2020 was supposed to be an exciting year for America’s Team. Mike McCarthy arrived as their new head coach. Meanwhile, Dak Prescott was emerging as a top quarterback. He had exciting weapons like proven Ezekiel Elliot, Amari Cooper and rookie CeeDee Lamb. Their fans hoped they would be contenders even if they didn’t win the Super Bowl.
Unfortunately, the Cowboys didn’t even come close. They lost Prescott during Game Five after he fractured his ankle. This was a devastating blow because they lost one of their leaders as well as an elite athlete. Andy Dalton stepped up as a replacement but had injury problems too. Meanwhile, their other performers failed to deliver and the season fell flat. It was another wasted year (via USA Today).
Liverpool won the league for the first time in 3o years in 2019. The global health crisis prevented them from celebrating in front of their fans. But their passionate supporters hoped to see them repeat the feat the following season. The team gambled early after the departure of Dejan Lovren. The center-back wasn’t a guaranteed starter but he provided valuable depth. This was a turning point in their year.
Star defender Virgil Van Dijk suffered a horror leg break against Everton. Meanwhile, their other defenders also had injury woes. This forced Jurgen Klopp to put his players out of position and to play unproven youngsters. Ironically, they started the year well but fell flat after the loss of Van Dijk. They scraped their way into the top four and secured Champion’s League qualification (via The Guardian).
NFL teams constantly look toward the future. Nothing obsesses them more than drafting the next franchise quarterback. However, the Rams took a different approach in 2021. They tried to assemble the strongest roster possible by trading away valuable draft picks. First, they secured the services of Matthew Stafford from the Lions. In the middle of the year, they acquired Von Miller from the Broncos.
This was supposed to be a super team with the ability to win immediately (via The Guardian). They started the season strong with seven wins in their first eight games. But then Stafford suffered a decline with pick-sixes all over the place. He threw three in three weeks. To put that into perspective, Aaron Rodgers has only thrown three his entire career. The Rams have time to turn their season around but a three-game losing streak is still ominous.