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Insiders Network: Biggest Surprises of the 2021 Season

Biggest Surprises of the 2021 Season

The 33rd Team’s Insiders Network is a group of former NFL coaches and front-office executives who are here to provide insight and perspective into all things football. Each week during the season, we reach out to members of our Insiders Network to get their thoughts on a topical question. Here is this week’s question: 

What has been the biggest surprise of the 2021 season thus far?

Nick Polk:

On the Club side, that Arizona is 8-1 at the midpoint of the year. They are playing very well. On the player side, the emergence of Cordarrelle Patterson as an offensive weapon. Atlanta has created a key role for him as a RB/WR/KR. In 8 games, he has 111 touches (rushing and receiving) for 737 yds.

Jim Mora:
Seeing Patrick Mahomes struggle a bit has surprised me. I have tremendous respect for him as a player and think these struggles will only help him grow.

Joe Banner:

That the Cardinals have a real chance to win their division and make a playoff run, and Kingsbury is in the middle of the coach of the year conversation.

Marc Trestman:

The surprise team to me are the Titans!

It’s not just their record! It’s the way they play continuity football, their weekly consistency of effort and toughness, the play of the offense with a new coordinator, and the continuous improvement and leadership of the Quarterback! They also know how to win games in the 4th quarter. A team that clearly takes on the personality of their Head Coach!

Tom Lewand:

The Cardinals apparent strength and depth on both sides of the ball is the most impressive. Also noteworthy is the how the Raiders have fought through adversity so far.

Mike Tannenbaum:

The biggest surprise for me thus far in the 2021 season is San Francisco's defense playing so poorly.