NFL Preview 2021


Jaymin Kanzer, Sports Editor

Jaymin Kanzer’s predictions for the 2021 NFL player bracketA season full of canceled games and positive covid results has come to an end, while a season that most people didn’t think would even happen has entered the best time of the year. The NFL playoffs.

This year, the NFL has decided to try switching the playoffs up. Something that was not needed, but could be a wonderful change. 12 teams used to be the norm. Four division winners for both the AFC (American football conference)  and NFC (National football conference), as well as 4 wild card teams. The two top teams from each conference get a bye and play against the winners of the wild card games. Pretty simple. The NFL and Roger Goddell the commissioner of the league wanted expansion, so they widened the wild card round. Now, 14 teams make the playoffs. Only the first seed, the best team in the conference gets a bye, and there are now three wild card games. The second seed plays against the seventh seed, the third seed against the sixth seed, and the fourth seed against the fifth. 

Wild card weekend kicks off at 1:05 eastern time in Buffalo, New York when the Indianapolis Colts travel up north to play miles away from the world-famous Niagara Falls. Sophomore starting quarterback Josh Allen, leading the Buffalo Bills, has been acknowledged as a potential “The Most Improved Player of the Year” candidate, as well as an outside MVP candidate. Throwing for 18 touchdowns in the past 7 games, as well as nearly 2,000 yards just in those 7 games. Leading his team to 10 straight wins. This is also the first time the postseason has been up north in Buffalo since January 3rd, 1993 and the last time the Bills won a playoff game was in 1995. The Bills are favored by many in this game including Vegas odds. This game will be live on TV and you can find it on CBS. 

The next game of the three-game set is played on the other side of the country, in Seattle, Washington. Where Los Angeles Rams travel north to face off against Russell Wilson and the Seahawks. Wilson kicked the season off with a bang, throwing for 22 touchdowns in his first six games, and 18 almost 19 hundred yards. Wilson was playing like the MVP, and every early MVP prediction that you looked at had Wilson winning the award. But two straight losses and four interceptions in those two games knocked him right out of the conversation. One of those losses came at the hands of the LA Rams. The mighty defense with Aaron Donald coming off the edge, and Jalen Ramsey the best corner in the game locking up the best receiver on the Seahawks, DK Metcalf is a very scary sight for head coach Pete Carrol. Vegas odds has Seattle taking home the W by only a field goal. This game is being played at 4:40 ET and can be found on FOX.

The final game of the trio is played right back on the other side of the country, this one being played in our nation’s capital, Washington DC. The newly named Washington Football Team goes up against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. After a 20 year stretch and six Superbowl rings with the New England Patriots, Tom Brady thought it was time for a change and took his talents to south beach as LeBron would say. The 38-year-old quarterback is still as good as ever and back where he belongs, in the playoffs. This is the first time in his 20 year career that he has ever played in a wild card game. Tampa Bay is going up against the Washington Football Team led by quarterback Alex Smith. The Football Team has had a rough go at it this season when in week nine first-string quarterback Kyle Allen dislocated his ankle which required surgery. This knocked him out for the entire year. Then second string, Dwane Haskins came in and struggled on and off the field. Playing horribly in games and then going out to clubs and bars and going against the NFL COVID guidelines. The Football Team had to turn to Smith, who had one of the most gruesome leg injuries the NFL had seen in years. He broke his fibula and tibia on the same play and had to go through 17 surgeries. Not a single doctor thought he would make it back onto the field, but here he is in the playoffs going up against the greatest quarterback of all time. In my opinion, Smith is going to win the award for Comeback Player of the Year with no questions asked. Vegas has the 11-5 Bucs beating the 7-9 Football Team. 

There are three more games on Sunday: The Baltimore Ravens travel to Tennesee to take on the Titans early, then the Chicago Bears go south to face off against the New Orleans Saints, and the final game is the Cleveland Browns playing the Pittsburgh Steelers. Vegas odds show the Ravens beating the Titans by a field goal. The Saints are heavy favorites against the Bears. And finally, the Steelers by a touchdown are predicted to beat the Browns. 

These are my predictions for the 2020-2021 NFL playoff bracket.