The 2021-2022 NFL season has certainly been one full of many ups and downs, upsets and disappointments, and, most notably, lots of injuries and Covid scares. This season in particular has been a little bit of a strange one, with teams who struggled last season suddenly becoming good, teams who usually perform well falling to terrible teams, and teams (in general) struggling to score points, resulting in some bizarrely disappointing ending scores.
It is an interesting time to be an NFL fan, and especially a fan who places bets actively and consistently. Due to an unusual number of statistical upsets and surprises, the NFL odds for which team will win the Super Bowl have fluctuated a lot throughout this season. Now that the playoffs have drawn nearer, the moneyline odds have gotten a little bit more definitive.
That being said, I am not going to bring in any specific odds for this Super Bowl preview piece. All of my claims will be based on my personal opinion that has been developed from watching these teams play for 17 weeks. Maybe I will be wrong, but what’s the fun of betting without a little risk?
AFC Playoff Picture
For the AFC, five teams have officially clinched playoff spots, with several teams battling it out for the top seed in the conference for a bye in the first week of the playoffs. The Tennessee Titans (11-5,) the Kansas City Chiefs (11-5,) the Cincinnati Bengals (10-6,) the Buffalo Bills (10-6,) and the New England Patriots (10-6,) are on their way to the playoffs.
The Indianapolis Colts (9-7) and the Los Angeles Chargers (9-7) are currently in the hunt for a playoff spot, with their fates to be determined by their performances in the upcoming last week of the NFL regular season.
NFC Playoff Picture
For the NFC, seven teams have clinched playoff spots. The Green Bay Packers (13-3,) The Los Angeles Rams (12-4,) the Tampa Bay Buccaneers (12-4,) the Dallas Cowboys (11-5,) the Arizona Cardinals (11-5,) and the Philadelphia Eagles (9-7) have secured a place in the postseason. The San Francisco 49ers (9-7) are still in the hunt for a spot.
Who’s Actually Going to Super Bowl LVI?
Since I love way-too-early predictions, here is one AFC and one NFC team that I think will be out of the Super Bowl contenders circle after their first playoff game.
Who’s Winning the AFC: The Kansas City Chiefs
It might be a pretty popular prediction, but I think that the Chiefs will be able to make their third consecutive Super Bowl appearance this year.
The road to the playoffs has been considerably rough this season compared to the past two seasons for the Chiefs. They started off this season with a lethargic 3-4 record, but since Week 7, they have clawed and fought their way back to the top of the AFC, with a current record of 12-5 and 8 consecutive wins.
The Chiefs are in for a tough playoff run. It certainly will not be as easy as it was last year and the year before. They have their work cut out for them, and it will be difficult, but it is doable. Patrick Mahomes started off the season slow, but he has definitely improved to his normal self.
There are some solid competitors in the AFC this year, like the Tennessee Titans, the New England Patriots, and the Cincinnati Bengals. The Chiefs will need to perform at their very best to defeat the best teams of the AFC, and I definitely think they can. I’m counting on the Chiefs and Patrick Mahomes to make their third straight Super Bowl appearance.
Who’s Winning the NFC: The Green Bay Packers
I do not think anyone will disagree with me on this choice of which team will win the AFC championship. The Green Bay Packers are at the very top of their game this season, playing at a much higher level than they have in a long time. For years now, the Packers have been a great team, but a team that has failed to make it to the Super Bowl or advance far in the postseason. The Packers last played in a Super Bowl in February of 2011, over ten years ago.
This year is their year. The Packers currently have the best record in the league, and possibly the best quarterback (and biggest Most Valuable Player prospect) in the league. Aaron Rodgers has been playing some of the best football of his career.
Despite some issues with injuries this season, the Packers have only lost four games, and with 12 wins, they have pretty much secured the top spot in the NFC, meaning that they will get a bye week for the first week of the playoffs. They also will have a huge home advantage, as every postseason game they play with the exception of the Super Bowl will be at Lambeau Field. The Packers are the only team in the league who are undefeated at home this season.
I think that it is the Green Bay Packers’ year to make it to the Super Bowl and win.