My Super Bowl predictions

My Super Bowl predictions The post My Super Bowl predictions appeared first on WS Chronicle.

My Super Bowl predictions

One of the most fun things I get to do as a sports reporter is predicting outcomes before the start of the season. A few weeks ago I predicted who I thought would win each division and now it’s time for me to predict who I think will represent each conference in the Super Bowl and who I think will win it all.

Picking who I think will win each division wasn’t that difficult. I think outside of the AFC West and NFC North, there aren’t that many question marks when it comes to division winners. Now the playoffs are a different monster because anything can happen once you get in.

Let’s start with the AFC because this is the more difficult of the two conferences. It would be easy to choose the Buffalo Bills because it seems everyone thinks they will win it all. After watching their opening game on Thursday night against the Rams, it would be hard to disagree.

Even with all of the hype the Bills are getting, I don’t think they will win the AFC this season. I think they will get to the championship game; however, the team they will face is my pick to win the AFC.  You ask who is my choice to represent the AFC? My choice is the Baltimore Ravens.

Now that wasn’t an easy choice to make because I also thought the Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and the Kansas City Chiefs all have a legitimate shot at making it to the Super Bowl as well.  

The reasons I was leaning toward the Bills are obvious. The Bills have an elite offense with one of – if not the best –  quarterbacks in the league. Buffalo also has a good defense as they displayed against the defending champions last night. My problem with the Bills is that I feel they are still missing something. I am not sure if it’s their lack of a dynamic running back, their reliance on the passing game, or their shortcomings in their last two playoff appearances, but I don’t have them representing the AFC.

I thought about the Bengals for quite some time as well. We all know the Bengals represented the conference last season in the Super Bowl and were in the game all the way until the end, but I think that they will take a step back this season. I know they upgraded their offensive line; however, there are other teams in the conference that have upgraded as well. The Bengals will be in the mix though.

Kansas City will continue to be a force in the AFC. They did lose Tyreek Hill, but Patrick Mahomes will still have weapons in Ju Ju Smith-Schuster, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, Mecole Hardman, Skyy Moore and, of course, Travis Kelce and Clyde Edwards-Helaire. I am just skeptical about the Chiefs’ defense and can they hold up when it counts.

The reason I chose the Ravens is because they were injury struck last season at the running back position. Even with all those injuries, Lamar Jackson led them to an 8-3 record to start the season. Jackson himself was hurt and missed four games as well. I think they were just struck with some bad luck last season and are now ready to put it all together. They have been knocking on the door for several years and I feel this season is the year they get it done.

When it comes to the NFC, there are less choices as compared to the AFC. There are only two teams that I feel have a legit shot at making the Super Bowl because the other teams have holes or question marks at key positions. They are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the defending champion Rams.

The Bucs are loaded on offense once again with the additions of Russell Gage and Julio Jones to add to Mike Evans, Leonard Fournette and Chris Godwin. The thing that scares me is the injuries to their offensive line because everyone knows Tom Brady does not like pressure in the pocket. Their defense is still stout with Lavonte David, Vita Vea, Devin White, Keanu Neal and others.  

Couple all of that talent with the fact they are playing in a division that will not test them much, so it’s very likely they will finish with the No. 1 seed and earn that much coveted bye week during the wild card round. Those are the reasons I feel they will represent the NFC in the Super Bowl.

I am not worried about the Rams’ performance week 1 against the Bills. They are probably still suffering from the old cliché of a Super Bowl hangover. They will right the ship sooner than later because they are much too talented not to. Matthew Stafford’s elbow and his propensity to throw interceptions does concern me. When the dust settles in the playoffs, the Bucs will be too much for the Rams.

So, I have the Ravens against the Bucs in the big game next February. This would be an interesting matchup of teams that approach the game so differently offensively. I feel Lamar Jackson has a point to prove this season and the Ravens will be on the field when the confetti rains down on the champion.  

Jackson and the Ravens were not able to come to an agreement on a long-term contract, so he will be playing for his next contract. He could end up just like another Ravens quarterback, Joe Flacco, and win a Super Bowl during his contract year and become the highest paid player in the game. That would be a magical ending for Jackson and Ravens fans alike.  

So, my Super Bowl winner for this year is the Baltimore Ravens. 

The post My Super Bowl predictions appeared first on WS Chronicle.