2021 NFL Season: Playoff And Awards Predictions

Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady / NFL

The 2021-2022 NFL season gets underway Thursday night as the Dallas Cowboys take on the defending Super Bowl Champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Grab a beer, order some wings, and glue yourself to the couch because it’s football season once again. Every fan comes in with the hope that it’s their year, and all of that hope will disappear after your team’s offense goes three and out on the first possession. There’s no better feeling than yelling at the television on a Sunday.

After much deliberation, I’m ready to make my playoff and awards predictions. Buckle up those chinstraps, and let’s go.

NFC

Once again, Tom Brady took his team to the Super Bowl and walked away with another ring. Every fan should have seen this coming especially if your team plays in the AFC. Why would it be any different? Brady runs the league, and the Bucs are going to be contenders once again with all 22 starters from the Super Bowl team. The rich, do in fact, get richer.

So who will stop Brady’s reign of terror? The best bet plays in Green Bay, and his name is Robert Paulson. Actually, his name is Aaron Rodgers, and he’s the reigning MVP. Despite falling to the Bucs in the Conference Championship Game, the Packers still have #12 under center for at least one more season, which automatically makes Green Bay a contender.

The NFC West is the group of death as the Rams, 49ers, and Seahawks are all talented enough to not only make the playoffs but win a Super Bowl. In the East, someone has to win the division right? In the South, maybe this is the year I stop believing in the Falcons. I can’t make any promises.

NFC Seeds

  1. Bucs
  2. Packers
  3. 49ers
  4. Cowboys
  5. Rams
  6. Seahawks
  7. Saints

NFC Title Game – Bucs over 49ers

Special Note: As a Giants fan, I’m contractually obligated to give a prediction for the NFL season. With a horrible offensive line and mediocre quarterback, I’m not expecting to light up the scoreboard. However, I believe in Joe Judge and the defense. The Giants should be on the “In The Hunt” graphic all season. Final record: 8-9.

AFC

Ask yourself one question: Can *insert team here* beat Patrick Mahomes in the playoffs?

That’s the only question that matters. So far, no team without Brady has beaten Mahomes in the playoffs. To go one step further, the Kansas City Chiefs have never played a road playoff game since Mahomes become the permanent starter. Why should that change this year? Frankly, I don’t think it will. Mahomes is going to be a man possessed after the Chiefs were embarrassed in the Super Bowl. A pissed-off Mahomes is a quarterback that I wouldn’t want to see if I’m on the other sideline.

The teams with the best chances of stopping Mahomes are the same two teams that faced the Chiefs in the playoffs a season ago. Those teams are the Browns and the Bills. Top to bottom, the Browns roster is more talented than the Chiefs. Cleveland has the best 1-2 rushing attack in football with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Plus, Myles Garrett is one of the favorites to win MVP. I hate to channel my inner sports talk show host, but Cleveland’s success will come down to Baker Mayfield. If he moves the chains, the Browns will go far.

In Buffalo, the Bills are coming off their most successful season of the 21st century. Last year was not a fluke for Josh Allen (more on him late), and the young quarterback should be even better than he was a season ago. The biggest non-move of the offseason was the return of offensive coordinator Brian Daboll. If their defensive line improves, expect a rematch with Kansas City for the AFC Championship.

In other news, Lamar Jackson might rush for three thousand yards after every running back in Baltimore suffered catastrophic injuries. Don’t count out Mike Tomlin, who’s never had a losing season. Also, the “Year Two” jump for quarterbacks is real. CC: Justin Herbert.

AFC Seeds

  1. Chiefs
  2. Bills
  3. Browns
  4. Titans
  5. Ravens
  6. Steelers
  7. Chargers

AFC Title Game – Chiefs over Browns

Super Bowl

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it. The Bucs and Chiefs are still the two best teams in the NFL. I expect a closer Super Bowl this time around, but I’m still picking the GOAT to win by a field goal.

Super Bowl – Bucs over Chiefs

Awards

MVP – Josh Allen

If the Bills make the playoffs again, then Allen will have to be spectacular once again. He still needs to take care of the ball, but there’s a chance his stat line could look like this: five thousand yards, 42 passing TDS, and 10 rushing TDs. That’s good enough to win NFL MVP.

Offensive Player of the Year – Josh Allen

See the above.

Defensive Player of the Year – T.J. Watt

If it’s not Aaron Donald again, I’ll take T.J. Watt, who finished 3rd and 2nd in voting the previous two seasons.

Comeback Player of the Year – Dak Prescott

This is the easiest award to predict. Dak was on pace for record-setting numbers before his injury in 2020. Expect the QB to light it up once again.

Offensive Rookie of the Year – Trevor Lawrence

The bet to place is that a QB will win this award. Why not go with the number one overall pick? Lawrence will struggle at first but expect a huge second half once he gets in sync with Urban Meyer.

Defensive Rookie of the Year – Patrick Surtain II

Surtain II is a s-t-u-d. Add his name to the list of elite Denver cornerbacks.

Coach of the Year – Kyle Shanahan

The 49ers should jump from 6 wins a season ago to at least 11, probably 12, no matter who lines up at quarterback. If that happens, Shanahan should take home this award for the first time.

Enjoy the season.

What are your predictions for the upcoming NFL season? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

How The Match Provided Insight About The Future Of Aaron Rodgers

The Match

In a match between two Hall of Fame quarterbacks and two elite golfers, no one wanted to talk about who could drive the ball the longest or birdie the most holes. All everyone wanted to discuss was the future of Aaron Rodgers.

Well, everyone except Rodgers.

During Capital One’s The Match, Rodgers teamed up with Bryson DeChambeau to defeat Tom Brady and Phil Mickelson. It’s hard to look at Rodgers and Brady on the same course and not think of what transpired during the 2021 NFC Championship Game. I’m sure Green Bay’s star player would happily trade this golf win for a chance to go for it on fourth and goal.

Most people including myself use golf as an escape. Nothing beats hanging outside with your friends, drinking a few beers, and hitting a tiny white ball around for a few hours. The last thing anyone wants to talk about on the course is work.

However, The Match was anything but an escape as the topic of his future in Green Bay was discussed multiple times throughout the broadcast. The most relevant clip occurred when Brian Anderson asked Rodgers if he would be the quarterback for the Green Bay Packers on Opening Day.

Like he’s done all offseason, Rodgers sidestepped the question with a cryptic remark, saying “I don’t know. We’ll see.”

Does he really not know what’s going to happen? The reigning MVP acts cool, calm, and collected, but he’s just as calculated as Brady. These remarks were another chance to express his unhappiness with the Packers organization.

“I don’t know” is an answer of uncertainty, but in this case, it’s Rodgers who doesn’t know what to do, not the Packers. He wants a breakup with the Packers, but he wants the Packers to do it for him. Reports of frustration and unhappiness have been reported in the media, and Rodgers skipped OTAs to hang with Shailene Woodley, Miles Teller, and Keleigh Teller. (For the record, I would also choose Hawaii over OTAs.)

If Rodgers wants out so badly, all he has to do is ask. Yet, he’s never publicly said he wants to leave the Packers or demanded a trade.

Rodgers didn’t anticipate the Packers to bluff when the report about his disappointment with the organization leaked on draft night. He thought the team would cave into these reports and trade away the superstar. To the Packers’ credit, they stood their ground and didn’t budge. Packers GM Brian Gutekunst said they will “not trade” Rodgers.

It all comes back to the “I don’t know” remark. It’s not about the Packers. It’s about Rodgers and if he will play the one card he has left, which is to demand a trade and hold out of training camp. This is the nuclear option, but it’s his only remaining option. If Rodgers doesn’t ask out of Green Bay, he will be a Packer for at least one more season.

If Rodgers doesn’t want to talk about the Packers anymore, then I suggest he stays off the golf course.

What do you think the Packers will do with Aaron Rodgers? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet me, @danny_giro.

Gardner Minshew: Why Teams Should Trade For Jaguars QB

Gardner Minshew

The quarterback that NFL teams should be trading for is not on the New York Jets, San Francisco 49ers, or Houston Texans. This quarterback plays for the Jacksonville Jaguars and no, it’s not C. J. Beathard. The aforementioned quarterback is Gardner Minshew.

Yes, the dude with the killer mustache and jorts should be a quarterback of interest for teams who either need a backup or want to bring in some competition.

With the additions of Trevor Lawrence* and CJ Beathard, the Jaguars’ quarterback room has no room for Minshew. The team would be doing themselves a disservice to keep Minshew as their third quarterback. The Jaguars should trade Minshew in the coming months, and according to Ian Rapoport, teams are interested.

There is a 99.9% chance the Jaguars draft Trevor Lawrence with the first pick. Let’s assume it happens.

If a team needs a starting QB, Minshew may not be as appealing as Deshaun Watson, Jimmy Garoppolo, or Sam Darnold. However, between his age, talent, and contract, there’s a lot to like about Minshew.

First, Minshew is entering his third season in the NFL. Minshew is 24 to turning 25. Do you want to know what other quarterbacks are 24/25? Dwayne Haskins, Drew Lock, Daniel Jones, and Darnold are all 24 and under. Outside of Darnold and (maybe) Jones, is Minshew on the same talent level as the other guys? I’ll go one step further and say he’s better than Haskins and Lock.

Minshew’s age might be appealing, but his contract is extremely desirable. One of the best ways to build teams in the NFL is to go all-in with a quarterback on a rookie deal and surround him with quality talent. In other words, it’s the exact opposite of what the Jets did with Darnold. With a cap hit of under $1m in each of the next two seasons, Minshew is a cheap option.

Obviously, the most important aspect of Minshew’s appeal is his play on the field. Is he a great quarterback? No. Is he a good quarterback who can produce and win games? I believe he can.

During his rookie season in 2019, Minshew went 6-6 as a starter and threw for 3271 yards, 21 TD, 6 INT with a 60.6% completion percentage. Not bad for a 6th-round pick. Last year, Minshew played most of the year with a thumb fracture and ligament strain. Still, Minshew raised his completion percentage to 66.1%. Overall, he’s thrown for 27 TDs and 11 INTs in two seasons. Keep in mind that the Jaguars traded or cut most of their “good” players in 2020.

Numbers don’t tell the entire story with Minshew. He’s deceptively mobile, especially in the pocket. Minshew became the leader of the team once the organization chose him over Nick Foles, who was traded to the Bears. Likability isn’t towards the top of important characteristics I’d want in a quarterback, but how can you not root for a guy like Minshew that shows up and gives it his all each week?

To acquire Minshew, teams would most likely have to trade at least a fourth-round pick. Would you rather take a flyer on a Day 3 quarterback or trade for Minshew? I’ll go one set further and say Minshew is better than any QB you’ll find on Day 3. Swapping a fourth for a cheap, proven commodity seems like a no-brainer.

There are quite a few teams with quarterback issues. Either these teams signed uninspiring options in the offseason or they might run out someone with more questions than answers.

I’m going to name some teams and their quarterback situations. Tell me which option you’d rather have.

Chicago Bears: 33-year-old Andy Dalton, who signed for $10 million, and Nick Foles, who was traded to Chicago from Jacksonville, or Minshew?

Denver Broncos: Drew Lock, who had a 57.3% completion percentage and 15 INTs in 2020, or Minshew?

New England Patriots: Cam Newton, who threw for 8 TD and 10 INT in 15 games last season, and Jared Stidham, who can’t even get on the field, or Minshew? Jim Nagy, the director of the Senior Bowl and former NFL scout, also believes the Pats should trade for Minshew.

Washington Football Team: Ryan Fitzpatrick, who signed for $10 million, and Taylor Heinicke or Minshew? Before Fitzpatrick signed, FanSided analyst Matt Verderame said, “Gardner Minshew, if I’m Washington, I’m calling them every day, ‘You want a third-round pick? We’ll give you a third-round pick.'”

If you’re like me, you answered Minshew in every option. Minshew produced and won games for an awful team. Imagine what he could do in the right system.

Is Gardner Minshew a franchise quarterback? Probably not. But if a team needs an effective backup to compete with the starter, why not take a chance on Minshew?

The NFL QB Carousel: Breaking Down What Every Team Will Do At QB

Cam Newton of the New England Patriots

Round and round here we go, where it stops, nobody knows! The NFL QB Carousel is in full swing as free agency starts next week.

Teams need a good quarterback to compete for a Super Bowl. Correction, teams need the right quarterback to compete for a Super Bowl. For those saying “No shit, Sherlock,” you’d be surprised with how many teams don’t understand this concept!

It’s not hyperbole to say this has been a wild few months at the quarterback position. It almost resembless an NBA offseason with all of the trades. Matt Stafford is now a Ram, Jared Goff is a Lion, and Carson Wentz is a Colt.

Between free agency and the draft, more teams are going to address the quarterback position. Here are my QB projections for every team.

  • Kansas City Chiefs – Patrick Mahomes
  • Tampa Bay Bucs – Tom Brady
  • Buffalo Bills – Josh Allen
  • Green Bay Packers – Aaron Rodgers
  • Los Angeles Chargers – Justin Herbert
  • Cincinnati Bengals – Joe Burrow
  • Cleveland Browns – Baker Mayfield
  • Baltimore Ravens – Lamar Jackson
  • Tennessee Titans – Ryan Tannehill
  • Arizona Cardinals – Kyler Muray
  • Minnesota Vikings – Kirk Cousins
  • Jacksonville Jaguars – Trevor Lawrence*

*I’m putting the Jags on this list because there is a 99.9% chance they take Trevor Lawrence.

  • Pittsburgh Steelers – Benjamin Roethlisberger
  • New York Giants – Daniel Jones
  • Las Vegas Raiders – Derek Carr
  • Los Angeles Rams – Matthew Stafford
  • Detroit Lions – Jared Goff
  • New England Patriots – Cam Newton
  • Indianapolis Colts – Carson Wentz
  • Dallas Cowboys – Dak Prescott

That leaves us with 12 teams who must decide on QB for the upcoming season. Some of these teams will take care of their needs in the draft. Others will try to make a blockbuster trade in hopes of changing their franchise. The biggest wildcard is Deshaun Watson and the Texans. There is no chance he’s the starting QB for the Texans on opening day. If that’s the case, where will he end up?

Atlanta Falcons – Matt Ryan

Matt Ryan is still good enough to start in the NFL. He’s your classic fantasy QB who gets you 300 yards, 3 TDs, and 2 INTs. The Falcons are in salary hell because Ryan and Jones combine for over $63m of their cap. Will they try to move Ryan? I doubt it. As I said, he’s still capable of leading a team to the playoffs. However, they may draft Ryan’s successor with the fourth pick in the draft.

New Orleans Saints – Jameis Winston / Taysom Hill

My wish was finally granted. Jameis Winston upgraded his eyesight!

This all comes down to Drew Brees. After losing to the Bucs, it appeared as if Brees played his last game for the Saints. However, Brees is now working out like a guy who wants to play again. There’s a difference between doing some mobility stretches in the morning and pushing sleds up the street. Does he want to make a comeback? My gut tells me Brees retires, which means the Saints should sign Jameis and keep Taysom Hill as the backup.

Chicago Bears – Alex Smith

The Bears are screwed if they don’t acquire Watson, Russell Wilson, or one of the top QBs out of college. Seriously, what can they do if all else fails? I love Mitch Trubisky (the person) and I actually believe he’s a competent QB. However, he’s not a franchise-changing player. Nick Foles is an expensive backup QB, not a starter. If they can’t trade for Wilson or Watson, I would sign Alex Smith and Trubisky to one-year deals. Then, fire Ryan Pace and (possibly) Matt Nagy and draft a QB next year.

Washington Football Team – Ryan Fitzpatrick

Once again, we’ll see if the WFT can draft a top QB or trade for Watson. However, Riverboat Ron Rivera and Ryan Fitzpatrick were made for each other. Fitzy would love to sling it to Terry McLaurin and Logan Thomas. This seems like a perfect fit.

Philadelphia Eagles – Jalen Hurts

History tends to repeat itself. Will the Eagles draft another quarterback to compete with their starter? It didn’t work well for Wentz, let me tell ya that! The Eagles need to rebuild. Draft weapons, take care of the offensive line, and see if Jalen Hurts is “the guy.”

Seattle Seahawks – Russell Wilson

Hahahahahahahahahahahaahahahahahahahahahahahahaha

Imagine having a top-five QB and trading him away because you couldn’t take care of him? Couldn’t be my team! In all seriousness, the Hawks should jump in the Pacific Ocean and never come back if they trade Russell Wilson.

San Franciso 49ers – Sam Darnold

I’ve never wavered from this prediction. If the Jets trade Sam Darnold, it will be to the San Francisco 49ers. Sorry Jimmy G, but your health is an issue. If you can’t stay on the field, then you can’t be a franchise QB. Those are the rules. Kyle Shanahan is going to unlock Darnold and remind us all why we loved the SoCal QB out of USC.

Carolina Panthers – Teddy Bridgewater/Trey Lance

It’s no surprise that the Panthers want to make a splash with a new owner who is not afraid to spend money. Teddy B is a serviceable QB, but the Panthers will be looking to upgrade. If they don’t get Watson, the draft is where they’ll make their mark and take a guy like Trey Lance.

New York Jets – Zach Wilson

The Mormon Manziel is coming to New York City if and only if Watson gets traded elsewhere. Zach Wilson’s stock is soaring as he continues to garner comparisons to Aaron Rodgers. Pair him with some WRs and another tackle and the Jets will be much improved in 2021.

Miami Dolphins – Deshaun Watson

Miami, this is the move to make. You have the ammo to make the move with the first-round picks. You have the QB to send back to Houston in Tua Tagovailoa. With Flores as the foreseeable coach in the future, Watson would be happy as a member of the Dolphins organization for the next decade.

Houston Texans – Tua Tagovailoa

See above. This is not personal, Tua. It’s just business. I like Tua, but Watson is the superior talent right now.

Denver Broncos – Drew Lock/Justin Fields

Drew Locks has shown flashes of potential, but he’s not the guy. It’s time to go back to the drawing board. Denver will most likely trade up in the draft to take a QB like Justin Fields. Let Fields compete with Lock and hopefully (for John Elway’s sake), Fields comes out on top.

What should your team do at QB? Let me know in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Tom Brady: The Ultimate Villain Turned Babyface

Tom Brady

I have a confession to make. I like Tom Brady.

10 years ago, I would have punched myself in the face for making a statement like that. Even two years ago, I would never admit my admiration for the seven-time Super Bowl champion

As a Giants fan, I’m arguably one of two fanbases (the other being the Eagles) that have no reason to hate Brady for his success on the field. The Giants defeated Brady twice on the biggest stage. Big Blue stopped Brady and the 2007 Patriots from immortality, ruining the undefeated season. You’re welcome, Miami Dolphins.

I hated Brady not for his play, but for the uniform he wore. The New England Patriots were the bad guys of the 2000s. The Patriots were the Galactic Empire, Bill Belichick was Darth Vader, and Gillette Stadium was the Death Star. From all the “gate” scandals to cheating implications, New England kept winning. To make matters worse, Patriots’ fans became insufferable. How many times did I have to hear “Our season starts in the AFC Championship” from New England fans? As much as I hated them, the fans were right.

I may have disliked Brady, but I always respected TB12. He is the GOAT. That was never up for debate. The stats that support Brady’s GOAT case are unfathomable. Brady’s postseason numbers are “Gretzkyesque” and will take a monumental effort from a generational player to eclipse his stats.

As I watched Tom Brady hoist the Lombardi trophy for the seventh time, I said to myself, “This effing guy. Again?” The 43-year-old vet bested the 25-year-old phenom who wants to be the GOAT himself one day. It’s still possible Mahomes can become the GOAT, but the gap between Brady or Mahomes feels insurmountable.

Then, I watched the parade. Brady was laughing hard and partying harder. I couldn’t help but smile at all the videos of Brady celebrating on his boat.

He threw the Lomnbardi trophy to another boat in what could go down as the greatest pass of his career.

TB12 skipped the diet today and pounded a few too many drinks. It was the most relatable clip from Brady I’ve ever seen.

Over the past few years, Brady demonstrated his sense of humor with his social media posts after wins. From the TB Times to “W” videos, Brady knows how to assert himself as a winner. He’s also pretty funny and self-aware, evidenced by his avocado tequila tweet.

How can you watch those videos with a straight face? TB12 is turning babyface right before our eyes. For the non-wrestling fans, that means he’s becoming a likable good guy. Most football fans hated Brady in New England because he was the perfect villain. Society loves to root for stars, but it also enjoys watching the villain fall.

The more I laugh at Brady’s antics, the more I realize how much New England hindered his personality. Rob Gronkowski said he likes the “freedom of being yourself” in Tampa Bay, which was a clear shot at the disciplinarian system run by Belichick. That doesn’t make New England’s system wrong. The Patriots won six Super Bowls over the course of two decades. However, it’s tough to get a sense of a player’s true personality when Darth Vader is breathing down your neck.

It’s Brady’s world and we’re all living in it. Right now, I like what I see from the GOAT.

Do you like Tom Brady? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Super Bowl LV: The GOAT Debate Starts Or Ends Sunday Night

Tom Brady goat

What are the two worst words in sports? Answer: “GOAT Debate.” This time, the subjects are not Michael Jordan or LeBron James. The new GOAT debate between Patrick Mahomes and Tom Brady will either start or end after Super Bowl LV.

Thanks to sports talk shows, the basketball GOAT debate has been shoved down our throats like Joey Chestnut’s hot dogs on July 4. Is Jordan better than LeBron? Is LeBron better than Jordan? Is six for six in the NBA Finals worth more than four wins in ten appearances? Jordan may have had the better peak, but LeBron has the longevity.

The only thing holding back the GOAT debate is time. MJ played in the 90s while LeBron played in the 2000s. The two icons never faced off in the NBA Finals, let alone a regular-season game. Had Jordan and LeBron played each other with the biggest prize on the line, the GOAT debate would cease to exist.

Unlike the NBA, the NFL’s quarterback GOAT debate will receive clarity on Sunday night when Mahomes and the Chiefs take on Brady and the Buccaneers.

Currently, Brady is the GOAT. Whether you believe that means he’s the greatest football player of all time or the greatest winner of all time is totally up to you. However, he’s the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL.

The numbers speak for themselves. 6x Super Bowl champion, 4x Super Bowl MVP, 3x NFL MVP, 2X Offensive Player of the year, and a partridge in a pear tree. The fact that 43-year-old Brady will be playing in his tenth Super Bowl on Sunday is mind-boggling.

There is only one current player who might be able to catch Brady’s stats and accomplishments. It just so happens that he’ll be on the other sideline Sunday night.

Many believe Mahomes is already the most gifted quarterback to ever play in the NFL. In just three seasons as a starter, Mahomes won a Super Bowl, a Super Bowl MVP, and an NFL MVP. Mahomes has only lost one playoff game in his career and that was to Brady’s Patriots. If Dee Ford doesn’t go offsides, he would be undefeated in the postseason. Keep in mind, Mahomes is only 25-years-old. With Andy Reid, Eric Bienemy, Travis Kelce, and Tyreek Hill at his disposal, Mahomes and the Chiefs will be Super Bowl contenders for the next five years.

All of the pressure is on Mahomes. If he wants to be the GOAT, he will need to beat Brady on the biggest stage. He needs to avenge his loss in the AFC Championship and win his second Super Bowl. If Mahomes beats Brady, he’s not the GOAT, but he’s on the right trajectory.

For argument’s sake, let’s say the Chiefs win Sunday night, Mahomes wins MVP, and they win the championship the following year. That means Mahomes would be the catalyst for the first three-peat since the NFL merger. Plus, Mahomes would have the key victory over Brady in the Super Bowl. There would still be some work left to do, but you could make the argument that three straight Super Bowls including one over the GOAT rank higher than Brady’s six. I personally wouldn’t crown Mahomes the GOAT just yet, but if he were to win four to five championships including the important one over Brady, it would be difficult to not call Mahomes the GOAT.

On the flip side, if Brady beats Mahomes on Sunday, the GOAT debate ends right there. It would be dead on arrival. It would be seven to one in terms of championships. Brady would hold wins over Mahomes in the AFC Championship and the Super Bowl. No matter what Mahomes does the rest of his career, not beating Brady in the two biggest games of the season would a giant blunder on his resume. For Brady, a win on Sunday gives him an insurmountable lead over Mahomes.

Sports talk shows will run GOAT debates until the end of time. After Super Bowl LV, they will either intensify or disappear at the quarterback position.

Who will come out on top in Super Bowl LV? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

Teams That Must Apologize For Passing On Tom Brady Last Offseason

The year is 2041, and 63-year-old Tom Brady and the Las Vegas Raiders just defeated the Los Angeles Chargers in the AFC Championship game. This marks Brady’s 50th playoff win and 15th Super Bowl appearance.

The more things change, the more things stay the same as Brady will once again play in the Super Bowl after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers defeated the Green Bay Packers in the NFC Championship 31-26. Brady finished the game 20/36 for 286 yards for 3 TDs and 3 INTs. Brady almost handed the Packers the game with three INTs in the second half, but the 43-year-old weathered the storm and helped a Tampa franchise reach the Super Bowl for the first time since 2002.

The Bucs do not reach the Super Bowl without Brady. That is a fact. If Jameis Winston or any other free-agent quarterback signed with the Bucs this past offseason, they would struggle to make the playoffs. Brady changed the culture on day 1.

It’s also fair to say that Brady played for a team with elite receivers and stacked front-7, something that wasn’t present towards the end of his tenure in New England. Brady needed the Bucs just as much the Bucs needed Brady. It was a perfect relationship that could end with a Super Bowl victory.

Brady’s success brings me back to last offseason when eight teams were supposedly interested in the free agent’s services. However, only two teams made real offers, the Bucs and Chargers.

Hindsight is 20/20, but due to his success, many of those interested teams look silly for not courting Brady’s services. Maybe those teams listened to Max Kellerman, who in 2016, proclaimed that Brady would “fall off a cliff.” Meanwhile, Brady threw for 40 TDs this past season and will play in his third Super Bowl since that comment.

It’s fair to say Brady wasn’t going to settle for just any team. If it wasn’t the perfect situation, he wasn’t going to sign. However, think about how many teams would have been better off signing Brady last offseason. Why weren’t teams with quarterback issues lining up to talk with the six-time Super Bowl winner? For some teams, it’s time to apologize.

Teams That Must Apologize For Passing On Tom Brady Last Offseason

New England Patriots – Uh, ya think? The Patriots let Brady walk without a true succession plan. Cam Newton was good for two games and Jared Stidham looked awful. It’s back to the drawing board for Bill Belichick.

Indianapolis Colts – Imagine sitting down at a meeting with your front office and saying, “We’re choosing Philip Rivers over Tom Brady.” Try saying that with a straight face. Although Deflategate could have complicated matters, the Colts still had the right infrastructure for Brady to succeed. The fact the Colts looked at Brady and passed on him in favor of Rivers is a punhsiable offense.

Las Vegas Raiders – Would you rather have Brady or a platoon of Derek Carr and Marcus Mariota? The Raiders missed the playoffs, but they did beat the Chiefs in Arrowhead. Some could make the argument that’s bigger than a Super Bowl win.

Tennessee TitansRyan Tannehill proved his critics wrong with a stellar year at quarterback. Tannehill led the Titans to an NFC South Title and home playoff game. However, the Titans’ offense was nowhere to be found in their 20-13 loss to the Ravens in the Wild Card Round. Tannehill finished 18/26 for 165 yards, 1 TD and 1 costly INT. With AJ Brown, Corey Davis, Derrick Henry, I’d put money on Brady beating the Ravens with that roster.

Chicago Bears – I have an unhealthy obsession with Mitchell Trubisky. I really like the kid and think he can find success in the right system, but the Bears should have moved on from Trubisky in favor of a run at Brady. Instead, they chose to trade for Nick Foles, who threw for 10 TDs and 8 INTs. Poor Chicago fans.

San Francisco 49ers – At least the 49ers considered this option. Instead, they chose the other former Patriots’ QB, Jimmy Garoppolo, who most likely won’t be on the roster in 2021-2022.

Denver Broncos – Drew Lock?

Once again, Brady was not going to sign some of these teams. The fact remains that more teams should have made serious offers to Brady. In the end, Brady came out on top while everyone else goes back to the drawing board. It’s a tale as old as time.

Which teams should have signed Tom Brady last offseason? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @unafraidshow.

The Packers Are A Good Team That Refuses To Be Great

Aaron Rodgers Green Bay Packers

In last season’s NFC Championship Game, the San Francisco 49ers throttled the Green Bay Packers, 37-20, in a game that was never close. Aaron Rodgers didn’t have his game A-game, throwing 2 INTs and losing 1 fumble. The bigger story belonged to the Packers defense, who allowed 264 rushing yards and 4 touchdowns.

Despite a disappointing end to the season, the Packers won a total of 14 games, which is pretty damn good. With a healthy Rodgers, the Packers have the foundation for a great team. They’re only a few pieces away from being an elite team.

Picture this scenario. The Packers know what they need to improve as a team. Wide receiver and defensive linemen were the three positions of need heading into the offseason and the draft. Imagine knowing what positions you need to improve as a team and drafting none of those players. That is exactly what the Packers did in the draft.

https://sports.nbcsports.com/2020/04/26/green-bay-packers-trade-up-for-jordan-love-at-no-26-in-2020-nfl-draft/

If the shareholders of the Packers could make managerial decisions, all 361,311 people would fire the GM, Brian Gutekunst. If the Packers wanted to draft a backup QB for Rodgers in the later rounds, no one would bat an eye. Not only did the Packers take a quarterback in the first round, but they traded up to draft one.

Can someone remind Green Bay’s front office that Rodgers still plays quarterback for the Packers? Rodgers may be on the decline from his MVP seasons, but don’t mistake that for a true regression. In fact, it’s quite the opposite. This season, Rodgers has thrown for 1948 yards, 20 TDs, and 2 INTs. The yards may be down, but most of that can be attributed to the emergence of Aaron Jones, who’s tied for sixth in rushing TDs with 5 despite missing two games.

It’s hard to watch how Green Bay struggles to surround Rodgers with the necessary talent to compete and not compare it to what the Bucs have done with Tom Brady. The Bucs know their window to win is small and Brady might be there for two years. The future is now for the Bucs, and they’re putting all of their eggs in the Brady basket, and rightfully so. The Bucs brought in Leonard Fournette, Rob Gronkowski, and Antonio Brown to bolster an offense that already had Mike Evans and Chris Godwin. So far, it’s paid off as the 6-2 Bucs dismantled the Packers earlier this season, 38-10.

What did Rodgers get after leading his team to the NFC Championship? A quarterback that will never see a snap this season and a running back that hasn’t played yet.

What’s even crazier is the Packers had a chance to atone for their sins at the trade deadline. The offense needs a true number-two receiver to pair with Davante Adams. Will Fueller appeared to be the perfect fit. After Dalvin Cook destroyed the Packers defense with 4 total touchdowns, the Packers could use an interior lineman or linebacker to bolster their run defense.

What did the Packers do? Absolutely nothing. The Packers decided to play for the future and not surrender picks for Fueller, who would’ve provided a necessary deep threat to the offense. On the defensive side, the Packers appear to be quite alright with allowing 26.7 points per game. The Jets traded away Steve McLendon and Avery Williamson for late-round picks. Those two players would start right away for the Packers.

The Packers sit atop the NFC North with a 5-2 record and barring any catastrophic injuries, they should make the playoffs. Their inability to improve in positions of need is mind-boggling. Refusing to be great is the Packers’ weakness, and it will cost them come January.

Do you believe the Packers are a great team? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.

Adam Gase And The New York Jets: The Hero Gotham Deserves And Needs

Adam Gase

In the iconic final scene from The Dark Knight, Jim Gordon explains to his son why Batman would take the fall for the death of Harvey Dent. Gordon said, “Because he’s the hero Gotham deserves, but not the one it needs right now.” For the New York Jets, Adam Gase is not a watchful protector nor a silent guardian. Despite his incompetence, Gase is the hero Gotham deserves and needs right now.

https://youtu.be/f4BrAtOKO3M

Make no mistake about it, Gase is an awful coach. The greatest trick Gase ever pulled was convincing a front office of his offensive prowess. Gase had one great year as a coordinator back in 2013 when Peyton Manning set the record for most touchdowns in a season as a member of the Denver Broncos. One could argue that most coaches with a brain could succeed with a healthy Peyton Manning.

When Gase doesn’t have Manning, it’s been a train wreck. Despite making the playoffs as the head coach of Dolphins in 2016, Gase’s team was towards the bottom half in total offense. In five seasons as a head coach, Gase’s offense has never been higher than 25th in total yards per game. Players like Ryan Tannehill, Devante Parker, Kenyan Drake, and Mike Gesicki broke out and improved once they left Gase’s system. Yet somehow, Manning convinced the Jets to hire a guy who constantly fought with ownership in Miami.

To quote Joe Beningo, “Oh, the pain, bro!” Poor Jets fans. I always love to make fun of Jets fans because they’re delusional and seem to think their team will make the playoffs every year. However, I wouldn’t wish Gase upon my worst enemy. Take a wild guess as to which team is currently last in total yards, yards per game, passing yards per game, total points, and points per game?

At least the coaching staff likes each other… never mind.

Sam Darnold has been given the right weapons to succeed and progress as a quarterback, right? You’re telling me that Breshad Perriman, Braxton Berrios, Jeff Smith, and Vyncint Smith don’t strike fear into opposing defenses? Jamison Crowder and Denzel Mims continue to battle injuries, Le’Veon Bell found a new team, and Robby Anderson looks like a stud. But who needs them?

In all seriousness, the Jets should be locked up for how they’ve treated Darnold. They’re killing the kid’s confidence every week. No quarterback could thrive with the Jets’ weapons. It’s an utter embarassment.

Jets fans, there is light at the end of the tunnel. This is going to be hard to understand, but in order to rise again, the Jets will need Gase to finish the season. The Jets need to hit rock bottom in order to get better and a season with zero to two wins will be as low as it can get. If the Jets finish the season with the worst record in the NFL, they’ll have an opportunity at the best quarterback prospect since Andrew Luck. His name is Trevor Lawrence.

I don’t believe the “Trevor Lawrence is returning to school” takes just yet. The same thing happened with Sam Darnold. Lawrence is focused on winning a National Championship. He’s not going to talk about the draft right now. If he ends up winning the title, I guarantee he will enter the draft. He would have nothing left to prove. Is it possible that Lawrence could pull an Eli Manning? Sure, but it’s highly unlikely.

It probably makes sense to fire Gase after this week’s game against the Chiefs, where the Jets are 21 point underdogs, but the Jets should let Gase coach the rest of the year. The worst thing that could happen is for the team to rally around the interim coach and win a few meaningless games. Both the Texans and Falcons fired their head coaches after a combined 0-9 start. Since then, the two teams have combined for a 3-3 record. Don’t risk winning a few games to disrupt their draft position. Fire Gase the minute the season ends. Imagine a coach like Eric Bieniemy or Joe Brady paired with Lawrence next year. That sounds like a great rebuild to me.

Losing sucks, but it’s a necessary evil for the Jets. The only way to ensure losing continues is to let Gase coach the team. The next time Gase marks down his chart on the sideline instead of watching the game, just remember that he won’t be coaching the team next year. It will get better, eventually.

Not a good tweet by me, but at least I’ve learned my lesson.

Should the Jets fire Adam Gase before the season ends? Leave your thoughts in the comments below or tweet us, @danny_giro.

Atlanta Sports Fans, Antonio Brown, Justin Herbert, Mike Trout vs MLB Stars, CFB Top 10

Atlanta Justin Herbert Georgia Bulldogs College Football Rankings Top 10
Anchor // iTunes // Spotify // Breaker // PocketCasts // Google Play // Stitcher /

Atlanta Fans are the Most Tortured

Am I Wrighster or Am I Wrong? It’s official, the city of Atlanta is now the most tortured sports city. The Atlanta Braves just blew a 3-1 series lead against the LA Dodgers in the NLCS. Famously, the Atlanta Falcons lost the Super Bowl to the New England Patriots after being up 28-3. The Georgia Bulldogs aren’t in the ATL, but their fan base is. Every season they believe this is the year they beat Alabama, only to realize they are still the little brother.

Antonio Brown

In two weeks, Antonio Brown is eligible to return to the NFL after serving an eight-week suspension. Barring him doing anything silly, which is a possibility, he will be back on an NFL roster within three weeks.

Justin Herbert > Baker Mayfield

If the NFL draft were today, I would take LA Chargers rookie QB Justin Herbert before every 1st-round quarterback in the 2018, and 2019 drafts. This list includes Baker Mayfield, Sam Darnold, Josh Allen, and others. There is data and the eye test to back me up.

MLB Stars vs Mike Trout.

LA Angeles outfielder Mike Trout may go down in history as one of the top 5 baseball players of all-time. But, all the young hotshot players like Mookie Betts, Fernando Tatis, Cody Bellinger, Jose Acuna, Tim Anderson are doing more for the popularity of the MLB.

My College Football Top 10 Week 8

  1. Clemson
  2. Alabama
  3. Notre Dame
  4. Georgia
  5. Cincinnati
  6. BYU
  7. Oklahoma State
  8. Ohio State
  9. Oregon
  10. Penn State
  • It’s official, the city of Atlanta is now the most tortured sports city
  • I would take Justin Herbert over all the QBs in the 2018 Draft Class and Jimmy Garoppolo
  • Antonio Brown will be on an NFL roster within the next 3 weeks. 
  • All the young hotshot players like Mookie Betts, Fernando Tatis, Cody Bellinger, Jose Acuna, Tim Anderson are better for baseball than Mike Trout.
  • At this point, college football rankings are more worthless than preseason polls.

Wrighster or Wrong?

Am I Wrighster or Am I Wrong? The intersection where sports, business, society, and pop culture meet the truth. Daily Fire… FACTS ONLY… Check Your feelings at the door. This ain’t the place for the left, right, snowflakes, social justice warriors. ABSOLUTELY No BS. I keep it 100.

The George Wrighster podcast features great interviews where you get to know great people discussing faith, family, fatherhood, food, and sports. We get to know and learn from the personalities that entertain us outside of what they are famous for. Shoot me an email with comments or guest ideas: GWpodcast@unafraidshow.com. Please be sure to share the podcast with a friend, subscribe, and leave a 5* rating.

Who is George Wrighster?

George Wrighster is a former Pac-12 and veteran NFL tight end. As a television/radio host, opinionist, writer, speaker, and analyst, he is UNAFRAID to speak the truth. Contrary to industry norms he uses, facts, stats, and common sense to win an argument. He has also found success in the business world as an entrepreneur and investor. George is a lifelong learner who loves having conversations that educate and uplift. He has also covered college football, basketball, NFL, NBA, MLB since 2014.