The Sports Inquirer presents Gridiron Blitz: 2021-22 NFL season predictions (9.9.21)

It’s that time of year everybody…NFL season predictions. The reality is that its a no-win situation as picking a Super Bowl Champion. If you go chalk and pick Tampa and Kansas City to both face each other again, its predictable. If you want to be wacky and take borderline contenders like both Los Angeles franchises, you’re looked at as crazy. If you pick Detroit and Jacksonville, seek help and if you pick Dallas, seek even more help and just burn your money, it will be more enjoyable.

Seriously, we media members make our picks and take them way too seriously. Predicting what’s going to happen months from now in a volitile sport like football is darn near impossible. All it takes is bad injury at the wrong time to mess up any team’s high hopes. Players improve, coaches get worse, its hard to figure it all out. We can’t tell the future.

My Super Bowl pick is Buffalo over Green Bay. I truly believe Tampa and Kansas City are the two best teams in the NFL and if they meet again in the Super Bowl, it wouldn’t surprise me. I’m taking a baby chance that the two teams that lost in the conference championship games last season make the next step into the Super Bowl.

However, if we get chalk and a repeat Super Bowl appearance, cool. If we get Tennessee against the Los Angeles Rams aka the Jeff Fisher Bowl (its not as far fetched as you think), cool. If we get against Atlanta against Baltimore aka the Ray Lewis Bowl (google it), I’m fine with that. Anything can happen.

With that, here are my division picks, listed in order (playoff teams in BOLD)

  1. AFC
    1. East: Buffalo Bills, Miami Dolphins, New England Patriots, New York Jets
    1. North: Cleveland Browns, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, Cincinnati Bengals
    2. South: Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans
    3. West: Kansas City Chiefs, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders
    4. Conference title game: Buffalo over Kansas City
  2. NFC
    1. East: Dallas Cowboys, Washington Football Team, New York Giants, Philadelphia Eagles
    2. North: Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Minnesota Vikings, Detroit Lions
    3. South: Tampa Bay Bucs, New Orleans Saints, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons
    4. West: Seattle Seahawks, San Francisco 49ers, LA Rams, Arizona Cardinals
    5. Conference title game: Green Bay over Tampa
  3. Super Bowl
    1. Buffalo over Green Bay

As far as individual awards, those are fun to pick too

  • MVP: Josh Allen (Buffalo). Pat Mahomes will be in this conversation for the next five years, Tom Brady is Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers just won the award last year, Lamar Jackson puts up solid individual numbers, Matt Stafford has the chance to finally be a winner, Derrick Henry and Ryan Tannehill may be part of the best offense in the NFL and crazier things have happened than Baker Mayfield being an MVP winner. I’m going with Allen to lead Buffalo to a big regular season and 50 total touchdowns isn’t out of the question. If he does that, the award will be his.
  • Offensive Player of the Year: Devonta Adams (Green Bay). The award for best-non quarterback offensive player of the year goes to Adams who in a contract year and can contend for the triple crown for receivers, leading the league in catches, receiving yards and touchdowns.
  • Defensive Player of the Year: Aaron Donald (LA Rams). He’s already won the award three times and has six first-team All-Pro appearances in seven seasons. Best start to a defensive player career since Lawrence Taylor who had a Super Bowl title and MVP to his name in addition to Donald’s honors. Myles Garrett, either of the Bosa brothers, Nick or Joey, Derwin James, Chase Young and Jalen Ramsey are fun choices but its Donald’s award to lose.
  • Coach of the Year: Brian Flores (Miami). This can go all over the place because do you award the coach with the best record, the one who’s team overachieves expectations, the one who continues his team’s strong form from the previous year, etc. Miami will be in the playoffs this season after not making it last year which will give Flores the boost needed to win the award.

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