With the long journey to the Super Bowl well underway, everyone is choosing their picks on who will take the crown in 2021. Will the Kansas City Chiefs keep hold of the title? Will we see the underdogs of the NFL walk away with the victory? So far, it’s been an exciting start, and we’re looking forward to seeing who will emerge and grab the glory.
Everybody Loves a Super Bowl
It’s a fact. Even NFL and non-NFL fans from the US and abroad have a special place for the Super Bowl in their heart. And it’s not just because of the massive half-time shows, new product placement trailers, or hearing a different singer take on the national anthem. It’s obviously for the game itself. A season of riveting football and playoffs all lead to the ultimate head to head. The Super Bowl LIV saw the San Francisco 49ers take on the Kansas City Chiefs, with the latter winning 31-20. But are they still favorites for the next Super Bowl?
Chiefs Reigning Supreme
Whenever a team wins a tournament, it’s easy to think they’ll continue with the same success the following year. That’s the general feeling for the Chiefs at the moment as some bookies have them at 6/1 to win the Super Bowl. The good news for them is that the other AFC teams don’t pose too much competition, apart from the Baltimore Ravens. So, there’s the possibility they’ll steamroll to the top of the league and make the Super Bowl playoffs again. They’ve also been strengthening their squad, careful not to let many players go and keeping the winning team intact. More firepower in the form of Clyde Edwards-Helaire and two defensive players coming in as draft picks (with another five undrafted to their secondary) shows that they’re covering all bases.
The Flight of the Ravens
The biggest competition in the AFC to the Chiefs is the Baltimore Ravens. They’ve had odds put at 7/1 of winning the Super Bowl, so perhaps this could be their year. Last season they tied with the 15th best odds to win the Super Bowl yet suffered a shocking defeat in the playoffs. But as the 2020-2021 season gets underway, the Ravens are already running off a series of victories, which no doubt is due to the strategic signings they made during the offseason. Calais Campbell has come in to boost the defensive line, and they’ve enhanced their rushing attack. It’s this attack that made them one of the best teams last season, averaging 206 rushing yards per game, with many players racking up the yards – Lamar Jackson scoring 1,206 yards; Mark Ingram recording 1,018 yards, Gus Edwards with 711 and Justin Hill with 225. Then the Ravens went and selected J.K. Dobbins in the second round of the draft – someone who rushed for 2,003 yards and 21 touchdowns in his junior season. Suffice to say; we expect a lot this season.
Patriots Not Packing a Punch
Looking at a useful NFL guide, we can see that the Chiefs and Ravens could be in for a showdown next year at the Super Bowl. But what’s happened to the New England Patriots over the last few years? Once titans of the NFL, they’re going through massive changes at the moment. Not necessarily for the better. Tom Brady is a Patriot no more, and Patrick Chung and Marcus Cannon are just a selection of players who opted out of the 2020 season.
So, now it’s up to Bill Belichick to look to the future with a fresher squad. The glory days and the experienced players have moved on to pastures new, but perhaps a team revolving around Cam Newton is the future? Players such as N’Keal Harry, Devin Asiasi, and Dalton Keene can forge Newton’s new passing maneuvers. The new talent and departure of old are similar to when Belichick took over in 2000 – the Patriots were still reeling from their Super Bowl loss, and he combined a mixture of talent with new players to bring the Patriots to their glory years. It just so happens that now the reset button has been pressed, and he’s got to start again.
In the AFC, the Kansas City Chiefs and Baltimore Ravens are favorites to take the title this year, and no doubt will be contenders for the Super Bowl. It might be a couple of years before the Patriots are up to the standards they were, but it’ll be worth it when the time comes around again.