7 Bold Predictions Ahead of the 2021 NFL Season
With a new NFL season upon us, it is time for a new edition of bold predictions. These are almost always wrong and impossible to predict, but you never know when it comes to the NFL.
There are tons of great players in today’s league, and they can put up insane numbers. There are also players that have a lot to prove and could come up very big in 2021. Add in a 17th regular season game and things could get nuts this year.
There is a lot to consider, but if you’re excited for the season to start, join me for a look at my bold NFL predictions for 2021.
Christian McCaffrey to Lead the NFL in Receptions
Christian McCaffrey is an insanely gifted running back. In his last healthy season (2019), he had a whopping 403 touches, which is good for 41st most in a single season (tied Thurman Thomas in 1993).
I even think he paces the NFL in rushing yards, as well.
McCaffrey had an incredible number of receptions for a running back in 2019. He registered 116 catches on 142 targets that year, which was second in the league out of any player in 2019.
Michael Thomas was the only player to catch more passes than him (149 receptions). The reception total has been within his grasp and if it weren’t for injuries last season, he would’ve had a great shot at this.
Provided he stays healthy, C-Mac is in for a big year.
Mac Jones Will Be the Best Rookie Quarterback
With tons of hype going to first overall draft pick, Trevor Lawrence, Bears QB Justin Fields, and the other first round QBs, Mac Jones will shock as the best of all of them.
Jones has gone 13/19 in both of his preseason games, averaging 116.5 yards per game with no touchdowns. He’s seriously turning heads, and it’s possible he wins the starting job under center for the Pats.
It is just preseason, but Jones has shown flashes of being a capable quarterback sooner rather than later.
Cam Newton will miss a few days due to COVID-19 protocols, and that will give Mac Jones even more opportunities to impress Patriots’ Head Coach Bill Belichick and Offensive Coordinator Josh McDaniels.
If Jones can win the starting job soon, he could be in for a big season with the Patriots.
Jonathan Taylor Scores 25 Touchdowns
Taylor scored 12 touchdowns in 2020 (11 rushing, 1 receiving), but this year he could score 25. He didn’t have the starting job right away in Indianapolis, but he went on a tear when he earned it.
Marlon Mack started the first game and was expected to be the starter in front of Taylor for a while, but he got injured and missed the final 15 games of the season.
Taylor’s scoring outburst was in the last half of the season, from Weeks 13 to 17 (five games). In that span, Taylor scored a whopping eight touchdowns out of his 11 total for the year.
Here’s what he did in those games.
- Week 13: 1 TD
- Week 14: 2 TDs
- Week 15: 1 TD
- Week 16: 2 TDs
- Week 17: 2 TDs
He was a scoring machine!
Now Taylor comes into the season as the lead back and could be on his way to the 25 total touchdowns. His one receiving touchdown in last season should be easy to repeat and surpass and if he stays on the pace that he finished the season at, he could be in for a huge year.
He will have to overcome the loss of starting quarterback Carson Wentz for a while, but the Colts’ offensive line is one of the best in the league and can help Taylor put up a monster season.
The Broncos Will Have the Best Defense in the NFL
The Broncos’ defense is going to shut a lot of offenses down in 2021. They get their star pass rusher back from injury in OLB Von Miller.
Miller is one of the best pass rushers in the league when healthy and Bradley Chubb will be opposite him.
These guys are sack artists. Just look at what they bring to the table.
- Von Miller – 106 career sacks
- Bradley Chubb – 20.5 sacks in 34 games
Having two great pass rushers is significantly better than having just one. With just one great pass rusher, you can more easily double team him and win one on ones with your other offensive lineman. But with two great pass rushers, that leaves less room to work with, creating a lot of sack opportunities for the Broncos this year.
The pass rush itself isn’t going to be the best part of the defense. The Broncos’ secondary is very talented and has a lot of depth. Their top three corners are going to be shutting down the opposing wide receivers a lot this year.
Bryce Callahan is entering his second season with the Broncos, but his sixth with defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. Another player that has experience with Fangio and succeeded with him is newcomer Kyle Fuller.
Callahan, Fuller, and Fangio were a big part of the Bears’ defense in 2018, which was the best defense in the league. Another veteran cornerback they signed was Ronald Darby, who provides them with great depth.
If that wasn’t enough for you, the Broncos selected Alabama cornerback Patrick Surtain II with the ninth overall pick in the 2021 NFL draft.
This secondary looks amazing and has great depth. They can shut down three or even four wide receiver sets. They also made their free safety Justin Simmons, the highest paid safety in the NFL (starting in 2022) for a reason.
Denver also has a lot of help on the sidelines. See how good they’ve got it in this Denver Broncos coaching staff preview for 2021.
The Titans Will Have the Highest Scoring Offense
The Titans added one of the best wide receivers in the league to their already dominant offense.
They have one of the best running games in the league behind workhorse running back Derrick Henry. A.J Brown is an electric young wide receiver, and the addition of Julio Jones makes their passing game even better.
If that’s not a stack job, I don’t know what is.
Tennessee has an insane amount of explosive talent, and yet they were already very good offensively. Just look at some key ranks from them in 2020.
- 29.6 points per game (4th)
- 385.4 yards per game (5th)
- 0.467 points per play (4th)
- 6.1 yards per play (5th)
- 3.7 touchdowns per game (2nd)
Being top-five in major offensive categories like this is obviously amazing. And the Titans are adding a refocused Julio Jones to that?
Yeah, they’re going to be a problem in 2021.
Ryan Fitzpatrick Retires Midseason
Fitzmagic is taking another crack at it, this time for the Washington Football Team.
The main reason why he came here is likely for him to start. He lost the starting job to Tua Tagovailoa when he was on the Dolphins last year and he seemed distraught about it.
If the 38-year-old (turning 39 in 2021) struggles early and often, the WFT can try out other quarterbacks. Their division crown is not exactly out of reach with their main competition being the Cowboys.
Against the eventual champion Buccaneers, Heinicke passed for 306 yards, one touchdown, one interception, and rushed for 46 yards and another touchdown.
The Bucs had a great defense in 2020 and Heinicke made them struggle. If he can prove to be that same player that he was in that game, or even a little bit like him, the Washington Football Team may give him the starting job.
If that happens, Fitzpatrick may grow tired of being given up on and call it quits to a legendary career.
Josh Allen Scores 60 Total Touchdowns
My boldest 2021 NFL prediction is that Bills quarterback Josh Allen will go full scorched earth on the rest of the league. After the Bills signed him to a long-term contract, he’s going to be itching to prove it was the right move.
Josh Allen had an incredible year in 2020. He scored 45 total touchdowns (37 passing and 8 rushing) while leading the Bills to the AFC Championship game.
He finished second in MVP votes behind Aaron Rodgers and 2021 could be even better.
The NFL has an additional week in this upcoming season, which makes Josh Allen’s touchdown ceiling even higher. The most touchdowns in a single season belongs to Peyton Manning’s incredible 2013 season. Manning scored 56 total touchdowns (55 passing and 1 rushing) in 2013, winning MVP.
Now, Allen’s passing and rushing touchdown is going to look different from Manning’s but all in all, he has a chance to put up some serious numbers.
Allen could score a satisfying total that hasn’t been reached yet in NFL history, with 60 total touchdowns. He could throw for 48-50, while adding another 10 on the ground.
He would have to take another step forward performance wise in 2021, but he has improved every year so far, so why not another one? Look for Allen to be a touchdown monster in 2021, on the ground and in the air.
Looking to the 2021 NFL Season
At the end of the day, bold NFL predictions are bold for a reason. None of these are locks to happen in 2021, but where is the fun in being realistic?
We could see some incredible seasons and stats in the upcoming season, especially with the additional week on the NFL 2021 schedule. This year is going to be very exciting, so hold onto your seats.
Be sure to catch up on our other NFL articles below, as well.