Now, let’s get started.
Super Bowl 52 Favorites, Smart Picks & Dark Horses
|Kansas City Chiefs||20/1|
Analysis: The Pittsburgh Steelers have plenty of offense, but they haven’t been able to stop their opponents very often when it matters most. If Mike Tomlin can improve a defense that has been lacking for the last few seasons, the Steelers could take the next step after reaching the AFC Championship.
The Denver Broncos will have a new head coach next season in Vance Joseph, but they already have an elite defense and two really talented young quarterbacks that both look like they will be viable NFL starters. Still, I’m thinking the Broncos are a bit of a reach, seeing as how both, Oakland and Kansas City look like they’re going to contend again next season, if not more.
Speaking of the Chiefs, I love their Pro Bowl-studded defense, but I’m sick of seeing their mostly lateral passing attack and believe that if head coach Andy Reid doesn’t add some more vertical passing to his offensive attack, then the Chiefs will continue to be perennial bridesmaids.
|New England Patriots||13/2|
|Green Bay Packers||12/1|
|New York Giants||20/1|
Analysis: My smart picks start with the Patriots, Cowboys and Seahawks. New England will contend against next season, just because they’re New England. The Dallas Cowboys are only going to get better as Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliott mature and the Seattle Seahawks will have plenty of motivation heading into next season.
Right now, Russell Wilson and the Seahawks are my pick to represent the NFC in Super Bowl 52, at least until I see whether their once-powerful rushing attack has returned a bit and whether or not the Cowboys have improved their defense.
In the case of Aaron Rodgers and the Green Bay Packers, the clock is ticking for the Pack to surround Rodgers with at least a competent defense and rushing attack. Right now, the Packers look like they’re several players away on the defensive side of the ball.
I’m also going on record to say that Matt Ryan and the Atlanta Falcons may be psychologically unstable after their Super Bowl 51 meltdown against the Patriots, so save your money on Atlanta to bounce back in 2017.
Last but not least, I believe the New York Giants could surprise even more in 2017 if they address their nonexistent rushing attack. Right now, I’m thinking another second place finish in the NFC East and wild card berth sound about right for next season.
Analysis: Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders are my top dark horse pick to win Super Bowl 52 and r good reason. The Raiders have an MVP-caliber quarterback in Derek Carr and a pair of outstanding receivers. If the Raiders can improve their defense around Player of the Year winner Khalil Mack, they could surprise in a big way!
The Miami Dolphins surprised in a big way in Adam Gase’s first season and have a bright future all of a sudden, even if I still don’t like quarterback Ryan Tannehill.
Now, when it comes to the Tennessee Titans, they do have a gifted young franchise signal-caller in Marcus Mariota and an outstanding rushing attack with DeMarco Murray and Derrick Henry. If the Titans can improve their defense next season, they could surprise in a big way.
In the cases of the Minnesota Vikings, Carolina Panthers and Arizona Cardinals, I’m expecting all three teams to contend for the NFC title if they answer the questions each franchise needs to.
Minnesota needs to improve their pedestrian offense and could use quarterback Teddy Bridgewater, even though Sam Bradford was pretty good this season.
The Panthers need to start playing come competent defense and block for Cam Newton lot better than they did this season while last but not least, the Arizona Cardinals need a better campaign from veteran Carson Palmer.
Still, I think all three teams are offering decent value as NFC champions heading into the 2017 season. Super Bowl LII will be held Feb. 4, 2018, at U.S. Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota.
Remaining Teams Odds To Win 2017-18 Super Bowl
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||40/1|
|New Orleans Saints||70/1|
|Los Angeles Chargers||80/1|
|New York Jets||150/1|
|Los Angeles Rams||150/1|
|San Francisco 49ers||300/1|