2021-2022 NFL Playoffs/Off-season Recap

This year football had many great and memorable moments that we’ll always remember for years to come. The Super Bowl is a great example of a memorable moment this year that definitely surprised people. This is a preview of what was to be in Super Bowl 56. 

The biggest game of the year is only a few days away and not only all of America can’t wait but around the world. The Cincinnati Bengals will be representing the AFC and the Los Angeles Rams will be representing the NFC. These two teams have been on a tear the past few weeks. The Bengals have been in tight games throughout the whole playoffs with all games coming down to the last play, the Bengals defense kept all of those games within reach only allowing 19 points in the second half of all their playoff games combined. The Bengals are going to be facing one of the top defenses in the league. This game could go either way turning out to be a shoot out or a defensive slugfest like how we saw in Super Bowl 53 when the Rams last made it to the big game and lost 13-3. The Rams are now heading into the Super Bowl with veterans on all sides of the ball that are even older than their head coach like their forty year old left tackle Andrew Whitworth who spent 13 seasons with the Bengals. Players like him are gonna have to play a big role in the game as he has to protect his quarterback Matthew Stafford from defensive end Trey Hendrickson who had 14 sacks on the season and 2.5 in this postseason. While the Rams defense has been getting all the attention since they have to deal with that high powered Bengals offense who has Joe Burrow, Jamarr Chase, and other weapons that can be dangerous. The Rams defense is nothing to look over however as we’ve seen them stop high powered offenses before such as the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Arizona Cardinals which were both playoff teams that the Rams beat on their way to the Super Bowl. This game is looking like it’s going to be a good one, the Rams are a -3.5 point favorite against the Bengals. 

Superstars like Tom Brady retired this year and then announced at a later time that he will be returning for another year. Before he announced his return there were questions in the air about who would be his replacement for the upcoming season. 

With Tom Brady retired, the Buccaneers are in need of a replacement at quarterback. There are some names out there that could get the attention of the organization such as Jameis Winston who could make a return to Tampa Bay or Teddy Bridgewater who’s been traveling around the league the past few seasons. The most unlikely quarterback for the next starting job in Tampa Bay is in talks of being named the next. Buccaneers head coach Bruce Arians answered a question of Blaine Gabbert possibly being in the picture of the next quarterback under center, his answer has left some speculation in the air about the situation. “(Blaine Gabbert) has never played with a team this good. People may not like the overall record, but Blaine had 8 head coaches and 8 coordinators his first 8 years.” Blaine Gabbert has been somewhat of a journeyman in the NFL throughout his career, going from place to place such as Tennessee playing for the Titans or San Francisco playing for the 49ers. Blaine Gabbert has never started a full season for a team yet, the closest he’s been to achieving that is his rookie year in 2011 when he had a record of 4-10 with 12 touchdowns and 11 picks. After that season looking back on his career, he’s only had 34 starts in 10 years. Just in retrospect to show how little games that are in that time span we’re going to compare that to the man he’s been backing up the past two seasons. Tom Brady since 2012 (the year after Blaine Gabbert’s rookie season) started in 157 games during those 10 years not including playoffs. But Blaine having had someone with the skill of Brady, is a once in a lifetime experience, that he learned from undoubtedly. If the Buccaneers end up sticking with Blaine Gabbert at the helm he shouldn’t have a problem getting started off as he has one of the best receiving duos in the league and a coach who’s been nicknamed the “quarterback whisperer”. We will see if this is the decision that is made and if so, how it will end, but for now only questions and speculation can be made. 

This off season in the NFL has been one of the if not the craziest in history. Moves made in this off season were unpredictable and exciting to watch for all fans of the NFL. 

WR Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders via Green Bay Packers

Las Vegas Raiders – A 

The trade that sent five-time NFL pro bowl wide receiver Davante Adams to the Las Vegas Raiders was one of the biggest this offseason. The Raiders’ offense already showed glimpses of explosiveness during the season with a 4000-yard passer in Derek Carr and a 1000 yard receiver in Hunter Renfrow. Derek Carr will now have two one-thousand yard receivers to throw to and a top tight end in the league that is Darren Waller. Davante Adams and Derek Carr were teammates in college at Fresno State. Davante Adams has been one of, if not the best wide receiver in the league for the past four years as he’s had over 10+ touchdowns and 1100+ yards in three of them. 

Green Bay Packers – C

The Green Bay Packers gave up Davante Adams for just a first and second-round pick from the Raiders. For a receiver of Davante Adams’ stature, you would expect the organization to give him up for more than just two draft picks. The Packers’ best options for their MVP quarterback Aaron Rodgers are wide receivers Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb, and tight end Robert Tonyan. The Packers have to draft a receiver early on in the draft so that Aaron Rodgers can have receivers to throw to or this year could be long for the yellow and green. 

WR Tyreek Hill to the Miami Dolphins via Kansas City Chiefs

Miami Dolphins – A-

The Miami Dolphins had a decent receiving corps with Jaylen Waddle, Davante Parker, and Mike Gesicki; but with the addition of Tyreek Hill, they have one of the fastest and best-receiving corps in the league at the moment. Tyreek Hill is coming off of his sixth straight pro bowl and another 1000+ yard receiving season. Tyreek Hill is well known around the league as the fastest player in the NFL and can take the tops off of defenses like no other player. Undoubtedly he has had a major downgrade at quarterback from Patrick Mahomes to Tua Tagovailoa, but fans and the organization are expecting a big leap from Tua as they give him more weapons to throw to. 

Kansas City Chiefs – B

The Chiefs are getting a first, second, fourth, future fourth, and future sixth-round pick from the Dolphins for Hill. The Chiefs are getting some great value out of this trade as they get two high round draft picks and a bunch of late-round ones that will help them add depth to their roster which is a big need as their division the AFC West only keeps getting stronger with all of the other teams making big moves this offseason as well. 

WR Amari Cooper to the Cleveland Browns via Dallas Cowboys

Cleveland Browns – A+

The Cleveland Browns may just have gotten the steal of the offseason or maybe of the decade. The Browns only had to give up a fifth and sixth-round pick and even got a sixth-round pick from the Cowboys for one of the star receivers in the league who has had four 1000+ yard receiving seasons in his career. Many people in the sports industry have said that the Dallas Cowboys underutilized Amari Cooper in their offense this year which led him to having a really lackluster season for his stature. The Browns just released their number one receiver Jarvis Landry so this signing is a big help for the Browns.

Dallas Cowboys – F

The Dallas Cowboys practically got no value from trading Amari Cooper to the Browns. They are technically just switching sixth-round picks with the Browns and giving them a star for a low-end draft pick. The Cowboys do have a great wide receiver duo in Ceedee Lamb and Michael Gallup, but the Cowboys’ front office really could’ve done so much better with this trade and got so much more out of it, what they got in return is practically a bag of chips. 

The Jacksonville Jaguars were one of the teams that cashed in their money for stars this past off season. The Jaguars definitely caught the eyes of many fans and teams of the NFL.

The Jacksonville Jaguars first couple of days this offseason they have been spending big money. The Jaguars’ first priority this offseason was to protect their second year quarterback Trevor Lawerence and give their defense some leverage. They signed Washington Commanders veteran guard Brandon Scherff and not much later that evening signed the NFL leading tackler Foyesade Oluokun from the Atlanta Falcons. Brandon Scherff has been in the league for seven years and maintained a starting job every year he played during his time with Washington. Linebacker Foyesade Oluokun was one of the bright spots of what was that lackluster defense that was the Atlanta Falcons. The Jaguars had the 17th ranked linebacker corps in the league and they have just released their starting middle linebacker Myles Jack who just signed with the Pittsburgh Steelers on March 16th. They later on signed former New York Jets defensive tackle Folorunso Fatukasi and then gave a massive four-year 72 million dollar contract with a max value of 84 million dollars to former Arizona Cardinals receiver Christian Kirk. Fatukasi and Kirk were both solid players at their respective positions, but fans are going to see if they can live up to the big money that they got this offseason. The Jaguars decided that their young quarterback needed more help and weapons around him so they went out and signed tight end Evan Engram and wide receiver Zay Jones, who had his best season yet in 2021 with the Las Vegas Raiders. Evan Engram on the other hand has gotten some criticism over the past couple of years since he’s barely played due to injury and because when he does actually play he doesn’t really stand out like the potential he has. The Jaguars are hoping for a big second year jump from quarterback Trevor Lawerence like how Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow did in 2021. 

This NFL season had one of the greatest playoffs in league history. This season had teams that weren’t expected to make the playoffs and then make them. The NFL playoffs this year gave fans of teams thrills and left standing on their feet watching the game.

AFC – Buffalo Bills (11-6) @ Kansas City Chiefs (12-5):
The Buffalo Bills are coming for revenge this week as they go into Kansas City where they lost in the AFC Championship game last season 38-24, effectively ending their Super Bowl dreams. The Bills are coming in looking scary as they just dominated the New England Patriots, winning 47-17. The Patriots were a team that had one of the top defenses in the league this year. Bills quarterback Josh Allen threw for over three hundred yards and five touchdowns with an additional sixty five rushing yards. The Bills defense shutdown rookie quarterback Mac Jones who had two interceptions and was sacked three times on the night. Bills running back Devin Singletary stepped up as he had eighty one yards and two touchdowns off of sixteen carries. The Chiefs on the other hand are looking scary as well, they beat the Pittsburgh Steelers 42-21. Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes threw for over four hundred yards and five touchdowns. The defense for the Chiefs has only gotten better throughout the year as in their first six games they were one of the worst in the league and then throughout the season they showed that the Chiefs aren’t just all about offense. The Chiefs also had a player step up on wild card weekend, running back Jerrick Mckinnon had sixty two yards rushing, six receptions with eighty one receiving yards, and a touchdown. This is without a doubt the game of the week, the Bills are +1.5 point underdogs against the Chiefs.

NFC – San Francisco 49ers (10-7) @ Green Bay Packers (13-4):

Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers has had some bad moments against the 49ers in his career, especially in the playoffs as he’s 0-3 against them in the postseason. Aaron Rodgers had another MVP like year this season, however, the 49ers defense isn’t just gonna let him throw all over them without a problem like other teams have allowed. The 49ers defense held the league’s number one offense this season, that being the Dallas Cowboys. To a mere 17 points in their Wild Card game. Nick Bosa was tearing up the Cowboys offensive line before getting injured during the game with a head injury, but he’s looking to be recovered this week for their matchup. The Packers are not only going to have to figure out a way to keep Nick Bosa from wreaking havoc but also how to handle the offensive duo of Deebo Samuel and George Kittle. 49ers quarterback Jimmy Garropolo has reeled in some criticism throughout the season, this is going to be the biggest opportunity for him to shut down all of the criticism and hate that he’s gotten. The 49ers are a +6 point underdog this week against the Packers.

(Photo by Todd Kirkland/Getty Images)

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