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Football On Tap: 2021 NFL Predictions

Two members of the Bears On Tap crew make their 2021 NFL predictions ahead of the Bucs-Cowboys season opener.
NFL overtime rule playoffs

Photo: AP Photo/Matt Patterson

We are just a few hours away from the official start of the 2021 NFL Season. The reigning champs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers will host, America's team, the Dallas Cowboys.

As we wait for the hours, minutes, and seconds to tick away and the pregame festivities to wrap up and lead us into the best time of the year, the Bears On Tap team has you covered with our predictions for the upcoming season.

Alongside me in predicting the 2021 NFL season is analytics wizard, Quinten Kryzsko. You all might know him as @ButkusStats on Twitter.

Here's how this will work: we'll run through each division and predict every team's record and provide the playoff teams from each conference. In addition, we'll provide the respective conference's championship game and the Super Bowl matchup and winner. Next, both of us will give predictions for each award winner and which head coach will lose their job first.

NFC East

Oct 11, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs on the field before the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Oct 11, 2020; Arlington, Texas, USA; Dallas Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott (4) runs on the field before the game against the New York Giants at AT&T Stadium. Photo: Tim Heitman-USA TODAY Sports

Aalap

Quinten

Dallas Cowboys (11-6)

Dallas Cowboys (9-8)

Washington Football Team (10-7)

Washington Football Team (8-9)

New York Giants (6-11)

Philadelphia Eagles (7-10)

Philadelphia Eagles (5-12)

New York Giants (7-10)

Aalap's Playoff Teams:Cowboys (Division), Football Team (Wild Card)

Quinten's Playoff Teams:Cowboys (Division)

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (28) runs against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in New Orleans. (AP Photo/Butch Dill)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers running back Leonard Fournette (28) runs against the New Orleans Saints during the first half of an NFL divisional round playoff football game, Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021, in New Orleans. Photo: AP Photo/Butch Dill

Aalap

Quinten

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (13-4)

Tampa Bay Buccaneers (10-7)

Carolina Panthers (8-9)

New Orleans Saints (10-7)

Atlanta Falcons (7-10)

Carolina Panthers (6-11)

New Orleans Saints (6-11)

Atlanta Falcons (5-12)

Aalap's Playoff Teams:Buccaneers (Division)

Quinten's Playoff Teams:Buccaneers (Division), Saints (Wild Card)

NFC North

Chicago Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara (20) celebrates a touchdown with his teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Chicago. (AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh)

Chicago Bears cornerback Prince Amukamara (20) celebrates a touchdown with his teammates during the first half of an NFL football game against the Detroit Lions Sunday, Nov. 11, 2018, in Chicago. Photo: AP Photo/Nam Y. Huh

Aalap

Quinten

Green Bay Packers (12-5)

Green Bay Packers (11-6)

Minnesota Vikings (8-9)

Chicago Bears (9-8)

Chicago Bears (7-10)

Minnesota Vikings (8-9)

Detroit Lions (5-12)

Detroit Lions (6-11)

Aalap's Playoff Teams:Packers (Division)

Quinten's Playoff Teams:Packers (Division), Bears (Wild Card)

NFC West

Fantasy Football Week 8 Starts and Sits

Jimmy Garoppolo (10) is currently the starting quarterback in San Francisco. How long will it be until rookie Trey Lance takes over?Photo: Sarah Stier/Getty Images

Aalap

Quinten

Los Angeles Rams (12-5)

San Francisco 49ers (10-7)

Seattle Seahawks (10-7)

Seattle Seahawks (10-7)

San Francisco 49ers (9-8)

Los Angeles Rams (8-9)

Arizona Cardinals (7-10)

Arizona Cardinals (8-9)

Aalap's Playoff Teams:Rams (Division), Seahawks (Wild Card), 49ers (Wild Card)

Quinten's Playoff Teams:49ers (Division), Seahawks (Wild Card)

Scroll to continue

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AFC East

NFL DFS AFC Championship

Josh Allen (17) made waves last season in Buffalo. This season, some experts believe he could be the league's MVP.Photo: Adrian Kraus/Associated Press

Aalap

Quinten

Buffalo Bills (12-5)

Buffalo Bills (11-6)

New England Patriots (9-8)

New England Patriots (10-7)

Miami Dolphins (7-10)

Miami Dolphins (10-7)

New York Jets (6-11)

New York Jets (5-12)

Aalap's Playoff Teams:Bills (Division)

Quinten's Playoff Teams:Bills (Division), Patriots (Wild Card), Dolphins (Wild Card)

AFC South

Aug 9, 2018; Green Bay, WI, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Anthony Firkser (86) warms up with tight end Jonnu Smith (81) before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Mandatory Credit: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Aug 9, 2018; Green Bay, WI, USA; Tennessee Titans tight end Anthony Firkser (86) warms up with tight end Jonnu Smith (81) before the game against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field. Photo: Benny Sieu-USA TODAY Sports

Aalap

Quinten

Tennessee Titans (12-5)

Tennessee Titans (9-8)

Indianapolis Colts (10-7)

Indianapolis Colts (9-8)

Jacksonville Jaguars (7-10)

Houston Texans (6-11)

Houston Texans (3-14)

Jacksonville Jaguars (4-13)

Aalap's Playoff Teams:Titans (Division), Colts (Wild Card)

Quinten's Playoff Teams:Titans (Division)

AFC North

Daniel McCullers Bears

In what may be the tightest division in football, the Steelers, Ravens, and Browns are all competing to be kings of the AFC North.Photo: Peter Diana/Post-Gazette

Aalap

Quinten

Pittsburgh Steelers (11-6)

Cleveland Browns (12-5)

Cleveland Browns (11-6)

Baltimore Ravens (11-6)

Baltimore Ravens (10-7)

Pittsburgh Steelers (7-10)

Cincinnati Bengals (6-11)

Cincinnati Bengals (6-11)

Aalap's Playoff Teams:Steelers (Division), Browns (Wild Card)

Quinten's Playoff Teams:Browns (Division), Ravens (Wild Card)

AFC West

Photo: Kansas City Chiefs

Perhaps the most exciting player in football, Patrick Mahomes will look to lead the Chiefs back to the Super Bowl.Photo: Kansas City Chiefs

Aalap

Quinten

Kansas City Chiefs (12-5)

Kansas City Chiefs (13-4)

Los Angeles Chargers (10-7)

Los Angeles Chargers (9-8)

Denver Broncos (6-11)

Denver Broncos (9-8)

Las Vegas Raiders (4-13)

Las Vegas Raiders (8-9)

Aalap's Playoff Teams:Chiefs (Division), Chargers (Wild Card)

Quinten's Playoff Teams:Chiefs (Division)

Playoffs

Playoff Teams

Aalap

Quinten

NFC East

Dallas Cowboys

Dallas Cowboys

NFC South

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFC North

Green Bay Packers

Green Bay Packers

NFC West

Los Angeles Rams

San Francisco 49ers

NFC Wild Card

Washington Football Team

New Orleans Saints

NFC Wild Card

Seattle Seahawks

Chicago Bears

NFC Wild Card

San Francisco 49ers

Seattle Seahawks

AFC East

Buffalo Bills

Buffalo Bills

AFC South

Tennessee Titans

Tennessee Titans

AFC North

Pittsburgh Steelers

Cleveland Browns

AFC West

Kansas City Chiefs

Kansas City Chiefs

AFC Wild Card

Indianapolis Colts

New England Patriots

AFC Wild Card

Cleveland Browns

Miami Dolphins

AFC Wild Card

Los Angeles Chargers

Baltimore Ravens

Conference Championships/Super Bowl

Aalap

Quinten

NFC Championship

Buccaneers vs. Rams

Buccaneers vs. Seahawks

AFC Championship

Bills vs. Chiefs

Chiefs vs. Browns

Super Bowl

Buccaneers vs. Bills

Chiefs vs. Seahawks

Super Bowl Champion

Buccaneers

Chiefs

2021 Season Awards

Aalap

Quinten

MVP

Patrick Mahomes

Josh Allen

Coach of the Year

Brandon Staley

Pete Carroll

Comeback Player of the Year

Dak Prescott

Jameis Winston

Offensive Player of the Year

Christian McCaffrey

Christian McCaffrey

Defensive Player of the Year

Aaron Donald

Khalil Mack

Rookie of the Year

Trevor Lawrence

Justin Fields

AP Offensive Rookie of the Year

Justin Fields

Justin Fields

AP Defensive Rookie of the Year

Patrick Surtain

Jaycee Horn

First Head Coach Fired?

While this is an odd prediction to make, and you hate to see anyone lose their job, it's the reality of the business. Nevertheless, both Quinten and I made our predictions. My prediction was that Mike Zimmer gets axed on Black Monday after failing to make the playoffs yet again. Meanwhile, Quinten predicts that Bengals' third-year HC -- and Sean McVay disciple -- Zac Taylor gets the boot from Cincinnati first.

What Do You Think?

Lets us know in the comments or on Twitter what you think of our predictions. Feel free to share your thoughts, comments, or concerns with us.