Which NFL Teams Look Like Genuine Superbowl Contenders?
The NFL Season is now well underway and as we approach Week Nine of the season, the midway point for many teams, we are already getting a clear idea of which teams will be the ones most likely to be contesting for the top prizes in the NFL in the post-season. Similarly, we also know which teams are likely to be looking towards the draft and free agency to rebuild their team.
In this one off article, we are going to be taking a closer look at the teams that have been the most impressive this season and which of these teams from the NFC and the AFC will be the ones most likely to go on to contest Superbowl LIV on Sunday 2nd February 2020 at the Hard Rock Stadium, Miami Gardens in Florida.
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So who have been the most impressive teams in the NFL this season and look in with a chance of being Superbowl-bound?
AFC Superbowl Contenders
- New England Patriots
Bill Belichick and Tom Brady will be going for their record seventh Superbowl success this season and after a stellar start to their campaign in the AFC East, it does indeed look like the Patriots are very much the team to beat in the AFC this season.
At the time of writing, the Patriots have not only outscored all of the other teams in the AFC, but they have also conceded fewer points than any other team, a double whammy of a record that makes it look like any team who wants to reach the Superbowl from the AFC, is going to have to go through New England at Foxborough in the middle of winter, a combination which has proven to be too tough for a great many teams over the years.
If the Patriots can continue their excellent form over the remainder of the regular season, then homefield advantage in the playoffs may well be secured and that makes them the massive favourites to be the AFC’s representative in Miami in February in my book, regardless of the quality of the teams they will face on the way to getting there.
- Kansas City Chiefs
After a strong start to the season the Chiefs have stuttered a little over the last few weeks or so, but when they get it right they are still one of the most explosive offenses in the game and if the game goes into a shootout, they can mix it with the best of teams. Patrick Mahomes is one of the stellar new breed of quarterbacks in the league and I am sure one day, he will land a Superbowl ring.
However, the Chiefs main problem is a leaky defense that is the fourth worst in the AFC. Unless they can sort out those defensive issues, I can’t see them making it through the playoffs.
Other AFC Teams likely to be in contention for the playoffs – Buffalo Bills, Baltimore Ravens, Houston Texans, Indianapolis Colts.
NFC Superbowl Contenders
- New Orleans Saints
Only a dubious call in the NFC Championship game robbed the New Orleans Saints of a place in the Superbowl last season and it looks like Sean Payton’s team are on a mission to put that right. The Saints didn’t start the season particularly well, losing one of their opening two games, but since then they have looked very sharp, although they do need to tighten things up a little on both offense and defense.
The problem the Saints have is that the NFC is a division that has a number of teams that are almost the best, but who have off days and it will be the team that can hold it together throughout the playoffs from this bunch that will make it to Miami.
- San Francisco 49ers
Few people would have had the 49ers down as genuine contenders, especially in a division that also contains the Seattle Seahawks and the Los Angeles Rams, but after a superb start to the season you have to take them seriously. I do have reservations as to whether they can go the full length of the season and I do think that a couple of defeats could see their confidence undermined.
However, the 49ers have always been a team that when they are bad, they are very bad, but when they are good, they are superb and if they can keep key personnel fit and continue their excellent start, then there’s no reason why they could not make the post-season and if they do, they will be a threat to any team.
Other NFC Teams in contention for the playoffs – Dallas Cowboys, Philadelphia Eagles, Seattle Seahawks, Los Angele sRams, Minnesota Vikings, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers.
Our Superbowl Prediction
As you can see from our content above, we think it is a much more cut and dried situation in the AFC than it is in the NFC. For our money, I think the Patriots, especially if they get home field advantage throughout the playoffs sewn up, are an almost sure-fire pick for the Superbowl and that is reflected in their 13/5 odds to win the Lombardi trophy outright.
Picking who will face them from the NFC in Miami is much tougher. The 49ers had the best start but just feel their lack of experience post season will cost them. I can see a team with a less than stellar record going deep in the playoffs from the NFC but for my money, I think the Saints look the most likely team to be booking the flight to Miami in February.
As for who wins, New England have been to all of the last three Superbowls, winning two of them and I would put my money on them making that three wins from the last four appearances.