It’s the official start of the 2021 NFL season, team captains are being selected, and the first injury reports are coming out. We are starting to have that old familiar feeling…football is back.
With stadiums expected to be at full capacity, fans are eagerly awaiting to see what this 2021 season will bring. Especially in the AFC East, where we’ll see two starting rookie quarterbacks in Zach Wilson for the New York Jets and Mac Jones for the New England Patriots. Let’s look at all four of the teams in the division and how they look in the QB position going forward.
The Buffalo Bills, led by 3rd-year starter Josh Allen, look to be the clear favorites to repeat as AFC East champions. With Buffalo coming up 1 game shy of the Super Bowl last season, it looks, for now, like a solid pick.
The Denver Broncos ended up dead last in their division last season with a 5 – 11 record, ending the season with three consecutive losses.
We know all about the quarterback issues that have plagued them since Hall of Fame QB Peyton Manning left the team. And then there were the injuries that devastated the team last season, causing them to lose their future Hall of Fame linebacker and team leader, Von Miller, for the season.
All of these things equaled a horrible, no-good season in 2020 for the Broncos.
Are the issues from their last season making us overlook them this year? Are we forgetting the dynamic, young players they have added to the team? Now, I’m not saying they are Super Bowl contenders or anything… (here comes the but)
The Miami Dolphins Junior Dolphins program will announce its impact on youth football supporting every high school football program and its athletes in South Florida in the last five years.
In an effort to transform lives and grow participation of boys and girls football teams, the Dolphins have supported all 142 varsity high school football programs in Broward, Miami Dade, and Palm Beach County schools through team visits, equipment donations, character building, or game day experiences.
The Miami Dolphins opened training camp yesterday by welcoming back the fans!
For the first time in over a year, fans were welcomed back by Dolphins Head Coach Brian Flores. Coach Flores during his pre-practice press conference said he was excited that fans were back in the stands. [He] always enjoys the fans’ support and was excited that the fans could watch practice.
It’s also worth mentioning that the fans were able to watch their beloved Fins from the team’s brand new training facility. Baptist Health Training facility is 217,200 square feet of state-of-the-art technology. It features two full-size natural grass fields and a full indoor practice facility as well.
The Miami Dolphins have released their 2021 NFL training camp schedule. It will be held at their new facility, the Baptist Health Training Complex, located in beautiful Miami Gardens, Florida.
There is no doubt that all eyes will be on Miami’s quarterback Tua Tagovailoa, who, to say the least, had some struggles during the coronavirus plagued 2020 season. Tagovailoa was benched by Dolphins head coach Brian Flores during the team’s playoff run late in December, only to have to go back to him after named starter Ryan Fitzpatrick tested positive for COVID-19.
Now comes a brand new season. Let’s, for the sake of argument, give Tagovailoa the benefit of the doubt. I say sake of argument purely because the fans have seemingly divided, making it so you are either for him or against him. I find myself on the fence. I have spoken to many NFL experts on his play and the 2020 season. They all agreed that as unorthodox the season was, it is still too early to make a call on him. And from all that I have seen, the Dolphins agree.
There is seriously tough competition in the AFC West. It is home to the AFC Champion from the last two seasons.
In a division that has one of, if not the, strongest teams in the league, how did the other 3 franchises look to add to their rosters in order to compete with the Patrick Mahomes/Andy Reid machine in Kansas City? Pretty well according to many in the business.
Let’s take a look at each team in the division and their draft picks.
Las Vegas Raiders
With the Raiders splitting the season at 8-8 last season, they knew they didn’t need a complete overhaul in order to get better. However, the grades given to this year’s Raiders draft were mostly B’s and C’s, with one D coming in from Vinny Iver from Sporting News.
For two weeks we heard nothing but Mahomes vs Brady. New kid vs GOAT. New legacies vs old legacies. But what we soon discovered, and were not all that surprised by, is that it was more than just the quarterbacks who made an impact on the field. In the crazy world of Super Bowl mania, no matter how the media spins it, it’s still a team sport.
It’s not like I don’t understand the reason for the hype. Tampa Bay Buccaneers quarterback Tom Brady is, almost without question, the greatest QB to play the game versus Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes, the fantastically talented, young superstar of the league. A possible changing of the guard right before our eyes.
Editors Note: Thank you all for being so patient while we got our website up and running again. It has become obvious to us that we need to do a major overhaul of the site during the offseason, so please continue to stick with us while we finish out the season. Thank you from all of us at OTFB.
A blowout that no one expected, and a blowout that should have been but wasn’t. The wonder kid quarterback that can’t win, and the team without any quarterbacks at all. All of this sums up a very odd week in the AFC West. A week that was basically the definition of 2020.
2 points. 7 points. 5 points. That was how close all the games for the AFC West were this weekend. The Week 9 matchups were stressful nailbiters for all 4 teams. At the end of it all, the standings pretty much stayed the same but proved this division could get fun down the road.
Carolina Panthers 31
Kansas City Chiefs 33
The Kansas City Chiefs held on for a 2 point win over the Carolina Panthers in an early game on Sunday, but it wasn’t an easy win in any way. The Panthers came into this game ready to fight. They had nothing to lose. They also had their superstar running back, Christian McCaffrey, back from injury. The entire team started off hot and kept the pressure on the Chiefs the entire game.
It was a successful first week for the AFC West. Three of the four teams came out winners. The Denver Broncos lost to the Tennessee Titans in the last seconds of the game. The Kansas City Chiefs opened the season with a Thursday night win. The Los Angeles Chargers squeaking out a win in a low scoring affair against the Cincinnati Bengals, and the Las Vegas Raiders get their first win for their new city.
While a couple of the games were close, they all showed new schemes. Looking at week 2, can we expect even more changes? Let’s take a look at each matchup, including a divisional game that could get interesting.