2020 NFL Season takeaways
Tom Brady leads his team to the top of the football world for the seventh time, here is what you need to know heading into 2021.
The 2020 NFL season is officially in the past and was able to do so through a worldwide pandemic as well as zero game cancellations. Before we get into the actual football topics, this outcome is something to be celebrated. The NFL did a tremendous job showing that it is possible to play sports in a safe environment that protects everyone. Every team should also see getting through this season as an accomplishment considering most teams made it through without any sort of major COVID outbreak.
However, even in a unique and abnormal season, we saw a well-known end of season result that portrayed Tom Brady hoisting the Vince Lombardi trophy following the Super Bowl. Besides this, there were many other storylines you need to be aware of as we head into the 2021 NFL Season.
Tom Brady is undoubtedly the GOAT
The Tampa Bay Buccaneers’ 31-9 Super Bowl win over the Kansas City Chiefs was one of the most dominant and best all-around performances I watched all year. The defense held Patrick Mahomes to zero touchdowns while the offense was able to move down the field with ease all game.
Coming into a week 13 bye week, the Buccaneers sat at 7-5 and were still in a loaded NFL playoff race for one of the three wild card spots. The team finally clicked the way analysts thought they would coming into the season where they finished on a four game win streak to clinch the five seed heading into the playoffs. The win streak would obviously continue, and they would do so as the underdogs in their final three playoff games to win their second championship in franchise history.
For Tom Brady, this was his seventh Super Bowl championship and the fifth time he was awarded Super Bowl MVP. Now at 43 years old, the quarterback owns more Super Bowl championships himself than any other franchise. Brady is the definition of what a winner looks like, wherever he goes the team instantly gets better and becomes a contender.
Are the Chiefs in trouble?
Following their Super Bowl 54 win over San Francisco, many thought this was the beginning of a dominant reign for the Chiefs with nothing in their way to stop them. The Bucs shut that narrative down after almost completely dominating them in every aspect of the game. Was this just a fluke for the Chiefs? Or did the Bucs figure them out, helping teams down the road using the same gameplan?
I think the best answer to this question is a mix of yes and no. The Chiefs are obviously still one of the most talented teams in the league and as long as Patrick Mahomes is in control of the offense, they will be a contender year after year. The Bucs developed the perfect game plan for a team that was missing its two starting tackles and brought loads of pressure on Mahomes, rarely allowing him to get a clean throw off. Other teams will try to replicate what the Bucs did but this is one of the fastest and most aggressive defenses I have seen, so it will be hard for others to do so.
The Russell Wilson drama
By now you have probably heard many different rumors surrounding Russell Wilson and his future with the Seahawks following his statement criticizing the offensive line and how he has to be protected better.
Although he is completely right in saying that he must be protected better — has been sacked 374 times over his career which is the most of any QB in that span — it’s never a good sign when your starting QB is publicly criticizing the team and management decisions. He also has said that he hopes to be in on personnel decisions with general manager John Schnider and head coach Pete Carroll, which could cause friction between him and other players since he is basically demanding to be treated differently.
The Seahawks are in a tough spot right now. They clearly have glaring holes to fill both on the offensive and defensive sides of the ball but have little cap room to do so. They also have a few players, including Jamal Adams, who will be needing contract extensions soon. Scheduled to make $32 million in 2021, Wilson currently makes the most of any Seahawk. If he wants the protection he desires, it might require him to take a pay cut so the Seahawks have the cap room to bring in a couple of veteran free agents.
Other teams to watch
The 2021 season will be an exciting one to watch with the several teams who have a legitimate shot at a Super Bowl championship. One team to keep an eye on is the Buffalo Bills. Led by young quarterback and MVP candidate Josh Allen, the Bills are hungry after losing to the Chiefs in the AFC championship. They will be returning almost everyone and if they add a few more pieces, I believe they can dethrone the Chiefs in the AFC.
One more team to watch is the Los Angeles Rams. They recently acquired future hall of fame quarterback Matthew Stafford from the Detroit Lions and it will be exciting to see what Stafford will do with a better all around team than he has ever been a part of. In order to make a run, the Rams will have to go through a stacked NFC West — which is possibly the best division in the league — and will do so with a top tier defense led by defensive player of the year, Aaron Donald.