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Super Bowl 55: Top 5 Contenders

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Who are the main contenders for Super Bowl 55?

 

Super Bowl 55: Top 5 Contenders 

The 2019 NFL season saw the Kansas City Chiefs triumph over the San Francisco 49ers to be crowned as the Super Bowl champions for the first time in 50 years. Since then, Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes has signed the biggest contract in sports history, worth up to $503 million over 12 years, and many are now tipping the Chiefs to establish a dynasty similar to that of the Patriots under Tom Brady. But who will be able to burst the Kansas City bubble going into the 2020 season?

There are plenty of capable contenders for Super Bowl 55 in both the AFC and the NFC with some significant signings and trades being made in the off season so far. In addition to the roster changes, the introduction of a new format allowing 7 teams from each conference into the playoffs rather than the 6 it has been in previous years puts even more teams in the running for Super Bowl 55.

With the change, there will now be 3 games in each conference on wildcard weekend. No.2 will play No.7, No.3 vs No.6 and No.4 vs No.5 with only the first seed in each conference having a first round bye. After that, the playoffs will resume in usual fashion, with the No.1 seed playing the lowest ranked remaining team and the other two teams facing off, before the Conference Championship between the two winners of those games taking place the week after. The same will happen in both conferences in order to determine the two teams that will face off in Super Bowl 55.

In a league where teams often step up their game in the playoffs,we could see more unlikely contenders for Super Bowl 55 with the addition of an extra team in the playoffs. Last season, the Tennessee Titans found themselves in the AFC Conference Championship after beating both the New England Patriots and the Baltimore Ravens on their playoff run after being seeded sixth. With the format changes being introduced this year and only one team gaining a first round bye in the playoffs, more upsets are certainly on the cards.

We will now look at our top 5 contenders for Super Bowl 55.

Kansas City Chiefs, AFC

Looking at the Chiefs’ schedule for this season, their opponents record in the 2019 season was .500 and having finished 12-4 in the regular season last year, it’s hard to see them having much trouble reaching the playoffs once again. Patrick Mahomes back to full fitness alongside Tight End Travis Kelce and Wide Receiver Tyreek Hill makes the Kansas City offence look unstoppable.

The Chiefs’ weaknesses come when looking at their defence and running game, in recent years the Chiefs’ mindset seems to have been to simply outscore whoever they are playing and thus eliminating defensive weaknesses. In the off season they used their first round pick in the draft to sign LSU running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire, whilst also franchise tagging their defensive lineman Chris Jones. These moves, along with the contract for Mahomes demonstrate their strong intentions to win Super Bowl 55. They certainly will be tough to beat at any point in the season which is why they are strong favourites across most betting sites to lift the Vince Lombardi Trophy once again.

Notable Matchups:

Week 3 @ Baltimore Ravens; Week 12 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Week 15 @ New Orleans Saints

 

Baltimore Ravens, AFC

The Baltimore Ravens have the easiest schedule on paper in the league this season with their opponents record in the 2019 season being just .438 and when we add that to the explosive Ravens’ running game it would be very surprising if the Ravens did not make it to the playoffs for the third consecutive year. With the unanimous MVP Lamar Jackson at quarterback along with the easiest schedules on paper, it’s hard to see the Baltimore Ravens facing any real struggles before we reach the playoffs.

Last year the Ravens had the 3rd highest ranked defence in the league and averaged over 50 more rushing yards per game than any other team. The area that they struggled was in receiving, their passing game weakened their offence significantly and they were relying on tight ends for the bulk of their yards through the air. In the draft they waited until the 3rd round to pick a wide receiver and that could be what lets them down once again this year. Their running game looked unstoppable at times with teams unable to keep Lamar Jackson in the pocket which meant he broke Michael Vick’s all time record for quarterback rushing yards in a single season.

It looks very likely that they will make the playoffs this year and they are the second favourites to win Super Bowl 55 for many bookmakers. However, when they come up against a good rushing defence in the playoffs will they be able to find a solution to their weaker passing game?

Notable Matchups:

Week 3 vs Kansas City Chiefs; Week 13 vs Dallas Cowboys

New Orleans Saints, NFC

The New Orleans Saints have fallen short of expectations in the last 3 years, being defeated by the Minnesota Vikings twice and the Los Angeles Rams in the NFC Championship game in 2018. The Saints have arguably got the best offence in the league, led by Drew Brees, Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara. Drew Brees is one of the greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game and you would struggle to find a record book that doesn’t feature his name and Michael Thomas is well on the way to becoming a great receiver, having set an NFL record for catches in a single season last year. Alvin Kamara did not have the best year in his career but he has proven before what he is capable of, and with Latavius Murray as his back up the Saints are far from weak in the running back position.

In the off season the Saints also signed Emmanuel Saunders from the 49ers, a high quality wide receiver, and when you add to that the strength of the offensive line, the Saints have a formidable offence. All this without even mentioning the wildcard of the Saints offence, Taysom Hill, 3rd string quarterback, wide receiver, running back the list is endless for the positions and roles that he has played over the past few years, seeming to succeed anywhere on the field.

What really lets the Saints down is their defence, which has not been the same since they won the Super Bowl in 2010. Other than Cam Jordan, Demario Davis and Marshon Lattimore there is very little to talk about, but the Saints have looked to strengthen their defence since last season. Not only have they re-signed Malcolm Jenkins from the Eagles, but they also picked a new linebacker, Zack Baun, in the 3rd round of the draft.

There is no doubt about the strength of the Saints’ offence or the depth that comes with it, the main issue for the Saints on their push to appear in Super Bowl 55 will be their defence, which will struggle more as they get further into the playoffs.

Notable Matchups:

Week 3 vs Green Bay Packers; Week 9 @ Tampa Bay Buccaneers; Week 15 vs Kansas City Chiefs

Dallas Cowboys, NFC

Last season the Cowboys recorded a very average 8 wins and missed out on the playoffs after finishing second behind the Philadelphia Eagles in the NFC East. After yet another poor season they sacked Jason Garrett as head coach and looked to rebuild. The Dallas Cowboys were big winners in the 2020 draft, not only strengthening their roster, but also the appointment of Mike McCarthy as their new head coach has led to a lot of optimism around the Cowboys in the build up to the new season. They certainly will be a force in the NFC this season that has the potential to go all the way to the Super Bowl.

With Dak Prescott still franchised tagged, the addition of Ceedee Lamb alongside current stars Amari Cooper and Ezekiel Elliot, their offence is stacked with talent and certainly has a realistic chance of reaching Super Bowl 55. The Cowboys only made 7 interceptions last season which tied for the lowest in the league. If they are going to challenge the front runners in the Super Bowl push then they will have to increase the number of turnovers they make, as letting the likes of Russell Wilson, (Seahawks quarterback: Week 3)and Lamar Jackson, (Ravens quarterback: Week 13) keep the ball for long periods of time will damage their chances.

Notable Matchups:

Week 3 @ Seattle Seahawks; Week 13 @ Baltimore Ravens; Week 15 vs San Francisco 49ers

Tampa Bay Buccaneers, NFC

Tampa Bay have had one of if not the most significant off seasons in the league, signing Tom Brady and Rob Gronkowski has propelled them from a 7-9 team last year to serious Super Bowl contenders. Tom Brady’s season at the Patriots last year was weakened by the offensive players around him where he was relying heavily on running back James White and wide receiver Julian Edelman. Now that he is armed with Mike Evans and Chris Godwin (3rd and 13th overall in receiving yards last season), the Buccaneers are certainly in with a chance of getting to and winning the Super Bowl.

Buccaneers Linebacker Shaquil Barrett led the league in sacks last year but their defence was still ranked 29th overall in the league. They have looked to strengthen both their offensive line and their defence in the draft but only time will tell how effective that has been. The new format of the playoffs could be a blessing for the Buccaneers, with a possible 3 teams qualifying from their division. Being part of the NFC South means they have to play the New Orleans Saints two times in the season who are Super Bowl contenders themselves, and they could end up making Super Bowl challenges difficult for one another.

Tom Brady reunited with his old teammate Rob Gronkowski is probably the biggest story of the off season and will be a great strength for Tampa Bay this season as they try to reach Super Bowl 55 which will be taking place at their own stadium.

Notable Matchups:

Week 1 @ New Orleans Saints; Week 6 vs Green Bay Packers; Week 12 vs Kansas City Chiefs

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Time to run it back Gronky!

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Outside Chances

San Francisco 49ers: Can they make it to the Super Bowl again? Having lost their main wide receiver Emmanuel Saunders to the New Orleans Saints it looks like they will be heavily reliant on their defence again this year. Although they have one of the strongest defences in the league there is seemingly very little supporting their offence apart from tight end George Kittle.

Arizona Cardinals: Quarterback Kyler Murray had a great rookie year last season, throwing 20 touchdowns. With the addition of DeAndre Hopkins they have significantly strengthened their offence. The main question is will the lack of experience hold them back from a serious Super Bowl challenge?

Tennessee Titans: 2019/20 rushing leader Derrick Henry was seemingly unstoppable in the Titans’ playoff run last year, but with very little surrounding him, can he take the Titans one game further in the playoffs this year?

 

We hope you enjoyed the article, ‘Super Bowl 55: Top 5 Contenders’. Who do you think will win Super Bowl 55? Let us know!

 

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