Insights

Winners and Losers of the 2020 NFL Season

As we wrap up an exciting and eventful 2020 NFL season, we look ahead towards the postseason and wonder which team will come out on top. But first, we take a look at who were the winners and losers of the 2020 NFL season. Which teams were able to walk this season as winners and which teams had disappointing seasons that left their fans hoping for more next year. Let’s start out with the winners:

Winners

Buffalo Bills

The Bills were a huge surprise in the AFC this season due to the emergence of quarterback Josh Allen. Allen had struggled during his first few seasons in the NFL, but he flipped a switch this year which has placed him in the MVP conversation and has taken his team to a 13-3 record and the number two seed in the AFC. 

To make this season even sweeter, they were able to win their division for the first time in 25 years. He was able to throw for 4,544 yards and 37 touchdowns while lowering his interception count to 10 on the season.

A good chunk of this improvement was because of the bold trade that Buffalo made in the offseason to acquire wide receiver Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings. 

That trade ended lifting this entire offence to new heights this year as it gave Allen a reliable number one receiver that the opponent’s defence had to focus on while allowing Allen to stress them out with his rushing ability.

It was a perfect match for the two sides and has transformed a once bland offence into arguably the best unit in the league. As for their defence, they were very sloppy during the first few games but ended up making a complete 180-degree turn and are now ranked in the top ten defences in the NFL.

We don’t know what this team is going to be capable of in a few seasons but just know that this team isn’t going to be going away quietly anytime soon.

Miami Dolphins

The next team on this list happens to be in the exact same division as the Buffalo Bills. Miami had stocked up on draft picks a few seasons ago and drafted a lot of young talent last offseason along with a few big free-agent pickups.

Bottom line, this team wasn’t meant to be playoff contenders just yet, they were still rebuilding and didn’t have a true answer for the quarterback position outside of the veteran Ryan Fitzpatrick.

Fast forward to now and they finished with a 10-6 record and were one game away from making it to the postseason before being routed by Allen and the Bills in Week 17.

But there is still a ton to look forward to for Dolphins fans as they finally picked up their next franchise quarterback in Tua Tagovailoa and happen to own one of the best defences in the NFL behind Xavien Howard, Kyle Van Noy and Byron Jones. Somehow, there is still more to be happy about for this team.

They currently own the Houston Texans first-round draft pick in the upcoming NFL draft, that pick happens to be in the top five.

So regardless of them making the postseason or not, they have a top-five draft pick coming onto a roster that is beginning to get stacked quickly.

Once Tagovailoa starts to develop and they are able to build a better offence around the young signal-caller, this team will be one of the best in the league.

Cleveland Browns

The Browns had a very successful season after so many years of being the laughingstock of the league. They were able to bring together an 11-5 season despite missing numerous key players throughout long periods of time during the season and clinched themselves a playoff spot for the first time since 2002. 

They did this behind their brand-new head coach Kevin Stefanski, who had completely transformed this offence and has developed a fantastic connection with quarterback Baker Mayfield.

But they were hurt by the loss of star wide receiver Odell Beckham after a torn ACL cost him the rest of the season.

They also were without star running back Nick Chubb for around five weeks early on and just a few weeks ago were missing their entire wide receiver room after being in close contact with a player that tested positive for COVID-19.

Overall, the Browns may not win the Super Bowl this season but making the postseason is a huge success for an organization with as many problems as the Browns have had. They have a lot to look forward to and should be a good team for quite a while.

Losers

Houston Texans

My heartfelt apologies go out to all Houston Texans fans this season as this was a rough one. We can start off with the fact that their longtime superstar JJ Watt is more than likely going to be leaving after delivering a very intense message to the team and fans after another embarrassing loss, with many fans immediately speculating that his tenure in Houston is coming to a close. 

He was also seen apologizing to star quarterback Deshaun Watson for “Wasting one of his years.” They finished with a 4-12 record this year despite Watson throwing for nearly 5,000 yards and 33 touchdowns to go along with only seven interceptions. 

They have very little depth at the wide receiver position after trading away DeAndre Hopkins in the offseason, losing Will Fuller because of a suspension, then cutting ties with Kenny Stills.

On the defensive side of the ball, they were arguably the worst unit in the league, ranking in the 30s in almost every defensive category.

To make everything worse for this team, their top-five pick belongs to the Dolphins after they sent it over in a trade to acquire Laremy Tunsil.

Houston needs to flip the switch and go into a complete rebuild as fast as they can, hopefully, they can do that without trading away Watson.

Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles had a very disappointing season, finishing at 4-11-1 on the year and last place in their horrific division. Things started to go wrong for this team after the obvious issues with their starting quarterback Carson Wentz as his play was terrible throughout the first half of the season.

But it probably didn’t help that the team drafted quarterback Jalen Hurts in the offseason to put even more pressure on Wentz.

Either way, Wentz was benched towards the end of the season and Hurts was dropped into the starting role, leading the way to a big win over the New Orleans Saints and a few other promising performances.

Although, head coach Doug Pederson pulled Hurts from their Week 17 contest against the Washington Football Team in the fourth quarter which left a lot of players and teams scratching their heads.

There is a ton of speculation that Pederson intentionally lost that game in order to move up in the NFL draft and because of that speculation, there were multiple Eagles players confused and angry about the move.

This team will be heading into next season with a lot of controversies to figure out within their organization and on top of that, they badly need some playmakers on the offensive side of the ball because they were pitiful this season outside of Miles Sanders.

San Francisco 49ers

The injury bug hit this team very hard all season long and it didn’t let up. The 49ers are a year removed from losing in the Super Bowl and were only able to finish with a 6-10 record despite keeping all of the same players from the year before.

The year for them started horribly, losing Nick Bosa, Richard Sherman, George Kittle and Solomon Thomas in the first few weeks of the year due to injury.

It then got worse after the losses of Jimmy Garoppolo and Raheem Mostert along with lineman Trent Williams. They also lost wide receiver, Emmanuel Sanders, through free agency and are expected to lose Sherman in this upcoming offseason. 

Without all of those players, they were not able to compete on the offensive side of the football regardless of who started at the quarterback position.

However, they were able to get fantastic production out of their rookie wide receiver Brandon Aiyuk, giving the fans something to be positive about during this disappointing season.

Then flipping over to the defensive side of the ball, they were missing so many key players that there was no chemistry among the active players which caused a lot of big plays downfield.

They also had to switch their stadium in the middle of the season and have been playing their last few games in an alternate stadium that hasn’t allowed many fans to step inside of it if any. But if this team is able to get healthier during the offseason, they can still return to their Super Bowl form. 

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