The NFL’s season kick-off wouldn’t be complete without head-on-the-block torment, knowing that it’s a possible sacrifice on the altar of the victims of failed Super Bowl predictions. future. The defending champions Kansas City Chiefs are considered big favorites by bookmakers to repeat the feat, but their quest for a rare double is no walk in the park.
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Nineteen years ago, in 2004, the Patriots began the season that would lead them to a second championship in a row. Since then, no team has achieved this improbable feat. Zero, nada, niet, nothingness! However, serious candidates have not been lacking.
The Colts with Peyton Manning were still in the game.
It’s a mystery that the Packers haven’t reached the Super Bowl more than once with Aaron Rodgers and some really big rosters.
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The Seahawks, with a mind-blowing defensive machine, went twice in a row a decade ago, but an interception at the goal gate on their second attempt sabotaged their mission.
The Chiefs themselves, after their triumph at the end of the 2019 season, left Tampa empty-handed the following year.
All that to say that winning the Super Bowl twice in a row is a tough task in an era where changes are omnipresent due to the free agent market and the salary cap.
The odds are there
Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes form a formidable tandem on the offensive level.
Despite everything, the Chiefs are favorites because they have two strong arguments in their favor: Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid. The two make a pair.
The coach’s boundless offensive creativity fuels the quarterback’s talent and beefy front perfectly. It’s a spectacular symbiosis that is unmatched by any other tandem in the NFL, regardless of their allegiances.
Before, the easy tendency was to claim that the Chiefs didn’t have the defensive ingredients to hold on in January. Nothing could be more false at the moment since with Chris Jones, Nick Bolton, L’Jarius Sneed and other emerging young people, they are betting on good elements on all levels of the brigade.
At the Chiefs, despite some questions for the very young group of receivers and the changes on the offensive line, the chances of signing a double are very real.
The biggest threats
Josh Allen and the Bills are among the teams that can aspire to the throne.
Getty Images via AFP
Still, it would be a big mistake to bet your house or even your shed on the Chiefs with your eyes closed. The American Conference, in which they operate, is full of real contenders.
Many believe that the Bills’ window is closing and that tensions with star receiver Stefon Diggs will eventually affect the team’s chemistry, but I don’t agree with that school of thought. The Bills will win again, especially when Von Miller returns.
I’m one of those who sees a big season for the Dolphins, armed with an explosive offense and a defense led by coordinating ace Vic Fangio.
The Bengals, Ravens and Chargers also show mature clubs, although in the case of the Chargers, Brandon Staley doesn’t appear to be the coach to guide them to the promised land.
In the National Conference, it is more vague. The 49ers are still monumental, but it’s unclear how young quarterback Brock Purdy, who remains green despite his inspirational debut, will evolve.
The Eagles have tremendous depth, although the formation has undergone significant changes, especially in defense. I consider the Cowboys a legitimate top three in this conference.
And the champions will be?
So, drum roll, since we have to decide…
The Bengals will finally win the first Super Bowl in their history against the 49ers, after 55 seasons of hard work.
There is, of course, Joe Burrow’s legendary composure in big moments, but there is more to justify this choice. The receiving group is probably the best in the league. Last season’s weak link on the left side of the offensive line is no longer one with the arrival of tackle Orlando Brown Jr. This line, which was slow to live up to expectations at the start of last season, has developed his chemistry afterwards.
The two coordinators are back, which ensures good continuity. Especially on defense, where Lou Anarumo has proven time and time again that he knows how to concoct plans to limit opposing bigger guns like the Bills and Chiefs.
The Bengals, Super Bowl champions? For a long time, such a sentence would have sounded like a strange heresy or a vulgar provocation.
On February 11, in Las Vegas, this summer prophecy will seem quite normal.
Joe Burrow and the Bengals represented the American Conference at the Super Bowl two years ago. Now is the time to take the last missing step.
TEAMS THAT NEVER WON THE SUPER BOWL
- 3 appearances (2021, 1988, 1981)
- 56e season
- 4 appearances (1993, 1992, 1991, 1990)
- 64e season
*The Bills won the AFL championship twice before the Super Bowl era
*The Browns won 8 NFL championships before the Super Bowl era
- 4 appearances (1976, 1974, 1973, 1969)
- 63e season
*The Lions won 4 NFL championships before the Super Bowl era
- 1 attendance (2008)
- 104e season
*The Cardinals won 2 NFL championships before the Super Bowl era
- 2 appearances (2016, 1998)
- 58e season
Los Angeles Chargers
- 1 attendance (1994)
- 64e season
*The Chargers won 1 AFL championship before the Super Bowl era
- 1 attendance (2001)
- 64e season
*The Titans (then Houston Oilers) won the AFL Championship 2 times before the Super Bowl era