The NFL next year should be exciting to watch. Many players are returning from injury, fans are allowed in the stands, and the NFL added to the game. That being said, there are a lot of unanswered questions for each team. Not all of our questions will be addressed before the season begins, but some will be answered in training camps, which begin on July 27 for most teams. That being said, I’ll be going over the most pressing questions for all 32 teams as training camps begin. These articles will be released by division, so be on the lookout for your favorite team. The NFC West is the toughest division in football, and every team has to be at their best to compete for a playoff spot.
Los Angeles Rams- Can Darrell Henderson replace Cam Akers?
The Rams recently lost Cam Akers to an Achilles injury and are expected to be out for the season. Replacing a young star like Akers won’t be easy, but 3rd year RB Darrell Henderson seems to be up to the task. Henderson was a 3rd round pick in 2019 and rushed for 783 yards and 6 TDs. Statistically, Henderson did great inside the red zone and was graded with the 14th best running grade by PFF. The biggest concern with Henderson is if he can carry the load, as he’s been on IR twice during his tenure with the Rams. If Henderson can stay healthy, he should perform well based on what we saw last season. The Rams have other young RBs that can complement Henderson, but all eyes will be on him to replace Akers as the season begins.
Seattle Seahawks-Will the defense hold up?
Seattle’s defense last season had an interesting performance, to say the least. They started as one of the worst defenses and finished the season way better than expected. Now with lots of new faces on defense, can their defense improve from last season? They retained their DC, so their scheme is likely going to stay the same. I think the defense will perform like it did mid-season last year and be a middle-of-the-pack unit. Jamal Adams was a large part of why they improved in the last season, and now he’s more familiar with the team. They should improve with a more normal offseason but won’t be top 10 due to the lack of depth.
San Francisco 49ers- Are the healthy 49ers contenders?
The 49ers have been a real threat when healthy, as evidenced by their Super Bowl trip in 2019. However, last season and in 2018, they had unfortunate injury luck and had losing seasons. Their team is largely the same as it was 2 years ago, but now they’re more playoff contenders, not Super Bowl contenders. Jimmy Garoppolo limits the offense’s potential and has been an injury liability the past couple of seasons. If Trey Lance starts and balls out, he can give some life to their offense. If the 49ers can stay healthy, they should be able to contend again, but if injuries continue to plague both sides of the ball, expect them to finish with a losing record in 2021.
Arizona Cardinals- Is Kingsbury holding them back?
The Cardinals retained head coach Kliff Kingsbury for another season, but was that the best move? In his first two years, Kingsbury has only won 13 games. Many of those losses have come as a result of an inexperienced team. That period has passed, and the team is ready to become playoff contenders. He insisted on continuing to call plays, which became increasingly problematic as the season progressed—many more qualified candidates for head coach, such as Eric Bieniemy or even Doug Pederson. Kingsbury should be fired if the Cardinals don’t improve to at least a winning record next season. The NFC West is the toughest division in football, and the Cardinals will need all the help they can get if they want to make the playoffs.