NFL Division Winners That Should Repeat in 2021

| August 26, 2021 10:27 am PDT

The NFL typically has their usual suspects when it comes to championship contenders. However, division winners can be a different story.

Last season, just three division winners won their division the season before. That’s the kind of uncertainty that can happen when talking about the NFL.

Ultimately, the great teams will repeat as division champions. Let’s look at the NFL teams who have the best chance to repeat as division champions in 2021.

Kansas City Chiefs

It’s hard to go against the Kansas City Chiefs. Since Patrick Mahomes took over as quarterback for the Chiefs at the end of the 2017 season, the Chiefs are 38-10. Two of those losses came with Mahomes out of the lineup.

The 2018 MVP has established himself as one of the best quarterbacks in the NFL, but there’s more to the Chiefs than Mahomes.

Wide receiver Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce are both among the top three at their position. Hill is arguably the fastest player in the NFL but he is so much more than just a deep threat. He is a great route runner that has the ability to high point any ball.

Kelce is no doubt the best tight end in the league. It certainly doesn’t hurt that he has Mahomes throwing him the ball, but his success began before Mahomes arrived in Kansas City.

Check out where Kelce ranks in receiving yards since 2016.

  • Julio Jones: 6.695 yards
  • DeAndre Hopkins: 6,476 yards
  • Travis Kelce: 6,144 yards
  • Mike Evans: 6,009 yards
  • Michael Thomas: 5,950 yards

The fact that he is third, despite being a tight end is impressive. When you look at other tight ends, no one is within 2,000 yards of Kelce in that span.

Following an embarrassing Super Bowl performance, the Chiefs went out and upgraded their offensive line. They traded for two-time Pro Bowl left tackle Orlando Brown Jr. and signed guard Joe Thuney to a big deal.

Those signings will help second-year running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire.

Kansas City’s defense has a reputation that they are a bad unit, but that isn’t the case. Their defense allowed the 11th fewest points last season and had the fifth most interceptions.

Star safety Tyrann Mathieu leads a Chiefs secondary that includes names like Charvarius Ward and L’Jarius Snead.

Chris Jones and Jarran Reed plug the holes up the middle with Frank Clark rushing off the edges.

The Los Angeles Chargers are the only team that will challenge Kansas City. While the Chargers are a sleeper this season, I don’t expect them to dethrone the Chiefs.

Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills were the laughingstock of the NFL for much of the 2000s and 2010s. However, they have revamped their franchise over the last few years and become one of the best teams in the NFL.

Buffalo made their third playoff appearance in four years last season but it was their first AFC East title since 1995. With Tom Brady out, the Bills have the potential to run the division for the next couple years.

Last season, the Bills won 13 games for the first time since 1991. A big reason for that was the emergence of quarterback Josh Allen.

Allen’s first two seasons in the NFL were nothing special. He struggled big-time in his rookie season but showed improvement in 2019. Last season, Allen put it all together and became one of the top quarterbacks in the league.

He finished second in MVP voting with 4.544 yards, 37 touchdowns, and 10 interceptions. Allen ranked top five in yards, touchdowns, completion percentage, QBR, and passer rating.

I don’t think his great season would’ve been possible without wide receiver Stefon Diggs. Diggs was always a solid receiver with the Minnesota Vikings, but he became an elite wide receiver in his first season with the Bills.

Let’s compare Diggs’ five seasons in Minnesota with his first season in Buffalo. His Vikings stats will be per year.

Stat Minnesota Vikings (2015-2019) Buffalo Bills (2020)
Receptions 73 127
Receiving Yards 924.6 1,535
Yards Per Game 66.0 95.9
Touchdowns 6 8

His receptions and receiving yards led the NFL last season.

Wide receiver Cole Beasley had a very underrated season with 82 receptions and 967 yards.

Before Allen and Diggs turned the Bills offense into a top three unit, it was their defense that received the spotlight.

Their defense is still strong, especially in the secondary. Cornerback Tre’Davious White and safety Micah Hyde are among the best at their position. Both players played a hand in the Bills defense forcing the third-most turnovers last season.

The Miami Dolphins and New England Patriots may challenge Buffalo but I don’t see it. Both teams are fringe wild card teams at best.

Green Bay Packers

Throughout the offseason, it looked like the Green Bay Packers were in trouble. Star quarterback and 2020 MVP Aaron Rodgers made it known he wanted out of Green Bay. He wanted the team to trade him and if not, he would sit out.

Just before training camp began, Rodgers finally agreed to play for the Packers this season.

Packers’ fans rejoiced, as they would’ve been in big trouble without Rodgers.

Rodgers led the Packers to their second consecutive division title last season with a 13-3 record. The Packers lost in the NFC Championship Game for the second straight season. However, that doesn’t diminish what Rodgers accomplished.

He threw for 4,299 yards, 48 touchdowns, and five interceptions. Rodgers led the NFL in touchdowns, completion percentage, QBR, and passer rating.

Like we talked about with Josh Allen, Rodgers couldn’t have done it without his elite wide receiver.

Despite missing two games, Davante Adams had his best season yet. Here are his stats from last season.

  • 115 receptions
  • 1,374 yards
  • 98.1 yards per game
  • 18 touchdowns

Adams led the NFL in receiving yards per game and touchdowns. He also tied for second with 115 receptions. There’s a reason he’ll go into this season as one of the best wide receivers in the NFL.

Running back Aaron Jones returns after signing a four-year deal this offseason. Jones doesn’t receive as much attention with Rodgers and Adams running the offense, but he has back-to-back seasons with over 1,000 rushing yards.

This may come as a surprise to some people, but the Packers had the ninth-best defense last season. They allowed 334 yards per game thanks to an elite secondary.

Cornerback Jaire Alexander took a huge step forward last season to become one of the game’s premier corners. Safeties Darnell Savage and Adrian Amos fill out the elite secondary.

Their pass rush also excelled last season with star defensive tackle Kenny Clark and edge rusher Za’Darius Smith.

I expect the Minnesota Vikings to be better this season, but I can’t imagine them improving enough to take down Green Bay. In turn, I don’t expect much regression from Green Bay.

With Rodgers back in the picture, the Packers are among the NFL teams facing the most pressure in 2021.

Tennessee Titans

A lot of people expected the Indianapolis Colts to take over the AFC South with the addition of quarterback Carson Wentz. However, Wentz will likely miss time to begin the season as he recovers from foot surgery.

That opens the door for the Tennessee Titans.

The Titans made their third playoff appearance in the last four years last season. This time, they won their first division title since 2008. While they lost the Baltimore Ravens in the wild card round, there’s a lot to look forward to going into 2021.

Star running back Derrick Henry returns, coming off one of the best seasons for a running back of all time. He became just the eighth running back in the NFL to rush for over 2,000 yards. He also rushed for a league-leading, 17 touchdowns.

Quarterback Ryan Tannehill and wide receiver A.J. Brown had another strong season in the duo’s second season with the team.

Tannehill passed for 3,819 yards, 33 touchdowns, and seven interceptions. Brown had his second 1,000-yard year. Last season, he upped his reception total from 52 to 70 and increased his touchdowns from eight to 11.

Tennessee will have even more help this season with Julio Jones coming to town. The Titans acquired the star wide receiver this offseason. The move gives the Titans one of the best wide receiver duos in the league.

That Titans offense will be hard to stop.

I’ll be honest, the Titans defense struggled mightily last season. They finished bottom five in total yards allowed and passing yards allowed. Their 23 turnovers ranked eighth last season.

This offseason, the Titans upgraded their defense by signing linebacker Bud Dupree to a five-year, $80 million deal. They also selected cornerback Caleb Farley in the first round of the 2021 NFL Draft. Those guys join a Titans defense that includes defensive tackle Jeffrey Simmons and safety Kevin Byard.

Indianapolis is the Titans only competition for the AFC South. The Houston Texans will likely finish with the worst record in the league, while the Jacksonville Jaguars won’t do much better.

Lookout for Tennessee to make some noise this season as a Super Bowl sleeper.

Other NFL Division Champs That Can Repeat

  • Washington Football Team
  • Seattle Seahawks

Outside of the Tennessee Titans, all these teams made it to the Conference Championship last season. I expect those three teams to be among the league’s elites once again, with the Titans not far behind.

I think the Washington Football Team and Seattle Seahawks have the best chance to repeat among the other four teams.

Washington plays in the weak NFC East but they have an elite defense and upgraded their offense. The NFC West is evenly matched with Seattle having as good of a chance as any team.

All these teams will look to repeat their great 2020 seasons, but only time will tell if they can. As you get ready for the 2021 NFL season, take in some more content with the posts below.

Nicholas Sterling
Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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