NFL Season Predictions: Buffalo Stampedes to a Super Bowl

Our NFL Insider, Adam Merten, breaks down every team in advance of tonight’s opening game.


Devin Morris, CC BY-SA 4.0 , via Wikimedia Commons

The NFL season kicks off on September 9 in Tampa as Tom Brady and the Super Bowl Champion Bucs take on the Dallas Cowboys.

AFC East

Buffalo Bills- This is the team that I believe will win the Super Bowl. They have arguably a top 10 defense and offense. With QB Josh Allen recently signing a massive deal worth up to $288 million over the span of six seasons, the Bills have locked up their franchise cornerstone for years to come. Also returning is WR Stefon Diggs, who was one of the best in the league. Record prediction: 14-3.

Miami Dolphins- With a surprisingly good season for the Dolphins last year, only missing the playoffs by one game, many fans expect this team to take another step in their rebuild. Second year QB Tua Tagovailoa has a lot of weight on his shoulders to prove that he is the quarterback of the future. Alongside Tua, the Dolphins have added multiple offensive weapons such as WR Will Fuller and Jaylen Waddle. Record prediction: 10-7.

New England Patriots- The Patriots spent big money in the offseason after missing the playoffs for the first time since 2008. Some of the free agents that New England signed are TE Hunter Henry, LB Matthew Judon, and WR Nelson Agholor. With these signings and the addition of rookie QB Mac Jones, there is hope that the Patriots will return to dominance in the AFC, but with Buffalo and Miami being in the same division, New England will miss the playoffs for the second straight year. Record prediction: 9-8.

New York Jets- The Jets were arguably the worst team in the league last season, and they do not look like they will be very good anytime soon. With that being said, newly hired head coach Robert Saleh and rookie QB Zach Wilson can prove that the future may be looking bright for the Jets. Record prediction: 4-13.

AFC North

Cleveland Browns- If the Bills aren’t winning the Super Bowl, the Browns are my second choice. Cleveland has one of the most complete teams in the league, with elite offensive playmakers such as QB Baker Mayfield, RB Nick Chubb, and WR Jarvis Landry, the Browns have very high expectations coming into the 2021 season. On the other hand, a very good defense in 2020 got even better. With the Browns bringing in players such as DE Jadaveon Clowney, DB Josh Johnson, and drafting CB Greg Newsome II, expect Cleveland to make it very far in the playoffs this year. Record prediction: 13-4.

Baltimore Ravens- After a good end of the 2020 season for the Ravens, and a tough loss to the Bills in the Divisional Round, many fans speculated that Baltimore would stack up on offense during the offseason. Although the Ravens didn’t make a lot of big signings, they still have one of the most complete teams in the league. With star QB Lamar Jackson, Baltimore still has high expectations for this season. Record prediction: 11-6.

Pittsburgh Steelers- The Steelers are a hard team to predict this year, after a 11-0 start to the season, Pittsburgh quickly fell apart and limped to the playoffs with a 12-4 record. While QB Ben Roethlisberger has declined and is no longer the elite player he once was, the Steelers can still make the playoffs with one of the best defenses in the league. With superstar DE T.J. Watt looking as dominant as ever, and LB Devin Bush returning from an ACL injury that sidelined him for most of last season. This Pittsburgh defense could carry the team to the playoffs. Record prediction: 8-9.

Cincinnati Bengals- The Bengals could be a lot better than many fans may think, as the first overall pick in the 2020 draft, QB Joe Burrow didn’t disappoint, although his season was sadly cut short with a knee injury. Cincinnati tried their best to fortify the offensive line, with the addition of OL Riley Reiff, the Bengals are hoping that Burrow can be protected enough to make plays with rookie WR Ja’marr Chase, who played with Burrow at LSU. Although Cincinnati has improved over the offseason, it might not be enough to make the playoffs when they share a division with the Browns and the Ravens. Record prediction: 6-11.

AFC South

Tennessee Titans- The Titans have very high expectations coming into this season, with many offensive weapons such as WR Julio Jones, WR AJ Brown, and RB Derrick Henry, many fans expect nothing less than a division title for Tennessee. Record prediction: 12-5

Indianapolis Colts- The Colts have had the potential to be a Super Bowl contender for the past few years, and with the addition of QB Carson Wentz, I believe that Indianapolis can make a deep playoff push. The Colts still have arguably the best offensive line in the league, and a very good defense with players such as LB Darius Leonard, DT DeForest Buckner, and rookie De Kwity Paye. But with a very good AFC, Indianapolis will miss the playoffs due to tiebreaker. Record prediction: 10-7.

Jacksonville Jaguars- The worst team in the league last year hopes to improve with a much-needed culture change, with the addition of head coach Urban Meyer and rookie QB Trevor Lawrence, there is hope for this team. Record prediction: 6-11.

Houston Texans- The Texas have the potential to be one of the worst teams in recent memory, after an abysmal 4-12 season in 2020, many fans thought that the only way to go was up for Houston. Franchise QB Deshaun Watson has requested a trade, and after sexual assault allegations against him, he may not even be playing this year. Without many additions to one of the worst defenses in the league last year, it’s looking like another long season for Houston. Record prediction: 2-15.

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs- With QB Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs will always be one of the best teams in the league, Mahomes has some of the best offensive talents in the league to throw to, including WR Tyreek Hill and TE Travis Kelce. Expect nothing short of another great season for Kansas City. Record prediction: 15-2

Los Angeles Chargers- After a very strong ending to last season, the Chargers managed to have one of the best offseasons in the league, with multiple additions to the offensive line, QB Justin Herbert will have the time and space to propel this team to the next level. Record prediction: 11-6.

Denver Broncos- The Broncos are a dark horse team this year, after season-ending injuries last season to superstar LB Von Miller, and WR Courtland Sutton, many fans don’t realize how good this team can be when healthy. With arguably the best secondary in the league, Denver could surprise a lot of people this year. But it might not be enough to make the playoffs in a very good AFC West. Record prediction: 9-8.

Las Vegas Raiders- The Raiders are one of the teams that are very hard to predict, with a bad defense and inconsistent quarterback play from Derek Carr, expect head coach Jon Gruden to be on the hot seat sooner than later. Record prediction: 6-11. 

NFC East

Washington Football Team- Washington fans can finally be excited about football this year, with an improved defense and receiving core, the Football Team can make noise and win a very weak NFC East. Record prediction: 10-7.

Dallas Cowboys- After a frustrating year to say the least for “America’s Team”, the Cowboys are expected to bounce-back in 2021. With the return of QB Dak Prescott, who suffered a season-ending ankle injury in Week 5 last year, Dallas fans are hopeful that Dak will feel motivated after signing a record breaking contract worth $160 million over the span of 4 seasons. With the return of Prescott and a revamped defense, many fans are excited to see how the season goes for the Cowboys, myself included. Record prediction: 9-8.

New York Giants- This team is reliant completely on QB Daniel Jones, if he plays poorly, expect another lost year for this great defense, but if he plays well, the skies the limit for the Giants. Record prediction: 7-10.

Philadelphia Eagles- It’s hard to believe that this team won the Super Bowl 3 years ago. Ever since that ring, the Eagles have fallen downhill and are now one of the worst in the league. Although QB Jalen Hurts showed promise at the end of last season, it’s looking like the start to a long rebuild for Philadelphia. Record prediction: 4-13.

NFC North

Green Bay Packers- After a disappointing loss in the NFC Championship game last year, there were rumors that Aaron Rodgers would want to leave the Packers. Luckily, he and elite WR Davante Adams will stay in Green Bay for at least one more season. Along with electrifying RB Aaron Jones, fans hope that they can finally win another Super Bowl. Record prediction: 13-4

Chicago Bears- The Bears are a very frustrating team, they have good players, but the front office keeps making strange decisions in my opinion. The decision to trade up in the draft to pick QB Justin Fields was one of the best decisions all offseason long. But still with one of the best front 7s in the league, Chicago could make some noise this year. Record prediction: 9-8.

Minnesota Vikings- The Vikings are one of the teams that are very hard to predict, with WR Justin Jefferson, this offense could be very dangerous if QB Kirk Cousins plays up to his contract. But with a very inconsistent offensive line and subpar defense, the Vikings will miss the playoffs and start a rebuild. Record prediction: 6-11.

Detroit Lions- After a underwhelming season for the Lions in 2020, the front office did what was needed, go into a rebuild. Detroit traded franchise cornerstone QB Matthew Stafford to the Rams for QB Jared Goff and multiple first round picks, as well as not re-signing WRs Kenny Golladay and Marvin Jones. Although it may not seem like it at first, the Lions have a bright future starting to develop, with TE TJ Hockenson, and RB D’Andre Swift, the rebuild could be moving faster than expected. Record prediction: 5-12.

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers- Tom Brady is the GOAT, and with him and all 21 other starters returning from last year, Tampa has a very good chance to defend their title. Record prediction: 15-2.

Carolina Panthers- I believe that the Panthers will surprise a lot of people this season, with in my opinion one of the most underrated offenses in the league, star RB Christian McCaffrey and recently acquired QB Sam Darnold, this Carolina offense has the potential to be one of the best in the league. Record prediction: 10-7.

New Orleans Saints- With the retirement of franchise QB Drew Brees, the Saints don’t have a lot of directions coming into this season. New Orleans still has RB Alvin Kamara, one of the best in the league last year. But after losing multiple offensive playmakers, the Saints won’t be able to keep up with the rest of the NFC. Record prediction: 8-9.

Atlanta Falcons- One of the worst teams in the league last season, there isn’t much to go but up for this Falcons squad. With the departure of Atlanta legend Julio Jones, there aren’t many fans who expect the team to do well. On the other hand, the Falcons still have a high-flying offense, with WR Calvin Ridley, and rookie TE Kyle Pitts, the future could be sooner than later for Atlanta. Record prediction: 5-12.

NFC West

Los Angeles Rams- The Rams went all-in during the offseason this year, and after trading for QB Matthew Stafford, Los Angeles is arguably the most complete team in the league. With elite defensive players such as 3-time Defensive Player of the Year Aaron Donald, and superstar CB Jalen Ramsey, fans expect nothing less than a deep playoff run. Record prediction: 14-3.

Seattle Seahawks- When a team has QB Russell Wilson and head coach Pete Carroll, they will always find a way to win games. Also on the Seahawks are WR DK Metcalf, DB Jamal Adams, and LB Bobby Wagner. With this solid team of playmakers, Seattle expects another playoff appearance and Russell Wilson could finally win the MVP after years of not receiving a single vote. Record prediction: 12-5.

Arizona Cardinals- Make or break season for the Cardinals, with one of the best WR corps in the league, expectations are high for the team this season. After missing the playoffs last year by one game, many people are expecting a bounce-back year from them, especially with the additions of AJ Green and JJ Watt. Record prediction: 10-7.

San Francisco 49ers- This team was wrecked last season with injury after injury to star players such as DE Nick Bosa, DT Solomon Thomas, and TE George Kittle. Now that the team is healthy, many fans expect the 49ers to return to their 2019 form, when they went to the Super Bowl, but with inconsistent quarterback play from Jimmy Garoppolo, San Francisco will miss the playoffs in a very strong NFC West. Record prediction: 9-8.  



  1. Kansas City Chiefs: 15-2
  2. Buffalo Bills: 14-3
  3. Cleveland Browns: 13-4
  4. Tennessee Titans: 12-5
  5. Baltimore Ravens: 11-6
  6. Los Angeles Chargers: 11-6
  7. Miami Dolphins: 10-7


  1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 15-2
  2. Los Angeles Rams: 14-3
  3. Green Bay Packers: 13-4
  4. Washington Football Team: 10-7
  5. Seattle Seahawks: 12-5
  6. Arizona Cardinals: 10-7
  7. Carolina Panthers: 10-7


Buffalo Bills vs Los Angeles Rams

Bills win Super Bowl 42-21