2020 NFL Season Top Five Super Bowl Contenders



by Jack Theobald

Who will be raising the Lombardi Trophy?



2020 has been a wild, confusing, and maybe even depressing year for sports fans in the United States. When the NBA season was postponed in March, nobody could have predicted how the COVID-19 pandemic would impact sports. The NHL followed suit, postponing their season the day after, followed by the MLB postponing the start of the baseball season. While the NFL was in the offseason while all this was happening, the start of the NFL season in September was in question throughout the entire summer. Yet despite the global pandemic, the NFL has successfully started their season, to the delight of thousands of fans. It is undeniable that the season will look different, from crazy offseason moves to the potential for Corona “injuries,” but if all goes well, these five teams will have the best chance to win the Super Bowl: the Baltimore Ravens, the Kansas City Chiefs, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, the Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Seattle Seahawks.





ESPN.com


1. The Kansas City Chiefs:

The Kansas City Chiefs are defending champions coming into the 2020 season and will have a good chance of repeating this year. Super Bowl MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes signed a contract worth just over 500 million dollars this offseason and will look to prove that he’s worth it in 2020. Mahomes combined with all-pro tight end Travis Kelce (who led the AFC in receiving yards with 1,229), wide receiver Tyreek Hill and rookie running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire make up one of the most feared offenses in the league. Last year’s seventh-ranked defense blended with the high-powered offense should make for a deep playoff run for the Chiefs.


2. The Baltimore Ravens:

The Ravens are an easy favorite heading into the 2020-2021 season. Led by last year’s MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson, the Ravens had the highest-scoring offense last year, averaging just over 33 PPG. Because of this powerful offense, the Baltimore defense often gets overlooked. Led by a star-studded secondary of Marlon Humphrey and Marcus Peters, the Ravens defense ranked third in points allowed with just 17 PPG, and by adding LSU linebacker Patrick Queen from the draft, the Ravens defense will look to continue their impressive performance from last year. If the Ravens can overcome their playoff woes, the Lombardi trophy might be returning to Baltimore for the first time since 2013.


3. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers:

The Buccaneers had by far the most exciting offseason this year and maybe in the history of the NFL. Tampa Bay was the landing spot for six-time Super Bowl champion Tom Brady. Brady is replacing quarterback Jameis Winston, who led the league last year in interceptions with 30. Brady in a Bucs jersey could frighten opposing defenses, especially now that he has all-pro wide receivers Mike Evans and Chris Godwin, tight end Rob Gronkowski, who is returning from a one-year retirement, and running back Leonard Fournette who was recently signed from the Jacksonville Jaguars. If the fresh faces of Brady, Gronkowski, and Fournette can mesh together well with the existing team, the Buccaneers will be a heavy favorite in the NFC.


4. The Pittsburgh Steelers:

Following a very disappointing 2019 season, the Steelers will look to rebound and make a deep playoff run. A bit of a dark horse, the return of quarterback Ben Roethlisberger from injury will have a drastic impact on the Steelers' hopes for Super Bowl glory. The Steelers finished 8-8 last season but played much of the year with backup quarterback Mason Rudolph at the helm. With Roethlisberger returning, wide receiver Juju Smith-Schuster will see a massive increase in workload; furthermore, since opposing defenses will have to take into account the Steelers passing game, running back James Conner will look to improve on his meager 464 rush yards from last season. While the Pittsburgh offense will see a much-needed improvement, the real strength of the Steelers will be their defense. Led by safety Minkah Fitzpatrick and linebacker T.J. Watt, the Steelers will once again have one of the best defenses in the league. With the second easiest schedule in the NFL, the Steelers will likely bounce back and be in contention for the Super Bowl.


5. The Seattle Seahawks:

Coming off an 11-5 season in 2019, the Seahawks are almost guaranteed to be in playoff contention come 2021. Super Bowl Champion quarterback Russell Wilson will keep opposing defenses in check, accompanied by wide receivers Tyler Lockett and D.K. Metcalf. While the Seattle offense is deadly, the most exciting player on the Seahawks team will be newly-signed safety Jamal Adams. Adams is coming off an impressive season with the New York Jets, picking up 6.5 sacks, 7 pass defenses, and 75 tackles including 14 for a loss. Adams combined with one of the best linebackers in the league in Bobby Wagner, who led the league in tackles in 2019 with 159, will create a hard-hitting Seahawk defense that should help carry Seattle deep into the playoffs.