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.
Every few weeks during the regular season, and every month or so during the offseason, I chat with a group of fans from all around the NFL to ask them a question. This month’s edition focused on free agency as that is the hot topic of the month.
Fans often have a very different perspective regarding moves their team makes than the general media does. Fans look at their team with emotion and heart. The media, or more cynical fans, tend to focus more on statistics and grades given by random websites.
It’s time again for the Our Turf Football Fan Forum. For those new here, once a month I ask the members of our Fan Forum a question to get their thoughts on the state of their team or football in general. Since this month is full of holidays and (hopefully) good cheer, I decided the question should reflect that.
In a season we weren’t even sure would happen, there have been a lot of ups and downs. Between very little training camp, no preseason, and COVID-19 issues, there has been a lot that has gone wrong in the 2020 season. However, in my opinion, there has been a lot that has gone well too. And that was my question for the forum.
In a season that wasn’t guaranteed and had lots of things going against it, what has gone well? I told the members it could be about anything NFL, and they came up with some fantastic answers.
We are halfway through a season we weren’t even sure we were going to get. It seems almost impossible, but the NFL has kept on track during the pandemic and for some teams, things are going quite well. Others…not so much.
I reached out to our fan forum to check in with them to see how they felt their favorite teams were doing 8 weeks into the 2020 season.
Matt Cullen is a new member of our fan forum. He is a long-suffering New York Jets fan, and at the halfway mark, is ready for a change.
With week one in the books, the Miami Dolphins opened up their 2020 campaign right where they left off, visiting AFC East rival New England Patriots. Except, this time, it was the Patriots that would end up coming out on top, sending Miami to a 0-1 start.
The Patriots, behind new starting quarterback Cam Newton, put together a good game plan that made playing in an empty Gillette Stadium, and no Tom Brady, not a problem at all. Dolphins failed to take advantage of either.
Offensively, where do I start? I have to start with the Dolphins offensive line. Every year it seems fans are having the same discussion…no push upfront. The Patriots were shoving them around all game long. Yes, it’s a new unit, but you should have at least some continuity built up while in training camp.
Week one of the 2020 NFL season for the AFC East will see all four teams facing off against each other. The Buffalo Bills will host the New York Jets, while the Miami Dolphins will start where they finished their 2019 season, in Gillette Stadium against the New England Patriots.
Let’s take a look at each team before Week 1.
Starting behind quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick, the team will have first-round, future franchise QB Tua Tagovailoa watching and waiting in the back-up spot. Miami solidified that spot for Tagovailoa after the release of former first-round quarterback Josh Rosen.
In this edition of the OTFB Fan Forum, I decided to have everyone take a look at this odd offseason. The all-virtual, Zoom edition of an offseason.
Since free agents weren’t allowed into any facilities, it made signing them more difficult for teams. Rookies weren’t allowed anywhere near the rest of the team until training camp. It was a little weird. I was curious about how our forum members thought their team faired. Did they improve? Get worse by losing important pieces? Did they make any moves at all?
Or, seeing as the circumstances were, well… unusual, did they just hang on?
NFL quarterbacks are always a hot topic. Overrated. Underrated. Overpaid. Underpaid. Elite. Not Elite. Top five lists. Quarterbacks are often the cause of a lot of arguments and constant comparisons to fans.
With Dallas Cowboys QB Dak Prescott signing his tag, and nowhere near a new contract, and Kansas City Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes scheduled to break the bank with his new contract, I decided to ask the fan forum how they felt about quarterbacks. Is their favorite team’s QB worth it? Do they feel quarterbacks are overhyped or undervalued? Here is how a few of them felt.
Last week I introduced the OTFB Fan Forum. A group of 6 fans from across the NFL who are willing to be a voice for football fans. The first question posed to them was about how they felt about fans not being allowed in stadiums for NFL games. This week, we look at fans being allowed, but with social distancing in place.
When and if the NFL decides they can allow fans into the stadiums to watch games, more than likely they will have to cut down the number of fans that can do that by as much as 2/3, with the required 6 ft of distancing and most likely masks required.
That then gives the teams, and the league, a major problem to solve. How do you choose which fans are allowed? How do you allocate those tickets? What would the consequences be if fans don’t follow the rules? Our Fan Forum weighs in with their thoughts.
(Editors note: A few times a year we have guest contributors add to our website. Please enjoy.)
There have been many debates over the years. Waffles or pancakes? Chocolate or peanut butter? Tastes great or less filling? Allow me to add one more related to the NFL draft: Best available or fill needs?
I decided to dig into which strategy works better by researching ten years of drafts from 2009 through 2019. I chose the best team in each NFL division based on the overall record from that same period. I first looked at statistics for each season for these eight teams.
Items such as points scored and allowed, offensive and defensive rankings in each season, sacks allowed and recorded, and depth issues formed the baseline for what I saw as team needs for each draft. Any player chosen that would help improve the team in any of these areas was seen as a need pick, not a best available. Here are the teams and my analysis: