If by next summer things are back to normal, the National Football League will open camps in July, preseason in August and the regular season in September. Last year, the pandemic eliminated both the length of camps and the entire preseason schedule. Some might have noticed that the lack of a preseason didn’t seem to make as much of a difference as many thought it would.
Perhaps because all 32 teams were working on the same restrictions, the play on the field in September didn’t look as ragged as was feared. For those in favor of reducing the number of preseason games, on top of that list are season ticket holders forced to pay full price for those games, the results in 2020 support their case.
At Qoxhi Picks, we did our work as if the 2020 season was going to be played even as the situation seemed to dim that prospect. From my personal point of view, I had little optimism that the league would get all 16 regular season games played during the 17 week season and that we would ever crown a Super Bowl winner at season end.
I’m glad we did, and while the 2020 regular season was the first ever to use all seven days of the week for games, rescheduling during the season prompted every day to be utilized, the regular season started and ended on schedule.
Turned out to be a very good year for Qoxhi Picks.
Our six preseason choices for season win totals finished the year with four wins, one loss and one push. While we promote season profit margins of 30 to 60 percent for those adhering to the Basic Money Management strategy available to clients online, last year, the Basic strategy generated a 71% profit during the 17 week regular season and the Top Pick Aggressive strategy more than doubled client opening account balances.
Successful NFL seasons require year round work. Before the draft in April, we are reviewing each team for player development, movement and prospects. This year, one team jumps off the chart in our early 2021 evaluations, the Los Angeles Rams.
A team that can argue they have both the best defensive player in the league, Aaron Donald, and the best overall defense, has now added quarterback Matthew Stafford to their offense. Stafford getting out of Detroit while still young enough to ply his trade effectively may be the final peg in the Rams effort to win their first Super Bowl in Los Angeles. While playing in St. Louis, the Rams organization did win it all to complete the 1999 season.
Stafford has been burdened by playing for a Detroit Lions team that is the Ford family’s biggest flop since the Edsel. Multiple coaches and front office changes has not generated a single postseason win in Stafford’s 11 year career, although he is always mentioned among the top quarterbacks in the league.
The story in Detroit has been to build around the veteran signal caller for the past decade, but that has never produced a postseason winner. Now, Stafford goes to a team that has true Super Bowl potential, they played in the game three years ago. The trade might also turn the tide in Detroit, for Stafford they get a young quarterback, Jared Goff, who was the first pick in the 2016 NFL Draft and led the Rams to a Super Bowl in 2018, along with two first round picks and a third round draft choice.
As for the Rams, to ship that many draft picks for the player they hope to complete the puzzle for a Super Bowl win is letting their players know the team is not building for the future, but poised to seize the present.
I was in a Nevada sports book office the day the Denver Broncos announced they had acquired Peyton Manning in 2012. Without hesitation, the manager of the establishment shifted the odds on the Broncos winning the Super Bowl from 25 to 1 to 7 to 1. I actually questioned at the time whether that was too drastic of a shift.
Manning led the Broncos to division titles in each of his four seasons in Denver and the best record in the AFC each season. Twice he played in the Super Bowl with Denver, a loss to complete the 2013 season against the Seattle Seahawks and a career ending victory over the Carolina Panthers in Super Bowl 50.
Last season, a Tampa Bay Buccaneers team that struggled with a losing record in 2019, added Tom Brady to their roster. You know how that worked out.
While Stafford hasn’t had the success in Detroit that Manning enjoyed in Indianapolis or Brady in New England, might he grab the golden ring in Los Angeles? If he does, the Rams would become the second team in as many years to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium.