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NFL 2021 Regular and Postseason Predictions

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Do Athlon's NFL experts think Tom Brady and Tampa Bay can repeat as Super Bowl champs?

For the second straight NFL season, the defending Super Bowl champions enter as a favorite to win it all again. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have brought every starter back from last season to try and do what hasn't been done since the 2004 season – win back-to-back world championships.

Obviously, this is one of the top storylines (if not the top) for the upcoming season and it certainly doesn't hurt the Buccaneers' chances that their quarterback knows what it takes to accomplish this feat. But Tom Brady and company also know that every other team wants nothing more than to take down the champs, even if it's just a regular-season game.

Related: 15 Things to Watch During the 2021 NFL Season

Kansas City, the team Tampa Bay beat to win Super Bowl LV in February, also knows what it takes to win it all, coming oh-so-close to their own repeat. It's not out of the question that we see a replay of the most recent Super Sunday on Feb. 13, 2022 in SoFi Stadium out in Los Angeles, which means fans would get treated with another Brady vs. (Patrick) Mahomes matchup.

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Quarterback is one of the big reasons why these teams are contenders once again but they aren't the only elite signal-callers in the league. Aaron Rodgers is the reigning MVP, Josh Allen took a gigantic leap last season, and the Cowboys are hoping a healthy Dak Prescott can get them back in the Super Bowl hunt. Several other teams will have a new quarterback leading their offense after another offseason of significant change at the most important position on the field. And let's not forget about the newest class of signal-callers added, highlighted by the five taken in the first round, three of which will start in Week 1.

So how will the 2021 NFL season play out? Here is how a panel of Athlon experts see the season playing out. In addition to projected standings for each division, each panelist presents their wild card (WC) picks (remember there are three in each conference this season) as well as the respective conference championship game (CG) pairings and Super Bowl LVI matchup.

Panelists are Athlon's own Rob Doster (@AthlonDoster), Mark Ross (@AthlonMarkR), and Ben Weinrib (@benweinrib), along with AthlonSports.com contributor Bryan Fischer (@BryanDFischer).

Rob DosterBryan FischerMark RossBen Weinrib

AFC East

1

Bills

Bills

Bills

Bills

2

Patriots

Patriots

Patriots

Patriots

3

Dolphins

Dolphins

Dolphins

Dolphins

4

Jets

Jets

Jets

Jets

AFC North

1

Browns

Browns

Browns

Ravens

2

Ravens

Ravens

Steelers

Browns

3

Steelers

Steelers

Ravens

Steelers

4

Bengals

Bengals

Bengals

Bengals

AFC South

1

Titans

Colts

Titans

Titans

2

Colts

Titans

Colts

Colts

3

Jaguars

Jaguars

Jaguars

Jaguars

4

Texans

Texans

Texans

Texans

AFC West

1

Chiefs

Chiefs

Chiefs

Chiefs

2

Chargers

Chargers

Chargers

Chargers

3

Raiders

Broncos

Broncos

Broncos

4

Broncos

Raiders

Raiders

Raiders

AFC Playoffs

WC

Patriots

Chargers

Chargers

Browns

WC

Colts

Patriots

Colts

Chargers

WC

Chargers

Dolphins

Patriots

Patriots

CG

Chiefs

Chiefs

Chiefs

Chiefs

over

over

over

over

Titans

Browns

Browns

Bills

Rob DosterBryan FischerMark RossBen Weinrib

NFC East

1

Washington

Cowboys

Cowboys

Cowboys

2

Cowboys

Washington

Washington

Washington

3

Giants

Giants

Giants

Giants

4

Eagles

Eagles

Eagles

Eagles

NFC North

1

Packers

Packers

Packers

Packers

2

Vikings

Vikings

Vikings

Vikings

3

Bears

Bears

Bears

Bears

4

Lions

Lions

Lions

Lions

NFC South

1

Buccaneers

Buccaneers

Buccaneers

Buccaneers

2

Saints

Falcons

Falcons

Falcons

3

Falcons

Saints

Saints

Saints

4

Panthers

Panthers

Panthers

Panthers

NFC West

1

Rams

Rams

Rams

Rams

2

49ers

49ers

49ers

Seahawks

3

Cardinals

Seahawks

Cardinals

49ers

4

Seahawks

Cardinals

Seahawks

Cardinals

NFC Playoffs

WC

Cowboys

Falcons

49ers

Seahawks

WC

49ers

49ers

Washington

49ers

WC

Cardinals

Seahawks

Cardinals

Falcons

CG

Rams

Rams

Rams

Packers

over

over

over

over

Buccaneers

Packers

Buccaneers

Buccaneers

Rob DosterBryan FischerMark RossBen Weinrib

Super Bowl LVI

Chiefs

Chiefs

Chiefs

Chiefs

over

over

over

over

Rams

Rams

Rams

Packers