We are finally nearing the official start of the new 2021 NFL regular season and teams are anxious to get out on the field. The fans couldn’t be more excited either as they are going to be back in stadiums again after being held out throughout all of 2020. But what teams are bound to rise above their preseason expectations and shock the world? What teams will end up completely missing the mark and be a massive disappointment?
Our resident NFL writer Liz Bhandari from NFLGirlUK.com takes a deeper look.
Overperformer: San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers are bound to take the league by storm next season. They had a whopping 32 players on the injured reserve list a year ago, including Raheem Mostert, George Kittle, Deebo Samuel, Nick Bosa and Jimmy Garoppolo towards the end of the season. They grabbed Trey Lance in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft, and he could end up starting down the line. If Lance gets the starting job, we are bound to see a whole new offense take place. A far more explosive offense that likes to run trick plays and get downfield quickly, as opposed to the Garoppolo offense when they dink and dunk their way down field. Their defense will also be phenomenal once again after being torn apart by injuries. Yes, their division is arguably the toughest in football with the Los Angeles Rams, Arizona Cardinals and the Seattle Seahawks all in it, but I think that is all the more reason to believe that this team overperforms. I have heard expectations that they are the team to miss the playoffs this year due to that division strength. However, we have to remember that this team made the Super Bowl two years ago and were up by ten points over the Kansas City Chiefs until the fourth quarter came around. This team should shock a lot of people in 2021.
Underperformer: Dallas Cowboys
This may not be a very popular choice, but I firmly believe that the Dallas Cowboys will fall short of preseason expectations in 2021. Yes, Dak Prescott will be returning to the field to start the regular season, but who knows how he will perform after such a gruesome injury. Ezekiel Elliott also had one of the worst years of his career last season. Their defense did get some new pieces with both Keanu Neal and Malik Hooker, though they cancelled those acquisitions out by losing Chidobe Awuzie, Jourdan Lewis and Xavier Woods. Many are predicting that this team makes it into the postseason and wins the division pretty easily due to their high-powered offense, but it just seems unlikely. I believe that this team will fall a few wins short of their early 10-win estimations and end up in second place in their division.
The 2021 NFL season looks primed to be one of their best yet. With a ton of talented teams that are all expecting to compete along with exciting young quarterback prospects on struggling rosters, it seems like every game is going to be exhilarating! This is definitely a year you won’t want to miss!
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Liz will be producing regular content for us so be sure to follow Liz @NFLGirlUK on Twitter and Instagram for all things NFL, and keep an eye out on our blog for further articles previewing upcoming games.
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