Who’s headed to the Super Bowl?

Most people can’t stop thinking about the NCAA football national championships on January 10. Even if all Alabama fans want is to forget, we can’t forget about the upcoming Super Bowl on February 13. Just to give a little bit of background, eight teams are currently left in the playoffs after the wild card round this past weekend. These teams are the Green Bay Packers, Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Cincinnati Bengals, Tennessee Titans, San Francisco 49ers, and Los Angeles Rams. Surprise, surprise! The Falcons aren’t here. Again. Sorry Braves, you set the bar way too high. After looking deeper into these eight teams, I’ll give my Super Bowl predictions.

First up, the Green Bay Packers. Ranked Number 1 in the NFC, they’re up against the 6th ranked San Francisco 49’ers this weekend. We’re calling Green Bay on this one. They’re all rested up from no games in the Wild Card week, and have had a better season than the 49’ers, with a 13-4 record compared to the 49ers’ 10-7 record. In addition, the Packers had better results with common opponents. For example, the Packers beat the Seahawks 17-0 at home early on in the season while San Francisco recently lost to Seattle 28-21 at home. Furthermore, the Packers beat the 49’ers themselves at San Francisco 30-28 earlier this season. With the Packers now at home in Green Bay in this post-season game, I feel confident that you can bet on a Packers win over San Francisco.

Next up are the other two NFC teams: the 2nd ranked Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the 4th seeded Los Angeles Rams. My first thought is that you can’t bet against Tom Brady. You just can’t. I mean how many Super Bowls has he won by now? But I’ll consider a little more information. First, the Rams are coming off a huge 34-11 home win over the Arizona Cardinals. The Rams also beat the Bucs earlier in the season but that was all the way in September and now the Bucs will be at home – where they have only lost once during the entire season. Also, powerhouse running back for the Buccaneers, Leonard Fournette has been injured for the past few weeks; however, sources say that he was back at practice this week, which would be a major bonus for the Bucs. If their team falls into place, they will be unstoppable, and Tampa Bay will be one step closer to another Super Bowl victory.

Moving onto the AFC, the first game is between the Titans and the Bengals. While the Titans are the number 1 team in the AFC, they still have stiff competition when facing the Bengals under quarterback Joe Burrow and running back Joe Mixon. Nevertheless, not only did the Titans perform better against common opponents such as the Jets and the Jaguars (let’s be honest, though, both of these example teams suck), but they will also be playing at home – an advantage that can’t be overlooked. We’ll see, though. This will definitely be a close one.

The last quarterfinal game involves the AFC’s Bills and Chiefs. The spread for this game is insane! Kansas City is favored to win, but only by 1.5 points, only ½ of a field goal. The Chiefs are coming off a huge 47-17 win over the Patriots, but the Bills, too, just beat the Steelers 42-21. The Bills also boast arguably the best defense in the NFL. Under quarterback Josh Allen, their offense is also up there. This tough combination will, in my opinion, be enough to hold off the Chief’s top ranked offense, so yes, I’m calling the Bills.

[edited] Weekend quarter final update: Ok so, I was wrong. 4 games. 3 last minute field goals! 1 overtime! The 49ers ended up beating the Packers 13-10, the Bengals emerged victorious over the Titans 19-16, and the Rams beat the Buccaneers 30-27. All three of the home teams in these cases lost! As for the Chiefs vs the Bills, it was a crazy overtime game, with the Chiefs pulling away with a score of 43-36. You can literally see how close everything was. 


If all went according to plan (which it didn’t), we should have seen a semifinal game between the Packers and the Buccaneers and another between the Titans and the Bills. Instead it’s going to be the 49ers vs. the Rams and the Bengals vs. the Chiefs. For the first game, the 49ers and the Rams, I think the 49ers should win (but clearly, NFL upsets have been popular lately). The Rams blew a 27-3 lead in the game against the Buccaneers. That field goal barely saved them from the 27-27 tie game the Buccaneers gained back. Next, the Chiefs are going to win. The Bengals offense looked a little weak against the Titans (as evident in their low score), so the Chiefs should be a shoo-in for the championships. You can’t doubt Mahomes. Superstar.

Oops…wrong again. The Bengals beat the Chiefs. YET ANOTHER upset. YET ANOTHER overtime. What is going on this year? It was impressive, though, I’ll admit. The Bengals came back from trailing by 18 to pull through for a 27-24 win. That kind of persistence and comeback could be huge in a Super Bowl game (unless you’re the Falcons, of course – then you’ll likely be on the losing side).  Aaaand… 0/6. The Rams are headed to the Super Bowl with a 20-17 win over the 49ers. The predictions aren’t going well, but the games are amazing. 

Now, it’s Super Bowl time! As I previously said, the NFC bracket looks stronger than the AFC. Whoever wins the Packers vs Buccaneers game is in it for the long haul (this statement did not age well…yikes…guess we’ll never see this showdown). It will be the Bengals vs. the Rams. With these two young, up-and-coming teams, led by Joe Burrow and Matthew Stafford, respectively, it will be a fun game, for sure. As for the result, given the much more impressive win of the Bengals against the Chiefs, this may be their time to shine. But then again, my track record has not been doing great. If I finally guess correctly, then, congrats Cincinnati – your first Super Bowl appearance in 33 years, and it’s a win!