Almost a third of the 2021 NFL Season has come to an end, and now we have a clearer idea about which teams are really contenders; those who are on the rise, or those who have been a real disappointment; also on the individual performances of the players that we like to see and that entertain us so much on a recurring basis. Therefore, in this article you will find various opinions of our Staff regarding the most notable events of the 2021 NFL Season to date.
1. What team, player and coach did you like the most about this first quarter of the 2021 NFL Season?
Luis Ivan Nunez
Without hesitation: the Cowboys, and therefore, Dak Prescott. Both quarterback and team are finally performing as expected for a long time; I think this season they have a unique opportunity to seriously fight for a spot in the Super Bowl, since, in my opinion, they are at the level of teams like the Buccaneers or Rams. However, when it comes to HC, it’s impossible not to mention Kliff Kingsbury, who despite being widely criticized, currently has Arizona 5-0.
The Chargers. The Anthony Lynn era had been characterized by high expectations and few results, so Brandon Staley’s start as head coach was a very pleasant surprise. This team is still a work in progress and there are several things to improve, but they have become one of the most interesting teams of this 2021.
The big winner in the first quarter of the season are the Bills, who have been dominant enough on both sides of the ball, and barring the accident in Pittsburgh, the rest of the games have looked very good, including their recent win over the Chiefs. Another winner is Kliff Kingsbury, who had been widely criticized for wasting his team’s potential, but at least at the start of the season they remain the only undefeated.
2. What team or player and coach has disappointed you in this first quarter of the season?
Luis Ivan Nunez
So far the Dolphins. After a 10-6 campaign in 2020, I expected they would fight for at least a playoff spot this year, but no, and in part it’s because HC Brian Flores’ ideas are falling short. But if we talk about individual performance, I am left with the fateful start of QB Zach Wilson, of the Jets, who in 5 games records 9 INT; at this rate, he will break Peyton Manning’s record for the most interceptions thrown in his first NFL season (28).
What has disappointed me the most this year has been the defense of the Washington Football Team, as they have gone from being the banner of this team to becoming the Achilles heel. True, elements like Chase Young, Jonathan Allen, Montez Sweat and Daron Payne are still producing at the expected level, but the secondary is terrible and the linebackers are on the same page. They have become a team that relies on an offense led by Taylor Heinicke.
The biggest disappointment I think was Ben Roethlisberger, although we all knew that he was no longer in his prime, at times his level of play has been quite sad. Given his importance in the history of the league, let’s hope he can finish his career, at least, fighting for a winning record. For their part, the Chiefs have obviously been a disappointment, but to their advantage, they have faced a very difficult schedule, so I still think they can bounce back.
3. What stories have caught your attention in this first quarter of the 2021 NFL Season?
Luis Ivan Nunez
The development of the AFC and NFC West. On the one hand, it seems that the Chiefs no longer command the same respect they did two seasons ago, and although they may end up beating the Raiders and Broncos, it will be interesting to see the head-to-head with the Chargers. On the other, the undefeated start of the Cardinals, who seemed to be the least strong in their division, but who, against all odds, are better than the Rams, 49ers and Seahawks, is notable.
It is impossible not to be very interested in everything that is happening in the AFC. The Bills appear to be leading the conference after dominating the Chiefs, and at the same time teams like the Chargers and Browns have shown signs of having the pieces needed to compete for the top of the AFC. And while all of this is going on, the Ravens find a way to keep winning games. The future of this conference is simply exciting.
The consolidation of Justin Herbert and Joe Burrow are stories that as a fan of the NFL give pleasure because the future in the QB position is in good hands. In addition, the level that Tom Brady still shows is a visual delight, and the game against Dallas against the renewed Dak Prescott and his duel against Bill Belichick were great dishes. If I must highlight something bad it is the novel in Jacksonville with Urban Meyer where, although I see an improvement of Trevor Lawrence week by week, the team lost total respect for his HC.
4. With what you saw in this first quarter of the season, would you change your Super Bowl pick?
Luis Ivan Nunez
No. My initial prediction was Ravens vs. Rams, and both continue to look like two contending teams within their respective conferences. Lamar Jackson is better than ever; playing even at the MVP level once again. While the Rams found in Matthew Stafford the missing piece to be taken seriously, and aided by his imposing defense, it seems very viable that these two franchises will meet next February in Super Bowl LVI.
My pick for the Super Bowl was Rams vs. Bills, so I have no problem staying there. The Rams are playing well and must improve as the season progresses, and the Bills look like a set made to go a long way in the 2021 NFL Season. So far from wanting to change I want to confirm my forecast.
Yes I would change my pick. I was a supporter of the rematch between Buccaneers and Chiefs, but I think this is not the best version of Kansas City; Teams like Ravens, Bills, Chargers, Browns, can beat them if they limit their mistakes. In the NFC, I still think Tampa Bay is the best, and when his injuries come back, he will improve the level of his secondary. Rams is another contender, but he has proven not invincible and Arizona looks good but still needs to make the playoffs before putting him in as a candidate.
And you, what opinions do you have about what you have seen so far in the first quarter of the season? Who have been the biggest surprises and disappointments both collectively and individually? Leave us your answers. We read you in the comments below this article and on our social networks.