2021 NFL Thrills and Chills, Part II

By Glenn Guzzo

Here’s a brief summary of the highlights and lowlights of Strat-O-Matic’s new football ratings:



Oh Yeah!        TE Andrews max FP/SP catches, 2-tmd catches and a run block 6.

WR Brown also max FP/SP catches … RG Zeitler (7,5), but —

Oh No!            The rest of the pass blockers are 2-4 … QB Jackson’s misfires, INTs bear no

resemblance to his former MVP self. His MR and ER are still flashy, though.


Oh Yeah!        Good to Excellent vs run w/ageless RE Campbell, still a 6

Oh No!            Four 0s, and it’s been a long time since the pass rush was this limp (OLB Bowser

the best at 8; 2 is as good as it gets on the DL). And Very Poor pass D with the

only 3Men SP blank at #12 and two 0s in the secondary. Please, Raven, say

“Never more.”

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Tucker FG good 2-7 at 66 (!) yds … Duvernay PR +31 on #5

Oh No!            LG on both KR, PR coverage (otherwise superb)



Oh Yeah!        WR Diggs with max and 2-tmd catches at every depth. QB Allen is big-play,

low-turnover good with arm and legs, but might have expected even more …

LT Dawkins (7,6) and pass block 7s at both guards.

Oh No!            RBs will have their moments, but Allen will have to carry the offense, especially

with 0, 0, 4 interior run blockers


Oh Yeah!        Twin-65 safeties Poyer, Hyde fuel Excellent pass D with one of the best SP/LP

cards in modern pass-heavy seasons.

Oh No!            Heavy yardage, scarce fumbles on Average to Poor run D

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Superb coverage: +14/11/13 KR and +1/2/4 PR

Oh No!            Blocked punt



Oh Yeah!        Stop this: Burrow’s 26 SP and 16 LP completions Wrong, throwing to five men

w/LG catches, including WRs Chase (36 LG chances, max LP catches,

2-tmd catches), Higgins (max SP catches).

Oh No!            This may stop it: Pass blocking with no 7s and one 5, LT Williams, who is also

the only run blocker better than 4. RG Adeniji is 2,0.


Oh Yeah!        DE/OLB Hendrickson (*) makes the 4-3 and 3-4 pass rush work. A 6 at DLT in Good run D and three 5s in the secondary make the Bengals capable.

Oh No!            00 LOLB Bailey and a high-percentage Very Poor pass D

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Best-in-set (tie) +5 penalty advantage; McPherson FG good 2-7, 11,12 at 57 yds

Oh No!            LG on PR coverage



Oh Yeah!        Is this Jim Brown? No, Nick Chubb with SG Right at #7 across the card and 57

chances of SG+ in all, with +70 OT and LG in LB and ER. RB Hunt has 40

chances of SG+ … More Love: WR Peoples-Jones 32 LG chances.

LG Bitonio (7,6), RG Teller (4,6)

Oh No!            All that may flutter because of misfiring, high-INT QB Mayfield, the weak link,

though LT Willis (2,0), RT Hance (0,4) compete for the title.


Oh Yeah!        7 starters have a 6 or 5 rating, including MLB Walker (64) and DE’s Garrett – a 6

and 8* sack rating – and Clowney a 5 with 10 pass rush

Oh No!            No fumbles and low INTs reduce the run and pass D to Average

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        No TD, but nice punt returns

Oh No!            XP miss on 11; LG on PR coverage



Oh Yeah!        RBs Gordon, Williams each top 30 chances of SG+ and they have good YAC

rates … LT Bolles (7,5)

Oh No!            High fumbles … Only WR Patrick has a LG among a drop-prone receiver corps


Oh Yeah!        Rookie LCB Surtain a 5 now – a 6 soon?

Oh No!            A 3-4 OLB with a 0 pass rush? Good gosh, Bradley Chubb. Broken Broncos –

Chubb is one of three LB and five starters with a base grade of 0. No fumbles,

either. The Orange can get crushed.

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        McManus deep KO’s and FG: 2-10 thru 49 yds, 2-6, 11,12 thru 61 (!) …

Punt coverage: +5/2/4

Oh No!            Unprecedented TD on KO coverage #12



Oh Yeah!        WR Cooks (max FP, team-best SP/LP) still makes plays

Oh No!            You can have the rest of the receivers. And the RBs … Shudder-worthy OL has

three 0s, three 4s for front-line run block. The pass block goes 3, 2, 4 from C to

RT … LT Christian has the odd combo 7,0.


Oh Yeah!        RE Greenard is no J.J. Watt, but his 10 pass rush is as good as it gets in Houston


Oh No!            Four 0s, seven 4s = Poor vs run (heavy yardage), pass (four 0s in back seven).

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Smith PR TD; strong punting and very good KR/PR coverage

Oh No!            Worst-in-set -5 penalty differential; XP miss 10-11



Oh Yeah!        Most powerful run-block team (6s at TE, RT, C, LG and 5 at LT) for dominant

Taylor, the only RB in set with LG Right and Wrong (for LB, OT and ER).

Overall, he has 57 chances for SG+, with +67 LB, +78 ER and +83 OT (YAC-A

and +76 in FP, too)

Oh No!            Despite 62% completions and 27 TDs, Wentz will make you crazy (miss on FP

Wrong at #7 and throwing deep – only 3 completions Right, 9 Wrong)


Oh Yeah!        Star DLT Buckner (a 6 w/8 pass rush) and star LLB Leonard (66) get help from

three 5s.

Oh No!            Zeroes at RCB, SS in pass D w/LGs vs. “defender” in LP. It gets worse: Only

team in set with LG on #4 for SP 3Men.

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Best-in-set (tie) +5 penalty differential; Sanchez 79-yd punt

Oh No!            XP miss; FG good only 2-3 at 50+ yds



Oh Yeah!        QB Lawrence has a chance with 21 SP and 11 LP completions Wrong and with

two 7s, two 5s in pass protection, but —

Oh No!            With few big plays from others, high INTs and team fumbles (2-8 Right) – and 0

run blocks at both OT, odds are against quick scores or long drives.


Oh Yeah!        LOLB Allen’s pass rush (1*) … Two 5s in secondary: LCB Griffin, FS Wingard

Oh No!            Teach your kids Strat, but shield their eyes. Jags offense won’t get short fields

with this D: A 3-4 with all 0s on the DL, three more at LB and another at RCB;

no fumbles, few INTs, SG runs at #7 and heavy SP completions.

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Agnew KR TD

Oh No!            XP miss 9-10 (!), blocked punt, LG on both KR/PR coverage (KR: +44/41/LG)



Oh Yeah!        QB Mahomes 25 SP, 13 LP completions Wrong with great targets WR Hill, TE

Kelce – both have 2-tmd and max FP/SP catches. Hill has max LP catches, too …

Mahomes MR: +32, 25, 23, 21, 11 from rolls 2-6 … LT Brown (7,6) is one of

three 7-rated pass blockers. Three others are 5 run blockers, too.

Oh No!            Boring, fumble-prone RBs will force pass-game stars to be great Right


Oh Yeah!        DRT Jones gives KC rare inside pass rush power (10) … LE Ingram (6)

Oh No!            Poor pass D has LP LG chances at 2-5, 8-9, 12 and a blank only at #5 for SP

3Men … RE Clark (0)

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        KR coverage +14/11/16; PR coverage +1/2/9

Butker’s strong KOs, FG: Good 2-7, 12 at 56 yds

Oh No!            XP miss on 11; many plays will be called back w/heavy penalties on both teams



Oh Yeah!        QB Carr has 15 LP completions Wrong, the pass blockers (a 7 and five 5s) will

give him time and he’s got targets: 40 (!) LG chances and max LP catches for

WR Ruggs, 31 LG chances for WR Jackson, 30 for WR Edwards …

TE Waller is like a very good WR, both receiving and blocking (0).

Oh No!            The run game is going nowhere behind 0 blockers at TE, RT, C, LG, BB with

lackluster backs whose longest gain is 29 yards.


Oh Yeah!        Right-Left pass rush from DE’s Ngakoue (1*), Crosby (10), who is also a 6.

Oh No!            Can you defend without takeaways? Fumbles are only on 2 with standard 4-man

line, and INTs are only 2-3 for SP 3Men and 2-4 for LP 1Man … Very Poor

pass D: No blanks in SP 3Men. Blitzing won’t help much with 0-0-2 LB sackers

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Boom! Awesome punter Cole: 71 yds, 64 and still 49 at #9.

Boom! PK Carlson good 2-10 through 49 yds, 2-7 through 56.

Oh No!            XP Miss on 11-12; LG on KO coverage … Many plays for both teams will be

called back with 26 combined penalty chances





Oh Yeah!        QB Herbert ties Cinci’s Burrow for most SP Right completions in AFC – 15. He’s

strong deep, too, with 14 Wrong … WR help: Allen (2-tmd catches, max FP/SP

catches) and Williams (max LP catches, 25 LG chances) … RB Ekeler adds 25-30

FP catches, 19-26 SP catches and is YAC-A … An OL led by C Linsley (7,6) has three 7 pass blockers, Linsley and three 5s for run block.

Oh No!            Too many fumbles … RG Schofield with the rare combo (7,0)


Oh Yeah!        He’s a Bosa, so of course Joey is a star pass-rusher (4*) and a run-D 6 …

SS James (66)

Oh No!            “Poor” run D is a generous call: It will get gashed for SG+ often, has 0s for all DL

and two more at LB.

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Roberts KR TD on #3 … KR coverage +17/14/16

Oh No!            XP misses on 10-11; blocked punt




Oh Yeah!        FP game works w/QB Tagovailoa (impressive Right, lethal Wrong), WR Waddle

(max catches), TE Gesicki, RB Gaskin, but throwing downfield depends on being

Wrong and that is doubtful because —

Oh No!            ‘Fins’ run-block technique: “Just smile and wave, boys. Smile and wave.”

RG Hunt is a 4. Everyone – everyone – else in the starting lineup is 0.


Oh Yeah!        Defense was the star of this team, so props for LE Wilkins, RE Sieler and

LCB Howard (all 6s), rookie FS Holland (55) and the pass-rushing of

DE Ogbah (9), LOLB Phillips (11) and RILB Baker (8)

Oh No!            LG-heavy LP w/0Men: 2-5, 8-9, 11

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Good KR/PR coverage

Oh No!            Pitiful KR/PR returns



Oh Yeah!        Five good OL yield a 6 and three 5s for run-block, two 7s and two 5s for pass

block … 16-TD RB Harris gets the tough yards and the long runs (LG and +64,

with 33 SG+ chances). RB Stevenson (SGs at #7 Right, 45 SG+ chances overall)

Oh No!            Like other rookie QBs, Jones was trusted to throw short, not deep. Great at FP,

not so much downfield. It shows with his receivers – only one has LGs.


Oh Yeah!        Good to Excellent pass D w/high INTs, three 6s and a 5 (SS Phillips is 66)

Can sack-master Judon (9*) make up for weak-rushing DL?

Oh No!            Average to Poor run D: Scarce fumbles, SG at #7 (and more) w/0 LB

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Folk FG: 2-10 thru 49 yds; 2-6, 11,12 through 54

Oh No!            Blocked punt; XP miss 11-12



Oh Yeah!        RB Carter gets the tough yards and breaks it (LG on #3 Wrong OT, +55 and

+39 ER Wrong). He can catch, too … 7-rated pass blocking LT Fant.

Oh No!            The passing. Flee from the pass rush, young QB Wilson, behind two pass-

blocking 2s and a 3 in interior OL while trying to find open men in perhaps the

weakest receiver corps – no one with max catches at any depth.


Oh Yeah!        Three 5s on the DL

Oh No!            Very Poor vs. pass with four 0s in the back seven. Poor vs. run, despite the DL.

Yards everywhere, takeaways almost nowhere.

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Berrios KR TD … KO coverage: +14/10/6

Oh No!            XP miss 10-11; blocked punt



Oh Yeah!        WR Johnson’s max FP/SP catches. BB/TE Freiermuth is a fine FP/SP receiver

and a pass block 7.

Oh No!            Yes, it is time to retire, Ben … The OL (again): Run-block 0s at C, LT and no 6s

or 5s. Both guards are 7 pass-blockers, though.


Oh Yeah!        Jail break! Nobody destroys QBs better than LOLB T.J. Watt (12*12), but there’s also RE Heyward (11), ROLB Highsmith (9) and LE Wormley (8) on the set’s best pass-rush team.

Oh No!            Poor run D far too generous with the yards (SGs at #7 and much more) and not

selfish enough with the takeaways. A zero at NT adds to the problems.

No 6s or 5s in pass coverage, either.

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Boswell FG good 2-7, 11, 12 at 56 yds

Oh No!            XP miss on 11; LG on PR coverage; +31/28/39 KO coverage



Oh Yeah!        RB Henry is still the horse on a team that needs to ride him – 51 chances of SG+

with +76 OT, +60 ER and LG on LB. He’s got help from an OL with 6-rated RT Quessenberry and 5s at C and both guards … WR Brown has the hands (w/max SP catches) and the legs for big plays.

Oh No!            Legs and hands are fine, but arms are vital, too, and QB Tannehill is sub-par on

SP and LP, where sacks are also likely … LT Lewan is a pass block 7, but it’s

4-2-4-2 elsewhere on the OL.


Oh Yeah!        Excellent run D, despite no fumbles, is super-stingy with yards on rolls 6-8 and

with 6s at RE (Simmons), RILB (Cunningham) and FS (Byard, a 66) …

LOLB Landry (*1) and both DE offer solid pass rush.

Oh No!            Need those sacks, because Average to Poor pass D gives up big plays often in LP,

even with 1Man. 6s at both safeties and a 5 at RCB will help …

ROLB Dupree (00 with only a pass rush 4)

Special Teams:

Oh Yeah!        Nothing special, but Rogers has +55 PR

Oh No!            XP miss 11-12

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