X-Factors For Every NFL Team Heading Into 2021 Season (Part 2)

 

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: Devin White (LB) – The Buccaneers late-season run was sparked by a defense that forced turnovers and got pressure on opposing QBs.

 

Devin White was a catalyst in both areas for the defending SB Champions.

New Orleans Saints: Jameis Winston (QB) – Winston beat out Taysom Hill in a lengthy QB competition following the retirement of future first-ballot Hall of Famer Drew Brees.

 

Carolina Panthers: Sam Darnold (QB) – The Panthers took a risk by passing on quarterbacks in this year’s draft class in favor of adding Darnold.

Darnold has been the lowest ranked quarterback in the league since 2018.

New offensive coordinator Joe Brady will look to uncover that talent again.

Atlanta Falcons: Dante a Fowler Jr. (DE) – The talented edge rusher came nowhere close to living up to his three-year, $45 million contract he signed with the Falcons prior to last season. He needs to redeem himself this season.

AFC South

Tennessee Titans: Caleb Farley (CB) – Farley was rated the top corner on some draft boards ahead of Jaycee Horn (Panthers) and Patrick Surtain II (Broncos). While his talent is undeniable, his injury history is problematic.

They’ll need him healthy in Nashville.

Indianapolis Colts: Kemoko Turay (DE) – Naptown is counting on Turay to bring the heat off the edge in 2021.

Houston Texans: Tyrod Taylor (QB) – With star quarterback Deshaun Watson facing 22 lawsuits, Taylor is slated to manage a sticky situation in H-Town.

Jacksonville Jaguars: Trevor Lawrence (QB) – The No.1 overall pick only suffered two losses in his college career.

 

He now must get use to losing a lot more on the Jacksonville Jaguars.

NFC North:

Green Bay Packers: Aaron Rodgers (QB) – The reigning NFL MVP and the Packers front office have a frosty relationship dating back to them drafting Jordan Love in the first round of the 2020 NFL draft.

Minnesota Vikings: Patrick Peterson (CB) The former All-Pro isn’t what he once was in man-to-man coverage but he’s still good enough to hold his own in the right system.

Chicago Bears: Justin Fields (QB) – Matt Nagy is settled on starting journeyman Andy Dalton over Fields, but that won’t last very long.

 

Detroit Lions: Jared Goff (QB) – With limited receiving options and a bad offensive line outside of center Frank Ragnow, Goff may be handing off to DeAndre Swift a lot more than he anticipated in Anthony Lynn’s run-heavy approach.

AFC North

Cleveland Browns: Baker Mayfield/Odellr. (QB/WR) – This duo hasn’t been on the same page in the two seasons together. Mayfield’s passer rating drops considerably when targeting the dynamic Beckham Jr, and if they don’t figure it out in 2021, changes will be made.


Baltimore Ravens: Rashod Bateman/Tulane Wallace (WRs) –
In order for the Ravens to reach their ultimate goal of winning another Super Bowl they’ll need some receivers to step up and help LaMar Jackson in the passing game.

Pittsburgh Steelers: Cameron Sutton (CB) – The Steelers are always going to rush the quarterback well. Adding Melvin Ingram opposite TJ Watt ensures that the tradition continues.

Cincinnati Bengals: Joe Burrow (QB) – The  2020 No.1 overall pick is recovered from his torn ACL, with weaponry on offense at his disposal. Burrow has the moxie and savvy of a 10-year vet and it shows every time he takes the field.

Read Part 1