Dutch Lion’s 2021 Pro Football Spectacular!

Dutch Lion’s 2021 Pro Football Spectacular!

Last week we published our College Football Spectacular. Now it’s time we dedicate ourselves to the pro game. What’s amazing to me as I watch pro football is how good these players really are. It’s fascinating to see the size and speed of these athletes. Take a guy like Tyreek Hill. He is my choice for best athlete in regards to winning a decathlon. Think about it. Who would you take out of anyone in the world to win a decathlon?

I’d take Tyreek Hill because of his speed, agility, strength, and body control. The ten events in a decathlon are the 100 meter race, the 400 meters, the 1500 meters, the 110 meter hurdles, long jump, high jump, shot put, discus, javelin, and pole vault. I could see Tyreek Hill winning most of these events because he’d probably sweep the races since he’s one of, if not, the fastest players we’ve ever seen. He could probably win the high jump and maybe the long jump too. His worst events would probably be shot put, discus, and javelin because a bigger stronger athlete might have more power. As for pole vault, I’d give Hill a chance to finish well in that too. So if I’d pick an NFL player to win a decathlon out of anyone in the entire world, then what does that say about NFL players in general? Who would you take? Let me know if you have some ideas.

Having said that, the NFL sometimes stands for “not for long” since the average player only lasts about four years. It’s easy to see why when you watch games all day on Sunday. The amount of wear and tear on these bodies is extreme, even with so many safety restrictions as there are in the modern game. All of it just makes me really appreciate what these men do.

I love the game. It’s a great game, maybe the greatest of all games. And the pros in the NFL do it better than anyone. However, I love the CFL too. The Canadian Football League is underrated and fantastic. Toward the end of this year’s Spectacular, look for my CFL Grey Cup Championship prediction as well as my NFL Super Bowl 55 pick.

Sports Illustrated’s College & Pro Football Spectacular series in the mid-1980s was the inspiration for Dutch Lion’s annual Spectaculars. Here’s the 1984 issue.

Dutch Lion’s 2021 All-Pro Team

OFFENSE

QB1 – Patrick Mahomes/Kansas City/6-3 230/Jersey #15

QB2 – Josh Allen/Buffalo/6-5 237/Jersey #17

RB – Derrick Henry/Tennessee/6-3 247/Jersey #22

RB – Christian McCaffrey/Carolina/5-11 205/Jersey #22

WR – Tyreek Hill/Kansas City/5-10 185/Jersey #10

WR – Stefon Diggs/Buffalo/6-0 191/Jersey #14

TE – Darren Waller/Las Vegas/6-6 255/Jersey #83

LT – Trent Williams/San Francisco/6-5 320/Jersey #71

LG – Quenton Nelson/Indianapolis/6-5 330/Jersey #56

C – Corey Linsley/L.A. Chargers/6-3 301/Jersey #63

RG – Zack Martin/Dallas/6-4 315/Jersey #70

RT – Tristan Wirfs/Tampa Bay/6-5 320/Jersey #78

DEFENSE

DE – Myles Garrett/Cleveland/6-4 272/Jersey #95

DE – Chase Young/Washington/6-5 265/Jersey #99

DT – Aaron Donald/L.A. Rams/6-1 280/Jersey #99

DT – DeForest Buckner/Indianapolis/6-7 295/Jersey #99

OLB – T.J. Watt/Pittsburgh/6-4 252/Jersey #90

ILB – Roquan Smith/Chicago/6-1 234/Jersey #58

ILB – Lavonte David/Tampa Bay/6-1 233/Jersey #54

OLB – Khalil Mack/Chicago/6-3 260/Jersey #52

CB – Xavien Howard/Miami/6-1 198/Jersey #25

CB – Tre’Davious White/Buffalo/5-11 192/Jersey #27

SS – Tyrann Mathieu/Kansas City/5-9 190/Jersey #32

FS – Minkah Fitzpatrick/Pittsburgh/6-1 207/Jersey #39

Special Teams

K – Justin Tucker/Baltimore/6-1 183/Jersey #9 – 26/29 FG’s, 55 long, 52-53 PAT’s

P – Michael Dickson/Seattle/6-2 208/Jersey #4 – 49.6 gross avg (3rd), 44.4 net avg (3rd), 32 inside 20 (1st)

KR – Cordarrelle Patterson/Atlanta/6-2 227/Jersey #84 – 35 KR, 1017 yards (1st), 29.1 avg (2nd) , 1 TD, 104 yard long (1st)

PR – Gunner Olszewski/New England/6-0 190/Jersey #80 – 20 PR, 346 yards (1st), 17.3 avg (1st), 1 TD, 70 yard long (4th)

Gunner – Matthew Slater/New England/6-0 205/Jersey #18 – Slater and his fellow Patriot Justin Bethel “continue to set the gold standard as gunners… virtually unblockable off the snap, fly down the field and almost always land the first hit on return men”. (via Athlon’s 2021 Pro Football/NFL Preview magazine)


2021 NFL Predictions

AFC East

  1. * Buffalo (13-4)
  2. Miami (9-8)
  3. New England (7-10)
  4. New York Jets (5-12)

AFC North – Is this the best division in the league right now? We think all four teams are good.

  1. * Baltimore (12-5)
  2. * Cleveland (11-6) – Wild Card
  3. * Pittsburgh (10-7) – Wild Card
  4. Cincinnati (9-8)

AFC South

  1. * Tennessee (11-6)
  2. Indianapolis (10-7)
  3. Houston (6-11)
  4. Jacksonville (2-15)

AFC West

  1. * Kansas City (14-3)
  2. * L.A. Chargers (11-6) – Wild Card
  3. Las Vegas (9-8)
  4. Denver (7-10)

AFC Playoffs Seeds

  1. Kansas City – Bye
  2. Buffalo
  3. Baltimore
  4. Tennessee
  5. Cleveland
  6. L.A. Chargers
  7. Pittsburgh

AFC Wild Card Round

#2 Buffalo over #7 Pittsburgh

#3 Baltimore over #6 L.A. Chargers

#5 Cleveland over #4 Tennessee

AFC Divisional Round

#1 Kansas City over #5 Cleveland

#2 Buffalo over #3 Baltimore

AFC Championship Game

#2 Buffalo over #1 Kansas City


NFC East

  1. * Dallas (10-7)
  2. Washington (9-8)
  3. Philadelphia (7-10)
  4. N.Y. Giants (5-12)

NFC North

  1. * Green Bay (11-6)
  2. * Minnesota (10-7) – Wild Card
  3. Chicago (8-9)
  4. Detroit (4-13)

NFC South

  1. * Tampa Bay (14-3)
  2. * New Orleans (12-5) – Wild Card
  3. Carolina (7-10)
  4. Atlanta (5-12)

NFC West – If the AFC North isn’t the best division, it’s probably the NFC West. All four squads are possibly really good. Seattle is probably better than 7-10 but we’ll take them for last place because somebody has to be.

  1. * L.A. Rams (14-3)
  2. * Arizona (11-6) – Wild Card
  3. San Francisco (9-8)
  4. Seattle (7-10)

NFC Playoffs Seeds

  1. L.A. Rams – Bye
  2. Tampa Bay
  3. Green Bay
  4. Dallas
  5. New Orleans
  6. Arizona
  7. Minnesota

NFC Wild Card Round

#2 Tampa Bay over #7 Minnesota

#6 Arizona over #3 Green Bay

#4 Dallas over #5 New Orleans

NFC Divisional Round

#1 L.A. Rams over #6 Arizona

#2 Tampa Bay over #4 Dallas

NFC Championship

#1 L.A. Rams over #2 Tampa Bay


Super Bowl 56 @ SoFi Stadium, Los Angeles, CA

Los Angeles Rams over Buffalo Bills – After 54 years of no NFL team appearing in the Super Bowl when the host stadium was their home stadium, the Los Angeles Rams will make it two years in a row that a team gets to play at home in the Super Bowl. Last year, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers won the Title at home in Tampa’s Raymond James Stadium, despite the limited COVID capacity. This year, the game will be on February 13, 2022. I expect the NFL’s best defense to be the Rams defense, led by future Hall of Fame superstar DT Aaron Donald. He has won the NFL’s Defensive Player of the Year award for three straight seasons. Can he make it a fourth? Now with newly acquired QB Matthew Stafford, I see the Rams getting over the hump. Stafford will be the Super Bowl 56 MVP. It might be another tough loss for the Bills, but one of these years Buffalo will indeed win their first World Championship. It might even be this season but I have a feeling they’re one year away.


2021 CFL Preview

The Canadian Football League (CFL) has already played six weeks of their 16 week schedule so this isn’t exactly a preview, but nonetheless we want to include the CFL in our Pro Spectacular. If you didn’t know, there are 9 teams in the CFL, four in the East Division and five in the West. Each team plays 14 games over the 16 weeks. Since they have an odd number of teams, only 8 of the 9 can play each week so there are multiple bye weeks.

The CFL’s Super Bowl is called the Grey Cup and if you’ve never watched it, you’re missing out. It’s fantastic! It’s a very regal occasion, always outdoors, and often snowing. The game is usually held in late November, but this year it has been moved back to December. The Grey Cup Championship Trophy is presented almost in a Stanley Cup like ceremony. It’s really cool and worth a look. Half of the players are former college players from the USA too which it makes it interesting for American fans also. Do yourself a favor and check it out. Games are broadcast on ESPN2 and ESPNews throughout the season, as well as on ESPN+.

East Division

Currently, the East is the weaker division of the CFL. My pick is Montreal to beat out Toronto, Hamilton, and of course, Ottawa.

  1. Montreal Allouettes (Currently 2-2) – Averages 28.3 ppg on offense. Allows 24.3 ppg on defense
  2. Toronto Argonauts (3-2) – (19.2/22.2)
  3. Hamilton Tiger-Cats (2-3) – (17.8/19.0)
  4. Ottawa Redblacks (1-4) – (16.0/31.0) – Giving up 31 ppg, Ottawa is clearly the worst team in the CFL this year, no doubt

West Division

I think the Winnipeg Blue Bombers are the class of the league. They have a good offense and the best defense. QB Zach Collaros leads the offence (this is how Canadians spell “offense”) while Willie Jefferson leads the defence (defense). The Blue Bombers just beat the Saskatchewan Roughriders 33-9 over the weekend and should coast to the West Division Championship. The Bombers are the class of the CFL until somebody proves otherwise.

  1. Winnipeg Blue Bombers (5-1) – (22.7/12.7) – The Bombers bring the D! Allowing only 12.7 ppg. That’s dominant.
  2. BC Lions (3-2) – (25.8/17.6) – Don’t sleep on the British Columbia Lions. They play out there in Vancouver. They can score with Michael Reilly at QB. Currently averaging over 25 points per game!
  3. Saskatchewan Roughriders (3-2) – (20.6/20.6) – They play in the beautiful Mosaic Stadium in Regina. You need to see this place on TV. It’s amazing. I think the Roughriders are one of the best teams in the CFL but maybe not good enough to win it all. They might be my sleeper pick.
  4. Edmonton Elks (2-3) (18.8/22.8) – The Elks used to be known as the Eskimos but I guess somebody complained and it was changed. Elks is a cool name. Eskimos was cooler. James Wilder Jr. out of Florida State is the premier RB in the CFL in my opinion. If it’s not Wilder, then maybe it’s Calgary’s former Bears RB Ka’Deem Carey.
  5. Calgary Stampeders (2-4) (20.8/21.0) – I love the Stampeders logo. Jake Meier quarterbacks the Stampeders while Carey carries the rock. He has 339 rushing yards and four TD’s so far on the ground in a league that doesn’t run the ball all that often. That’s because they only have three downs to get 10 yards instead of four downs like American football.

108th Grey Cup on December 12, 2021 on Tim Hortons Field in Hamilton

Winnipeg Blue Bombers over Montreal Allouettes – Winnipeg won the last Grey Cup in 2019 (2020 season was cancelled) and I’m predicting they will defend their Title with another Grey Cup victory, this time over Montreal. I can’t wait to see how it all plays out. For more info on the CFL, go to www.cfl.ca.

OTTAWA, ON – NOVEMBER 26: RCMP officers carry the Grey Cup to the field during pre-game ceremonies prior to the 105th Grey Cup Championship Game between the Calgary Stampeders and the Toronto Argonauts at TD Place Stadium on November 26, 2017 in Ottawa, Canada. (Photo by Andre Ringuette/Getty Images)

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