Super Bowl LVI Predictions
Last year's Super Bowl consisted of one 41 old, Tom Brady, and a young phenom in Patrick Mahomes. Tampa Bay was doubted all year until it dismantled the NFC during its playoff run.
The Chiefs were the clear heavyweight favorite all season long in 2020. Both of these teams know what’s at stake in this 2021 season.
In a year where fans return for the first time, both of these high-powered offenses are going to be tough to stop on their road back to glory.
We’re going to dive into each conference to see who could potentially challenge Brady and Mahomes for a ring.
Here are our predictions on who will be playing in the new SoFi stadium.
NFC Champion - Green Bay Packers
Leading the league in points per game last season, the Green Bay Packers, commanded by Aaron Rodgers, are certainly capable of going all the way, even after several disputes among the team.
While the Packers lack a big-name addition from free agency, they do have second-year back A.J. Dillon to accompany Aaron Jones in the backfield. From contract renewals to young-player signings, this team is well-prepared for a long playoff run.
AFC Champion - Kansas City Chiefs
So long as they stay healthy the entirety of the season, the Kansas City Chiefs are once again the team to beat in the AFC. Not much occurred in terms of transactions, except for the signing of Orlando Brown, who is set to fill a spot at the tackle position following the release of Eric Fisher and Michael Schwartz.
Nevertheless, the Chiefs offseason moves remain in the shadow of the raw talent and efficiency displayed by their overpowering offense, and of course, the force that is Mahomes.
These two offenses could easily face off in the big game, but do not be surprised if this contest boils down to which defense can make a stronger stand.
NFC Champion- Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers has managed to hog attention all offseason to only stay in Green Bay for one more season. Rodgers and head coach Matt LaFleur were just plays away from beating Tom Brady in the NFC title game last season.
Rodgers has nothing to lose now being in his last year in the green and yellow. It would be a shock if he and Davante Adams do not once again play flick and catch all year long against opposing secondaries. Reports have hinted that the conversations between Rodgers and the front office have been positive, and they each understand what they both need in another Lombardi Trophy.
AFC Champion- Buffalo Bills
Josh Allen was, by far, the most improved player last season. His rise to stardom came when wide receiver Stefon Diggs arrived in Buffalo. This offense has a chance to compete with Andy Reid’s this season. The four teams in the AFC that are heavy favorites, the Browns, Titans, Chiefs and Bills, have some of the top offenses in the league.
The Bills added more young talent to help their pass rush which has been a problem, considering their secondary has been in the top 10 in turnovers every year in the Sean McDermott era.
An Allen and Rodgers Super Bowl would be one crazy shootout.
These are two of the best gunslingers in the NFL in the last twenty years. To go along with it, both of these young head coaches will be with their respected franchises for a while. It’s hard to see Rodgers leaving Wisconsin without a second ring.
NFC Champion- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Starting with the team from the NFC, there are many Super Bowl-caliber teams that could achieve the feat of possible Super Bowl champion. However, a team that has, not only the greatest quarterback of all time, but one of the most powerful and potent offenses in the league could rise above the rest. The team making it out of the gauntlet to represent the NFC will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
AFC Champion- Baltimore Ravens
Now the team facing the former champions from the AFC will be a team that has the 2019 Most Valuable Player in the most valuable position — at quarterback. The team that will represent the AFC will be the Baltimore Ravens. With the Buccaneers and the Ravens facing off in Inglewood, California, confetti will fall in the colors of red and white, meaning that the 2022 Super Bowl champions will be the Tampa Bay Buccaneers.
AFC Champion: Cleveland Browns
This is the year the Cleveland Browns finally put everything together and make it to the big game. The Browns are returning many of their starters from 2020, including the return of wide receiver Odell Beckham Jr. from a torn ACL. The signings of John Johnson III and Troy Hill will certainly improve the team’s secondary that already includes Denzel Ward, and the defense is topped off by one of the best edge rushers in the game in Myles Garrett. Nick Chubb, Beckham Jr, Jarvis Landry and quarterback Baker Mayfield are more than capable of holding their own in the AFC offensively, and with the Garrett-led defense, they can make a run to Super Bowl LVI.
NFC Champion: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
There are three words to describe this prediction for Tampa Bay to return to the Super Bowl this season: running it back. The Bucs are returning all 11 offensive starters, all 11 defensive starters, all 3 coordinators and head coach Bruce Arians. This is the first time post-merger (1970) that a defending Super Bowl champion team returned all 22 starters and all 3 coordinators. And of course, any team led by Tom Brady is a favorite to win the Super Bowl.
No team has repeated as Super Bowl champions since the New England Patriots repeated in 2003 and 2004, and the Bucs kept that true after defeating the then-defending champion Kansas City Chiefs in last year’s game. The trend of no repeating champions will continue with the Browns winning their first Super Bowl in franchise history.
Andrew DelSignore is a second-year student studying journalism. To contact him, email Atd5299@psu.edu
Sam Kirk is a second-year student studying broadcast journalism. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Juan Mendez is a second-year student studying broadcast journalism at Penn State. To contact him, email email@example.com.
Charlie Kuster is a third-year student studying film production at Penn State. To contact him, email firstname.lastname@example.org.