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2021 records for all 32 NFL teams

The 2021 NFL season is on the horizon—how will your team do?

Ken Blaze-USA TODAY Sports

The first 17-game regular season is coming up for the NFL, with each team now locked in (for the most part) as August nears. It’s the perfect time to break out the crystal football for a look into the future, into your team’s 2021 regular-season record. Breaking down the respective offseason, current roster and 2021 opponents, here’s where we see each team ending up after Week 18.

Arizona Cardinals

Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Simply not going to buy into Kliff Kingsbury being able to reach double-digits or be above mediocre until he proves he can do it. The Arizona Cardinals have added J.J. Watt, Rodney Hudson, James Conner, Malcolm Butler, among many veterans. Their draft was middling. Their 2021 season will be, too. Record: 8-9

Atlanta Falcons

AP Photo/David Dermer, Pool

The Arthur Smith era begins in Atlanta. The Matt Ryan era continues, and whether Julio Jones remains is a huge question. Good to add Kyle Pitts to the offense, but the defense is still shaky and that’s going to be a huge issue in 2021. Don’t expect a major shift in the win column. Record: 6-11

Baltimore Ravens

Joseph Maiorana-USA TODAY Sports

Look for another double-digit win season for John Harbaugh & the Ravens. The real question is whether they will have deeper success in the playoffs. For all the wins in the regular season, if this doesn’t turn into a Super Bowl appearance, it is going to ring hollow. Record: 12-5

Buffalo Bills


The torch has been passed from the New England Patriots to the Bills in the AFC East. They are on the verge of being a serious contender for a Super Bowl appearance. However, it isn’t going to be easy navigating the AFC playoff gauntlet. The regular season is a different story. Record: 13-4

Carolina Panthers

Bob Donnan-USA TODAY Sports

What will a new home for Sam Darnold bring? Will the former New York Jets‘ top pick find a fresh start… refreshing? Will Christian McCaffrey stay on the field for more games than he misses? Matt Rhule has rebuilt teams at the college level. He is going to find the NFL a far stiffer test. Record: 6-11

Chicago Bears

David Banks-USA TODAY Sports

The biggest question isn’t whether the Bears will make the playoffs or finish over .500? It is how long will it take for Matt Nagy to step away from Andy Dalton — or Nick Foles — and turn the offense to Justin Fields. The tricky part of the situation is Nagy is probably coaching for his job and asking a rookie to save you might not be the best strategy. Still, don’t expect miracles in the Windy City. Record: 8-9

Cincinnati Bengals

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Whether Joe Burrow can play on his recuperating knee is the key to the entire season. He has Ja’Marr Chase, a former target at LSU. Putting everything on a second-year quarterback is a major challenge, though Zac Taylor’s future swings with Burrow. Going to figure there won’t be a huge improvement. Not in the AFC North, where you could easily lose all six division games. Record: 5-12

Cleveland Browns

Scott Galvin-USA TODAY Sports

Welcome to the new world of the NFL, where the Cleveland Browns must be looked at as a serious contender for a deep playoff run. Not sure they are ready to make it to the Super Bowl, but the Browns will provide plenty of thrills. This team is young and strong and will likely battle the Ravens for division honors. Sure, they might come up just short but definitely a threat to scare people in the regular season and playoffs. Record: 12-5

Dallas Cowboys

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Expect there to be an improvement in the second year of Mike McCarthy as coach of the Dallas Cowboys. They have a significant chance at winning the division and getting dumped in the first round of the playoffs. The NFC East remains bleak and having Dak Prescott back on board is a huge boost. However, the defense remains shaky, and the only reason Dallas could get close to double-digits or reach the plateau is the division remains awful. Record: 10-7

Denver Broncos

Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

This can go two ways. If Teddy Bridgewater or Drew Lock is the quarterback in Denver, don’t expect a huge surge in the win column. It simply isn’t going to happen. However, if the Broncos somehow wind up with No. 12 from Green Bay, everything changes. For the time being, let’s go with the original scenario and not speculate about a trade that might never happen. Record: 7-10

Detroit Lions


Dan Campbell might be talking a big, tough game, but he’s about to find out that turning the Lions into a winner won’t be an easy task. Talking the talk is one thing. Walking the walk is an entirely different story—one that hasn’t been told in Motown in quite some time. Record: 5-12

Green Bay Packers


See: Broncos, Denver. If Aaron Rodgers remains in Green Bay, look for the Packers to roll to another NFC North crown and have a strong shot at making it to the Super Bowl. Without No. 12—and with Jordan Love or any other quarterbacks under center—the Packers become vulnerable to a significant tumble. Not saying Rodgers is staying in GB, but he is there—for now—and that is how we will base the prediction. Record: 11-6

Houston Texans

(Photo by Carmen Mandato/Getty Images)

Talk about a colossal disaster. What’s going to happen with Deshaun Watson—on and off the field? Traded to Philly? Yikes! The Texans are an embarrassment and most likely the top candidate for the first pick in the 2022 NFL draft. They could lose all 17, but for our purposes, we will be generous. Record: 2-15

Indianapolis Colts

Trevor Ruszkowski-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC South is a division with two levels: The Colts and Tennessee Titans up top, and in the basement, the Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans. Frank Reich needs to find the magic that existed in Philadelphia with Carson Wentz. If he does, the Colts should win the division comfortably. Record: 11-6

Jacksonville Jaguars


The good news is the future is bright so long as Trevor Lawrence remains upright. The bad? Don’t bank on Urban Meyer surviving loss after loss. This already feels like a misguided hire. The Jags will win more than one game in 2021. However, they won’t win many more. Record: 3-14

Kansas City Chiefs

Jay Biggerstaff-USA TODAY Sports

Patrick Mahomes & Co. will win the AFC West once again. That isn’t the issue. The only team that seems to be within shouting distance is the Chargers, and that would be if the Bolts have a major turnaround. The hitch is the Chiefs won many close games in 2020, and those results can turn. Not expecting them to do so. Record: 14-3

Las Vegas Raiders

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The Raiders will start off nicely… and then fizzle. That has been the storyline for the past two seasons—and zero reason to think it won’t continue. Look for LV and Jon Gruden to make it a hat trick of flops. Record: 7-10

Los Angeles Chargers

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

The one team to fear for all the good buzz and hype around it coming into 2021. The Bolts have Justin Herbert and many other pieces to put together a significant turnaround season. The new coaching regime has to clear out the mistakes that cost plenty of wins under Anthony Lynn. Signs feel as if they are pointing in the direction of a wild-card spot. Record: 10-7

Los Angeles Rams

Robert Hanashiro-USA TODAY Sports

Simply not going to jump on the bandwagon that has Matthew Stafford as the savior in Los Angeles for Sean McVay. His record in Detroit was substandard, and while you can’t blame the QB for much of the weakness, believing a change of scenery into the NFL’s toughest division is going to spark a Super Bowl run is too much. Record: 9-8

Miami Dolphins


The Dolphins’ record will depend on Tua Tagovailoa and the young QB erasing the doubts surrounding him. There is no more Ryan Fitzpatrick to save the day. That role would fall to Jacoby Brissett, and the guess here is the former Colt eventually sees a lot of action. Miami should scramble with New England for second or third in the AFC East. Record: 9-8

Minnesota Vikings

Brad Rempel-USA TODAY Sports

Another team that needs to come up big for its coach is the Minnesota Vikings. They just don’t seem to put it all together, and it’s hard to believe this is a team to threaten for a deep playoff run. However, if Aaron Rodgers is out of Green Bay, the Vikings could make a run at the NFC North. If Rodgers remains, the outlook would be trying to beat out the Bears for second place in the division. Record: 9-8

New England Patriots

Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

It’ll be a new season with plenty of new faces in New England. The turnaround was swift, and the roster shakeup complete. Bill Belichick has to hope this team creates instant chemistry. The belief is the Pats will be significantly better than last season so long as Cam Newton plays and Mac Jones watches, listens, and learns. Record: 10-7

New Orleans Saints

Chuck Cook-USA TODAY Sports

Another team whose fate swings on a change at quarterback, I can’t see Sean Payton letting the Taysom Hill-Jameis Winston battle last too long. That would be a recipe for disaster with Drew Brees retired. The Saints may not be as good as the Bucs, but they are way better than the Panthers and Falcons. Michael Thomas should see the field much more than he did in 2020, which will benefit either QB. Record: 10-7

New York Giants


Year 2 for Joe Judge is not going to be a ton different than Year 1. Don’t expect Big Blue to suddenly show playoff potential and a deep run toward the Super Bowl. The big hope is the NFC East is so weak the Giants could compete once again for all the wrong reasons: mediocrity. The Giants need a full season out of Saquon Barkley, desperately. Record: 5-12

New York Jets


A new coach and a high draft pick at quarterback. This seems to be a recurring theme for many years with the New York Jets. Robert Saleh has his work cut out trying to turn around a team with a history of losing, followed by more losing. I don’t think it will happen in 2021. The Jets could be better than they were in 2020. And … they might not. Record: 4-13

Philadelphia Eagles

James Lang-USA TODAY Sports

The Eagles already have one win over the New York Giants, trading up with the Dallas Cowboys to get the 2020 Heisman winner DeVonta Smith in the draft. The quarterback situation continues to be murky, with Jalen Hurts not assured of anything, it seems. This is another NFC East team that will ride the wave of mediocrity nowhere. Record: 4-13

Pittsburgh Steelers

Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Hard to believe, but the Pittsburgh Steelers feel like the clear-cut third team in the AFC North. That will have the great Mike Tomlin inspire his team to play well and compete. Ben Roethlisberger isn’t getting any younger, and the question remains… can he stay on the field? Record: 10-7

San Francisco 48ers

Kyle Terada-USA TODAY Sports

After a turnaround season that saw the Niners reach the Super Bowl following the 2019 regular season, the 2020 season was a total disaster. Injuries, illness, everything that could go wrong did for SF. So will the team fix things under Kyle Shanahan in 2021? Will it be a healthy Jimmy Garoppolo? Seems like a tough call when considering how dynamic Shanahan can make his offense under Trey Lance. Record: 10-7

Seattle Seahawks

Joe Nicholson-USA TODAY Sports

The Seattle Seahawks deliver year-in and year-out, and 2021 will not be any different. Pete Carroll and Russell Wilson know what it takes, and the team has the talent to support the mission. There aren’t any guarantees in the NFL, but Seattle hitting the 10-win mark is pretty difficult to argue against. Record: 12-5

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

What more could a Super Bowl champ ask for in 2021? The Bucs have brought back all their starters on a team with its chemistry soaring through the end of the 2020 regular season and playoffs. Then, Drew Brees exits New Orleans, and Atlanta and Carolina are nowhere near playoff contenders. Tom Brady will be in the playoffs again for a run at Super Bowl title No. 8. Record: 13-4

Tennessee Titans


I think there will be some backtracking in Tennessee in 2021. How many carries does Derrick Henry have left at the elite level? He’s great, but there is only so much pounding one can deliver — and take. Have to wonder if the Titans are a team that finds its way into the postseason and out of it without reaching SoFi Stadium in February. Record: 10-7

Washington Football Team

Scott Taetsch-USA TODAY Sports

The team won the NFC East last season, which assures it won’t happen again, given the division’s history. The quarterback situation is weak—no matter how much people love Ryan Fitzpatrick. The veteran and Taylor Heinicke won’t scare anyone, even the mild division foes: Record: 7-10



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