Is Antonio Brown a future Hall of Famer?

Will Antonio Brown be cast into Canton?

By: Andy Davies

Antonio Brown is one of the sports’ most controversial figures. However, whenever he steps on the field, there is always magic. Aged 34 and without a team, retirement is more likely than Brown finding a new team. But is he a Hall of Famer?

Let’s take a look at the reasons for and against his inclusion, before coming to a decision. 

Reasons For His Inclusion

If it were not for his off-the-field behavior, Brown would most likely be a first-ballot Hall of Famer. He has six straight 1,000-yard seasons between 2013 and 2018, almost eclipsing the 2,000 mark in 2015 when he achieved 1,834. 

With 12, 291 career yards and 83 career touchdowns, it is hard to ignore his production. A seven-time Pro Bowler and a member of the Hall of Fame All-2010 team, he also caught for a touchdown in Super Bowl 55 as he and the Tom Brady-led Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Kansas City Chiefs on his way to his only ring to date.

In his prime, he was electric. Pure speed, quick feet, and an ability to change his movement and trick defenders were pure footballing ecstasy. However, his recent behavior has left a sour taste in people’s mouths. 

Reasons Against His Inclusion

It seemed for a while that Brown had matured. Living in Tom Brady’s house, no trouble for a while, and performing when it mattered in the playoffs. 

And then the wheels fell off again in the 2021 season, with his return seeming all but unlikely. His walk off the sideline, which was followed by throwing his shirt in the crowd, was the last straw for then Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians.

Brown was a distraction during his last season with the Pittsburgh Steelers, falling out with several players such as quarterback Ben Roethlisberger. He then was traded to the Oakland Raiders but was let go before he even took to the field after falling out with head coach Jon Gruden. This is after he had arrived at training in a hot air balloon, caught frostbite on his feet, and had a dispute with the league over the helmet that he wanted to use. He lasted just one game with his next team, the New England Patriots, before being released due to off-the-field allegations.

Sadly, for Brown, fans remember this behavior more these days than how good of a player he was.


It is for this reason that he is most likely not going to become a Hall of Famer. It should be noted that Ray Lewis is in the Hall of Fame despite those allegations, but he was never convicted. Brown’s behavior was there to see in plain daylight. It would set a bad example to the young generation if he were to be included.

Why Kyle Trask is Tom Brady’s heir

Why Trask is Brady’s heir in the future

By: Jeremy Trottier

We all got a short glimpse this offseason of what a Tom Brady retirement would look like…pretty much chaos.  It is not necessarily hard to fathom that we are nearing the end of an era soon enough, and eventually, the day will come when he hands up the shoulder pads for good.  With this, there needs to be a plan in place for the Buccaneers to fill the QB position, and considering they are likely to be as good this year as the past two, the likelihood of a high draft pick is minimal.  This leaves them with their 64th overall pick in the 2021 draft, Kyle Trask, the quarterback out of Florida University.  In this article, I will be covering why I believe he is a shoe-in for the QB1 spot once Tom Brady leaves.

Time to develop & to learn the playbook

The first main concept that gives Trask an advantage over any potential rookie or free agency signing would be his chance to experience the offense firsthand and learn the playbook.  After this season, Trask will have had 2 seasons to have studied how the offense runs, as well as 1 season under his belt of how it will run under new head coach Todd Bowles.  This is not only an advantage due to him being able to utilize the offense how the offensive coaches want him to, but it also allows him to comprehend audibles and switch plays on the fly.  Having these years to learn is extremely valuable to his career and should be viewed as such by the coaching staff when it comes time to choose an heir to Brady.

Already has received high praise from the front office for development

The next reason he should be seen as the starter would be how he has impressed his front office, specifically.  General manager Jason Licht has stated the following regarding Trask and his development to date:

“We’re very excited about the development of Kyle, where he has come from in the last year and what he has done… just being able to sit behind Tom, Blaine and Ryan, as well, in that room with Clyde (Christensen), Tom Moore, and B.A.”

He would also go on to say: “I couldn’t think of a better experience for a young quarterback to spend his rookie year than with the greatest player of all time… He’s been well-coached, and he’s had unbelievable resources to lean on to get to where he is right now.”

The key words from this interview are excited and well-coached.  They clearly have put an emphasis on training him specifically and developing him into the prospect they know he can be for the team. 

Exceptionally high level of play when last on the field

Many tend to forget Kyle Trask was a Heisman Trophy candidate in his last year of college, and that he performed exceptionally well.  On top of that, he did this in the SEC, which is notorious for being the most difficult conference in college football.  In his final season, Trask put up the following statline:

  • 12 games played
  • 301 completions on 437 attempts (68.9% completion rate)
  • 4,283 passing yards, 43 passing touchdowns, 8 interceptions, 180.0 passer efficiency rating

This is an absolutely phenomenal season for any player, and despite his play being somewhat raw and needing development, he has been receiving that from the Buccaneers.  So, with this, we should see Trask be at bare minimum a competent starter in the NFL in the near future. 

Buccaneers secondary is a real concern

The Buccaneers secondary is a weakness

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

The defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs have one of the better defenses in the entire NFL. They ranked 6th last season with 327.1 yards allowed per game and 8th in scoring with 22.2 points allowed per game. Much of this can be credited to their stout run defense, which was the best in the league by allowing just 80.6 rushing yards per game. Their front seven is extremely strong and talented, also contributing the 5th most sacks with 48 total last season.

On the other hand, their pass defense was not nearly as impressive. They ranked a disappointing 21st with 246.6 passing yards allowed per game and were middle of the road at 18th with a 94.3 passer rating against. They did rank 10th in interceptions forced with 15 total last year, but that may be more because of their solid pass rush as opposed to tight coverage. In fact, they were terrible in opponent completion percentage, ranking 29th in the NFL by allowing 69 percent of pass attempts to be completed against them in the 2020 season.

New Year, Same Results

In week one of this year, the Bucs hosted the Dallas Cowboys on Thursday Night Football to kick off the 2021 NFL season. The Bucs secondary picked up right where they left off last season, getting torched by Dak Prescott and the Cowboys passing attack. They allowed the Cowboys offense to march up and down the field through the air, with Prescott completing 72.4 percent of his passes for 391 yards and three touchdowns while posting an impressive 101.4 passer rating. In fact, if not for two missed field goals and a missed extra point by Cowboys kicker Greg Zuerlein, the Bucs may very well have lost this opening game of the season. Prescott put up a performance that would win most games but ultimately could not finish the job in this one.

Probably most concerning for the Bucs secondary is that the Cowboys found success through the air on every level. It was not just a matter of the Bucs having one weak spot but an inability to stop any aspect of the Cowboys passing game. Amari Cooper was unstoppable on the perimeter with 13 receptions for 139 yards and two touchdowns while CeeDee Lamb did all of his damage from the slot with seven receptions for 104 yards and a touchdown. The Dallas tight ends combined for 65 yards on 9 receptions and even the running backs contributed six receptions for 35 yards. Clearly, the Bucs pass coverage could not stop anything in the Cowboys passing scheme.

Making Matters Worse

Unfortunately, the Bucs lost Sean Murphy-Bunting due to an elbow injuring during the game with the Cowboys. His timetable for return is unclear at this point but he could be out anywhere from the minimum three weeks on IR to a full season. This is a big loss for the Bucs considering he is one of their very best in man coverage. He works on the outside of their base defense while sliding into the slot for nickel and dime coverage schemes. In his absence, Jamel Dean, among others, will have to step up and play a much larger role.

Why the Cowboys can Win Week 1

The Cowboys can start their season with an upset.

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

The 2021 NFL season kicks off on Thursday night September 9th with the defending Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Bucs hosting the Dallas Cowboys. The Bucs are a pretty big favorite currently, as they should be, but it is not going to be as easy for them as the betting line may suggest. Here are some reasons why the Cowboys can open the season with a big upset of the defending champs.

Dak is Back!

Dak Prescott returns for the 2021 NFL season after missing the large majority of 2020 due to a gruesome ankle injury. The Cowboys are a completely different team when Prescott is healthy and the numbers prove it. In the 2019 season, when he last played a full season, the Cowboys offense was absolutely dominant. In addition to being the number one ranked offense in the league that season, they were statistically the best offense since the 2013 Denver Broncos. Their 431.5 yards per game were the most that year by a very wide margin, ahead of the second ranked Baltimore Ravens by nearly 24 yards per game. In 2020 before the injury, Dak was on a ridiculously scorching hot pace. If he continued on his per game averages for a full season, he would have set a new NFL passing yardage record for a single season.

Prescott will look to pick up right where he left off and he could really be an even better version of himself this season. Now that he has received the mega-contract that he has been waiting for, there will be a weight lifted off his shoulders. This could allow for him to play looser and more confidently with a bit less pressure on him. This could help the Cowboys offense be even better than it already was, and that is a scary thing for opposing defenses, starting with the Bucs in the season opener.In addition, a healthy Prescott could also very well mean a big bounce-back season for Ezekiel Elliot because the defense has to respect the passing game much more. That in turn should open up more running lanes for Zeke. The other thing that will improve the Cowboys is their new weapon, CeeDee Lamb, that Prescott has not had the luxury of using for a full season yet.

The CeeDee Lamb Effect

Lamb had an excellent rookie season in 2020, recording 74 receptions for 935 yards and 5 touchdowns. What makes that even more impressive is that it was Andy Dalton throwing him the ball for most of the season rather than Prescott. He should be even better this year now that the Cowboys have their true starting quarterback and the short time that the two of them played together last year is a glimpse at what’s to come in the future. Across the five games that Prescott played last season, Lamb registered his only two games with over 100 receiving yards, his only game with multiple touchdowns, and had at least 5 receptions in each of those 5 games. He is lined up to have a monster season out of the slot for the Cowboys, with Amari Cooper and Michael Gallup working on the outside.

Improved Defense

In the 2019 NFL season, the Cowboys had the 9th ranked defense at 327 yards allowed per game. Despite bringing back almost all of their defensive roster, they regressed big time in 2020, allowing 386.4 yards per game and ranking 23rd. This lead to defensive coordinator Mike Nolan being fired after just one season. The Cowboys hired a huge upgrade for the job in Dan Quinn, who was the mastermind behind the famous Legion of Boom defense in Seattle. This will, in theory, help the Cowboys get back to playing more like a top 10 defense once again. Drafting Micah Parsons, a highly rated prospect who can do a little bit of everything, should also help them get back on track. This new look Cowboys defense may catch the Bucs off guard in week one. It has yet to be seen exactly how Quinn is going to scheme with his new team and that element of surprise could be an advantage for Dallas.

Timing Matters

There is no doubt that the Tampa Bay Bucs are one of the very best teams in the NFL. They are the favorites to once again win the NFC conference, as they should be. The fact that the Cowboys get to play them the first week of the season, rather than later on, may be the very best time for a possible upset. In the first couple of weeks in an NFL season, many teams come out a little but rusty, making upsets more likely. It sometimes takes a couple of games before teams really hit their stride and get the team chemistry down. A highly motivated Prescott getting this big opportunity in week 1 with new weapons and a better defense could be the perfect recipe for a huge upset in the very first game of the 2021 NFL season.

Projecting winners of each NFC division

Who will win the NFC East?

By: Jeremy Trottier

The NFC has been an interesting conference in recent years, from the Eagles winning the Super Bowl against the dynasty that is/was the Patriots, to the Panthers making Super Bowl 50, to our current reigning champions the Buccaneers.  The conference could be looking to have new appearances both for division winners as well as Super Bowl contenders, which always makes things interesting.  In this article, I will be going over who I believe will win each NFC division, as well as why they make sense to do so.

NFC North – Green Bay Packers

To be completely fair, this division is getting closer as of late, with players like Justin Jefferson and Justin Fields being added in recent years we see improvements from the other three teams.  With that said, as long as the Packers have Aaron Rodgers and Davante Adams, they have a good chance to win.  They were able to lock up Aaron Jones for a few more seasons, and we should see a true debut year from A.J. Dillion at RB2 now that Jamaal Williams is gone.

Additions such as Eric Stokes, De’Vondre Campbell, Amari Rodgers, and Randall Cobb should be definitive pieces to the puzzle for Green Bay as they make another playoff push.  They have not significantly improved their team this offseason, that much is clear, but being able to retain Rodgers for another year and keep the focal points of their offense allows them a chance.

NFC East – Dallas Cowboys

The Dallas Cowboys had two major issues last season that prevented them from going anywhere.  The first being lackluster QB play, which they fix with the return of Dak Prescott.  The other issue was their defense, which struggled immensely, which they have fixed by taking 8 defensive players of their 11 draft picks this year, with their first six all being defensive players.  Just to list them off, they got Micah Parsons, Kelvin Joseph, Osa Odighizuwa, Chauncey Golston, Nashon Wright, Jabril Cox, Quinton Bohanna, and Israel Mukuamu.

This influx of defensive players, as well as the return of Dak, should make this team the best in the NFC East, on top of their top tier receiving core and solid offensive line which just takes them over the top.

NFC South – Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The reigning Super Bowl champions were able to retain all 22 of their starters from last year, and the last time that happened it was the Pittsburgh Steelers who went on to repeat and win another SB.  Now, will that be the case?  That is yet to be seen.  But winning the division has to come first, and they have prepared to do so with solid offseason acquisitions.

So far they have brought in players like Joe Tryon-Shoyinka, KJ Britt, Chris Wilcox, and Ladarius Hamilton.  As well as the return of O.J. Howard, Kenjon Barner, Shaq Barrett, Jack Cichy, and A.Q. Shipley from late-season IR.  

NFC West – Los Angeles Rams

Finally, we have the NFC West, which is probably the strongest division all-around in the league, never mind the conference.  With that said, the Rams are probably the most complete team of them all right now, with playmakers at every level of offense and defense.  To state the obvious first, Matt Stafford is going to drastically improve the team’s offense, and the addition of Sony Michel is one that despite losing Cam Akers should be able to create some productivity.

They obviously still have Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey on the team too, both of whom are top players at their position.  Overall the explosiveness that Stafford could bring to this offense could put this team in deep playoff contention this season.

Predicting the Top 5 Offenses This Season

Will the Chiefs top the list once again?

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

The 2021 NFL season is now less than 3 weeks away. The preseason is halfway completed and rosters are being finalized as teams prepare for week 1 of the regular season. Now is as good a time as any to start projecting how productive each team will be this year. In particular, let’s predict who the top offenses in the NFL can be this season, counting down from 5th place and continuing all the way to the number one spot.

5. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The defending Super Bowl champion Bucs finished last season as the 7th ranked offense in the NFL with 384.1 yards per game. This is very impressive considering it was the first year for Tom Brady in a brand new style of offense. Going from the “Patriot way” to the air it out style of Bruce Arians is a drastic change so it took Brady a few weeks before he really got things rolling last year. Now that he has had a full season and offseason to learn the new system and tweak it a bit to fit his own style, it is likely that the Bucs offense will take a step forward this season. They are returning pretty much their entire championship roster from 2020 so another year of chemistry should work in their favor as well. Their combination of weapons is one of the best in the entire league, including one of the top wide receiving groups in the NFL of Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Antonio Brown. They helped lead the Bucs to the second best passing offense last year with 289.1 yards per game.

4. Buffalo Bills

The Bills finished the 2020 season tied for the second ranked offense with 396.4 yards per game. Most of this was due to the MVP caliber play of quarterback Josh Allen who really had a break out season. He put up by far the best numbers of his career throwing the ball, completing 69.2 percent of his passes for 4544 yards and 37 touchdowns, which were all new career highs. It appears that one of the main keys to unlocking his potential was the addition of wide receiver Stefon Diggs. In his first year in Buffalo, he had the best season of his career while leading the NFL in both receptions with 127 and receiving yards with 1535. The chemistry between Allen and Diggs appears to be extremely strong and this combination should have the Bills as one of the top offenses for many years to come. Having the creativity of one of the top young offensive coordinators in Brian Daboll definitely helps them as well.

3. Kansas City Chiefs

Last season the Chiefs finished as the top offense in football by an incredible margin of nearly 20 yards per game over second place. To show just how wide that gap is, the separation between the second and 12th place offenses was 20 yards. Clearly the Chiefs offense at 415.8 yards per game was absolutely dominant last season and as long as they keep their core together there is no reason at all to believe that they won’t be in the top five every season. The combination of Andy Reid at head coach with Patrick Mahomes at quarterback is a seemingly perfect match, as demonstrated by finishing as the number one ranked offense in two out of their three seasons together. They have the best “tight end” in football with Travis Kelce and one the top, and fastest, wide receivers in Tyreek Hill. Also, second year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire should take a step forward this year as a true dual threat now that he is more comfortable in this system.

2. Tennessee Titans

Tied for second last season on offense with the Bills were the Titans. Unlike the Bills who relied heavily on their passing game, it was the rushing game in Tennessee that was the key to their success. They ranked second in rushing yards per game with 168.1 while superstar running back Derrick Henry eclipsed the 2000 yard mark. In addition, Ryan Tannehill is one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL and his fourth ranked QBR of 78.3 demonstrates that. To make this great offense even better than it already was, the Titans added Julio Jones this offseason to pair with emerging star AJ Brown in what is now one of the best wide receiver tandems in the entire league. In just two season, Brown already has accumulated 122 receptions for 2126 yards and 19 touchdowns in the passing game. Jones, who is one of the best receivers of the past decade, recorded 1000 or more yards in every season of his career that he has played in at least 14 games. Between Henry, Brown, and Jones the Titans create an absolute nightmare situation for opposing defenses to try and match up with. They are in line for a monster season on offense.

1. Dallas Cowboys

In 2019, which was the last full season for quarterback Dak Prescott, the Cowboys lead the NFL in offense by a very wide margin with 431.5 yards per game. In addition to the fact that they were about 24 yards per game clear of second place, they totaled the most offensive yards in a season by any team since the Denver Broncos in 2013. Before Prescott was injured in 2020 they were off to yet another scorching hot start for offensive production. In particular, Prescott was on an absolutely ridiculous pace that could have set a new single season record for passing yards if he did not get hurt. As long as he fully returns to health this season, the Cowboys should have another huge year on offense and could be even better than before with the addition of second year wide receiver CeeDee Lamb. In the five games last season that Prescott started, Lamb registered 29 receptions for 433 yards and two touchdowns. This is a connection to watch this season and could really be something special moving forward. Of course, Prescott will also still have the luxury of his usual arsenal of weapons too with Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper, and Michael Gallup.

Buying or selling Super Bowl LVI contenders

Are the LA Rams really Super Bowl contenders?

By: Chris Thomas

From the minute the Super Bowl ends speculation begins about who could make the Super Bowl the following year. The odds change throughout the offseason as hirings, signings, and the draft happens. At this point of the offseason, the Super Bowl odds seem pretty firm, barring anything crazy. 

Recently Sportsline came up with their Super Bowl odds for the 2022 NFL Season. According to CBS Sports, they simulate every NFL game 10,000 times to figure out their odds for who will win the Super Bowl. CBS Sports also reported that those who have bet $100 on their model since its inception six years ago are now up almost $7,900.

Even though there are so many talented teams around the league only two teams can make the Super Bowl and only one team can win it. There are a lot of loaded rosters across the league, but only a hand few could be considered Super Bowl contenders. Sportsline has set the odds for every team’s chance of winning the Super Bowl next season. Here is whether to buy or sell Sportsline top-10 Super Bowl contenders as teams who could win the Super Bowl. 

1. Kansas City Chiefs (+525)

Despite losing the Super Bowl last year, many believe the Kansas City Chiefs do have the best odds of winning the Super Bowl next year. It’s pretty hard to argue against it. Kansas City did not have many major losses across their roster this offseason. The Chiefs invested a lot of capital into their biggest weakness displayed during the Super Bowl which was their offensive line. They added veterans like Orlando Brown Jr. (via trade), Joe Thuney, Kyle Long, and Austin Blythe. Then drafted high upside interior offensive linemen Creed Humphrey and Trey Smith. Also, veteran guard Laurent Duvernay-Tardiff and 2020 third-round pick tackle Lucas Niang are returning to the team after opting out last season due to Covid-19. That unit is deep enough to ensure that former MVP Patrick Mahomes plays behind a top-10 offensive line all year. 

Kansas City does not have any major holes across its roster. They have done a great job retaining veterans and filling voids on their roster with high draft picks over the last couple of seasons. The combination of having an MVP caliber quarterback, consistency in the roster, and fantastic coaching is what makes the Chiefs a potential Super Bowl contender this season.

Verdict: Buying

2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (+650)

It would be shocking to not have the Tampa Bay Buccaneers high on this list. The reigning Super Bowl champs did the impossible this past offseason and managed to retain every single player that started during the Super Bowl for them. Tampa Bay somehow managed to retain Shaquil Barrett, Chris Godwin, Ndamukong Suh, Leonard Fournette, and Rob Gronkowski in free agency. They also retained veterans Steve McLendon, Blaine Gabbert, Ryan Succop, and signed veteran running back Giovanni Bernard to join their running back committee. During the draft, Tampa Bay took the best player available and Jason Pierre-Pauls potential replacement next offseason Joe Tryon. Adding a prospect like Tryon to a defense that was capable of holding Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs to nine points during the Super Bowl was a great move. 

After last season it seems that anytime Tom Brady is a team’s starting quarterback they have a chance of winning the Super Bowl. Another season of Brady in that system with the outstanding weapons he has including Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, Antonio Brown, Rob Gronkowski, (A healthy) O.J. Howard, a plethora of great running backs, and outstanding defensive play could result in the Buccaneers winning back-to-back Super Bowls. 

Verdict: Buying

3. Buffalo Bills (+1300)

After the two teams who played in the Super Bowl last year, there is a cluster of teams that could prevent one of them from getting to the big game. Sportsline has the Buffalo Bills as the team most likely to take down the Kansas City Chiefs in the AFC and win the Super Bowl. At times last season the Bills looked like the best team in football. Quarterback Josh Allen took a massive leap and asserted himself as a top-10 quarterback and finished the season as the runner-up to the MVP. Last year they also added Stefon Diggs who was arguably the best receiver in all of football. Diggs led the league in receptions and receiving yards last year. On top of that, the Bills have an extremely solid roster with a couple of former Pro Bowl defensive players including Tre’Davious White and Tremaine Edmonds. They let go of John Brown who missed most of last season and replaced him with Emmanuel Sanders. 

The Bills are a really good team, but it is important to ask, how much better did the Bills get this offseason. Buffalo retained a lot of their starters from the year prior and brought in Sanders, but they did not bring any fresh blood who can make a major impact on this roster. During the draft, the Bills spent their first two selections on defensive linemen Gregory Rousseau and Carlos “Boogie” Basham. Both help fill the need Buffalo has for a premier pass rusher. But with all the veteran depth on this roster both in the interior and on the edge, how often are they going to be seeing the field next season? The answer is not extremely likely unless they show immediately that they are better than veterans Jerry Hughes, Mario Addison, Efe Obada, and 2020 second-round pick A.J. Epenesa. The sad truth is that Buffalo didn’t add enough to their roster to potentially become the sole favorite in the AFC and defeated the Kansas City Chiefs. 

Verdict: Selling

T4. Baltimore Ravens (+1400)

Since Lamar Jackson became the starting quarterback of the Ravens during the 2018-19 NFL season the Ravens have been one of the most dominant teams in the league. The Ravens are expected to continue that this season and may go farther this year than they have in Jackson’s previous three seasons. A couple of veteran players left Baltimore in free agency this offseason including Mark Ingram, Willie Snead IV, Matt Skura, D.J. Fluker, Matthew Judon, and Yannick Ngakoue. But the Ravens did a great job reloading their roster with more veteran and young talent this offseason to replace those players. In free agency, Baltimore added Kevin Zeitler, Alejandro Villanueva, Sammy Watkins, Ja’Wuan James (expected to miss the entire 2021-22 season), and Justin Houston. In the draft, Baltimore added both wide receiver Rashod Bateman and Odafe “Jayson” Oweh in the first round after they acquired a second first-round pick in the Orlando Brown Jr. trade.

It is hard to argue against Baltimore having one of the deepest rosters in the league, even after the roster turnover. The biggest factors for how Baltimore will perform this year will be the Ravens passing game and pass rush. The Ravens have gotten below-average play from their wide receivers in recent years, Baltimore hopes the additions of Rashod Bateman and Sammy Watkins could boost the team’s production from that position. The pass rush may have been a concern, but after adding Odafe Owey and Justin Houston to this loaded defense the Ravens should be able to generate enough pressure from the outside to play at a high level. Since Lamar Jackson’s contract is looming over the Ravens’ future this may be Baltimore’s best opportunity to win a Super Bowl with Jackson under center on a rookie contract. 

Verdict: Buying

T4. Los Angeles Rams (+1400)

The Los Angeles Rams started the offseason making a huge trade to upgrade their quarterback position. Before the Super Bowl, the Rams agreed to trade Jared Goff, their 2022 first-round pick, and 2023 first-round pick to the Detroit Lions for Matthew Stafford. This trade signals that the Rams believe they are a quarterback upgrade away from being a Super Bowl contender. A lot of notable players left the team in free agency including Josh Reynolds, Samson Ebukam, Gerald Everett, Malcolm Brown, Austin Blythe, John Johnson III, and Troy Hill. Not to mention they traded away Michael Brockers to free up salary space. The biggest addition the Rams made to this roster is DeSean Jackson who joins a deep receiving core including Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, and Van Jefferson. The Rams didn’t have a first-round pick due to the Jalen Ramsey trade. They did not add any players who are expected to have an immediate impact, instead, they could likely develop into contributors in year two or three with the team. 

The Rams have a few players on the roster that are considered elite at their position including Aaron Donald and Jalen Ramsey. Then they have a couple of players who are great including Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Leonard Floyd, Matthew Stafford, and Andrew Whitworth. But after those guys, the Rams are relying on a bunch of unproven players who at best couple be solid. This roster is extremely delicate. One injury to a Rams star and they could miss the playoffs. Already the Rams have lost 2020 second-round pick running back Cam Akers to a torn Achilles before training camp. Everything for the Rams would have to go perfectly for them to have a shot at the Super Bowl with their current roster construction.

Verdict: Selling

T4. San Fransisco 49ers (+1400)

It is easily forgotten that the San Fransisco 49ers were in the Super Bowl two years ago. After a season derailed by multiple injuries, the 49ers made the most discussed transaction of the offseason. The 49ers traded two future first-round picks to acquire the third overall pick in this past draft. They used that selection of quarterback Trey Lance. The 49ers lost Richard Sherman and few depth pieces but overall had a positive offseason adding solid pieces in Alex Mack, Samson Ebukam, Maurice Hurst, Arden Key, and Wayne Gallman. Their best signing may be the extending left tackle Trent Williams to a six-year $138 million deal. 

Looking at their roster it is clear that the 49ers can be one of the league’s best if they stay healthy. On offense, they have an elite running game and three outstanding pass catchers in George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, and second-year receiver Brandon Aiyuk. Behind their offensive line, it may not matter if Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance is under center. Then the 49ers’ defense still can be as elite as it was two years ago with all their premier talent. If the 49ers could stay healthy and make it out of the NFC West they are as dangerous as any team in the NFL. 

Verdict: Buying

7. Green Bay Packers(+1600)

Since the NFL Draft, the most talked about team in the league has been the Green Bay Packers. The reasoning is that it became public knowledge that league MVP Aaron Rodgers wants to be traded from the team. He felt he has been mistreated by management and would rather go to a situation where he feels he will be treated as he should. Besides that, the Packers have had an okay offseason. Green Bay lost All-Pro center Corey Linsley and running back Jamaal Williams in free agency. They brought in free agents De’Vondre Campbell and Dennis Kelly to fill voids on their roster. Green Bay also retained cornerback Kevin King on a one-year deal and Pro Bowl running back Aaron Jones to a four-year $48 million deal. During the first round of the draft, they added Eric Stokes to upgrade their CB2 spot that was exposed during the NFC Championship.

In all honesty, the Packers have an extremely loaded roster. But their biggest problem this season may be what happens in the locker room. After negotiating with Packers brass Aaron Rodgers agreed to come to training camp under the condition that the Packers trade him following this season. Since he has returned he has been extremely passive-aggressive about all that has happened and seems to have the Packers organization doing his bidding. That bidding included traded for veteran receiver and former Packer Randall Cobb who will now likely start over third-round pick rookie Amari Rodgers in the slot. On top of that All-Pro receiver Davante Adams has now expressed that he may leave the Packers this offseason, especially if Aaron Rodgers isn’t there. Both Rodgers and Adams are under the impression that this is the “last dance” and this is their last shot to win it all before they both split from Green Bay this offseason. It is hard to recall a time where a team with this much dysfunction in the locker room won a Super Bowl. 

Verdict: Selling

8. Cleveland Browns (+1800)

After their outstanding performance, last season the Cleveland Browns are being recognized as a potential Super Bowl contender last season. Cleveland had a fantastic offseason as well. The Browns signed John Johnson III, Troy Hill, Jadeveon Clowney, Takk McKinley, Malik Jackson, Anthony Walker Jr., and resigned Rashad Higgins. They also had a great draft taking two first-round talents in cornerback Greg Newsome II and linebacker Jeremiah Owusu-Koramoah in the first two rounds. 

It is hard to find a major hole across this roster. The biggest factor for the Browns this season is the play of Baker Mayfield. So far throughout his career, he has played well but is considered an average NFL quarterback. In year two playing for Kevin Stefanski, Mayfield hopes to make that leap. A healthy Odell Beckham Jr. should help Mayfield realize his potential as long as he doesn’t feel pressure to force plays to Beckham as he has in the past. What may hold this team back at the end of the day is the team’s inexperience in huge games. Last year the Browns managed to pick up a playoff win over the Pittsburgh Steelers and came close to beating the Kansas City Chiefs. But it is hard to call the Browns a contender without evidence that they can defeat the teams at the top of the AFC let alone the entire league. 

Verdict: Selling

9. Denver Broncos (+2000)

The most shocking team to appear on this list is the Denver Broncos. According to Sportsline, the team that went 5-11 a season ago has the ninth-best odds of winning the Super Bowl. That sounds crazy but after acknowledging all of the Broncos offseason moves it doesn’t seem entirely impossible. They let go of a few veterans including Phillip Lindsay, Jurrell Casey, A.J. Bouye, and Ja’Wuan James. But Denver added to Pro Bowl-caliber cornerbacks in Kyle Fuller and Ronald Darby to go with their star-studded secondary that features Bryce Callahan, Justin Simmons, and Kareem Jackson. Simmons and Jackson received extensions from the Broncos this offseason as well as Garrett Bolles and Shelby Harris. During the draft, Denver elected not to draft a quarterback and took cornerback Patrick Surtain II in the first round. 

The most impactful move the Broncos made this offseason can be the acquisition of former Panthers quarterback Teddy Bridgewater. He is engaged in a quarterback competition with Drew Lock. That uncertainty at quarterback is what holds Denver out of conversations as legitimate Super Bowl contenders. Denver has a very exciting young offense and premier defensive talent. But their below-average quarterback play likely caps their ceiling at around .500. If Drew Lock wins the quarterback job and breaks out then the Broncos may have a chance of making the playoffs. The only way Denver becomes Super Bowl contenders is if Lock plays at least at a Pro Bowl level or possibly an MVP level.

Verdict: Selling

T10. Indianapolis Colts (+3000)

So far the Indianapolis Colts have not had an outstanding training camp. Freak foot injuries to their new franchise quarterback Carson Wentz and All-Pro guard Quenton Nelson have tempered the expectations for the team. However, both may be able to return from their injuries around Week 1. Earlier the Colts made the trade to acquire Wentz from the Eagles to replace the recently retired Philip Rivers. They gave up a 2021 third-round pick and a conditional 2022 second-round pick for Wentz. That conditional second-round pick would become a first-round pick if Wentz plays 75% of the snaps or if he plays 70% of the snaps and the Colts made the playoffs. This offseason Colts lost both of their starting edge rushers Denico Autry and Justin Houston, veteran quarterback Jacoby Brissett, linebacker Anthony Walker Jr., and former first-round pick Malik Hooker. But they managed to retain Xavier Rhodes, T.Y. Hilton, and Marlon Mack. The Colts also signed former Chiefs left tackle Eric Fisher. During the draft, the Colts took pass rusher Kwity Paye towards the end of the first round. 

The Indianapolis Colts have a nice blend of younger players and veterans throughout their roster. But they feel like they’re missing another x-factor player to make them legitimate contenders. That player could be Carson Wentz if he returns to his form during the 2017-18 season. Besides Jonathan Taylor behind the Colts’ elite offensive line, there are a lot of questions about their offense. What Carson Wentz will the Colts get, Is T.Y. Hilton still a threat on offense, and can Michael Pittman Jr. emerge as the Colts’ number one receiver. Defensively the Colts have enough to be legitimate Super Bowl contenders. It all comes down to the offense that would need to take a big leap forward for this team to become a Super Bowl contender. 

Verdict: Selling

T10. New Orleans Saints (+3000)

As it stands right now it appears the New Orleans Saints missed their Super Bowl window over the last four seasons. But they still have an extremely talented roster. The Saints lost some of their major contributors from a season ago including Emmanuel Sanders, Trey Hendrickson, Sheldon Rankins, Janoris Jenkins, and Jared Cook. They also brought in a couple of solid veterans in Nick Vannett, Tanoh Kpassagnon, J.R. Sweezy, Jeff Heath, and Brian Poole. Their first-round pick this past year was a puzzling one. They reached on edge rusher Payton Turner who many had a Day 2 grade on. 

The biggest storyline in New Orleans has been what the Saints do at quarterback in the post-Drew Brees era. New Orleans retained both Jameis Winston and Taysom Hill who are both expected to compete for the starting quarterback job. It doesn’t help that their number one receiver Michael Thomas is expected to miss a huge amount of time due to a lingering ankle injury. The Saints are not very deep at receiver after Thomas. New Orleans still has a lot of talent across this roster but will need trustworthy play at quarterback to make the playoffs next season let alone win the Super Bowl. 

Verdict: Selling

Expect the Lions, Eagles, and Texans to have the worst records in 2021

The worst NFL teams in 2021 will be…

By: Andy Davies

Plenty of uncertainty surrounds the Detroit Lions, Philadelphia Eagles, and Houston Texans going into the 2021 season. Their quarterback situations are far from clear and their overall rosters are mediocre at best.

The same goes for their head coaches, with all three going into their first seasons at the franchise. Neither of Dan Campbell, Nick Sirianni, or David Culley has been a full-time head coach in the NFL. Campbell is the only one to have some experience, with his spell as interim head coach of the Miami Dolphins in 2015.

Here is why you should be expecting the Lions, Eagles, and Texans to have the three worst records in the league in 2021.

Saying Goodbye To A Franchise Legend In Detroit. Struggles For The Replacement

Matthew Stafford was the number one overall pick in 2009, with the entire city of Detroit hoping he would be the man to turn around the fortunes of the franchise. Despite three seasons of making the playoffs, the Lions and Stafford never won a single postseason game as the wait continues. The Lions remain the team with the second-longest period without a playoff win, their last taking place on January 5th, 1992.

Stafford had some great individual moments as a Lion, most notably his Mic’d up moment during his 2009 rookie season. In a week eleven game against the Cleveland Browns, he overcame injury to produce a moment of pure heroism. He played with a separated shoulder despite the efforts of the medical staff to keep him off the field, leading the Lions to a touchdown-winning drive.

Jim Caldwell guided the Lions to these playoff appearances but was not seen as good enough to take them to the next step. New England Patriots assistant head coach Matt Patricia was brought in but never took to life as head coach. The Lions had three consecutive losing seasons under the coaching of Patricia. They will hope that they have found their guy in Dan Campbell. His press conference was certainly not dull, with Campbell referring to “biting kneecaps”. As a former Lions player, he knows what it takes to play in the league. He also knows about the city of Detroit and his intentions are both positive and clear. If he is given time, he has the desire to bring the good times back to Detroit. However, he is inexperienced as a head coach and the roster is below average.

New quarterback Jared Goff has the potential to struggle. This is despite the drafting of offensive lineman Penei Sewell at seventh overall, a selection that had Campbell and new General Manager Brad Holmes very excited.

Despite his brilliant 2018 season that saw the Rams reach Super Bowl 53, Goff had a poor game and struggled in 2020 as he and head coach Sean McVay’s relationship deteriorated.

Goff struggled despite a plethora of offensive talent around him. Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp form one of the best wide receiver duos in the NFL. He is going to a franchise that let go of their two best wide receivers and failed to replace them.

The Lions have a schedule that features the San Francisco 49ers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, Pittsburgh Steelers, Arizona Cardinals, Atlanta Falcons, and Cleveland Browns. There are also two games against their division rivals, the Green Bay Packers, Minnesota Vikings, and Chicago Bears. The Lions do not have it easy.

Prediction: 3-14

Trouble In Philadelphia; Reason For Hope?

The Eagles have seen three years of gradual decline after winning Super Bowl 52. The 2017 season saw the Eagles lift the Lombardi Trophy for the first time after two previous attempts.

Doug Pederson was the head coach to guide the Eagles to a Super Bowl but was fired after the conclusion of the 2020 season. His decision to bench rookie quarterback Jalen Hurts in order to lose and gain a higher draft pick appeared to be the final nail in the coffin.

Carson Wentz had an MVP caliber season before an injury derailed hopes of winning the award. Backup Nick Foles stepped in and guided the Eagles to the Super Bowl 52 win. He also stepped in a year later and guided the Eagles to a shock Wildcard Round win against the Chicago Bears, with thanks also going to a Cody Parkey missed field goal.

Both Foles and Wentz are no longer Eagles players. Out of the starters in that Super Bowl 52 win, only seven remain with the franchise. Their decision to draft Jalen Reagor over Justin Jefferson continues to be mocked by rival fans and nobody knows how new head coach Nick Sirianni will do in the role.

The schedule is mixed for Philadelphia. Whilst they face the New York Jets, Lions, and twice play the New York Giants, they also have to face the Atlanta Falcons, Carolina Panthers, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, San Francisco 49ers and the Kansas City Chiefs.. This is as well as facing a rising Washington Football Team twice as well as playing the Dallas Cowboys both home and away.

Reports have surfaced in recent days of the Philadelphia Eagles being the favourites for Deshaun, with talks said to be “heating up”.

This could be a move that transforms the franchise. However, Deshaun Watson had his best statistical season yet the Texans only managed four wins all year. This proves that whilst it is very important to have a good quarterback, you need more around to be successful.

Unless the Eagles do something in what remains of the offseason, they will continue to be mediocre if their roster continues to be this poor. If they get offensive or defensive talent in the next one or two offseasons, then they are a team that will compete for years to come. Otherwise, the Eagles will fail to be a threat to both the NFC and NFC East.

This is why Deshaun should avoid the Eagles at this present time. He will be going into a situation no different to what he experienced in Houston.

Prediction: 4-13

What A Difference A Year Makes

Where do we start with the Houston Texans? The 2019 season saw them take a 24-0 lead against the Chiefs in the Divisional Round. However, they allowed 41 unanswered points as they lost 51-31. What has unfolded since in the following nineteen months has been reminiscent of a Greek tragedy.

Head coach Bill O’Brien, who also was general manager, made the unusual decision to trade star wide receiver, Deandre Hopkins. In exchange, the Texans received a running back past his sell-by date in David Johnson, one second-rounder and one fourth-round pick. O’Brien only lasted four games in the 2020 season as they finished the campaign with just four wins.

Since the conclusion of the 2020 season, franchise legend J.J Watt has left and there continues to be an uncertain future surrounding quarterback Deshaun Watson. Houston’s quarterback requested a trade in January before allegations of sexual assault arose. These have lingered throughout the remainder of the offseason. It is unclear if Watson will play in the NFL at all in 2021 but even if he does, it is unlikely that he will be wearing a Texans jersey.

Houston has said they would listen to trade offers for Watson, with the franchise said to be wanting three first-round picks. They have also acquired Tyrod Taylor via Free Agency and used their first pick in the draft on Davis Mills in the third round. Even if the Eagles stick with Hurts, there will be plenty of other suitors.

Even with Watson, the Texans are light on the ground when it comes to elite talent. Linebacker Zach Cunningham and Laremy Tunsil are talents and despite adding Phillip Lindsay and Mark Ingram to the running back room, the roster is one of the league’s worst.

David Culley has developed somewhat of a worrying reputation after his time with the Eagles, Chiefs, and Baltimore Ravens. During his fourteen-season spell with the Eagles, his four seasons with the Chiefs, and two years with the Ravens, he had 0 wide receivers earn a PFF grade of 80 or above.

The Chiefs wideouts went an entire season without a touchdown under Culley. With a wide receiver room featuring Brandin Cooks, Nico Collins and Anthony Miller, this is not exactly a position of strength for the Texans. Culley is unlikely to see any of these receivers score high PFF grades.

Whilst the Texans might be playing the Jacksonville Jaguars twice and the Jets, they have a tough schedule. They will face the Cleveland Browns, Buffalo Bills, Arizona Cardinals, Los Angeles Rams, Miami Dolphins and Seattle Seahawks. Houston will also play the Los Angeles Chargers and the San Francisco 49ers as well as the Indianapolis Colts and Tennessee Titans twice.

They are unlikely to win many of these games. Fans should be expecting a difficult season.

Prediction: 2-15

3 breakout candidates on the Bucs

Will Scotty Miller break out in 2021?

By: Adam Hulse (@AdamHulseSports)

The main reason why the Bucs are the defending Super Bowl champions is the great strength of their roster. They have done an excellent job adding veteran talent to an already solid core, which took them to the next level. One thing that they don’t get enough credit for is their young depth. On the defensive side of the ball, where they are one of the best in the NFL, they have young players at every level that are already making big contributions. The offense was dominated mostly by the veterans last season but that doesn’t mean that they don’t have talent that’s potentially ready for a breakout this season. Here are three candidates at the offensive skill positions that fit this scenario.

WR Scotty Miller

Very quietly, Scotty Miller had a very solid season last year in the loaded Bucs offense. There were many players looking for target shares and Miller was one of the players who carved out a solid and steady role throughout the season. He played in all 16 regular-season games while accumulating 33 receptions on 53 targets for 501 receiving yards and 3 touchdowns. His 15.2 yards per reception was the highest on the entire team. He was also the fifth most targeted player, which is very impressive considering how loaded they were with offensive weapons.

After only 2 seasons in the NFL, the 23-year-old Miller has shown some promise that he can be a long-term piece at wide receiver for the Bucs. He could potentially be their third option behind superstars Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, or possibly even higher if one of them moves on from the team. He has a good understanding of coverage schemes and is a great route runner with sneaky speed and reliable hands. This is a year that he could take the next step and be a big part of the offensive scheme.

TE OJ Howard

Unfortunately, OJ Howard has been unable to stay healthy in his young career. He has not been able to play a full 16 games in any of his four NFL seasons so far. The most frustrating example was last season when he was only able to play in four games total before being shut down for the year. On the positive side, he was productive in those four games as he accumulated 11 receptions on 19 targets for 146 yards and two touchdowns. That is an encouraging stat line and could be an indicator that he’s ready to break out this year if he can avoid injury.

The talent has always been there for Howard and he has a great frame at 6’6 and 250 pounds. He is built like a solid tight end and has the athleticism to compliment it. Quarterback Tom Brady is known for heavily using his tight ends in the passing scheme so the opportunities will be there for Howard. Tight ends were targeted on 137 of the 626 passing attempts for the Bucs last season, which is more than 20 percent and one of the highest rates in the NFL. The door is wide open for Howard to have a true breakout campaign in the 2021 season.

WR Tyler Johnson

In his rookie campaign, Tyler Johnson did not get a ton of opportunities but showed flashes of potential at times. He has good build at 6’2 and 206 pounds which is almost identical to Godwin. He has the potential to be a big-play receiver, especially when most of the defensive attention is focused on Evans and Godwin. It was a small sample size, but his 14.1 yards per reception were third-best on the team. It will be interesting to see what Johnson could do if he starts to get a fair share of targets. He is a receiver that the Bucs plan to be a part of their future, so it’s possible that they increase his workload this year to see what they really have with him. He is a wild card who could possibly be a surprise, despite the fact that he does have a very low floor when it comes to projections for this season.

Projecting the prominent Buccaneers WRs stat lines in 2021

By: Jeremy Trottier

The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have had arguably one of the best receiving cores in the NFL as of late.  They have also added to it this offseason during the draft, taking Jaelon Darden with the 129th pick.  They also re-signed Antonio Brown, and franchise tagged Chris Godwin, bringing their four top receivers back for another season.  

In this article, I will be predicting the stats of the Bucs top three receivers who should all get touches, those being:

  • Mike Evans
  • Chris Godwin
  • Antonio Brown

Each of these receivers brings a different skillset to the team, and should each have pretty varying levels of different receiving stats.  With that said, here are my predictions…

Mike Evans

Statline: 123 receptions on 76 targets (61.8% catch rate), 1208 receiving yards, 10 TDs

Mike Evans had a relatively down year in 2020 by his standards, likely because of all the new weapons brought in.  However, with Tom Brady continuing to age, it is apparent that his arm fell off a little bit last year in terms of the deep ball.  With this in mind, Evans should have a “comeback” year of sorts in 2021, continuing his streak of 1000 yard seasons through his whole career.

The reason Brady factors into this is because Evans tends to run the short-intermediate routes, while Antonio Brown will run the deep slot routes most of the time.  This precise route running from Evans should allow him to be Brady’s favorite target this season, as it will make his job exceptionally easy.

Chris Godwin

Statline: 68 receptions on 89 targets (76.4% catch rate), 895 receiving yards, 8 TDs

Chris Godwin has mostly had the lesser of the two stat lines out of this duo, and I do not think that will change unless Evans has a severe drop off in production.  With that said, he still sees a slight increase from 2020 as he likely will play one more game than last year at the least (played in 12 last season).  

This increase likely will not cut into the other receivers on the team, as like I mentioned this is purely due to an increase in games played not number of targets per game.  At only 25 years old this season though, he should be looking to make an entry for the WR1 conversation on the team.

Since he would be going against the 2nd best CBs in the teams he plays, his coverage would be slightly sparse compared to Evans.  If they can draw coverage off of eachother and try to “pick and roll” per-say, that would give them a huge advantage on the field for sure.  

Antonio Brown

Statline: 60 receptions on 82 targets (73.2% catch rate), 795 receiving yards, 8 TDs

Another player who will benefit from more games played is the addition from last season, Antonio Brown.  My guess is he will likely start 10-12 games of the 17 this season, which is why he has such a drastic improvement in this statline compared to last season.  His primary focus as a receiver is turning YAC and getting to the endzone if he can rip a gap open.

The low-ish receiving yards compared to the other two receivers is due to just lack of volume, sharing between three primary receivers is absolutely difficult to do, even for someone like Tom Brady.  There is only so many receptions that can be given out per game, and the focus of the offense is heavily reliant upon Godwin and Evans, so this deteriorates the touches of everyone else.  

With that said, since he would likely be going up against the CB3 of each team he plays, this would still allow him to produce no doubt.  When the duo ahead of him is getting a lot of the focus, he can get to the seam and rip off long plays.  

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