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The Circuit 2021 NFL Mid-Season Check-in

With the 2021 NFL season just about halfway over, The Circuit reflects on every aspect of the season so far, from our win-loss predictions to major awards. How did we do? What were we really right about, and what were we really, really wrong about?

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We’re here to look back into our crystal ball and see how well we predicted the 2021 NFL season.

Let’s start off with some positives! Here are three things we were big RIGHT on:

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The Tennessee Titans would be really good this season

We had the Titans at 11-6 and a 4 seed in the AFC, which both seem to be lowballing them. They’re currently 8-2 and first in the AFC. So why are we saying we were big right about them? Because we had them going to the AFC championship, so we did see something special about this team.

The Los Angeles Rams would be really good, but not win their division

Okay, okay… we know we had the 49ers winning the NFC West. But we had the Rams in second, and as of right now they ARE in second… just to the Arizona Cardinals. The Cardinals have a relatively easy schedule and the Rams are still trying to figure out how this super-team fits together.

Mac Jones & the Pats would start slow but rally to the playoffs

We gave Mac Jones the Tim Tebow Award for starting slow and catching fire down the stretch to make the postseason; turns out he waited until the halfway point to turn on the jets. After a sluggish start, the Patriots look like true AFC contenders.

Now let’s get to the fun part and discuss five things we were big WRONG on…

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The Chiefs would go 16-1…

Wow. Insert laughing emoji here. What the bleep is going on in Kansas City????? The Chiefs have been a disaster all season, and the only logical explanation is that an alien species has taken the power of Mahomes for an inter-galactic football game against Joe Montana and the Looney Tunes.

The Cowboys would suck…

I really thought the Cowboys would suck, because they’re the Cowboys. They always suck, right? Not this year. They’ve been awesome, and look like real NFC contenders. But we still agree Mike McCarthy can’t coach, right?

The 49ers would be awesome…

We already touched on this earlier. Of all these predictions, this feels personal. Moving on.

The Ravens would suffer from the season from hell…

This team was ravaged by injuries in the preseason, and it really felt like they were primed for a disappointing season. But kudos to the Ravens for being an awesome team and potentially the favorites in the AFC.

The Texans would go 0-17…

This really isn’t something we were BIG wrong about because they are pretty clearly the worst team in the NFL. I would not be surprised if they finished 1-16, so we were pretty damn close with this team. But we’re counting this as big wrong because they won the first game of the season, ruining my boldest prediction in week 1.

Now let’s make some revised award predictions!

MVP: Matthew Stafford (Los Angeles Rams)

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The Cardinals will win the NFC West, but with Murray missing some games he won’t get enough votes to win. Josh Allen and Lamar Jackson will be serious contenders, but the narrative of Stafford finally being on a winner will win him the award.

Defensive Player of the Year: Trevon Diggs (Dallas Cowboys)

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Diggs has eight interceptions at the halfway point, and right now he is the runaway pick for DPoY. At this point, injuries are really the only way Diggs doesn’t win this award.

Coach of the Year: Kliff Kingsbury (Arizona Cardinals)

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Most people mocked Arizona for hiring Kingsbury, but he is getting the last laugh as he will lead the Cardinals to the best record in the NFL.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Jamarr Chase (Cincinnati Bengals)

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For as certain as Diggs is to win DPoY, Chase is the biggest lock on the awards ballot. He should win ORoY unanimously.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Micah Parsons (Dallas Cowboys)

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Boy this Dallas defense is better than expected. This defensive rookie class has been underwhelming, but Parsons has been stellar.

Jim Tomsula Coaching Award: Kyle Shannahan (San Francisco 49ers)

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Jesus this team is disappointing. They went from two awesome QB options to none, and from contenders to pretenders. Shannahan will most likely keep his job, but he should have Zillow bookmarked just in case.

Tim Tebow Award: Mac Jones (New England Patriots)

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We nailed this one. See our preseason predictions column for our reasoning!

Mark Sanchez Award: Baker Mayfield (Cleveland Browns)

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Winston suffered a major injury, so it isn’t fair to give him this award. Mayfield has always been considered an average quarterback, but this season has been particularly rough. The best game the Browns have played this season was with Keenum at quarterback. Enough said.

You Like That!? Award: Carson Wentz (Indianapolis Colts)

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Wentz has not been stellar this year, but he has been healthy. That is maybe the biggest surprise of all this season.

Randy Moss Award: JJ Watt (Arizona Cardinals)

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Yes he’s out for the year, but his presence has been incredible in Arizona. He helped change the culture there, and it’s no coincidence they took off after he got there.

Now let’s make some revised playoff predictions!

Wildcard Round:

1 Buffalo Bills (bye)

2 Tennessee Titans def 7 Pittsburgh Steelers

3 Baltimore Ravens def 6 Los Angeles Chargers

4 Kansas City Chiefs def 5 New England Patriots

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1 Arizona Cardinals (bye)

2 Green Bay Packers def 7 Seattle Seahawks

3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers def 6 New Orleans Saints

5 Los Angeles Rams def 4 Dallas Cowboys

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Divisional Round:

1 Buffalo Bills def Kansas City Chiefs

3 Baltimore Ravens def 2 Tennessee Titans

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5 Los Angeles Rams def 1 Arizona Cardinals

3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers def 2 Green Bay Packers

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Conference Championships:

3 Baltimore Ravens def 1 Buffalo Bills

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5 Los Angeles Rams def 3 Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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Super Bowl:

5 Los Angeles Rams def 3 Baltimore Ravens (MVP: Cooper Kupp)

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There you have it! The things we were right and more importantly, very wrong about at the halfway point of the 2021 NFL season. Make sure to check back in after the season where we hand out our official awards and predict the actual 2021 playoff field!

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