The NFL season has been nothing short of entertaining. We have seen many surprises and many upsets. With the regular season having already ended, it’s time to prepare for the Super Bowl. With Super Wild Card Weekend having ended on Monday, we now know who is in good shape to make a run for a championship this year. Over the weekend, it wasn’t as an exciting playoff weekend as most hoped, but those games lead to exciting Divisional Round games, which should lead to interesting Conference Championship games. But without teams, we wouldn’t have these games, so which teams have the best shot at winning it all this year?
Green Bay Packers
The Green Bay Packers are coming off of a first round bye thanks to having the number one seed, not to mention they have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. Being in the playoffs isn’t uncommon territory for Aaron Rodgers and company, nor is playing the San Francisco 49ers. The Packers and 49ers have played each other eight times in the playoffs with the record being 4-4 in the postseason. The most recent game in the playoffs between the two happened in 2019. Green Bay went on to the NFC Conference Championship Game to play in San Francisco, however they ended up losing 37-20. Now that was 2019 and in San Francisco, this time it’s 2022 and in Green Bay at Lambeau Field. Now over Super Wild Card Weekend, the Niners went on to stun the Dallas Cowboys in Dallas, but do we expect them to pull off another upset? Not exactly. Seeing as Aaron Rodgers is having another M.V.P. season, we can expect him to put on another show. Between the Packers and Los Angeles Rams, one of these teams is going to the Super Bowl this year. When Aaron Rodgers is on fire, forget about stopping him, you might as well not even bother to board the plan to Green Bay. I am positive Green Bay makes it to the Conference Championship game, and I’m also confident that, as long as the Los Angeles Rams don’t get in the way, the Packers are going to the Super Bowl.
The Tennessee Titans have the number one seed, which means they have home field advantage and are just coming off a first round bye. With the Titans getting an extra week to rest, that gives time for possibly the “King” to return. Yes, the Titans have proved many people wrong (including myself) in thinking they can’t succeed without Derrick Henry, but with their matchup in the Divisional Round, even having Derrick Henry back might not be enough. Tennessee isn’t the strongest team in the AFC, but they have the number one seed for a reason. Do I expect them to go to the Super Bowl? Of course not, but can they possibly make it? Yes, they can make it, seeing as they have beaten both the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills in the regular season this year. However, to face off against Kansas City or Buffalo, they have to get past Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals first. The Titans are coming into the Divisional Round as three point favorites, but facing off against the red hot Cincinnati Bengals won’t come easy. The Titans do know what kind of quarterback they will be facing, seeing as in the 2020 season they already were victims to who is now called “Joey Franchise.” Last season, the Bengals weren’t a good team, only having mustered four total wins, but one of those wins was against the Tennessee Titans. The ultimate test for Tennessee is getting past this talented team, and if they can do that, well maybe they are an underdog for the Super Bowl.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
All I have to say about the Tampa Bay Buccaneers is, never bet against Tom Brady. Last week, people were placing bets that the Philadelphia Eagles would pull off a major upset against the Buccaneers. Tom Brady and the Buccaneers defense went on to win 31-15, causing Jalen Hurts to throw two interceptions, as well as forcing one fumble. Tampa Bay has to play against who I predict to go to the Super Bowl, which is the Los Angeles Rams. The Rams went on to dominate the Arizona Cardinals on Monday night, winning 34-11. Not only was this Matthew Stafford’s first playoff win, but a statement game from the Rams defense. The Rams have a stellar defense, not to mention offense, but will that be enough to stop Tom Brady? I am confident that the Rams will be able to get the best of Tom Brady, especially with Aaron Donald and Von Miller coming after Brady. If the Buccaneers get past the biggest challenge in the playoffs for any team currently still hunting for a Lombardi, then they might as well win back to back Super Bowls.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Kansas City Chiefs are back especially with having to play the Pittsburgh Steelers for their wildcard game. The Chiefs were able to take care of business, winning 42-21. So yes, basically the game was “Big Ben’s” retirement game. However, the world got a glimpse of the real Kansas City Chiefs defense on Sunday night, and given the history of Patrick Mahomes, there is no doubt that they will probably make it to the Super Bowl for a third time. The only reason why the Chiefs may not be Super Bowl favorites is that there are two other hot teams in the AFC, Cincinnati and Buffalo. With Patrick Mahomes looking like Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs defense being dominant, I expect them to make it to the Conference game. However, they could go home early with a loss to the Bills, so their future is definitely up in the air this year. If they make it to the Conference game, I have no doubts they will get to the Super Bowl and win it all.
Los Angeles Rams
The Los Angeles Rams have been my Super Bowl pick this year. I am still sticking with them to win it all this year. The Matthew Stafford trade at the beginning of the year was huge, and with Stafford to Cooper Kupp, they are lethal. Not only do they have Cooper Kupp, but Van Jefferson and Odell Beckham Jr. That’s just the offensive side, and not to mention they got Cam Akers back. On defense, the Rams will punish you with pass rushers Von Miller and Aaron Donald; quarterbacks should be scared. Then there’s Jalen Ramsey, who will punish a quarterback who throws his way. The Rams can make it all the way and win it all, and they are a good test against Tom Brady and the Buccaneers. I expect to see this team in the Super Bowl.
The Buffalo Bills are a hot team in the NFL right now, so hot that they torched Bill Belichick and the New England Patriots in the Wild Card round. The Bills just totally dominated their AFC East rival, winning 47-17, with Josh Allen throwing five touchdown passes. The Buffalo Bills have a rematch against the Kansas City Chiefs, having lost in the Conference Championship Game last year to them, they will be travelling to Arrowhead Stadium to end the Kansas City Chiefs season. I am favoring the Bills in this matchup, just because of the show they put up against the New England Patriots. The game is going to be a high scoring shootout, but I expect the Bills to advance and have a chance for a championship this year. This year, the Buffalo Bills are angry and want their revenge, and they will give their revenge to play in the Conference Championship Game this year and win. Do I expect them to make it to the Super Bowl? No, but they have very good chances this year, and Josh Allen slinging the ball can make it happen.
San Francisco 49ers
The San Francisco 49ers were able to pull off the upset against the Dallas Cowboys during Super Wild Card Weekend. The game went down literally to the final seconds, however the 49ers will now advance to play the Green Bay Packers. Do I expect them to win? Absolutely not, but they did in 2019. The dream Super Bowl matchup would be a third rematch between the Niners and the Cincinnati Bengals. However, with injuries on both sides of the ball the 49ers will be heading into Green Bay with some concerns. If the 49ers can beat the Green Bay Packers then maybe they can make it to the Super Bowl, but there is a slim chance that can even happen. Especially with how Jimmy Garopolo hasn’t been the best with taking care of the ball. I expect the Niners to lose this weekend, but I’ve been proven wrong multiple times before.
The Cincinnati Bengals won a playoff game. Yes, in 31 years they have finally made it past the Wild Card round. Now, they are headed to Nashville to take on the Tennessee Titans. Derrick Henry is looking like he will be playing on Saturday, which will provide a challenge to a depleted Bengals defense, but they have “Joey Franchise.” The Cincinnati Bengals are putting the league on alert right now, and Joe Burrow is the main reason for it. In an interview this week, Burrow had said, “But now this is the standard for the bare minimum every year going forward.” Winning and making it to the playoffs is the standard for most teams, but winning playoff games and moving forward is the standard for Joe Burrow and the Cincinnati Bengals. They are an absolute threat to the AFC, and can make it to the Super Bowl this year. I expect a high scoring shoot-out in this game on Saturday, with the score being close, but I will not pick a winner because of all the unavailable information for both teams. If Trey Hendrickson is good to go, the Bengals should be okay on defense, but with Mike Daniels and Larry Ogunjobi out for Saturday, the defense will need to step up a lot. If the Cincinnati Bengals make it to the Super Bowl this year, the dynasty will have officially started. However, before I label this team a dynasty, they have to win on Saturday. I am way too confident in Joe Burrow, and he makes watching the Bengals fun. He makes people believe in the team and can put the city of Cincinnati on the map.