As the regular season comes to a close, some team’s are playing in the playoffs and others are plopped on the couch next to us. Either way, each NFC team has a New Year’s Resolution for 2021. With that being said, let’s look at these resolutions.
NFC South Resolutions
The Atlanta Falcons have a big problem that we all know about: this team does not know how to keep leads. We’ve seen more blown double-digit leads from this team than impressive wins ever since the Falcons blew their 28-3 lead over the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. A New Year’s resolution for the Falcons involves finding a quality new coach to change this losing energy in the locker room.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs are in an interesting situation. They are a team that probably won’t win now, even though they are in a “win-now” mode. They proved their status by winning the Tom Brady sweepstakes, picking up more running backs like Leonard Fournette and LeSean McCoy, and by gambling on Antonio Brown. Tampa Bay’s resolution is to commit to an effective offseason. What does this mean? When Tom Brady has looked bad this season, it’s because he and his receivers are not on the same page. Don’t tell me Tom Brady can’t sling the ball anymore, because we know that is not true. I don’t love Brady, but he can still move the ball downfield effectively. Just watch this beautiful pass to Scotty Miller. Anyways, the Buccaneers’ goal for 2021 is to use the offseason to get everyone on the same page.
For a team that is rebuilding this year, you have to buy into their process. Teddy Bridgewater is playing well and the defense continues to play better. These players believe in Matt Rhule, so I’ll keep this short and sweet. Carolina Panthers, just keep doing what you have been doing.
New Orleans Saints
New Orleans has an interesting resolution to figure out this offseason: figure out how long they can keep playing with Drew Brees. Look, I love Drew Brees. He is one of my favorite active quarterbacks that are locks for the Hall of Fame, but we can’t ignore the facts. Over the past two years, the New Orleans Saints are 8-1 when the Saints start a quarterback not named Drew Brees. In those two years, the physically regressing Brees underperformed because of his injuries. Last year it was a thumb injury. This year Brees suffered from fractured ribs and punctured lungs. The Saints’ resolution is simple: figure out a way to break up with Brees, no matter how the postseason goes.
NFC East Resolutions
As per my article a couple of weeks ago, the Dallas Cowboys need to re-sign Dak Prescott. No question here. Don’t draft a new quarterback, Jerry. You already botched the situation enough as it is. Sign Prescott and build a defense that doesn’t make Prescott throw 500 yards a game. Then, draft a good defense, sign Earl Thomas, trade Jaylon Smith, I don’t care. Either way, the Cowboys in 2021 need to focus on keeping Prescott and fixing the defense. Yeah, this is technically two resolutions, but that’s how it is sometimes. To lose weight, you need to workout and go on a diet.
New York Giants
I think Joe Judge will do what happened to the Cardinals a couple years ago. Judge doesn’t like the current young quarterback, partially because Judge didn’t draft Jones, so he decides to draft his own. In short, the players believe in Judge, but Judge may not believe in Daniel Jones just yet. Just like every other NFC East scenario, the Giants should not be satisfied with the current quarterback situation and should look to resolve this situation.
Washington Football Team
Dan Snyder isn’t selling the team, unfortunately, so let’s look at reality. For the most part, despite the record, Ron Rivera should be proud of his team so far. Well, despite the quarterback situation. This situation needs to be figured out going forward. Kyle Allen isn’t the answer (as much as Rivera wants to believe), Alex Smith is good for now, and Dwayne Haskins is celebrating losses at strip clubs. Rivera’s resolution is to find his field general. Oh, by the way, Washington still needs a team name. That’s still on the docket.
Out of all of the NFC New Year’s Resolutions, this is one that is the most intriguing. Quite simply, the Eagles’ resolution for 2021 is to figure out who their quarterback is. Since Wentz’s benching against the Packers, Jalen Hurts continues to perform admirably under center. Whether the Eagles should keep Hurts and trade Wentz is beyond the point here. What matters is the Eagles need to get their act together and figure out their future. Also, stop speculating the Patriots should take Wentz. You should be ashamed of yourself.
NFC West Resolutions
Los Angeles Rams
We’re not here to talk about the loss to the Jets. Instead, we’re here to talk about Jared Goff. Sometimes, Jared Goff has this look in his eyes where something isn’t clicking. These scenarios came up a couple times this year against the Miami Dolphins and the New York Jets. When things aren’t clicking in Goff’s head, Sean McVay needs to step in and bring Goff back to Earth. To put things simply: The Los Angeles Rams’ New Year’s Resolution is to fix Jared Goff’s deer-in-headlights look when a game is going south for the Rams.
Every aspect of the Arizona Cardinals is developing right now; the offense, the defense, the special teams, and the coaching. This team may make the playoffs and this team may not make the playoffs. Kliff Kingsbury is not perfect, but he eventually could be one of the top coaches in the league. Arizona has a simple NFC New Year’s Resolutions: continue the development and trust the process.
Do you remember the Legion of Boom? Pepperidge Farms remembers, and so do I. If Russell Wilson wants to win another ring, he can not do it alone. This year, the defense is underwhelming and lackluster. Jamal Adams, when he’s not injured, shows signs of greatness, but it’s not enough. Dear Seattle, please fix your defense as your NFC New Year’s Resolutions. Wilson deserves it.
San Francisco 49ers
There could be a storm brewing in Santa Clara. Jimmy Garoppolo has dealt with an ankle injury most of the season and, when healthy, he hasn’t looked too hot. Okay, he as a human being is hot in that sense. What I mean to say is that he hasn’t played hot. What’s really caught my attention while writing about the NFC New Year’s Resolutions is that the 49ers just signed Josh Rosen from the Tampa Bay practice squad. Rosen could truly develop into the quarterback he talked himself up to be before he was drafted if Jimmy G goes down again. So, oddly enough, the 49ers’ resolution is to develop Rosen when Garoppolo gets injured again. What exactly that will mean down the road is another article for another time.
49ers unsure if Jimmy Garoppolo will play again this season. Nick Mullens is out for the season with a sprained elbow. CJ Beathard is the last healthy QB on the roster.— Adam Schefter (@AdamSchefter) December 22, 2020
There was no reason for the 49ers not to sign Josh Rosen, a former No. 10 pick. off the Bucs practice squad. https://t.co/VMeQRUGv7U
NFC North Resolutions
Green Bay Packers
The Packers look pretty decent over the past few years, and last year was one of the first times their defense was a force to be reckoned with. This year, the Packers are looking middle of the path on defense. I want the Packers to use a first round pick on a receiver, but you and I know that’s not happening. If they aren’t going to draft a receiver, get some more help on defense.
We all know the situation in the Windy City right now: the quarterbacks. The Chicago Bears are in a vicious cycle of starting a quarterback that plays poorly and is benched, then someone else comes in and plays well, then the cycle starts again. Chicago has to find their franchise quarterback, and please don’t tell me it’s Nick Foles or Mitch Trubisky. For the love of God, please draft a quarterback in the first round, Chicago. There’s the Bears’ resolution: find your future.
This defense let Alvin Kamara run for six touchdowns against the Vikings defense on Christmas. This defense has played poorly for most of the year, and it’s time to fix it. “Yeah, this is a bad defense, worst one I’ve ever had” said Mike Zimmer after the game. It wasn’t long ago when the Vikings had a stout defense and, in 2021, the Vikings need to focus on returning this defense to it’s Purple People Eaters days. Right now, they just look like the Purple Dinosaur that kids watch on TV in the morning.
So, the Lions’ resolution can’t just be to leave Detroit. Let’s look at what is possible for the meantime. In my opinion, Matthew Stafford deserves to be free, but seeing how the Lions’ front office handled Megatron, I don’t see the Lions trading Stafford. Matt Patricia was fired following the Lions’ Thanksgiving loss to the Houston Texans. Therefore, the Lions are in need of a new coach. The Lions’ resolution is to find a new head coach who can engrain a positive culture that’ll draw more players to the Motor City.