Super Bowl Contenders and Predictions


Via Wikimedia Commons

A Super bowl stadium.

To many Americans around the United States of America, there is nothing that matches the intensity and excitement of the Super Bowl. The winners of the American Football Conference (AFC) and National Football Conference (NFC) face off in the Super Bowl every year at the end of winter, between January and February. The Super Bowl is known to be the most exciting and unusual game of the year to all fans. The fact that there were just under 112 million viewers of the Super Bowl shows how popular and important the game is. Here are the candidates and predictions for the big game.

If the NFL was a movie, then the New England Patriots would be the supervillain. The Pats have won 2 of the last 3 Super Bowls (XLIX, LI) and seem unstoppable. They are led by the ageless wonder Tom Brady and coach Bill Belichick who is one of the greatest coaches in football. New England currently ranks first in total offense (yards per game), passing yards per game, and are third in total yards. The teams that will challenge the Patriots for an AFC title are the Pittsburgh Steelers, Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Kansas City Chiefs. All three of these teams are leading their respective divisions. All four of these teams will probably meet sometime throughout the playoffs. Also, there will be two wildcard teams that don’t win their division but still make the playoffs.

The Pittsburgh Steelers have two of the most dynamic players in the NFL in running back Le’veon Bell (1,222 yards, 8 TDs) and wide receiver Antonio Brown (101 receptions, 1,533 yards, and 9 touchdowns). Both of these players are going to make the Pro Bowl and are likely to be on the All-Pro first team. Also, the Steelers have a solid defense led by linebacker Ryan Shazier, rookie TJ Watt and defensive end, Cameron Heyward.

The Jaguars are one of the many surprise teams this year. They have arguably the best defense in football (first in points allowed per game) led by cornerback Jalen Ramsey and defensive end Calais Campbell. Rookie Leonard Fournette is one of the best rookie runners in the game and has taken a lot of pressure off quarterback Blake Bortles who is exceeding his low expectations.

Finally, the Kansas City Chiefs who started off the season with a 5-0 record, are currently 7-6 because they dropped 6 out of 7 games between weeks 7-13. The Chiefs are led by quarterback Alex Smith, who is having a career year. The Chiefs stingy defense is also doing fine even after the losing pro bowler Eric Berry for most of the season. After beating the Raiders in week 14 and the Chargers in week 15, the Chiefs are once again leading the division and have a good chance of making the playoffs.

   The NFC conference has been very unusual and unexpected this year. First off, ESPN experts predicted that the Cowboys, Packers, Falcons, and Seahawks would each win their respective divisions. However, the Eagles, Vikings, Saints, and Rams are the ones who are currently in first place. Each of these teams has a chance to win the Super Bowl and are having fantastic seasons. The wildcard race is extremely close in the NFC and is nearly impossible to predict.

   The Philadelphia Eagles already have 11 wins which is the most in franchise history since 2009. They currently have tied for the best record in the NFL, clinched their division, the third most points per game, and the best-run defense in the NFL. Sadly, the Eagles recently lost second-year quarterback and MVP candidate Carson Wentz for quite a while. That means that tight end Zach Ertz, wide receivers Alshon Jeffery and Nelson Agholor, and backup quarterback Nick Foles need to step up for the Eagles to have a chance at a Super Bowl. If the Eagles can perform without their superb quarterback, they should make a deep run into the playoffs.

The Minnesota Vikings have already lost quarterback Sam Bradford and halfback Dalvin Cook, but they keep on winning. Maybe this is because veteran Case Keenum has had a great season or that cornerback Xavier Rhodes can shut down any wide receiver. Well whatever they are doing, it is definitely working and is making them a Super Bowl contender. The Vikings already have clinched their division thanks to an outstanding performance by Xavier Rhodes, who shut down AJ Green.

The New Orleans Saints have been a great passing team for quite a while especially because quarterback Drew Brees continues to excel. This year, third-round draft pick, Alvin Kamara has led the team with the help of fellow halfback Mark Ingram to a 9-4 record. Both of these backs were recently named to the Pro Bowl. They were the first running backs on the same team to both make the Pro Bowl in 42 years. The Saints are probably going to make the playoffs, but their Super Bowl hopes are in jeopardy.

Finally, the Los Angeles Rams are in the process of a comeback season. Coach Sean Mcvay has turned quarterback Jared Goff into a star and is leading the team to victory. Aaron Donald and the Rams defense has also been very good. And let’s not forget that running back Todd Gurley has developed into one of the best backs in the country.  

Many experts believe that this year’s Super Bowl is going to be a faceoff between the Patriots and Rams because the Eagles lost Wentz which makes the Rams the most consistent team in the NFC. There is no need to explain why experts believe that the Patriots will make the big game. Also, the Steelers, Vikings, and Eagles all have a decent chance to win the big game. All in all, this year’s playoff race and Super Bowl is bound to be exciting as ever.