Super Sunday Predictions and Playoffs Review

Super Bowl Prediction 

Photos used courtesy of AP/Frank Franklin II and Bengals.com

These two teams are so evenly matched, it’s almost impossible to pick a winner. The Bengals and the Rams are neck and neck when it comes to offensive production. Both have incredible first overall draft picks as their quarterbacks, as well. Matthew Stafford was drafted first overall to the notoriously bad Detroit Lions and gave it all to the city and their fans. He was traded last year to the Rams when the Lions decided to rebuild (again). Joe Burrow grew up in Ohio and became a local legend when he was drafted to the Bengals with his college teammate Ja’marr Chase, who shredded defenses this year. 

Defensively, they both played slightly better than average during the regular season but really turned up the jets during the postseason. The Bengals held the high-flying Chiefs offense to 24 points (3 in the second half) during their AFC Championship Game, a feat that the Bills defense, which was ranked number one in the league in the regular season, couldn’t muster. The Rams held Tom Brady long enough to avoid another tragic comeback defeat and limited their other two opponents to fewer than 20 points.

The match-up is so tight that this might come down to a matter of experience. Sean McVay, the Rams’ head coach, has been here before and is making sure he doesn’t make the same mistakes twice. The only worry that I would have if I’m a Rams fan, other than the Bengals tearing into their defense, would be the Rams run game. It’s been very quiet in the playoffs, which will come back to bite them if they’re trying to hold a lead. 

This super bowl could come down to the flip of a coin, but I’m going to have to give it to the Rams 33-27 in overtime. They’ve been here before and have an ever-so-slight advantage on the defensive side of the ball. That being said, this could go either way. 

 

Playoff Review (in order of elimination)

 

Raiders – They had a lot going against them, but they eventually found a way to make the playoffs. Here’s hoping that the new head coach, Josh McDaniels, will pan out, unlike the many ex-New England coaches before him. 

 

Patriots – Mack Jones needs to take the next step as Quarterback, and the defense needs to stay consistent throughout the year. Depending on the progression or the regression, they can go anywhere from playoff contenders to the middle of the pack.

 

Eagles – Build around Jalen Hurts and invest in the defense, and they need to get better at playing competent teams. Serious improvement is needed in order to make the playoffs consistently; you can’t rely on a weak conference every year.

 

Cowboys – Good bounce-back year, but shot themselves in the foot in the wild card game. If they don’t win at least one playoff game next year, McCarthy is most likely out the door. They don’t have cap space to improve the team, so they’re stuck with what they got.

 

Steelers – A new era begins. The Steelers need to be aggressive in the off-season in order to be competitive next year. A quarterback and a fortified defense will be key add-ons. 

 

Cardinals – They came into the playoffs flat; the Cardinals need to see if they can rebound after their disappointing playoff performance. If they come out stale, look for them to be buyers at the trade deadline.

 

Titans – Ryan Tannehill isn’t cutting it, and it’s time to move on. Just like the 49ers, a veteran or a young QB in the draft would be best for them, but they should be playoff contenders on the back of Derek Henry. 

 

Packers – Party’s over Packers, there is negative cap space for them, and 23 players are headed to free agency, including Aaron Rodgers. It might be time to hit the rebuild button. 

 

Buccaneers – Tom Brady has officially retired. The Buccaneers are in desperate need of a Quarterback, and Aaron Rodgers might be the perfect target. As long as that position is filled, they’ll be back in the playoffs. 

 

Bills – Should’ve picked heads. Get some offensive help for Josh Allen, namely a running back, and they’ll be back to Superbowl contenders, as long as the defense holds up.

 

Chiefs – Defense was inconsistent for most of the year, it was at one point bottom three in the league, but then turned it around and finished top 10. The offense also got off to a rough start too, but if the Chiefs can perform like they didn’t in the latter half of the season, there is no question that they’ll be back. 

 

49ers – Deebo Samuel played outstandingly, but Jimmy Garoppolo did not. He looked shaky throughout the entire playoffs, and it felt like the 49ers won in spite of him, not because of him. Look out for the 49ers to make a trade to grab a young QB in the draft or a veteran QB.