Tom Brady added another storied chapter to his Hall of Fame-career last season, when he led his new team Tampa Bay Buccaneers to their first Super Bowl win in almost 20 years on home field versus Kansas City Chiefs. The previous finalists are again expected to be the top contenders to take home the Lombardi trophy this time around, with several teams playing the role of underdog. We will look closer at the five teams that the betting sites believe are in with the biggest shout for the upcoming NFL season.
Green Bay Packers
There has been plenty of drama this off-season in Titletown. The on-going uncertainty surrounding superstar quarterback Aaron Rodgers was a storyline to follow all throughout summer, with last year’s regular season MVP going as far as saying he never wanted to play for the Packers ever again. Rodgers appears to have put his differences with the front office aside for the upcoming campaign, but many believe this will be the illustrious quarterback’s last season at Lambeau Field. Green Bay have made it to the NFC Championship the last two seasons, and with the red-hot connection between Rodgers and superstar wide receiver Davante Adams, along with running back Aaron Jones, there will be a lot of expectations surrounding the green and gold to make it back to the big game for the first time since 2011. What better fairy-tale ending than for Rodgers to win his second ring in his potential last Packers season?
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams fell short in the NFC Divisional Round against the Packers in January, and this off-season they went big in trading for quarterback Matthew Stafford from Detroit, sending Jared Goff and two first-round picks the opposite way. During the pre-season they suffered a big blow by losing starting running back Cam Akers for the season with a torn Achilles, prompting them to make a trade with the New England Patriots for Sony Michel. With Stafford leading the offense many are expecting the Rams to make it back to the Super Bowl for the second time in four seasons. While the running game is a bit up in the air after Akers’ injury, they can still lean on one of the league’s best receiving duos in Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp. On the other side of the ball teams have to prepare for stopping the reigning defensive player of the year Aaron Donald. No easy task…
The New England Patriots have had a stranglehold on the AFC East for close to two decades, but last season it was the Buffalo Bills who managed to win the division for the first time since 1995. The acquisition of receiver Stefon Diggs from the Minnesota Vikings turned out to be one of the trades of the season, with Diggs amassing a league leading 1535 receiving yards, coupled with 8 touchdowns. Quarterback Josh Allen continues to make strides, especially as a passer – last year he crushed his career bests, posting the league’s fifth-best total with 4544 yards, while completing almost 70% of his passes with a 37:10 TD to INT ratio. The Bills made it all the way to the AFC Champions Game last season – is this the year they get to hoist their first-ever Lombardi trophy?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The legend that is Tom Brady just keeps on growing. His move from New England to Tampa Bay stole the headlines last off-season, with many question marks surrounding what he could produce in a new team and new conference. At the golden age of 43 the GOAT showed no signs of slowing down, leading the Bucs to an 11-5 record while adding more than 4600 passing yards and 40 passing touchdowns. They were just one win short of winning the division, forcing them to go into the playoffs as a wildcard. Their run to the Super Bowl was nothing short of impressive, winning three straight road games to make it to the big game on their own home field, the first time in history that has happened. In the final Brady tossed three TD’s, earning him a seventh Super Bowl title and fifth MVP award. Apparently any team with Brady will be considered a strong contender for the sport’s biggest prize.
Kansas City Chiefs
The Super Bowl champions from two years ago were dreaming of going back-to-back for the first time in franchise history, only to be denied by Brady’s Bucs. They enter this season as the bookies’ biggest favorite to lift the Lombardi, spearheaded by an offense that has been scoring points for fun with young superstar Patrick Mahomes under center. The team has won the AFC West five seasons in a row, with the 14-2 record last season being their best-ever performance. Trying to stop a team featuring explosive players like Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill is an unenviable task, with the latter scoring a second-best 15 receiving touchdowns last year. Andy Reid is building a dynasty at Arrowhead, with the Chiefs aiming to be only the fourth team in NFL history to make it to three straight Super Bowls. Will the reigning AFC top dogs be able to live up to expectations?
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