Super Bowl prediction post NFL regular season

Who will play in the Super Bowl?

By: Menachem Ickovitz

What a wild and crazy season we just endured! But now comes the real fun, the playoffs. In this article we will take a look at which playoff teams will be Super Bowl bound.

Looking back at the season, each team had some weird losses that made no sense. From Week 1 when the Green Bay Packers lost to the New Orleans Saints, to the Week 9 game where the Buffalo Bills lost to the Jacksonville Jaguars. So to say that any team can win any week is a bit of an understatement.

Another aspect of why it is difficult to predict the teams going to the Super Bowl correctly is injuries/Covid. A team can be favored in their matchup, but a Covid outbreak could derail their season. This happened to a few teams during the season and it would be a big shame if it would be the reason it decides who heads to the Super Bowl.

Let’s start with the AFC. The top-seeded Tennessee Titans have already beaten the Kansas City Chiefs and Buffalo Bills this season. They are hopeful that Derrick Henry will be at full strength after coming off IR. Quarterback Ryan Tannehill threw for 3,734 yards with 21 touchdowns and 14 interceptions.

The Kansas City Chiefs have represented the AFC in the last two Super Bowls and while it took them some time to look like the team we saw the last two seasons, they did finish with a 12 – 5 record. As for the Buffalo Bills, they have been on the precipice of stepping into the upper-echelon of the AFC for a couple years now and perhaps this is the year they go all the way.

As for the rest of the AFC teams:

  • Cincinnati Bengals have an explosive offense but their defense is suspect, not a great combonation.
  • Las Vegas Raiders have had a crazy season and while they’ve proven multiple times this season that anything is possible, they did win a few games down the stretch against teams hampered by Covid protocols.
  • New England Patriots can never be counted out when Bill Belichick is roaming the sidelines, but confidently picking them to go to the Super Bowl behind rookie quarterback Mac Jones is a bit of a reach.
  • Pittsburgh Steelers needed a 2-win Jacksonville Jaguars team to beat the Indianapolis Colts to make the playoffs. The Steelers are the “just happy to be here” group.

Now let’s look at the NFC. The top-seeded Green Bay Packers and second-seeded Tampa Bay Buccaneers are the elite teams in this playoff race. Last season the Packers and Buccaneers played each other in the NFC Championship Game with the Buccaneers winning in Green Bay. These teams look like they’re on a collision course to play each other again.

As for the rest of the NFC teams:

  • Dallas Cowboys are the biggest threat to either the Packers or Buccaneers. They have an explosive offense and some big-time playmakers on defense like rookie linebacker Micah Parsons and cornerback Trevon Diggs.
  • Los Angeles Rams have one of the best defensive players in Aaron Donald and got a breakout season from wide receiver Cooper Kupp. However, inconsistent play from quarterback Matt Stafford is going to hurt this team in the playoffs.
  • Arizona Cardinals were the best team in the NFL at one point this year, but then injuries started to creep in and they dropped to the 5th seed.
  • San Francisco 49ers had a great Week 18 game to make it into the playoffs. They are two seasons removed from making it to the Super Bowl but they won’t have a long run this postseason.
  • Philadelphia Eagles have a fun young team led by first year head coach Nick Sirianni. This playoff run, while it will most probably last just one game, could help them for many years to come.

So now that we have broken down each team, here comes the prediction. This year’s Super Bowl matchup will be the Kansas City Chiefs playing against the Green Bay Packers. Besides for the fun historic aspect of it being a rematch of the first Super Bowl, both teams are playing well and have enough playoff experience to make a run at the Super Bowl. With this matchup, I would predict a Chiefs victory, 34-31.

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