Kansas City Chiefs are the +450 favorites on the NFL odds to win Super Bowl 56, and the Chiefs probably will be Super Bowl favorites for the next decade as long as superstar quarterback Patrick Mahomes – the clear-cut MVP favorite – stays healthy.
Analysis | AFC West favored Super Bowl 56
Because Kansas City is favored to win its second Super Bowl in the past three seasons, it would also make sense, then, that the favored division to win the Super Bowl is the Chiefs’ AFC West at +250.
Overall, teams currently in the AFC West have combined for eight Super Bowl titles: Three from the Raiders (although obviously none in Las Vegas yet), three from the Broncos and two from the Chiefs. The San Diego/Los Angeles Chargers are yet to win one. The only divisions with more Super Bowl winners are the NFC East with 13 and the AFC East with nine, although most of the AFC East’s are from New England (six).
Mahomes was severely limited by a toe injury in the Super Bowl 55 loss, although it might not have mattered even if Mahomes was 100 percent as good as that Tampa Bay pass rush was. The 2018 NFL MVP has surgery in the offseason and said he was able to “do the things that I needed” at OTAs and the team’s mandatory minicamp. The Chiefs expect Mahomes to be 100 percent for the start of training camp. The Chiefs will return to Missouri Western State University in St. Joseph, Missouri for their annual training camp practices. Camp starts July 28 and runs through Aug. 18.
One key Chiefs player could be facing a multiple-game suspension for this season: Defensive end Frank Clark. In March, Clark was arrested, along with another man, when officers said they found two loaded firearms in their vehicle after a traffic stop in California. Then in June, Clark was arrested in Los Angeles after police saw a submachine gun in his car. Clark’s attorney, Alex Spiro, said the gun belonged to Clark’s bodyguard. Sure it did. Clark could be facing a four-game ban.
Are any of the other three teams in the AFC West capable of winning the Super Bowl? Perhaps with the right breaks. Denver doesn’t appear to have a good enough quarterback to do so with Drew Lock and Teddy Bridgewater battling in camp for the starting job – we are assuming the Broncos will not be able to trade for Aaron Rodgers as that would change everything.
Denver acquired Bridgewater in a trade the day before the 2021 NFL draft began. Bridgewater does have some familiarity with Broncos offensive coordinator Pat Shurmur, who was a Minnesota Vikings assistant when Bridgewater was there. Lock struggled mightily as the primary starter last year with the Broncos.
The Chargers appear to be a team on the rise under second-year QB Justin Herbert. He was the 2020 NFL Offensive Rookie of the Year. The sixth overall pick from the 2020 draft set an NFL rookie record with 31 passing touchdowns, also adding five additional scores (and 234 more yards) on the ground. To protect Herbert, the Chargers added three new starters for the offensive line, signing center Corey Linsley and guard Matt Feiler before using a first-round pick on Northwestern tackle Rashawn Slater. The Bolts have an entirely new coaching staff, led by head coach and former Rams DC Brandon Staley.
Las Vegas has yet to play a home game in front of its new fans in Sin City but every game there already is sold out for 2021. This is talented team, no doubt. QB Derek Carr is coming off his third consecutive 4,000 yard season with a career-high passer rating. The Raiders have surrounded him with talent in Pro Bowl tight end Darren Waller, free-agent signings John Brown and Willie Snead IV, and second-year receivers Henry Ruggs and Bryan Edwards.
A Raiders player recently made NFL history by becoming the league’s first openly gay player. That was defensive end Carl Nassib. He signed with the Raiders in 2020 after two seasons in Cleveland and two years in Tampa. He recorded 12.5 sacks during his two seasons with the Bucs. Last year, Nassib had 2.5 sacks in 14 games, five of which he started.
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