NFL preview 2021: Matthew Stafford, J.J. Watt, Julio Jones among high-impact familiar faces in new places

Tom Brady led the Tampa Bay Buccaneers to a Super Bowl victory in his first season with the franchise. It’s unrealistic to anticipate that degree of return yearly, however a number of newcomers ought to assist their respective groups issue into the playoff image. 

Listed below are the acquainted faces in new locations slated to make an affect:

The QBs: Carson Wentz (Colts), Matthew Stafford (L.A. Rams) and Ryan Fitzpatrick (Washington)

In the meanwhile, the quarterback carousel has stopped spinning and a handful are anticipated to start out for brand spanking new groups in Week 1. Quite than highlighting all of them, let’s give attention to these most definitely to issue into the playoff hunt this season. 

Wentz struggled to remain wholesome in Philadelphia, and his early tenure in Indianapolis has actually not executed something to quell these murmurs. It sounds as if the previous No. 2 total choice will begin for the Colts this weekend, however a larger affect will be made on the season as a complete. Common supervisor Chris Ballard has constructed a playoff-caliber roster and laid the destiny of these gamers on the toes of Wentz. Wentz has corralled supporters courting again to his near-MVP season, however his profession resembles a banana; terrible throughout his first and most-recent seasons (until you are a psycho) however interesting on the within. Fortuitously, he discovered probably the most success with Frank Reich.

In Los Angeles, Sean McVay has diverted from an offense designed to manage dying by a thousand paper cuts to a potent, Stafford-led air assault that includes Robert Woods, Cooper Kupp, Van Jefferson and DeSean Jackson. Studies out of Los Angeles counsel the Rams are pushing the ball downfield, and that may open the remainder of the sector for tight finish Tyler Higbee and Kupp. 

Stafford had averaged simply 6.6 wins per season since becoming a member of Detroit, and it has been 5 years since he appeared within the playoffs. The expectations that include his arrival in Los Angeles needs to be welcomed. 

Individuals are overlooking the historic lack of success amongst 38-year-old quarterbacks within the NFL. Latest historical past has clouded judgment with Tom Brady being the outlier, not an instance. Washington has a powerful roster that ought to compete for a playoff spot, however it is vitally dependent upon the well being and success of Fitzpatrick. He might have a big impact and lead Washington to an NFC East crown, however there’s a greater degree of danger.

Sam Darnold (Panthers), Teddy Bridgewater (Broncos), Jared Goff (Lions) and Andy Dalton (Bears) are a number of of the opposite quarterbacks beginning for a brand new workforce this season.

Patriots TEs Hunter Henry and Jonnu Smith

There are examples of groups yearly that don’t have any identification, however a Invoice Belichick workforce is well identifiable. He needs large our bodies which might be going to bash opponents up entrance. He needs a quarterback to handle the soccer and a powerful floor sport to ship a victory. It’s clear that he has been chasing the success he had with Aaron Hernandez and Rob Gronkowski. Belichick had been doing his buying in thrift shops however determined to splurge this offseason and go to Rodeo Drive. 

With a dearth of extensive receivers, the workforce will lean on a presumably formidable dashing assault in addition to their two tight finish units. Henry and Smith are big security nets for rookie quarterback Mac Jones. A 12 months in the past, Cleveland was mocked for making Austin Hooper the league’s highest-paid tight finish by way of common annual worth. Since then, 5 tight ends have surpassed that determine, and two can be catching passes in Foxboro this fall. 

Patrick Mahomes’s OL: Joe Thuney and Orlando Brown

Kansas Metropolis had an completed sort out duo of Eric Fisher and Mitchell Schwartz however the cobbled inside underperformed. Fisher and Schwartz had been launched this offseason, and that ushered in a brand new age for the Chiefs offensive line. Brown (left sort out) was introduced in through commerce, and Thuney (guard) was signed to a market-setting deal in free company. The workforce additionally added middle Creed Humphrey and proper guard Trey Smith through the draft whereas welcoming again injured proper sort out Lucas Niang. It’s a completely new group, and reasonable well being could be an improve over what they skilled final season. 

Over the previous three seasons, the Chiefs have requested Mahomes to do a number of the heavy lifting. The present model of the offensive line needs to be improved if allowed time to develop collectively. 

Cardinals DE J.J. Watt

Watt has missed 32 video games over the previous 5 seasons, and for that purpose, many understand that he has misplaced a step. Though true, the decline is exaggerated. Watt continues to be an affect player when wholesome. He has misplaced just a little juice on the sting however can nonetheless lean on his total power and presents mismatch alternatives when he condenses inside. The 32-year-old is simply three years faraway from a season by which he recorded 16 sacks. The hot button is that the success of Arizona’s move rush doesn’t fall solely on Watt’s shoulders. In addition they have Chandler Jones and an assortment of different succesful gamers.

Justin Herbert’s OL: Corey Linsley, Matt Feiler and Oday Aboushi

The Los Angeles offensive line has been fully re-modeled over a two-year span. It started with Bryan Bulaga a 12 months in the past and sprouted into the additions of Rashawn Slater, Feiler, Linsley and Aboushi. The typical NFL fan is acquainted with Linsley, however Feiler and Aboushi are a bit extra unheralded. Feiler confirmed his versatility over the course of six seasons in Pittsburgh. Aboushi is a strong journeyman. Common supervisor Tom Telesco has turned a poor unit into a possible prime 10 group. The largest beneficiaries are Herbert and working again Austin Ekeler

It’s affordable to anticipate Herbert’s statistics to regress from final season, however the offensive line enhancements work in his favor.

Jets WR Corey Davis

Davis has been a dependable outlet for rookie quarterback Zach Wilson. It was necessary for Wilson to construct some belief with at the least one receiving possibility, and accidents to Elijah Moore and Jamison Crowder rendered that difficult. Davis is just not the mannequin for an alpha receiver within the NFL, however he doesn’t should be this season. New York’s expectations are modest, and his contributions to Wilson are invaluable. Fantasy house owners ought to reap the rewards of common supervisor Joe Douglas’ free company foray.

Titans WR Julio Jones  

Corey Davis transferring on created a void within the Titans extensive receiver room. Davis will price the Jets lower than Jones will price the Titans over the following two seasons. Plus, Tennessee surrendered a second-round decide for the precise to accumulate the veteran. All thought-about, it was a curious resolution. Nonetheless, each gamers are poised to have large seasons of their new digs. Jones is an athletic specimen that would have conceivably been developed in a laboratory. If he is ready to keep wholesome, the mixture of A.J. Brown and Jones might be particular. 

Browns S John Johnson

Johnson comes from a profitable protection with a revered coach in Los Angeles. He brings that have over to Cleveland, the place a scarcity of well being within the secondary was uncovered by the Chiefs within the playoffs. The Browns have dramatically upgraded the secondary with the additions of Troy Hill, Greg Newsome II and Johnson. A real check comes shortly with a rematch towards the Chiefs scheduled for Week 1. Johnson has additionally been a vocal chief since arriving within the AFC North.

49ers C Alex Mack

Mack would seemingly not have made this listing if he had gone to another workforce, however his partnership with Kyle Shanahan is well-documented. Cleveland had established a league-leading dashing assault till Mack suffered a damaged leg in 2014. Atlanta discovered a number of success on the bottom as effectively. The California product will step into a well-recognized scenario alongside a number of different highly-regarded linemen. Mack is savvy and will elevate the play of these round him. 

Broncos CB Kyle Fuller

Chicago’s poor monetary selections led to Denver’s achieve this offseason. Fuller was a cap casualty as a result of the workforce couldn’t feasibly afford to pay him. His shock departure from the Windy Metropolis provided the prospect to reunite with former defensive coordinator Vic Fangio. The Broncos are unabashedly infatuated with their line of defense expertise, and mixed with Bradley Chubb, Justin Simmons, a hopefully wholesome Von Miller and others, Denver ought to have a prime defensive unit.

Colts LT Eric Fisher

The door is open for the previous No. 1 total choice to start out in Week 1 towards the Seahawks after sustaining an Achilles harm that prematurely ended his season in January. Indianapolis has a really proficient roster, so the lack of Anthony Castonzo might have been devastating to their final aim of competing for a Tremendous Bowl. The supply of Fisher was a stroke of excellent fortune, particularly given the well being of Wentz. Fisher graded effectively when wholesome final season, and he ought to function a cog in that machine. 

Washington CB William Jackson

By now, you might be conscious that Washington will discipline probably the greatest defensive fronts in soccer this season. They’re geared up to hurry the passer from the sting and the inside. The funding in Jackson was just a little steep however might pay dividends. Rushed choices from the opposing quarterback inherently means extra alternatives for these within the secondary to make performs. The previous first-round decide has by no means recorded a couple of interception in a single season, however his greatest alternative awaits.

Others of observe: OT Charles Leno (Washington), CB Steven Nelson (Eagles), OT Riley Reiff (Bengals), WR Curtis Samuel (Washington), DS Anthony Harris (Eagles), QB Jared Goff (Lions), QB Teddy Bridgewater (Broncos), LB Joe Schobert (Steelers), TE Chris Herndon (Vikings), OT Riley Reiff (Bengals), DE Jadeveon Clowney (Browns), WR Marvin Jones (Jaguars), WR Emmanuel Sanders (Bills), WR Sammy Watkins (Ravens), OG Gabe Jackson (Seahawks), TE Gerald Everett (Seahawks), DE Bud Dupree (Titans), DE Yannick Ngakoue, CB Adoree Jackson (Giants), OT Trent Brown (Patriots), OG Rodney Hudson (Seahawks) | NFL preview 2021: Matthew Stafford, J.J. Watt, Julio Jones amongst high-impact acquainted faces in new locations


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