Title-starved NFL teams, engage tag – I am talking to you.
Tom Brady is beneath contract with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for one extra season. So in case you is seemingly to be drained of that Sizable Bowl doughnut after what will be 56 fruitless seasons a 12 months from now, it ought to be comparatively evident what you wish to raise out next: Decide in a bidding conflict for TB12, who will be 45 in 2022 … and presumably impress his buddies Rob Gronkowski, Julian Edelman and James White to make certain the deal gets closed.
It’s that simple. Reel in Brady, who owns extra Sizable Bowl rings (7) than any NFL franchise, and you may perhaps presumably well presumably additionally absolutely be hoisting your have faith Lombardi Trophy in no time.
Unfortunately, he is no longer ready to play for 12 teams simultaneously – or any of the championship-devoid dozen in 2021. So, for the time being, let’s unsuitable the probabilities (worst to only) of who may perhaps presumably well additionally salvage pleasure from a Sizable Bowl step forward sans Brady in 2021:
NFL POWER RANKINGS: Buccaneers are No. 1 after Sizable Bowl 55, nevertheless who’s next?
12. Houston Texans (never seemed in a Sizable Bowl): QB Deshaun Watson wants out. J.J. Watt is already out. There may perhaps be no cap space totally free brokers. There may perhaps be no first- or second-spherical preserve in this 12 months’s draft. And executive vice president of football operations Jack Easterby continues to be a source of controversy. Yikes.
11. Detroit Lions (never seemed in a Sizable Bowl): Fresh coach Dan Campbell nowadays told the Detroit Free Press, “We’re having a glimpse two years out, three years out. And so every thing to me begins two years out, and it doesn’t begin lawful now.” The most fresh alternate of QB Matthew Stafford to the Rams for QB Jared Goff and a bundle of draft picks, including two first-rounders, suggests the long-time length plot is already unfolding … and presumably may perhaps presumably well additionally no longer offer a complete bunch of hope in 2021.
10. Cincinnati Bengals (0-2 Sizable Bowl file): They seem space beneath heart, QB Joe Burrow in the midst of a solid rookie season in 2020 prior to an ACL destroy ended it after 10 video games. The Bengals secure a solid crew of offensive ability gamers and better than about a ready our bodies on protection. However will they destroy from tradition and aggressively pursue extra expertise – in particular blocking off again in entrance of Burrow – by means of the draft and free company? And may perhaps presumably coach Zac Taylor, heading into his third season, definitively display he is the lawful guy to salvage this group its first playoff preserve in bigger than three decades?
9. Carolina Panthers (0-2 Sizable Bowl file): They had been the one team in the league ideal season with a brand novel head coach, two novel coordinators and a brand novel quarterback. Given those instances, comparatively spectacular Matt Rhule won five video games while jumping from Baylor to the NFL, although his team now appears to be like intent on replacing QB Teddy Bridgewater. A younger club has a steep hill to climb in the deep NFC, nevertheless there is plenty of expertise on this roster – one seemingly to compose even better when 2019 All-Pro Christian McCaffrey is readily accessible for bigger than three video games.
8. Jacksonville Jaguars (never seemed in a Sizable Bowl): Head coach City Meyer and his highly spectacular college résumé are in the building. Clemson QB Trevor Lawrence is nearly sure to apply when the draft rolls spherical. With the exception of the No. 1 total preserve presumably earmarked for Lawrence, the Jags secure an additional first-rounder this 12 months and two choices in Round 2. Throw in nearly $80 million of readily accessible cap space, most in the league according to Over The Cap, and a team that already has a solid core of proficient younger gamers may perhaps presumably well fleet engage off.
7. Atlanta Falcons (0-2 Sizable Bowl file): Fresh coach Arthur Smith has ample big name energy on offense (QB Matt Ryan, WRs Julio Jones and Calvin Ridley) to bewitch lightning in a bottle this 12 months. However if Atlanta’s championship window isn’t comparatively shut, it is barely cracked – and there isn’t readily accessible cap space this 12 months to wedge it begin. A paunchy-on rebuild doesn’t seem a ways off.
6. Minnesota Vikings (0-4 Sizable Bowl file): (Fresh) playoff history suggests they’re in correct shape, Mike Zimmer’s team reaching postseason in every weird and wonderful 12 months since he grew to develop into head coach in 2014. And the Vikes, who reached the divisional spherical in 2019, need to rebound in 2021 if DT Michael Pierce opts again in, key defenders cherish DE Danielle Hunter (neck surgical map) and LB Anthony Barr (torn pectoral) approach again healthy, and a younger crew of corners develops. Of route, QB Kirk Cousins, who at ideal won his first playoff sport in 2019, must display he can preserve video games with even bigger stakes.
5. Arizona Cardinals (0-1 Sizable Bowl file): They seem to secure an MVP-caliber quarterback in Kyler Murray. They’ve additionally got a defensive participant of the 12 months candidate on protection, OLB Chandler Jones, when he is healthy. Pro Bowlers DeAndre Hopkins and Budda Baker expand an enviable nucleus. However his team wants to salvage deeper, in particular in the trenches, and coach Kliff Kingsbury must display he is the person to engage Murray and Co. to the following stage – read: postseason – after the quarterback and the rest of the team tailed off to a .500 finish after a 6-3 begin in 2020.
4. Los Angeles Chargers (0-1 Sizable Bowl file): Newly employed coach Brandon Staley, fresh off overseeing the league’s No. 1 protection for the depraved-town Rams, inherits a roster teeming with expertise and headlined by offensive rookie of the 12 months Justin Herbert. If the Bolts can preserve healthy for a alternate – having a glimpse at you, Derwin James – cut again down on their have faith mistakes, and Herbert’s arrow continues trending up despite the teaching upheaval, there is in actuality no reason they mustn’t be playoff regulars for years to approach.
3. Cleveland Browns (never seemed in a Sizable Bowl): They took so many sure steps of their first season beneath 2020 coach of the 12 months Kevin Stefanski – reaching the playoffs for the first time since 2002 and a hit a postseason sport for the first time since 1994, which became additionally the ideal time Cleveland won 11 traditional-season video games. It is potentially no longer easy fending off so many succesful AFC North foes 12 months in and 12 months out. However if Stefanski can assemble on the continuity, perchance determine how to effectively incorporate WR Odell Beckham, again QB Baker Mayfield proceed to development, and name – alongside promising GM Andrew Berry – where the Browns need to reinvest, then this franchise may perhaps presumably well additionally rapidly be primed to engage that long-awaited Sizable Bowl outing.
2. Tennessee Titans (0-1 Sizable Bowl file): An attack spearheaded by offensive participant of the 12 months Derrick Henry, QB Ryan Tannehill and WR A.J. Brown – Tennessee averaged 31 aspects a sport in the standard season – may perhaps presumably well additionally even give a enhance to in 2021 with the return of Pro Bowl LT Taylor Lewan. However a protection that ranked 28th in 2020 and managed factual 19 sacks must give a enhance to if the Titans manufacture no longer desire 2019’s AFC title sport appearance to be their high-water payment.
1. Buffalo Bills (0-4 Sizable Bowl file): A 12 months after the Chiefs vanquished Tennessee on the cusp of the Sizable Bowl, it became the Bills who fell a sport short at Arrowhead Stadium. However given the quantum leap Buffalo QB Josh Allen took in 2020, becoming a surprise contender for league MVP, his team ought to be a contender for years to approach if he continues to ascend. However the Bills set aside no longer need to depend so heavily on Allen. Their running sport and protection regressed from 2019, nevertheless there is puny reason to instruct each may perhaps presumably well additionally no longer give a enhance to transferring forward – and that will presumably very neatly be ample to salvage Buffalo a fifth crack at the Lombardi Trophy in 2021.
Be conscious USA TODAY Sports’ Nate Davis on Twitter @ByNateDavis
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