Preseason Super Bowl Prediction

By Joey Alibro

Twitter: @joeyalibro

It’s baaaaaack. Football has finally arrived as preseason games will be kicked into high gear for the next four weeks until the Thursday night opener between the defending champs and the Pittsburgh Steelers. But with the first game closing in, let’s look at some of the teams that could be in the last one on February 7th in San Francisco.

Returning Teams?

After the New England Patriots defeated the Seattle Seahawks in February, the teams seemed to have moved in opposite directions. The Seahawks added tight end Jimmy Graham from the Saints while re-signing their core to long term deals. The Patriots on the other hand have lost players on both sides of the ball in Darrelle Revis, Brandon Browner, Vince Wilfork and Shane Vereen, just to name a few. Not only that but they also have been dealing with “Deflategate” all off season, which I’ll admit has been grossly mishandled by the league. With all that said, I still think the Patriots have a better chance of returning to the big game because of the increase in competition in the NFC. Whichever way the Deflategate ruling goes, expect a Patriots team led by a pissed off Tom Brady to make some noise.

Which teams are legitimate contenders?

Along with the Seahawks and Patriots, there’s a pretty good group of teams that have a real chance of hoisting the Lombardi trophy in San Francisco. Teams like the Ravens and Packers seem to always be in this discussion because of their consistency in coaching and quarterback performance. Other potential dethroners of the pats include the Broncos (if Peyton’s arm can last that long), Cowboys, Colts, and Steelers.

Who are the dark horse teams?

Outside of the normal teams like the Patriots, Packers, etc. are the teams that could finally get over the hump and could be the classic underdog story to tell our grandkids about. The Dolphins, who added some offensive toys for Tannehill as well as Ndamukong Suh to their defense, could be in perfect position to make a run especially if Brady’s suspension is held up. The Minnesota Vikings are another team that has a good buzz around it. Under Teddy Bridgewater, who was impressive in his rookie season, and Adrian Peterson, who is still one of the best backs in the league, the Vikings could surprise some folks. What’s a list of Super Bowl underdogs without bringing up one of the teams that has already had its David vs. Goliath moment not once, but twice? Of course I’m talking about my very own New York Football Giants who have had success with their backs against the wall. The offense has a chance to be the league’s best entering Ben McAdoo’s second year as coordinator and getting Victor Cruz back doesn’t hurt either. The defense is a little questionable with the uncertainty surrounding JPP, but hopefully Steve Spagnulo can bring back some of that Super Bowl magic.

My Prediction

On February 7th in San Francisco, the Green Bay Packers will defeat the Indianapolis Colts 20-17, and Aaron Rodgers will win Super Bowl MVP.

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