by WizardRaceandSports Staff Writer
The Seahawks have a tough schedule in 2021, as they are looking for their fourth consecutive double-digit win season. They have won fewer than 10 games just once since 2012, which coincidentally was Russell Wilson’s rookie season. The only year in which Seattle did not produce 10 wins was 2017 when Pete Carroll’s Seahawks went 9-7 and missed the postseason.
In 2020, the Seahawks scored a franchise-best 459 points, and in hopes of increasing that number, running back Chris Carson seemed to have upped his workout regimen this past offseason. Also during the offseason, Seattle set a franchise record for the fewest picks in a draft. From April 29 to May 1, the Seahawks selected just three players in the draft. Just one team in the modern era of NFL history has selected fewer players in a draft (New Orleans Saints: one pick in 1999).
While the Seahawks work on new contracts for three-time Pro Bowl (2018 to 2020) strong safety Jamal Adams and four-time Pro Bowl (2012 to 2014 and 2017) offensive tackle Duane Brown, Seattle readies for another successful year. Vegas has the Seahawks (+2200 odds to win the Super Bowl) winning 10 games this year, but they are ranked third in the NFC West odds (+275).
2021 Seahawks Draft Picks
Round 2, Pick 24 – WR D’Wayne Eskridge
Round 4, Pick 32 – CB Tre Brown
Round 6, Pick 24 – OT Stone Forsythe
Notable Other Players Added and Re-Signed by the Seahawks
Chris Carson, RB
Ethan Pocic, C
Gabe Jackson, G
Gerald Everett, TE
Carlos Dunlap, DE
Kerry Hyder, DE
Ahkello Witherspoon, CB
Notable Seahawks in New Places
Carlos Hyde, RB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Bo Scarbrough, RB – Las Vegas Raiders
David Moore, WR – Carolina Panthers
Phillip Dorsett, WR – Jacksonville Jaguars
Jacob Hollister, TE – Buffalo Bills
Greg Olsen, TE – retired
Justin Britt, C – Houston Texans
K.J. Wright, LB – free agent
Quinton Dunbar, CB – free agent
Shaquill Griffin, CB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Predictions for Notable Seahawks Players
Russell Wilson, a seven-time Pro Bowler, is looking for his second Super Bowl championship in 2021. He has yet to miss a game in his NFL career and has the fourth-best passer rating in NFL history. Not only is he a very strong passer, but he also is the active leader in yards per rushing attempt. Back in 2019, the Seahawks signed Wilson to a well-deserved four-year, $140 million contract extension. In 2020, Wilson had 4,212 passing yards and threw for 40 touchdowns. He also ran for 513 yards and two touchdowns. This year, his over/under totals are 4,250.5 passing yards and 33.5 passing touchdowns. Both of those numbers should be attainable for the 32-year-old quarterback.
Chris Carson played just 12 games last year due to hip and foot injuries, but he ran for 681 yards and five touchdowns. In terms of receiving, he had 37 catches for 287 yards and four touchdowns. Carson, who is entering his fifth NFL season, has nine total touchdowns each of the last three years, but 2020 broke a streak of two years in which Carson had at least 1,300 yards from scrimmage. His over/under totals this year are 1,000.5 rushing yards and 7.5 rushing touchdowns. Carson will have to stay healthy in 2021 to get to these projections.
DK Metcalf and Tyler Lockett are the top two receivers yet again for the Seahawks after they both finished with more than 1,000 receiving yards in 2020. Each of them scored 10 touchdowns last year, so the expectations will remain high for both of them this season. In his third NFL season, Metcalf may have the most receiving yards in the league (+1200) or the most receiving touchdowns (+1400), as his over/under totals are 1,255.5 receiving yards and nine touchdowns. Meanwhile, Lockett’s are 1,000.5 and 7.5. It will surely be a fun season to watch these receivers, and they both may be able to hit each of the overs.
Gerald Everett, the former Los Angeles Rams tight end, and Will Dissly are the duo at tight end for the Seahawks this year. Last season, Dissly had the fifth-most receiving yards for Seattle, as he caught 24 passes for 251 yards and two touchdowns. In 2020, Everett went for 41 receptions, 417 yards, and a touchdown, so Everett seems to be the first option at tight end, but we will have to see if one of them develops as a red-zone threat.
Seahawks Predictions for the 2021 Season
2020 Regular Season Record: 12-4 (8-8 ATS); Lost in Wild Card Round
It appears that there will be three NFC West teams in the playoffs this year, as the Seahawks are -130 to make the playoffs while they are +110 to miss them. If Russell Wilson continues to stay healthy, and he has the majority of his offensive weapons, the offense should succeed in 2021. It may be the defense that will determine the long-term success of this team though. Seattle’s defense ranked 15th last year, but when the franchise won the Super Bowl, the Seahawks had the league’s best defense. A boost from the defense in 2021 should allow for playoff success this year.
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Read Also: NFC South Predictions and Odds
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams (+1400 Super Bowl odds) are back with a new quarterback in Matthew Stafford and new “modern throwback” uniforms, but unfortunately, Cam Akers suffered a season-ending tear of his Achilles. Los Angeles still has a chance at making Super Bowl LVI in its own stadium, just like the Super Bowl champion Tampa Bay Buccaneers did last year. Sean McVay is not taking any chances with Stafford though, as the head coach stated that his starting quarterback will never play a preseason snap while he is coaching the Rams.
2021 Rams Draft Picks
Round 2, Pick 25 – WR Tutu Atwell
Round 3, Pick 40 – LB Ernest Jones
Round 4, Pick 12 – DT Bobby Brown III
Round 4, Pick 25 – CB Robert Rochell
Round 4, Pick 36 – WR Jacob Harris
Round 5, Pick 30 – DE Earnest Brown IV
Round 7, Pick 5 – RB Jake Funk
Round 7, Pick 22 – WR Ben Skowronek
Round 7, Pick 25 – LB Chris Garrett
Notable Other Players Added and Re-Signed by the Rams
Matthew Stafford, QB
DeSean Jackson, WR
Leonard Floyd, LB
Notable Rams in New Places
Jared Goff, QB – Detroit Lions
Malcolm Brown, RB – Miami Dolphins
Josh Reynolds, WR – Tennessee Titans
Gerald Everett, TE – Seattle Seahawks
Austin Blythe, C – Kansas City Chiefs
Samson Ebukam, DE – San Francisco 49ers
Troy Hill, CB – Cleveland Browns
John Johnson III, S – Cleveland Browns
Predictions for Notable Rams Players
Matthew Stafford is going to have the pleasure of having the league’s best defense from 2020 on his sideline, as he looks for his first career postseason victory. Stafford has an 0-3 record in the playoffs, and he has not made it to the postseason since 2016. Stafford’s prop bets are as follows:
- Most passing yards in the league: +1200
- Most passing touchdowns: +1800
- Most interceptions thrown: +2800
- Over/under passing yards: 4,595.5
- Over/under passing touchdowns: 28.5
Stafford has surpassed that number of passing yards three times and that number of passing touchdowns four times. He has a new team that he will have to get used to, so even though Stafford is in for a strong season, he has not had a winning season since 2017.
Cam Akers (625 rushing yards) and Darrell Henderson (624) were separated by just one rushing yard last year, and Henderson amassed 35 more yards from scrimmage. Henderson doubled Akers in terms of total touchdowns, but Akers headed into the season as the starter until he was injured. Henderson will have to step in, and we will have to see how many carries McVay gives to him this season. He had 138 in 15 games last year, but that number should be closer to 200 this year since Xavier Jones — who has zero career touches — backing up Henderson this year.
Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp each just missed out on 1,000-yard seasons last year. Van Jefferson, who caught 19 passes for 220 yards and a touchdown, will be the third receiver with Josh Reynolds now in Tennessee. In 2020, Kupp and Woods caught 92 and 90 passes, respectively. They combined for just 11 receiving and rushing touchdowns though, so maybe Stafford can help improve those numbers this year. The over/under touchdown totals are six for Kupp and 6.5 for Woods. Woods led the team with six receiving touchdowns last year, so the hope is that the former Lions quarterback can provide a boost for the Rams receivers.
Gerald Everett is now with the Seahawks, so it will now be Tyler Higbee as the one and only top tight end for Los Angeles. His 44 receptions and 521 yards ranked fourth on the team last year, and his five receiving touchdowns ranked second. This season, his over/under totals are 650.5 receiving yards and 5.5 receiving touchdowns, so it looks like it will be an improved year for Higbee.
Rams Predictions for the 2021 Season
2020 Regular Season Record: 10-6 (9-7 ATS); Lost in Divisional Round
At +190 to win the NFC West, the Rams are the slight underdogs to win the division (San Francisco 49ers, +180). Both Los Angeles and San Francisco have win totals of 10.5 games in Vegas this year, so it should be a very close battle for the division. The Seahawks are a not-too-distant third, but what separates the Rams from their division rivals is co-Defensive Player of the Year Award favorite Aaron Donald (+500; tied with Myles Garrett) and the tremendous Rams defense. If the Los Angeles defensive unit is firing on all cylinders, then the Rams could be a Super Bowl contender this year.
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Read Also: NFC South Analysis, Predictions and Odds
There were a lot of offseason changes for Arizona, and former Cardinals cornerback Patrick Peterson will return to Arizona for the Week 2 contest at State Farm Stadium when the Minnesota Vikings come to town. The parting between Peterson and the Cardinals organization did not go well, and meanwhile, current Cardinals outside linebacker Chandler Jones requested a trade.
However, the Cardinals are still a team on the rise with new additions like J.J. Watt, James Conner, and A.J. Green. Unfortunately, Arizona is in arguably the most difficult division in the league, and the team is +4500 to win the Super Bowl and +650 to win the NFC West. The Cardinals over/under win total is 8.5 wins this year in the first 17-game season in NFL history.
2021 Cardinals Draft Picks
Round 1, Pick 16 – LB Zaven Collins
Round 2, Pick 17 – WR Rondale Moore
Round 4, Pick 31 – CB Marco Wilson
Round 6, Pick 26 – LB Victor Dimukeje
Round 6, Pick 39 – CB Tay Gowan
Round 7, Pick 16 – S James Wiggins
Round 7, Pick 20 – C Michal Menet
Notable Other Players Added and Re-Signed by the Cardinals
Colt McCoy, QB
James Conner, RB
Ito Smith, RB
A.J. Green, WR
Kelvin Beachum, OT
Brian Winters, G
Corey Peters, DT
J.J. Watt, DE
Markus Golden, LB
Darqueze Dennard, CB
Malcolm Butler, CB
Notable Cardinals in New Places
Kenyan Drake, RB – Las Vegas Raiders
Larry Fitzgerald, WR – free agent
Dan Arnold, TE – Carolina Panthers
Haason Reddick, DE – Carolina Panthers
De’Vondre Campbell, LB – Green Bay Packers
Patrick Peterson, CB – Minnesota Vikings
Predictions for Notable Cardinals Players
Pro Bowl quarterback Kyler Murray and the Cardinals put together the sixth-most yards on offense last year but scored the 13th-most points. Murray and company started the season with a 5-2 record, which included an overtime victory against the visiting Seattle Seahawks. However, after the bye week, the Cardinals went 3-6 to end 2020. Murray, the 2019 Offensive Rookie of the Year, enters his third NFL year and is looking for his first winning season. He missed 4,000 passing yards by just 29 yards last year, but he went for 819 rushing yards and a total of 37 touchdowns. Murray’s over/under totals for this season, which all appear to be attainable, are as follows:
- 4,150.5 passing yards
- 25.5 passing touchdowns
- 680.5 rushing yards
- 7.5 rushing touchdowns
Kenyan Drake, the Cardinals leading rusher from 2020, is now in Las Vegas, so Chase Edmonds will be challenging newcomer James Conner for touches this year. Last season, Edmonds accumulated 150 touches for 850 yards and five touchdowns. Conner had 204 touches for 936 yards and six touchdowns in 2020. The oft-injured former Pittsburgh Steelers running back may take a back seat to Edmonds, but having both of these running backs should be beneficial for the Cardinals this year.
Larry Fitzgerald may not be a Cardinal this year, but DeAndre Hopkins and Christian Kirk are back. The team also added Rondale Moore in the draft and A.J. Green on a one-year, $8.5 million deal. Both Hopkins and Kirk went for a team-leading six receiving touchdowns last year, but Hopkins, a 2020 Pro Bowler, led the team by far with 1,407 receiving yards. Hopkins’ over/under totals this season are 1,350.5 receiving yards and 7.5 receiving touchdowns, and both numbers seem within reach for the star wideout.
Dan Arnold, who had the third-most receiving yards this past season, will have to be replaced this season, and it will most likely be done by the wide receivers. Arnold has 31 receptions for 438 yards and four touchdowns. Starting at tight end this year will be Maxx Williams, who had just eight receptions, 102 yards, and a touchdown last year. It appears that the tight end position will not be heavily involved in the passing game.
Cardinals Predictions for the 2021 Season
2020 Regular Season Record: 8-8 (7-9 record ATS); missed postseason
Last year, the Cardinals finished in the top 13 in both offense and defense, and they added J.J. Watt during the offseason. Although he is 32 years old, he can make an impact in Arizona this year. Without Drake, the Cardinals running game may take a hit after being one of the better rushing attacks last year. If Murray (+2000 to win the Offensive Player of the Year Award), Edmonds, and Conner can keep the running game going, then maybe that can help the team improve in the passing game. An improved passing game and defense can lead to a strong 2021 for the Cardinals.
San Francisco 49ers
A huge bounceback season is in order for Jimmy Garoppolo and the 49ers. They are the favorites to win arguably the best division in the NFL (+180). They are tied for fifth in Super Bowl odds (+1400), so can the 49ers, who went 6-10 last year and drafted Trey Lance third overall, live up to the hype in 2021?
2021 49ers Draft Picks
Round 1, Pick 3 – QB Trey Lance
Round 2, Pick 16 – G Aaron Banks
Round 3, Pick 25 – RB Trey Sermon
Round 3, Pick 39 – CB Ambry Thomas
Round 5, Pick 11 – OT Jaylon Moore
Round 5, Pick 28 – CB Deommodore Lenoir
Round 5, Pick 36 – S Talanoa Hufanga
Round 6, Pick 10 – RB Eli Mitchell
Notable Other Players Added and Re-Signed by the 49ers
Nate Sudfeld, QB
Wayne Gallman, RB
Mohammad Sanu, WR
Alex Mack, C
Trent Williams, OT
Samson Ebukam, DE
Jason Verrett, CB
K’Waun Williams, CB
B.W. Webb, CB
Jaquiski Tartt, S
Notable 49ers in New Places
C.J. Beathard, QB – Jacksonville Jaguars
Tevin Coleman, RB – New York Jets
Jerick McKinnon, RB – Kansas City Chiefs
Kendrick Bourne, WR – New England Patriots
Ben Garland, C – free agent
Kerry Hyder, DE – Seattle Seahawks
Richard Sherman, CB – free agent
Ahkello Witherspoon, CB – Seattle Seahawks
Predictions for Notable 49ers Players
Will it be Jimmy Garoppolo or Trey Lance as the starting quarterback for the majority of the season? “Jimmy G” is a heavy favorite to start Week 1, but Lance may finish the season for the 49ers. For those who do not think that Lance will figure into the team’s plan for 2021, then maybe Garoppolo can be your Comeback Player of the Year Award winner (+1200) after playing just six games last year.
Raheem Mostert, rookie Trey Sermon, and newcomer Wayne Gallman II should be the main running backs to start the season for the 49ers this year. Jeff Wilson Jr., who was on the PUP list to start training camp, may sneak into the rotation yet again in 2021 after finishing with the most rushing yards on the team last year. He also finished the year with 10 rushing and receiving touchdowns, the most on the team. Mostert went for 521 rushing yards in eight games last season, and his over/under total this season is 700.5 rushing yards.
The wide receiving group in San Francisco has not changed very much heading into 2021. Last year, Brandon Aiyuk led the team with 60 receptions, 748 yards, and five receiving touchdowns. With Kendrick Bourne in New England, Deebo Samuel will need to step up, but can he stay healthy? His over/under totals are 895.5 receiving yards and 4.5 receiving touchdowns while Aiyuk’s are 875.5 and 5.5. With the uncertainty at quarterback, it may not be best to bet the overs on these.
Hopefully, it will be the George Kittle show again in 2021. However, his foot fracture limited him to just eight games last year. He had 48 receptions, 634 yards, and two touchdowns, a stat line that was a far cry from Pro Bowl seasons in 2018 and 2019: he had at least 85 receptions, 1,053 yards, and five touchdowns in each of those years. Therefore, it is understandable that his over/under totals have high expectations: 1,025.5 receiving yards and 5.5 receiving touchdowns. It will be exciting to see Kittle on the field again, and those numbers should be attainable as long as he stays healthy.
49ers Predictions for the 2021 Season
2020 Regular Season Record: 6-10 (7-9 ATS); missed postseason
The 49ers are looking for an improved defense this season, as the team agreed with Fred Warner on a five-year contract worth over $95 million to make him the highest-paid inside linebacker. The defensive success was present last year with limiting yards (five-fewest yards allowed), but the 49ers were 17th in points allowed. If the defense can limit points better in 2021, maybe a huge turnaround can occur. A double-digit win season can win the Coach of the Year Award for Kyle Shanahan (+1400) in 2021.
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