Jones’ last stand? Do you believe in the roster and does Saquon bounce back?
I do think this is Daniel Jones’ last stand, but I think Gettleman somehow escapes unscathed regardless of this season’s outcome. Honestly, I hope they go easy on Saquon and let him reintegrate slowly so he doesn’t get killed immediately upon his return to the field. Let him warm up until we have a halfway decent line to clear a path for him.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Giants? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I think the Giants ceiling is somewhere around .500 give or take. Maybe we get lucky and sneak into the Wild Card round if the division is as bad as it was last year, but I’m not holding my breath.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Giants?
I’m excited to see Kenny Golladay in a Giants uniform. He’s who I’m looking forward to seeing the most from this team.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I think the Chiefs make it back to the super bowl to take on Aaron Rodgers in his (final?) year as a Packer. I think the Chiefs win.

 

Chad Williams, Western Addiction
Green Bay Packers

 

(Courtesy of Chad Williams)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? What happens with Rodgers this year?
Prognosis: Super Bowl and/or bust. This is almost certainly Aaron Rodgers’ last season with Green Bay. His grievances with the organization are real and completely understandable. They blew it. But he wants to win one more Super Bowl before leaving, and this year is the last chance, last dance.

Do you think the team can get over the NFC championship loss? Does the team have enough to get back there?
Last year’s NFC Championship loss was devastating for a team that has been so close, so many times. They could have and should have won that game were it not for inexplicable play calls to end each half, gifting the Bucs a TD and failing to get one themselves. Note to coaches: when you need one play to win it, fuck strategy. Give the ball to Michael Jordan, duh. Or in this case: Aaron Rodgers, duh.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Packers?
This year, they did draft a promising young receiver in Amari Rodgers, and he is definitely the one to watch. And at Aaron’s insistence, they brought back his buddy and super reliable slot receiver Randall Cobb to complement superstar Davante Adams.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Barring catastrophic injury, they make the playoffs with a 13-4 record and the NFC Championship Game. They’ve lost so many heartbreaking NFC title games over the last decade (four, if you’re counting) that we Packers fans are reticent to predict a Super Bowl appearance, but I AM optimistic.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Thus, with hope prevailing, the NFL world will get what it wants: Rodgers vs. Mahomes in a Packers/Chiefs Super Bowl, not just a State Farm commercial.

 

Mark Holcomb, Periphery
Chicago Bears

 

(Credit: Randy Edwards)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Excited about Fields? Are you gonna miss Mitch?
The prognosis is a little unclear for Bears fans as of now, as so much of our expectations are pinned on one man: Justin Fields. Drafting him was the biggest shot in the arm for the franchise since trading for Mack, and while Matt Nagy has been unclear about when Fields is taking over QB1 from Andy Dalton, I think the fanbase and franchise is just itching to see him in there as soon as possible. Even if the Bears aren’t world beaters but he can get start getting into games earlier in the season and give everyone a taste of his potential, there’s gonna be a ton of excitement in Chicago. So yes, I’m hyped for Fields. I won’t miss Trubisky. He always seemed like a nice enough, humble guy – but it was no fun having to hold your breath every time he overthrew a deep ball or forced a tight-window throw into traffic. He had more than enough opportunities to capitalize on something in Chicago, all while we had a world-class defense to support him, and it didn’t pan out. I wish him luck in Buffalo.

Is this Nagy’s last stand? Can Mack lead the D to their 2018 heights?
In a word, yes. Ryan Pace and Nagy justifiably took a huge swing on trading up for Fields – and the excitement alone it garnered perhaps made their seats a little cooler, but if this team bottoms out, Fields underwhelms, or they inexplicably stick with Dalton for too long, this could be Nagy’s and Pace’s last gasp. This isn’t the same defense we saw under Vic Fangio in 2018, but if we can start getting back more of the playmaking we saw that year, particularly from Mack, Akiem Hicks and Eddie Jackson, they can make some noise. Mack, Hicks and Trevathan are only getting older – but Roquan Smith’s emergence is promising. Our cornerback situation, however, is dire.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Bears? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Before Aaron Rodgers kissed and made up with Green Bay, a ceiling would’ve been a divisional title and a short playoff run. With him in the mix, it’s a wild card appearance. Green Bay is too strong. The floor could be pretty damn scary if Fields doesn’t show promise in Year 1, the offense sputters or the defense regresses. All I’m hoping this year for is flashes of promise from the QB position and for the D to regain some of its lost glory.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Bears?
Fields is the easy answer, but after that, I’d say David Montgomery. Our running game improved steadily last year, to the point where you could call him the most reliable player in the offense. He’s not a home run guy, but he’s consistent and has only gotten better since he was drafted. Tarik Cohen coming back healthy should be a boon, as well.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
No. 8-9.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Chiefs over Bucs.

 

Crowder
Dallas Cowboys

 

Crowder
(Credit: Randy Edwards)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is this going to be a bounce-back or another year of disappointment?
This is the YEAR!! For Cowboys fans, it’s already magic — Jerry and Jimmy are back (!); Jimmy Johnson gets a Hall of Fame statue; Jerry declares Ring of Honor inclusion for Jimmy. Behold – the curse is lifted! Zeke has never looked so clear-eyed. Dak is paid up and smiling…The Boys are back!

Are you happy that the Dak issue is settled? Is McCarthy the right coach?
Dak is the deal. Now, he got a deal. So, let’s go play some football!! The second year of McCarthyism already looks and feels more comfortable. He has great proportionality of stoicism and cheese. I think that’s perfect for the field and front office. I’m hoping Dan Quinn brings the juice.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Cowboys? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Super Bowl champions of the world!! That is a Cowboys fan’s answer – every year. 26 years is too long… It’s time. Not to mention, Jerry and Jimmy are besties again. The curse is lifted.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Cowboys?
I’m super excited about Parsons. I think he’s gonna have a stellar rookie season, and I have a feeling Zeke is gonna have his best year yet.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
They win the NFC East and make the playoffs with a record of 13-4.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I would so, so LOVE Dallas v Pittsburgh. They played the first preseason Hall of Fame Game, and it would make for the most EPIC of seasons to have a bookended, Cowboys/Steelers, first and last game. The series is 0-1. Looking forward to that championship rematch!

 

John Schreffler, Shooter Jennings
Detroit Lions

 

(Courtesy of John Schreffler)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
To reference Spinal Tap – they’ve been treading water in a sea of mediocrity for the better part of 58 years with only one playoff win in that span and I have no reason to believe that season will be any different. After another disappointing and underachieving 2020 campaign, the Lions decided it was time to clean house by not only changing their entire coaching staff and general manager but also by dealing their franchise quarterback to the Los Angeles Rams. The best part of the team is the offensive line and if they can run the ball effectively they may be able to win some games. They will fight and try hard but really don’t have the talent to compete with the big boys of the NFL. Make sure your fridge is stocked with plenty of Labatt this season cause every Lions fan is going to need it.

Are you going to miss Stafford? Excited about Goff?
Matthew Stafford holds nearly every Lions passing record and has been one of the best statistical quarterbacks in the NFL his whole career but has never won a playoff game. He is 4th in passing yards per game in the history of the league so he will be difficult to replace. I always thought he was the best quarterback the lions ever had and gave them a chance at winning but never had a complete team. We will find out this season since he has been traded to an L.A. Rams team built to win now. Stafford will be missed but it is the right time for the lions to move on.

Goff won big games with loads of talent around him and now comes to a situation where he needs to carry a bigger load. The offensive line is the best complete unit on the team with Ragnow, Decker, and their number one pick, Penne Sewell. Combine that with emerging D’Andre Swift, Jamal Williams and prospect Jermar Jefferson the running game is their best hope. You can’t ask too much from him but if he can read the defenses, Keep the turnovers to a minimum, and orchestrate play action to complement the run game he can tow the line and help them win a few games.

Thoughts on the new coach/management (again)?
As far as the management and coaching change goes, if it’s broke, don’t fix it. Rookie head coach Dan Campbell will be the seventh different head coach since 2001. The only two in that span with prior coaching experience are Steve Mariucci and Jim Caldwell with Caldwell being the only Lions coach with an above .500 record since 1972. Brad Holmes, like former GM Quinn, was head of scouting at a successful franchise (L.A. Rams) and will be given the reigns to the motor city’s Honolulu Blue and Silver. There seems to be a difference with Holmes though. For the first time in decades, the Lions are building from the ground up. Offensive and defensive line were a major priority in the draft taking up their first three picks. They avoided past mistakes by not taking the shiny new toy but rather players that fill their needs and step towards building a more complete team. Past regimes have drafted skill players with top picks that did not directly equal more wins. Drafting Sewell immediately makes the offense better than if they had drafted a receiver or quarterback. Brad Holmes was also able to get two first round draft pics and a young Goff for the aging Stafford. If he is able to operate the way he wants without any interference from the ownership (which has been a big issue in the past) he should be able to find players that work well together and fit in Campbell’s system.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Lions? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Lions fans should not hope for much this year. Another rebuild is underway with a defense lacking talent and experience and an offense with not many weapons. Every team has its “if” list to success. The best teams usually have one that is most important: stay healthy. The Lions, on the other hand, have many. IF the offensive line can be a top 5 unit in the NFL, IF they can run the ball effectively with their young backfield, IF they can get the play-action working and one of their receivers can figure out how to be a deep threat, IF the defense can find a way to climb up from being ranked 32nd in the league last year, IF the coaching staff knows what they’re doing and IF they stay healthy they Lion’s may be able to win 8 games. But If they play like a team in rebuild mode and have a few injuries it will be a long season for the lions.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Lions?
The player for the Lions to watch this year is T.J. Hockenson. He was drafted 8th overall and is starting his 3rd season. He is a 4 down tight end with size, speed and hands. Hopefully, he can be the emerging star they need to help with the play action. They did not draft an offensive skill player this year until pick 112 and with Golladay, Amendola and Jones gone, the All-Pro will need to carry a large load for the offense. I expect him to have a very good year statistically.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
With the added game this year it may just mean that the Lions get an extra loss. I see them beating the Falcons on the road, Bengals at home, and a Thanksgiving day win over the Bears having lost the previous four. They may surprise you with one more divisional win but I wouldn’t count on it. The defense won’t be able to stop teams in the fourth quarter and that equals losing.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
In the AFC look for the Kansas City Chiefs to get back to the big dance. They are built to win now with the most talented quarterback in the NFL and a bolstered offensive line. Buffalo, Baltimore and Cleveland will just not have the firepower needed to dethrone them. In the NFC The Rams are similar. Super Bowl or bust. If they can stay healthy look for them to emerge in the NFC West against the diminishing Seahawks, young, strong Cardinals, and a 49ers team that I think will have too much QB drama to be contenders. Tampa Bay will be a very difficult team for them to match but they should be able to. In the end Kansas City will emerge victors over the Los Angeles Rams.

 

Marc LaBelle, Dirty Honey
Tampa Bay Buccaneers

 

(Courtesy of Marc LaBelle)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Can it get any better than last year?
I think the Bucs will have a much better regular season this year assuming everyone stays healthy, but obviously having won the Super Bowl, it can’t get much better than that. They’ll undoubtedly get the best version of every team on their way to the playoffs this season being the defending champs, so it’ll be interesting to see how they handle it.

Was Brady all that you hoped for and more? How do they run it back with the same team with the same result?
Brady’s been amazing and I was as shocked as anyone that he wound up in Tampa. I think having a year together and now a proper preseason, Brady and the receivers will be firing on all cylinders from the start of the season. As I mentioned last year, there was bound to be some growing pains in that area of the offense and I’m sure they’ll have it sorted by opening night this time around.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Bucs? What’s their ceiling/floor?
They’re going to the Super Bowl again and probably again against the Chiefs. Their big hurdle last year was getting by the Saints, and now that Brees is gone, there’s no one really in their way in the NFC other than Aaron Rodgers and maybe Russell Wilson.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Bucs?
Lavonte David. I think the offense will be superb this year and it’s really going to be a test for the Bucs D to match their success. They were amazing last year and a lot of the chatter leading into this season is about Brady and the offense, but as we found out this past Super Bowl, defense really wins championships. I like watching David regardless, but I think there will be some added pressure on the D this year to hold off high-powered offenses looking to keep up with Brady.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Yes, definitely. Wishful thinking is 17-0 this time.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
It’s going to be the Bucs and the Chiefs again. Brady gets No. 8 in Los Angeles and Dirty Honey plays the afterparty.

 

Jill Sobule
Denver Broncos

 

Jill Sobule Broncos Courtesy of Jill Sobule

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are the Broncos ever going to solve their QB issues?
It was sort of a disappointing off-season, following nine very disappointing years with nine different starting quarterbacks since Manning. There was, early on, exciting buzz that we were going to pick up Deshaun Watson. Well…that went away quickly. Then, we were going to be Super Bowl-bound with Aaron Rodgers! We still (I still) had hope, after we drafted a corner, instead of trading up for a QB. But Rogers stayed with the Packers, of course, and now we have a competition between Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock. No one in Bronco country, understandably, seemed that psyched. Except…we killed the Vikings in the first pre-season game last weekend. Both quarterbacks played great! Fangio was pleased and said it seemed like the competition was even-steven. I’m not paying attention to the fact that it was the first pre-season game, and the Vikings sat out 30 first-string players. I’m a glass 3/4 full kind of gal.

In recent years, seems like the Broncos are always on the edge of being good or bad, do you see that trend stabilizing this year one way or another?
We were very glad to see Elway go. Elway went from being our hero to being considered just the worst GM. He had the most amazing bad takes on drafting QBs and finding coaches. I know it’s beside the point, but I’ll add his bad take on presidential candidates. He’s a MAGA guy who once endorsed Neil Gorsuch on official Bronco stationary. The Broncos have been embroiled in an ownership dispute ever since Pat Bowling, the long-time storied owner, died. I like to imagine the seven kids, who were supposed to inherit the team, live in a real-world Succession. Some folks think that as soon as the ownership issue is settled, the Broncos will once again have strong leadership and rise above their mediocrity.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Broncos? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I think our defense is going to be great. We have a great secondary and…Von Miller is back. I think Fangio still is a very good defensive coach. The offense, I believe, is better than last year. I’m excited about our receivers. Our hope is that either Teddy or Drew surpass our expectations.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Broncos?
Many, like I said, were disappointed that used our first round to draft a corner instead of a QB. But Patrick Surtain had a really impressive camp and got a pick-six in his first game. He is going to be a star.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I’m gonna go out on a limb and say that we will be a Wild Card team. Record? 10-7.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Chiefs vs Packers. Then Rodgers joins the Broncos.

 

Tyler Bates
Tennessee Titans

 

Tyler Bates
(Courtesy of Tyler Bates)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
The Titans nearly made the Super Bowl two years ago, and still won their division and made the playoffs last year despite injuries to Taylor Lewan and several key players on the defensive line and the linebacking corps. I expect them to win the division this year, and brawl with Buffalo or KC in the AFC Championship game.

Is this the year the Titans get to the Super Bowl?
If not this year, then when? I think the addition of Julio Jones and Bud Dupree will pay off, unlike last year where free-agent Jadeveon Clowney and their first round draft pick Isaiah Wilson were completely ineffective. Hell yes. This year the Titans will make it to the show!

Are you happy with how the team is looking?
The Titans lost their offensive coordinator Arthur Smith but I imagine that coach Vrabel and GM Jon Robinson didn’t bring Julio Jones and Josh Reynolds to Nashville just to hand the ball off to Derrick Henry, although I expect him to continue to be a dominant back similar to Adrian Peterson in his first several years in the league. The secondary looks to be quick and tough with the addition of a few dynamic players in the secondary and the D-line. I think they will hold their own with any team.

They lost a bunch of players but seem to still have a solid core.
They lost Corey Davis but I think they improved their receiving corps significantly. Also, the Titans’ Achilles heel in 2021 was stopping opponents on third down. They sucked in that regard, but they addressed this aspect of their roster with good free agents with a lot to prove.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Titans?
They win the AFC South straight up with no tiebreakers.

What’s their ceiling/floor?
Super Bowl. I’m not even thinking downside.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Titans?
AJ Brown and Julio Jones are obvious, but don’t sleep on Ryan Tannehill. He has hands-down been their best QB since Steve McNair.

Do they make the playoffs?
YES!

What’s their record?
13-4.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Titans/Bucs. Whoever has read this has already rolled their eyes a couple times but I’m calling Titans over the Bucs. Tom Brady is the best who has ever played the sport but I cannot begin the 2021 season thinking he will win yet again, although I wouldn’t be surprised. He is superhuman.

 

Alex Garcia, Mayday Parade
Tennessee Titans

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Jordan Knight

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is this the year Titans get to the Super Bowl?
I sure hope so! I know we have made some great additions to the team so I think it could happen.

Are you happy with how the team is looking? They lost a bunch of players but seem to still have a solid core.
Yea I am, but it really depends on how effective Tannehill can be and whether our O-line gives him the protection he needs.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Titans? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I think we can be a Super Bowl contender once the fire is lit. I’d be pretty disappointed if we don’t at least make the playoffs.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Titans?
Julio Jones hands down. I think everyone in Tennessee has high expectations for him.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I think they certainly make the playoffs for sure.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Oh I can’t even imagine at this point!

 

Myra Gallarza, Bad Cop/Bad Cop
Pittsburgh Steelers

 

Myra Gallarza Steelers
(Courtesy of Myra Gallarza)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
Really good! We have great draft recruits especially our new punter #6 Presley Harvin III. Believe it or not, a punter is very critical to the team. We are working with our new Rookie TE #88 Pat Freiermuth and backup quarterback #5 Josh Dobbs both looking very impressive for this season.

Is this it for Tomlin and Roethlisberger?
This will definitely be the last year for Big Ben and he is guaranteed to ride into the sunset and be inducted to the NFL Hall of Fame. As for Coach Tomlin, I think he has many years left with the Steelers.

For the first time in a very long time, the future looks murky for the Steelers, what do you think happens with their existing core?
The future is not Murky “Black and Gold” Forever! The future is bright I say.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Steelers? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Ceiling to Win the Super Bowl. Floor to at least make the playoffs.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Steelers?
No. 22 Najee Harris (running back).

Do they make the playoffs?
Yes we make the playoffs!

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Steelers vs. Rams. Steelers to WIN of course!

Bryan Harris, The Vegabonds
Tennessee Titans

 

Bryan Harris Titans Richard Forehand

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is this the year Titans get to the Super Bowl?
This is definitely a potential Super Bowl year. The team has made their offense even stronger and has made several key additions on defense through the draft and free agency.

Are you happy with how the team is looking?
The team looks great! They lost a few key players, but they also gained a future hall of fame Wide Receiver in Julio Jones. The offense will be unbelievable this season. The defense is a squad of new and old players, but loaded with potential talent.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Titans? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Their ceiling is definitely the Super Bowl and their floor should be making the playoffs.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Titans?
Anyone on the Titans offense. Ryan Tannehill is coming off of one of his best seasons yet, which he threw for 3,819 yards and 33 TDs in 2020. With the addition of Julio Jones, it should open the field up for AJ Brown and Derrick Henry to have a breakout season.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Yes they definitely make the playoffs and with the Titans’ schedule being so competitive at the beginning they will go 12-5.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Tampa Bay vs. Titans. The Titans can do it, but it’s hard to bet against Brady and a Tampa Bay that has only gotten stronger in the offseason.

 

Sonny Sandoval, P.O.D.
Los Angeles Chargers

 

P.O.D. Kevin Baldes

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Will they ever be welcome in Los Angeles or should they return to San Diego?
I’m still a fan but the fact that they’re in L.A. doesn’t sit well with me. They could’ve gone to any other city and it wouldn’t bother me as much as going to L.A. I will always want the best for the Charger players. I want to see the Chargers win, it just doesn’t hurt as much now when they lose. Unfortunately, I don’t believe they’ll ever get close to the love they had in San Diego.

Thoughts on Herbert? Also, will the team ever be able to break their close game curse…or are they forever cursed?
I think Herbert has a bright future. He’s amazing and I think the more he plays and matures in the game, he could help lead the Chargers to where they need to be. That curse is no joke. We clown about it all the time and I’m not a superstitious guy but this just doesn’t make sense. These boys can’t catch a break.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Chargers? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I believe the Chargers have the potential to do extremely well this season. I think they’re going to shock a lot of haters this year but then again that “curse” is always lying in the balance. The talent is there and my hopes are up but like I said it doesn’t sting as much when they lose. I will always be a San Diego Charger fan and I can’t shake this until they come back.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Chargers?
Obviously, I think all eyes are on Herbert. He’s the man and with some new talent on the offensive line this year I feel he’s going to have a better year than last year.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I’m believing and I really do feel they can make the playoffs this year via Wild Card. If these boys are firing on all cylinders and clicking with new coaches they can do some serious damage this year. I’m going to shoot big and say 12-5. Fingers crossed.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Just throwing it out there. I was rooting for Tom Brady all last year. He’s truly the best in my eyes. If he does it again would probably be the coolest thing ever to happen in sports. I want Brady and Bucs to go again. Who they play doesn’t matter to me. I was super happy for the Browns’ success last year and love seeing those teams come up. If the Browns can do it, any team can and that’s what makes great football. So then maybe I will say Bucs vs. Browns, Brady for the win!!!

 

Stacey Dee, Bad Cop/Bad Cop and The Sidewalk Project
San Francisco 49ers

 

Stacey Dee 49ers
(Courtesy of Stacey Dee)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you expecting a big bounce-back? Is Jimmy G or Trey the answer? Does the D go even harder and bigger than the Super Bowl year?
I really do think the Niners have a great chance this year. We are one of the most winningest teams in the NFL. A true dynasty. However, I don’t think we’ve been as great as we were when we played in Candlestick Park. Leaving the actual city of San Francisco for Santa Clara will never feel right to me and actually makes it hard for me to root for. I know it’s been years, but we haven’t been able to secure a Superbowl win since. But I digress… I wanted to believe in Jimmy G, but I haven’t seen that true SF quarterback leadership in him; maybe Trey will be the guy.

What are your reasonable hopes for the 49ers? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I definitely see them getting to the playoffs. We almost always get to the playoffs.

Who is your player to watch this year on the 49ers?
I think we wanna watch Trey Lance.

Do they make the playoffs?
Yes, we make the playoffs

What’s their record?
14-3.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Niners versus Chiefs again!

 

Corey Beaulieu, Trivium
New England Patriots

 

Trivium Roadrunner Records

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
I think the Patriots will be better overall than last year. They got a few players back from sitting out due to COVID and the team spent some money on free agents, so definitely got better.

The Patriots getting an actual offseason should help with all the new pieces added to both sides of the ball. With Cam coming back after having an offseason, it’ll help get some chemistry with the new offensive weapons. He should improve from where the team was last year.

Is this Belichick’s final hurrah? Do you miss Brady?
I don’t think it’s Bill’s last hurrah, just like Brady, I think he wants to prove he can win without Tom just like Tom wanted to prove he could win without Bill. I do miss Tom in a Patriots uniform. Most of my life Tom Brady has been my quarterback and I remember rushing home from work so I could catch the second half of the first Super Bowl win, Patriots versus the Rams. I live down in Florida and it’s been great having Tom and Gronk here. The Buccaneers have a culture, it’s been nice to see, where Tom’s fun side comes out and you can tell he is enjoying himself.

Is Mac Jones the future?
If there was a place for him to succeed it seems like he landed in a great spot. It kind of reminds me of when Tom first started, lots of teams passed on him, and he didn’t have the biggest physical attributes, but he is a smart player. I only saw a few games in college but quarterbacks from Alabama don’t have the best track record in the NFL, that’s the only thing that makes me cautious to crown Mac Jones the next Patriot’s quarterback for the next decade. The Patriots haven’t drafted a quarterback that high since the nineties with Bledsoe so definitely something new for Patriot fans to watch and be excited about.

Can the Pats rebound after an un-Pats year and signing all those free agents?
I think they can. The defense is a lot better with the opt-outs coming back, and they’ve got some defensive free agents that I think will help immediately. Pats usually always field a good to great defense every year so that’s never much of a concern. The lack of weapons was apparent and how much Brady was able to mask on offense, finally came to bite us in the ass. Henry and Smith will help a lot with how the Pats play and like to utilize the tight end position. Wide receivers got better but still don’t have a dominant number one. It’s definitely better than what Cam had last year and if Harry can live up to his first-round selection that would be a big help since he hasn’t been much help so far.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Pats? What’s their ceiling/floor?
If they can sneak into a wild card spot, I think that would be a victory because Pats fans aren’t used to missing the playoffs, let alone 2 years in a row. I haven’t seen the full schedule, but I think Buffalo will win the division and Pats will go like 9-8, 10-7. Unless something like a classic NFL storyline happens, like Mac Jones comes in early in the season and just goes on a rookie tear. I’d say 11 wins is reasonable if they just get hot and steal some games.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Pats?
Last year was a weird year. The team was so different and unrecognizable but the few games I did get to watch were fun. We had Tom and Gronk down here and that felt more familiar to watch since they were such key figures in the franchise. It gives you such a connection with the players. Obviously, Mac Jones is going to have a lot of excitement and if he has success early on it will really get Pats fans pumped. Henry and Smith at TE will also be great to watch because when the Pats had 2 good TEs in the offense it was super hard to plan against and last year we got nothing from the position. I think these guys will have big years and help the WR group get some better matchups. Judon on defense will also be a player to keep an eye on.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
If they make the playoffs it’s most likely a Wild Card, like earlier I think this team is a 9-to-11 win team.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
It could easily be a rematch with the Chiefs and Buccaneers but I always love seeing new teams in the championship. I think Buffalo and Cleveland could make a push and the Packers always are right there in the NFC championship. After all the offseason drama Rodgers could win it all as a big FU statement.

It’s hard to get three straight Super Bowls even though I wouldn’t bet against Mahomes and Reid doing it. Buffalo vs Buccaneers (Buccaneers win) because I would love to see Buffalo finally winning one after watching all the losses as a kid. Or Buffalo vs Green Bay (Buffalo win).

 

Paul Delisle, Smash Mouth
San Francisco 49ers

 

Paul De Lisle Ron Xepo

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you expecting a big bounce-back?
Most definitely they will bounce back. The pandemic season just had an odd feel to it and we lost Bosa and Mostert in the first game. Steve Mariucci said the 49ers have the best roster in the NFL.

Is Jimmy G or Trey the answer? Does the D go even harder and bigger than the Super Bowl year?
We think they’ll both play and with Jimmy, it’s all about staying healthy. The defense will be as good or better and will probably go the way Bosa goes. Nick is an absolute beast!

What are your reasonable hopes for the 49ers? What’s their ceiling/floor?
We feel they are set to return to the Super Bowl barring any major injuries and this time we will win it all! We can’t even see the floor at this time!

Who is your player to watch this year on the 49ers?
One player? No way we have Trey, Deebo and Aiyuk but we feel the sleeper is the other Trey, as in Trey Sermon and our honorable mention is running back Elijah Mitchell.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Yes definitely make the playoffs and they will win their division. They will win 12 or more games.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
49ers vs Chiefs and 49ers win!

 

Shannon Larkin, Godsmack / Apocalypse Blues Revival
Las Vegas Raiders

 

Shannon Larkin Raiders Courtesy of Shannon Larkin

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is having the crowd in Vegas going to propel them?
The prognosis is we have a young team of very talented players on both sides of the ball. Having a crowd this year, coupled with the excitement of the move to Vegas and incredible new stadium will only help add to the confidence that we can indeed go all the way this year.

Are Gruden and Carr the answer? It seems like they get close (like last year) but fall part. Are you hopeful even without Agholor that they’ll be alright at receiver?
Gruden is undoubtedly one of the greatest coaches in history, particularly his relationships and in-depth knowledge of quarterbacks. Derek Carr’s numbers last year were great. He was very humble and took the blame for every loss last season, but watching the games it was clear that the losses (most were very close games) were not Carr’s fault, and his accuracy and calm confidence on the field is as cool as a cucumber. As a bonus, we also have the best backup quarterback in the league should Carr get injured (before last year it’s always been if we lose Carr, we’ve no chance).

Our receiver corps is super young and hungry, and of course, we have the greatest tight end in the NFL which helps open up the wide receiver action beautifully.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Raiders? What’s their ceiling/floor?
My reasonable hopes are the Super Bowl. In the NFL, any one of the teams could have a run at the big game, any season. It’s not all about talent (every player that makes the NFL are super talented, and were superstars in college), but chemistry cannot be understated among the players and staff. I would be happy if we make the playoffs and get the shot to go all the way.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Raiders?
Josh Jacobs is the guy to watch. He just gets better and better each year, and I feel this could be his breakout year. Of course, his strong run game will open up the other guy to watch…Waller. Both BEASTS.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I do believe we will make the playoffs, winning 10 games in the regular season.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I’d like to see us beat the Chefs in the AFC Championship, and face Brady and the Bucs in the SB. The last time we played them in a Super Bowl, they beat us badly, and Gruden was their coach. So it would be fitting to balance that with a Gruden/Raider defeat of the current SB champs.

 

Jesse Dayton
Houston Texans

 

Jesse Dayton Emily Kaye

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Uh, is there any hope to not get the top draft pick after years of mismanagement?
Rebounding from a disastrous 2020 is gonna take time. We’re definitely in the 1st draft pick conversation, and the Deshaun Watson issue is still yet to be fixed. And let’s face it, everyone from the fans to the team’s own front office is sideways. Who knows?

What’s your take on this whole Watson situation? Is there a way out that benefits everyone involved?
What a trainwreck. I think Deshaun needs to go. Everyone knows he’s a talented QB, his stats speak for themselves. But good lord, the FBI is after him too? Not sure this can be repaired.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Texans? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Reasonable hopes for the Texans is they get 1st draft pick, make some changes in the front office who can figure out this Deshaun debacle. Anything is an improvement over last year’s 4-12 record.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Texans?
Justin Reid is worthy of keeping an eye on. Reid is entering a contract year, so he has something to prove to set himself up for the future. He’s only 24, but we’re probably gonna see hustle and leadership skills from Justin.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I just don’t see them making the playoffs. It’d take a miracle. Being practical, I would say anything would be better than last year.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Chiefs vs Buccaneers with KC favored by 5. Would it be great to see the Texans in the Super Bowl? There’s a lot of work to be done first.

 

Nick Jones, Merci
New York Giants

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
The Giants look alright, but it’s tough to say this far into training camp. I feel like they will build upon the improvements made last year, but it’s been a rough few years in the NFC East so who knows.

Are you happy with this rebuild?
As of right now, I’m definitely optimistic about where this team is headed but I don’t believe the rebuild is over quite yet. The O-line was one of the worst in the league last year, and moving Kevin Zeitler to the Ravens didn’t help that at all. They are a young group that I could see getting better as the season goes on, but they need to stay healthy with their limited depth of their O-line and linebackers.

Is Judge the answer?
I hope so, and with how the defense played last season, it seems like it. There were quite a few shortcomings on the offense last year but with a few more weapons and some time to develop under Judge, I could see a much improved Giants team on both sides of the ball this year.

Is this Gettleman and Jones’ last stand?
Daniel Jones has two years left on his contract (not including his fifth-year option) so there’s more time to build around him. Gettleman seems to have built this roster back up so I don’t see him going anywhere, but if the Giants end up picking early in next year’s draft, I wouldn’t be surprised if they draft another QB to sit and develop during Jones’ fourth year.

Do you believe in the roster and does Saquon bounce back?
I like them, but I don’t believe in it as a whole yet. The weakness at offensive line and linebacker make it hard to believe in, but I like the direction the team is headed in and as a long-time fan, I have to hope. As for Saquon, he’s going to make some remarkable plays but if the blocking isn’t there, I could see it being an inconsistent season for him regardless of how talented he is.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Giants? 
I think a game above or below .500 is reasonable, but I’m prepared to be let down.

What’s their ceiling/floor?
With how inconsistent they were along with the entire NFC East last year, the floor is low. Anything could happen and seeing another six-win season wouldn’t be surprising but a 10-7 season is definitely within reach.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Giants?
While the entire secondary is exciting to watch, my player to look out for is Darnay Holmes. I’m not sure how much time he will play with the acquisition of Josh Jackson but when he’s on the field, I think he’ll make a big impact.

Do they make the playoffs? 
If the offensive line plays well and stays healthy, I think they have a good shot to make it into the playoffs. But the NFC East changes every year so it could be any team.

What’s their record?
8-9.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
While it would be fun to have a super bowl repeat (and that looks like a distinct possibility), I’m going with the Green Bay Packers over the Baltimore Ravens in a close high scoring game.

 

Ed Williams and Rob Ingraham, The Revivalists
New Orleans Saints

 

Revivalists Saints Courtesy of the Revivalists

 

Revivalists Saints Courtesy of the Revivalists

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? How do you move forward without Brees?
Ed: I think the shock from not having a leader like Drew Brees is gonna hit hard this season. Especially with Michael Thomas being injured, it means Alvin Kamara might have to do it all for us this season…….again
Rob: I really think the Saints are heading into this season as one of the league’s biggest question marks. We saw Sean Payton make lemonade with backup quarterbacks when Drew missed a few games in 2020 and 2019, but I’m not sure he’s got enough tricks up his sleeve to make it a whole season unless one of these quarterbacks can take a step forward.

That said, what are your thoughts on the QB situation? The team should still be good running the ball and with the D, right?
Ed: The QB situation is an interesting one because Jameis Winston is competing against Taysom Hill. And Taysom is competing against Jameis, but also himself. He’s also competing with everything else he can provide when not under center, which is a lot. So Taysom has to be better than Jameis and then some, which is going to be tough. I also wouldn’t count Ian Book out. He has a lot of similarities to Drew that I’m interested in seeing develop.
Rob: Right now, they’ve got two guys (Taysom Hill and Jameis Winston) competing for the starting position. If the Saints can’t find “the guy” at quarterback, then it’s gonna be a tough road. It’s very hard to pull off that old-school, ball-control football in today’s NFL. Kamara’s almost certainly going to be the focal point of this year’s offense, but without the threat of a decent QB to stretch the field, he’s also going to be the focal point of every defense they face.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Saints? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Ed: Like any good Saints fan, my hope is to get to a Super Bowl, and win it. Now whether that’s gonna happen, we shall see. But realistically the only thing I want to see this season is for one of our quarterbacks to become a leader this season, because there is a big void in the locker room right now that is not going to be easily filled. If we make the playoffs and have a shot at getting to the big game, I’ll be content with the season.
Rob: The dream: Jameis Winston finally gets his act together and lives up to his potential as a number one overall draft pick. With a gunslinger under center, an untackleable running back, and a dominant defense, the team remains a powerhouse in the NFC.

The nightmare: The team spends the whole year mired in the dreaded “quarterback controversy.” Opposing teams learn to stack the box against Kamara. The team leads the league in three-and-outs. The defense plays tired and demoralized, and half the unit is requesting trades by mid-October. They eke out four wins. This year’s hurricane season lasts all the way until next year’s hurricane season.

The reality: We’ll see flashes of brilliance here and there, but ultimately this season is going to be the football equivalent of taking a gap year after high school. With any luck, there will be some clarity on the QB situation by mid-season, allowing the team to finish strong and come into next year with some momentum.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Saints?
Ed: With Michael Thomas injured, I really think it’s got to be Marquez Callaway. He had a few shining moments last year, and now with the receiver core pretty thin, I think he will have a real shot to prove how good he is this season.
Rob: The obvious and correct answer is the quarterback situation, but we’ve already talked about that, so here’s my thing: this offseason, the Saints cut their long-time punter, Thomas Morstead, whom I stan relentlessly. The dude rules. He always seemed like a funny, stand-up guy. He gutted his way through a playoff game with torn rib cartilage and later expressed disappointment the ribs weren’t broken because it “would have sounded cooler.” He does a fun little standing high-jump whenever he gets on the field to kick. So now that he’s gone, I will spend much of this season eyeing new punter Blake Gillikin with a suspicion that will hopefully bloom into grudging respect. He’s got big shoes to fill.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Ed – I’m thinking we make the playoffs, but not by a landslide like the last couple of years. We sneak in with an 11-6 record.
Rob – I think we’re looking at a middling season, like 9-8, 8-9. Maybe they squeak into a wild card spot.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Ed – Saints win over Patriots, 42-6. I only say this because I have dreamt of it for so long.
Rob – Packers over Bills.

 

Marcus Atom
Chicago Bears

 

marcus atom Courtesy of Marcus Atom

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
The squad looks good this year. I know it’s a bold statement coming off the year we had last year, actually the last couple of seasons really. My thinking is our defense is really stout still and our young DBs are getting better lead by second-year starter Jaylon Johnson. Especially if we can finally support our defensive with some more points on the offensive side of the ball (for once).

Excited about Fields?
Ecstatic. Mark my words, strictly from a talent perspective, The Chicago Bears have never had a quarterback more physically talented. Now will that all tie together with the mental side, we still have yet to see. I do believe that with Coach Nagy, Coach Flip and Coach Lazor, Justin will have all the support he needs to get off on the right track. Not to mention Andy Dalton and Nick Foles to bounce questions off as well. At the end of the day though, I’m very happy to have Justin. Draft night doesn’t seem real even still. Might not believe it till he scores his first tuddy.

Are you gonna miss Mitch?
Mitch was a nice kid. Wish him all the best in Buffalo.

Is this Nagy’s last stand?
Not at all. He and Pace bought themselves at least another three years this past draft. At the end of the day, Nagy was brought into a situation he wanted no parts of. He didn’t want to coach Mitch, it was no secret to anyone, including Mitch. Nagy tried the best he could to get an offensive unit to be productive behind Mitch but it just wasn’t possible. Mitchel Trubisky is not an NFL starting-caliber quarterback, which is why he’s Josh Allen’s back-up right now. I’m not gonna say that the leash isn’t shorter by the McCaskey’s but he’s doing just fine for now. First year Coach of the Year Award, top brass doesn’t let that walk out of the door so easily.

Can Mack lead the D to 2018 heights?
I believe so. The problem for him last year was a couple nagging injuries, which happens. But also he needs to get help and push from the other side. Robert Quinn, who was also really banged up with a few injuries last year, needs to step up. That’s why we brought him here, but he’s been underperforming his contract. I think a healthy Aikeem Hicks and now we get back Eddie Goldman upfront. All that’s gonna free up Khalil to go back to being Khalil.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Bears?
I hope they can keep growing and gelling together. For the most part, it’s still a fairly young team, Kmet and Mooney are gonna be key players to watch. So long as we can keep maturing I think we’ll be okay.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Bears?
Cole Kmet. I think he’s going to be key in getting this Bears offensive going. The bears haven’t had much production from the Tight End position since Greg Olsen. It’s going to be important that we establish some damage in the middle of the field so it can open up Allen Robinson and the boys on the outside.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
They do. 11-6.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Chiefs vs Buccaneers Rematch. Chiefs win. Mahomes gets vindication.

 

Russell Dickerson
Tennessee Titans

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Kailey Dickerson

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is this the year the Titans get to the Super Bowl?
Straight to the bowl baby!!!!!!

Are you happy with how the team is looking? They lost a bunch of players but seem to still have a solid core.
Honestly with Tannehill, Henry, Jones, and Lewan back on the line it feels like the offense is back in full flex!

What are your reasonable hopes for the Titans? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Honestly, an AFC Championship appearance would be beautiful.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Titans?
I’m stoked to see how Julio meshes with our team. Also welcome back T Lewan!

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
YEP! I definitely think we can beat last year.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Just for my household, I want Titans-Packers. Married a Wisconsin girl so WE WANNA SEE IT!!!

 

Jake Luppen, Hippo Campus
Dallas Cowboys

 

Hippo Campus Brit O’Brien

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is this going to be a bounce-back or another year of disappointment?
I want to be optimistic but after watching hard knocks I feel like it might be another tough go. dak hasn’t gotten the proper reps in and I have zero faith in Gilbert or DiNucci he gets hurt again.

Are you happy that the Dak issue is settled? Is McCarthy the right coach?
I’m confident that dak is our quarterback of the future. I think he’s a badass leader and can carry the offense. as far as McCarthy goes the jury is still out for me. I think he’s a bit too old school. colin cowherd always compares him to a coach in a football movie which cracks me up.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Cowboys? What’s their ceiling/floor?
My hope is at least one super bowl before I die. my dad got the glory years of the cowboys, but it’s been rough ever since I started watching. I think their ceiling is sometime in the next three years and the floor the cap space hell that is already on their doorstep.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Cowboys?
Micah Parsons is so much fun to watch. Dude is fast as hell. he’s also hilarious. Hopefully, Zeke will come back strong this year too.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
They have playoff potential I think, mainly because the East is so trash. 9-8 or 10-7.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I think it’ll be some classic football shit, Packers versus Bills. Bills win, Josh Allen MVP.

 

Jordan Hollywood
Miami Dolphins

 

Jordan Hollywood
(Credit: Travis Shinn)

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Do you believe in Flores?
Yes I think we are gonna make the playoffs this year. I believe in Flores and I think we’re gonna make it.

Is Tua the answer, or remotely close to the best QB they’ve had since Marino? Do you believe this is a team on the ascent?
I’m not sure yet about Tua he didn’t even get a chance to play a full season yet. I have high hopes for him. I think he’s gonna be great. But he hasn’t proven himself yet. It’s too early to make that assumption. He showed positive signs of being a great quarterback last season.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Dolphins? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Their ceiling is the playoffs. If we make the playoffs this year I’ll be very satisfied. The floor for us would be not making the playoffs. Anything less than the playoffs would be a disappointment.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Dolphins?
I’m excited about Shaquem Griffin. I used to watch him when he played for UCF. I’ve been a fan of him ever since and I’m excited that he’s on the Dolphins. I’m rooting for him too as a Florida guy.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
For the first time ever the NFL will play 17 games. Yes we will make the playoffs with an 11-6 record.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
You always gotta anticipate the Kansas City Chiefs. You can’t count them out. But I would say the Cleveland Browns vs the Tampa Bay Bucs. Tom Brady is gonna make the Super Bowl again this year and he’s gonna be playing the Cleveland Browns and I think the Cleveland Browns are gonna win in a close game. Final score 28-24.

 

Jeeezy, BlueBucksClan
Dallas Cowboys

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Louie Knows

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is this going to be a bounce-back or another year of disappointment?
This for sure is a bounceback year. We got a healthy team so I’m expecting a lot.

Are you happy that the Dak issue is settled? Is McCarthy the right coach?
Yeah I’m very happy and I’m glad he is back healthy. He deserved it. I don’t know about McCarthy I’m not sold on him yet but he has won a title before so that’s a good thing

What are your reasonable hopes for the Cowboys? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I hope we win it all! Not expecting nothing less. Their ceiling is always gonna be high before we have the talent to get it done

Who is your player to watch this year on the Cowboys?
CeeDee Lamb and Jaylon Smith I’m expecting a lot from those guys this year.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Yes. 11-6.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Chiefs vs Cowboys. Cowboys winning 24-2.

 

DJ, BlueBucksClan
Los Angeles Rams

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you excited about the QB swap?
Yea I’m ready to see what Stafford brings to the teams and other quarterbacks.

The Rams are in a tough division, do you think they’ll have the talent to compete with Stafford in but also with Cam Akers out for the season?
They have a good defense so I think they will be good even with the inquiries.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Rams? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I feel like they are a team that can go all the way, but at the same time, it’s a long season.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Rams?
Jalen Ramsey, Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Aaron Donald.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
Yeah. 11-6.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Bucs vs. Chiefs rematch!

 

Tilian, Dance Gavin Dance
Los Angeles Chargers

 

Tillian Chargers Courtesy of Tillian

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
I think the Chargers have a real shot at making the playoffs this year. Though they have a tough division, having a defensive-minded head coach will be huge.  A leaky defense and (let’s be honest) terrible play calling was holding the team back the last few seasons.

Will they ever be welcome in Los Angeles or should they return to San Diego?
It could be a slow build, but if they can win and make a playoff run, they have a shot at winning over more LA fans, especially if the Rams have a couple mediocre years. That being said, I’m sure San Diego would love to have them back.

Thoughts on Herbert? 
Superstar, franchise player. My expectations are through the roof.

Also, will the team ever be able to break their close game curse…or are they forever cursed?
I wish I could blame one coach or one era, but the curse is long-standing and too real. I am never comfortable with any lead. It’s truly a nightmare being a Chargers fan, but I can’t really help it. At this point, they can’t really be jinxed any further, so I’ll just tempt the Gods and say yes, the curse will be broken.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Chargers? What’s their ceiling/floor?
The division is pretty strong, so the floor this year is probably around 4-13, but if they start firing on all cylinders, the ceiling is a deep playoff run. I’ll take low expectations, and an over performance.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Chargers?
Keenan Allen is my favorite player, and he has been for years. You can tell he works harder than just about anyone at WR, and he seems to improve his route running every season. The man is unguardable.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
12-5, and they get in on the Wild Card spot.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
If I take the Chargers out of the equation, I would say the Bucs over the Chiefs and Brady gets yet
another one.

 

Zach Myers, Shinedown/Smith & Myers
Tennessee Titans

 

Zach Myers Paris Visone

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Is this the year Titans get to the Super Bowl?
With the additions we made and the people we were able to hold on to, I’ll certainly say it feels closer to being our year than any other year starting point we’ve started at…

Are you happy with how the team is looking? They lost a bunch of players but seem to still have a solid core.
I think the main core of the team is intact and I think adding Julio is a HUGE get for somebody like Tannehill, who I’ve been pretty vocally critical of since he got here.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Titans? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I think the ceiling is obviously getting into the postseason and going as far as we did 2 years ago. The floor for me would probably still be the postseason, haha.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Titans?
Obviously always Henry, but again I think Julio Jones is such a great addition and gives Tannehill a weapon that maybe we didn’t have on that level in the last few years.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I think they make the playoffs. If we could only lose 3-4 games this season, I think we have a deep shot in the playoffs. Our division is always tough sadly.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
I mean, I’d love it for me personally to be Packers/Titans . . .But realistically, it’s looking more like Chiefs/Packers or Chiefs/Bucs. One of my sports rules, in which I only have 2. is. . . Never. . .Ever. . .Ever bet against Tom Brady.

 

Alex Gaskarth, All Time Low
Baltimore Ravens

 

All Time Low Ashley Osborn

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
The team is looking great! Built for success with so many young players ready to make big things happen.

Is Jackson going to lead them to the promised land?
He’s absolutely there. Lamar has all the right players around him now and we all know he’s an absolute star, a winner, and a difference-maker in close games. No reason he can’t take the Ravens all the way.

Is this the year they finally get back to the big game?
There’s some stiff competition in the AFC but the Ravens are a team that can win any game any day. I see it happening.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Ravens?
I firmly believe we go deep into the playoffs if not all the way.

What’s their ceiling/floor?
I genuinely don’t think the Ravens have a ceiling this year if they can stay healthy and the O-Line can keep some pressure off of Lamar in crucial situations. I expect the passing game to improve tremendously.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Ravens?
JK Dobbins is going to be a nightmare for opposing defenses. [Editor’s note: This response was given prior to Dobbins’ injury]

Do they make the playoffs?
YES!

What’s their record?
12-5.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Ravens vs. Packers incoming! Ravens win it all.

 

JC Stewart
New Orleans Saints

 

56 Musicians Predict the 2021 NFL Season Mark Mattock

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? How do you move forward without Brees?
It’s going to be interesting, that’s for sure. We have a lot of wildcard players out there who could turn up and make this team really move this year, but it’s hard to say what version of Winston, Kamara, Lattimore, etc you’re going to get. When any team loses their star quarterback, the next season tends to be a tough one (New England without Brady is an obvious example), but if Sean Payton can use Taysom in the right way, if Michael Thomas comes back healthy and firing, and if Winston gets going, we’re in with a shot of playoffs. Whatever happens, it’s going to be exciting.

That said, what are your thoughts on the QB situation? The team should still be good running the ball and with the D, right?
I’m excited by it, to be honest. Winston, on his day, is an amazing quarterback who can really sling it through the air and is relatively mobile. With the added advantage of the NFL’s very own Swiss Army knife, Taysom Hill, Payton can really use this offense to confuse the other team and put them out of the game with tactics alone. Having Michael Thomas down with an ankle injury for the start of the season is a big blow and our receiver roster isn’t the deepest, but it also gives a lot of the young guys on the depth chart a chance to come through and prove themselves now. The D is phenomenal and the backbone of the Saints and although we lost a brilliant starter at cornerback I don’t think we have anything to worry about there. Alvin will hopefully come in and show once again that he’s one of the best running backs in the league.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Saints? What’s their ceiling/floor?
It really feels like it could go either way this year. I think there is a small chance due to the transition that it could be a rough year but I’m remaining hopeful and thinking that we’ll go 10-7.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Saints?
I’m very excited to see what Winston can come in and do. He’s got a lot to prove and obviously has the talent, so I really think he could do something special with this team. I’m excited to see the wide receiver come through as well. With Thomas out until at least September, it’s time for Deonte Harris and Tre’Quan Smith to step up and be counted. I think everybody will have eyes on Taysom Hill this year. He’s such an experimental player and I love the way you can never tell what he’s about to do next.

Do they make the playoffs?
Absolutely.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
It’s hard to look past the Chiefs and Buccaneers again but I’m excited to see what the Ravens and Packers can do this year as well. If I was a better man however, it would be a repeat of last year for me.

 

Matthew Ramsey, Old Dominion
New England Patriots

 

Matthew Ramsey Mason Allen

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
Obviously the Patriots are still trying to find their footing, but I suspect we will see glimpses of a strong future.

Is this Belichick’s final hurrah?
No Way!

Do you miss Brady?
No I still get to watch him play! I’m a fan of TB no matter what team. I’m old school enough to wish he was still with the pats, but modern enough to be excited by his talent anywhere.

Is Mac Jones the future?
I think we are about to find out after Cam’s release now aren’t we?

Can the Pats rebound after an un-Pats year and signing all those free agents?
Absolutely. Boston sports fans have gotten used to being on top. In this day and age people want immediate results, but, after the reign of the Brady/Belichick era, it takes time. There are brilliant football minds and athletes at work there, and once they all figure out how they gel, they will be right back in it.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Pats?
I hope they find that spark as a team that gets their fans behind them. That relation is important with any team, but in New England it’s a different animal. When the team and the fans both have the same chip on their shoulder, good things happen.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Pats?
Not to sound like a broken record but, with Cam gone, all eyes are on Mac Jones.

Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I think they make it into the playoffs this year with an 11-6 record.

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Kansas City v Green Bay. KC gets the W.

 

Thutmose
New York Giants

 

Thutmose

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Are you happy with this rebuild? Is Judge the answer?
I’d love to give everyone a fair chance. I’m still getting accustomed to all the new players, so I’d have to wait and see. I would love to see players on defense step up because I think the offense will surprise a lot of people this year.

Is this Gettleman and Jones’ last stand? Do you believe in the roster and does Saquon bounce back?
I, for sure, believe in the roster. To me, the success of the team relies more on Daniel Jones because I believe Saquon will bounce back like the beast he is, but if Daniel Jones can make a leap into a top 10 QB that opens up the run game for a deadly combo.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Giants? What’s their ceiling/floor?
Reasonable hopes for Giants is they surprise the league and go 11-6, there is no ceiling!! The Super Bowl is the goal!

Who is your player to watch this year on the Giants? Do they make the playoffs? What’s their record?
I’m an optimistic individual so I think the Giants can definitely make the playoffs, I predict a 11-6 record and a first-round playoff win minimum!

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Chiefs vs. Giants. Let’s speak it into existence, some people might laugh at that thought but those years with Eli beating the Patriots prove anything can happen in the League.

 

RMR
Indianapolis Colts

 

RMR Pressure

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year? Excited/worried about Wentz being your future?
Second round of the playoffs. I’ve believed in Wentz since NDSU. He’s a leader.

If the Colts have proper QB play, do you think they have the talent to win the division?
Maybe. The Jags aren’t mature enough. The Texans are too discombobulated. The Titans are neck and neck.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Colts? What’s their ceiling/floor?
For them to get their ducks in line. It depends on their Wide Receivers, T.Y. Hilton and Michael Pittman Jr. need others to step up.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Colts?
Kwity Paye.

What’s their record this year?
11-5

What’s your Super Bowl matchup and who wins?
Tampa vs. Chiefs. Tampa with the W.

 

Kyle Ponder, Mike and the Moonpies
Houston Texans

 

Mike and the Moonpies Lyza Renee Photography

 

What’s the prognosis for the team this year?
The prognosis is bad. Very, very bad. Maybe the worst team in the NFL. No team pays out higher for making the playoffs than the Texans, so Vegas definitely thinks they are. They only won four games last year too, so it’s not like things were going well anyway.

Uh, is there any hope to not get the top draft pick after years of mismanagement?
That’s a good question. The management of the team has been surreal levels of terrible the last few years. In their other drafts with the top pick, they walked away with David Carr, Mario Williams, and Jadeveon Clowney, so it’s not like their track record is even that good to begin with. A bad first pick can really screw you for a long time, but it’s still pretty hard to root against having it. It still represents a lot of hope for a new direction for a bad team, even if they ultimately botch it.

What’s your take on this whole Watson situation? Is there a way out that benefits everyone involved?
Watson wanting out was definitely the final nail in the coffin for the Texans, but then everything came out about Watson, and who knows? Maybe that’s the final nail in the coffin for him. He’s facing 22 civil lawsuits and active criminal investigations from the Houston Police Dept and possibly the FBI. It looks very unlikely he’ll play or even be traded this year. Depending on how this all goes, he may never play again, and that may even be the least of his worries. It’s too early to say anything definitive on any of that, but it looks like he’ll be on the roster for now (unless the NFL steps in), probably only because no other team wants him. It was an ugly but not uncommon NFL situation (player wants to be traded) that’s turned into a far, far uglier real world situation. Any sort of mutually beneficial separation between Watson and the Texans seems pretty unlikely, and also sort of not that important anymore honestly. If any Texans fan hasn’t moved on from this dude by now, I don’t know what they’re doing.

What are your reasonable hopes for the Texans? What’s their ceiling/floor?
I think between two and four wins is pretty reasonable. Their floor is obviously zero wins. I guess I’d put a ceiling at six wins. There’s 17 regular season games instead of 16 for the first time, so I guess there’s one extra shot at a win. And the NFL can be weird and unexpected from year to year, especially with COVID in the mix still.

Who is your player to watch this year on the Texans?
As a player to watch, I’m tempted to pick one of the running backs. The Texans have this weird backfield now with three guys who have all had 1,000 yard rushing seasons and have been Pro Bowlers. Out of the three, Phillip Lindsay is the most intriguing to me because the other two are past their primes most likely. But if the passing game is gonna be anything at all and actually open things up for one of those running backs, it’s gonna come down to WR Brandin Cooks. He’s the only passing game weapon left for the Texans, and he had some great seasons in the mid 2010s. But he’s had concussion issues the last few years, and one more could be it for him. He’s only 27, but it feels like he’s been in the league forever. If he can stay on the field and regain some of his mid 2010s form, he could really help keep this offense afloat, keep the Texans in games, and put up some big numbers.

IMPACT

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