It’s that time of year when NFL fans get more excited about free agents and draft picks than they do about touchdowns and field goals. It’s all with good reason, because so much of what happens over the coming weeks will determine how the 2020/21 season plays out. So, let’s see how the land lies before a ball has been punted or a hit has been made in anger.
What Can Be Gleaned From 2020?
The 2020 Super Bowl was as much about the 49ers blowing it as it was about the Chiefs being out of this world, but that’s what pressure can do to players and coaches when the stakes are at their greatest. However, once a team gets the taste for success, they can often be hard to stop, which means Patrick Mahomes and Co. will start as betting favorites to retain their Super Bowl title in 2021, with Baltimore, San Fran and New Orleans in hot pursuit.
The 49ers will have to dust themselves off and rebuild, with questions being asked of quarter back Jimmy Garoppolo and coach Kyle Shanahan. They abandoned a fruitful running game to relinquish possession and mess up what should have been a simple exercise in running down the clock at the Hard Rock Stadium. A hangover that bad, though, might take more than just one season to recover from, a prospect Niners fans will be wary of.
Which Teams Will be Big Off-Season Movers and Shakers?
All the talk is predictably about where Tom Brady will be tossing touchdowns next season, as the New England Patriots face a possible rebuilding process without their legendary leader, with the rumor mill suggesting that a move away from Gillette Stadium is more than likely for Brady and super model wife Gisele Bündchen. However, New England know all too well how to remain competitive and can usually be trusted to rebound.
The same cannot be said of the Dolphins, who have specialized over the years at not taking advantage of their draft picks. With $80+ million to play with in the off-season, all eyes will be on Miami, to see if they can get it right this time and bolster their roster enough to make them genuine contenders.
Bengals fans will be excited that their team has first pick this spring and will be salivating at the chance to add some major talent to their ailing offensive and defensive lines. Star LSU quarter back seems likely to sign for Cincinnati, with the likes of Mekhi Becton and Tyler Johnson set to join him.
Which 2020 Up-and-Comers Will Mature and Deliver?
The Ravens have one of the most feared offenses in either conference, but were shocked in the playoffs by the Titans last term. However, if they make the right moves in the off-season, they could well be a team to watch next season.
The Seahawks need to close the gap to the Niners next season, but signs are that they’re not too far away from doing just that. Their war chest is sizable enough for some prudent acquisitions to take them up the few levels they need to go.
Detroit’s hopes last season were dented when their star quarter back Matthew Stafford suffered stress fractures in his back. As painful as that sounds, the 31-year-old is expected to be fighting fit for the new season and, with plans afoot to bolster the team’s defense in the off-season, the Lions might roar a little louder than some observers expect when NFL action resumes.
Give Your Crystal Ball a Rub
Now you have all the information you need at your fingertips, it’s time to bite that football shaped bullet and cast your predictions. Who do you see claiming divisional and conference titles, as well as the big one when it’s all said and done? And we haven’t even gotten started when it comes to whether next year’s half-time show can live up to Shakira and J-Lo!