Super Bowl LVII prediction: Rams, Bills to play NFL season’s first and last games
The Los Angeles Rams remain the best team in the NFC, while the Buffalo Bills could close out the season by rewriting their history books.
The champions must always be respected and considered among the contenders - even more so if they begin a new campaign with the key pieces they need to secure another Super Bowl title.
Yes, the Los Angeles Rams have lost Von Miller, Andrew Whitworth, Darious Williams, Robert Woods and Sony Michel, among others, but they added Bobby Wagner, Allen Robinson and Troy Hill in free agency.
And most significantly, the Rams go into the defence of their crown having extended the contracts of their three most important players: Matthew Stafford, Cooper Kupp and Aaron Donald.
So whether we like it or not, head coach Sean McVay’s Rams head into the 2022 season as the NFC favourites.
Who are the other candidates in the NFC? We have to start with the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, who start the campaign with a doubtful offensive line, but with a certain Tom Brady at the controls.
And as long as ‘TB12′ doesn’t jump ship, that team has to be considered a contender. Period.
Many believe that Aaron Rodgers will not be the same without Davante Adams in Green Bay. Oh my God! It’s the quarterbacks who make the wide receivers, not the other way around.
If the Packers‘ defence maintains a level similar to that shown in 2021, Rodgers will take care of the rest and Green Bay will once again be among the best teams in the NFC.
San Francisco and Dallas have potential, but the 49ers are in the hands of an inexperienced quarterback in Trey Lance, and the Cowboys have a lot of problems in their offensive line - and have lost strength in their passing offence... unless CeeDee Lamb becomes the next Michael Irvin.
What’s more, Mike McCarthy remains the coach in Dallas. Enough to not be considered contenders.
The surprise package in the NFC looks like being the Philadelphia Eagles, who have quietly built one of the best offensive lines in the league and drafted wide receiver A.J. Brown, who will make a special pairing with young quarterback Jalen Hurts.
But neither the Bucs, nor the Packers, nor the Eagles will prevent the Rams from returning to the Super Bowl because the champions’ roster is, for the second year in a row, the best in the conference.
There are two contenders in the American Conference: Kansas City and Buffalo. That’s it.
Cincinnati? Losing the Super Bowl comes at a price and I honestly don’t think the Bengals will survive the brutal schedule that awaits them after their bye week: they go to Pittsburgh and Tennessee, then host Kansas City and Cleveland, before visiting Tampa Bay and New England, and facing Buffalo and Baltimore at home. You see? Brutal.
The Chiefs’ three opponents in the AFC West will keep them on their toes: the Raiders, the Chargers and the Broncos.
Las Vegas is perhaps the team that intrigues me the most. In Davante Adams, Derek Carr now has a true star at wide receiver and that means no more excuses for the veteran Raiders quarterback.
Josh McDaniels is the new head coach in Nevada and that’s also good news for Carr, who is loved and hated by the Raider Nation.
With Justin Herbert at the controls (9,350 yards and 69 touchdowns in his first two years in the NFL) and a revamped defence featuring linebacker Khalil Mack, the Chargers finally look ready to compete in the Wild, Wild West.
The Broncos have signed up Russell Wilson, who promises to be the franchise quarterback that Denver has been after ever since Peyton Manning retired.
The Broncos want to be the next team on the list to get a veteran quarterback and immediately win the Super Bowl, like the Buccaneers in 2020 and the Rams in 2021.
However, the West belongs to the Chiefs. Will Patrick Mahomes miss Tyreek Hill? Probably, but the star quarterback will quickly learn to spread the game with his new wide receivers - and don’t forget he still has Travis Kelce, the best tight end in the league.
Bills to win first ever Super Bowl
The Chiefs have been the Bills’ nemesis, but no more. Buffalo is ready to finally beat Kansas City in the Playoffs. And not only that.
Josh Allen will lead the Bills to their first Super Bowl appearance since the 1990s.
The Rams will be their opponents in Super Bowl LVII, at State Farm Stadium in Glendale, Arizona, on 12 February 2023.
Allen will end an MVP-calibre season with a brilliant performance and the Bills will dethrone the champions to make history with the first Super Bowl title in franchise history.
It will be, by the way, Brady’s last season in the NFL because, a few days after the Bills win the title, the G.O.A.T. will announce his final retirement to start a new career as a television analyst.
So let's enjoy each and every one of his passes in 2022, because it could be the last we see from the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL.
Let the games begin!