NFL Preview 2021: Tom Brady. That Is All.

Tom Brady is gunning for his 8th Super Bowl in 2021. With the Buccaneers returning all 22 starters from last year, he just might get it. (Photo Credit: Mike Ehrmann/Getty Images)

The 17-game season is upon us, so football doesn’t feel nearly as exciting or meaningful anymore. I’ve been at this a while, though, so at least some kind of preseason prediction feels like an obligation. Tom Brady keeps winning Super Bowls, and as he defends a title for the seventh time, it’s worth pointing out he has had a different result after each one previously. There are six outcomes in a season: miss the playoffs (2002), lose in the wild card round (2019), lose in the divisional round (2005), lose the conference title game (2015), lose the Super Bowl (2017), and win the Super Bowl again (2004). Which outcome does Brady do for a second time? I think you know.

Without further ado as we approach a kickoff (and a return of full stadiums!), here is a quick hitter on who will do what in 2021:

AFC East

1 New England

2 Buffalo*

3 Miami

4 New York Jets

AFC North

1 Cleveland

2 Pittsburgh*

3 Baltimore*

4 Cincinnati

AFC South

1 Tennessee

2 Jacksonville

3 Indianapolis

4 Houston

AFC West

1 Kansas City

2 Las Vegas

3 Denver

4 Los Angeles Chargers

NFC East

1 Washington

2 New York Giants

3 Dallas

4 Philadelphia

NFC North

1 Green Bay

2 Minnesota

3 Chicago

4 Detroit

NFC South

1 Tampa Bay

2 New Orleans*

3 Carolina

4 Atlanta

NFC West

1 Los Angeles Rams

2 San Francisco*

3 Seattle*

4 Arizona


Wild Card Playoffs

AFC: Tennessee over Baltimore, New England over Buffalo, Cleveland over Pittsburgh

NFC: Green Bay over New Orleans, Los Angeles Rams over San Francisco, Washington over Seattle

Divisional Playoffs

AFC: Kansas City over New England, Cleveland over Tennessee

NFC: Los Angeles Rams over Green Bay, Tampa Bay over Washington

Championship Round

AFC: Cleveland over Kansas City

NFC: Tampa Bay over Los Angeles Rams

Super Bowl LVI

Buccaneers 34, Browns 24 (MVP: Who else?)

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