Football season is back! Or at least it will be pending some kind of COVID or other 2020 apocalyptic type disaster. To help you get ready for the season, we’re bringing the mailbag back. As always, Football novice Matt Drufke has the questions and so-called experts Brandon Andreasen and Jack Baker have the answers.
1. The NFL is back, I guess. Due to no preseason games, this feels more like a “soft open” than something deserving grand fanfare. However, the mail bag is also back and that’s a good thing. So, let’s start at the very end: I had honestly forgotten who had won the Super Bowl last year. The most noteworthy thing about the game was the fact that Shakira did not bust out “Try Everything” (her absolute banger from the movie Zootopia). Wikipedia told me that the Kansas City Chiefs won, so I’ll assume that’s true. As we enter the 2020-2021 season, if you had to place money on who will win it all this season, would you bet on the Chiefs repeating? If not, who do you think is most likely to win it all this year?
Brandon – Last year’s NFL season feels like it ended three years ago. Interestingly, I did remember who won the Super Bowl and had ZERO memory of the halftime show. This feels like an entire new world in the NFL and honestly, I need it badly. There is something cathartic about knowing that on Sunday I’ll be watching football and eating chili while wearing sweat pants.
The Chiefs enter the year as the best team in the NFL. They have done a masterful job keeping their team together. That said, the NFL is the cruelest of all mistresses. The attrition rate is undefeated. Teams don’t repeat often in the NFL because the cruel nature of the game has a way of sorting out and destroying the dreams of fan bases everywhere.
The Saints feel like they have one more run in them. The 49ers are still a great team. Seattle finds a way every year. Denver is on the come up. The Ravens are an offensive orgasm.
I’m going to lean on the Ravens this year. Viva La Lamar Jackson.
Jack – The Chiefs are the Super Bowl favorite from now until whenever Patrick Mahomes decides to retire. He’s like a cheat code and unlike Lamar Jackson, he won’t take a beating from running the ball 15 times a game. Their offense is full of guys that are lightning fast, shifty and can run like hell after the catch. Also, the rest of the AFC is trash. The Chiefs have a way easier ride through the playoffs than any NFC teams and that extra health should put them over the top in the big game.
2. With no preseason due to COVID concerns, the start of the season feels, as I mentioned, a little odd. Do you think teams are ready to go? Or will we need to wait until week 4 to see the rust get shaken off? While we’re at it, what are the chances the NFL plays a complete season?
Brandon – 100 percent the season happens. They are bragging pretty hard about their negative testing rate. Team wise, this is where the great coaches excel. The Patriots aren’t a great team, but they are definitely the most well coached and will probably start the year 4-0. Conversely, the Lions are a very talented team with a terrible coach and will probably start the year 0-4.
It’s going to be about scheming to your strengths and minimizing weaknesses. The early half of the season is going to be a complete and utter crapshoot.
Jack- There’s no way the NFL doesn’t complete the season. But man would it be great if they had to stop. Trump would have another stroke and hopefully die this time.
There’s no way the players are ready to start the season. If you like bad tackling, even worse offensive line play and a lot of soft tissue injuries, then September football is the game for you.
3. The biggest offseason news was Tom Brady trading in his Patriot uniform to become a member of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. The Pats responded by bringing in Cam Newton, and betting against Bill Belichick has never been a wise move. Who do you think will do better: the Bucs with Tom Brady? Or the Patriots without him?
Brandon-The Patriots are going to be exposed at some point. The Buccaneers are incredibly talented even though Tom Brady is pretty washed up.
Brady might have a dead cat bounce season with the talent around him. Can Newton doesn’t have the weapons around him. Things could go bad in a hurry in New England.
Jack – The Buccaneers have a better team but will probably have a worse record. Belichick is worth like 6 wins just on his own. Cam Newton is out to prove to everyone that he’s still got it. And they get to two play 2 games against the ghost hunting Jets, Fitzpatrick led Dolphins and the Bills. The Bucs have to take on the Sains, the always dangerous Falcons team and the Panthers who will probably suck but still be better than everyone else in the AFC East.
4. Let’s talk about the pride and joy of Illinois, the Chicago Bears (Bear down). Jack, you predicted them to go 16-0 last season. I don’t quite remember how their season went, but I remember that prediction seeming stupid at the time and only seeming worse as the year went on. Their biggest free agent signings seem to be Jimmy Graham (who will hopefully start) and Nick Foles (who definitely will not). Is this enough for the Bears to improve? And what do they need to do to come, at least, a bit closer to where Jack thought they would be last year?
Brandon – It should be noted that Jack’s homerism isn’t a view shared by myself or Fancy Boys Club as a whole.
For the Bears to improve they need their defense to stay 100 percent healthy all year, they need Anthony Miller to turn into Jerry Rice, and they need Mitch Trubisky to not crap his pants, the bed, the surrounding walls, or any other surface that he can ejaculate poop onto.
I have been very much against the moves the Bears have made in the offseason, from trading for Nick Foles when Cam Newton and Andy Dalton were available, signing Jimmy Graham THEN drafting Cole Kmet to play the same position, and not signing Snacks Harrison or Yannick Ngakuouwe when Eddie Goldman opted out of the season from Covid.
Matt Nagy better wake up every day thanking his luck that the Lions are so badly run, because that’s the only thing stopping the Bears from finishing in last place.
Jack – First off, I was wrong last year but definitely not the only person to predict a great season from the Bears. Second, they still went 8-8 while getting absolutely nothing from their offense.
The Bears biggest offseason acquisition was actually Robert Quinn. Leonard Floyd couldn’t take down a QB with Khalil Mack getting triple teamed opposite him every play. But Quinn is a whole different animal. Teams won’t be able to block Mack like that anymore or Quinn will destroy them. Also, a healthy Akiem Hicks gives them one of the best and deepest front sevens in the NFL.
I have no idea what the offense will look like, but the defense could be great. And as we remember from 2001, 2005, 2006, and 2018, sometimes that’s enough for a Bears team to win the division.
5. I have to assume a NFL draft happened in the offseason, though I didn’t watch it and couldn’t name a single player drafted. So, first off: did the draft happen? If so, who are you excited to watch play?
Brandon-I can confirm it happened. I can also confirm I live blogged it for this very website for two days, and I can also confirm it was terrible. Enjoying the draft is an oddly perverse thing under the best of circumstances. During a pandemic, it’s a metaphorical rim job the NFL gives itself to make themselves feel good about how awful they are.
Joe Burrow, the first pick in the draft, is being given the keys to be the starting quarterback in Cincinnati, which is still prestigious even though he is playing for the football team equivalent of a clown self immolating.
CeeDee Lamb is going to be an absolute monster in Dallas. Antonio Gibson is unheralded, but also the starting running back in Washington. If you want a sleeper, keep an eye on Joshua Kelly in San Diego. I’m not a big believer in Austin Ekeler as a featured back and the UCLA rookie might have a huge opportunity.
Jack – The Bears did not have a first round draft pick so I like to pretend it didn’t happen. I would be excited to wash Chase Young destroy QBs, but he plays for Washington so I will derive no joy from players drafted this year.
6. In a community Facebook group, I asked a bunch of people how many wins the Bears would have, and here are some of the responses I got: “Football players have run the sport into the ground”, “Don’t know, don’t care they can’t respect the autumn”(not sure what that means), and “Who gives a shit? Done with any team that kneels to Marxists”. So here is my question: Wouldn’t the Washington Marxists be a bad-ass new name for them?
Brandon-a constant reminder that Facebook is a cesspool.
Jack – My position has not changed. The Washington Football Team and the rest of the NFC East should be banished to hell for all eternity.