It’s not long now till the Dallas Cowboys and Tampa Bay Buccaneers kick off the new season on Thursday September 9that the Raymond James Stadium. Tom Brady and Tampa dominated the Kansas City Chiefs 31-9 in Super Bowl LV but can they go again and retain the Vince Lombardi trophy?
Tampa Bay Buccaneers Super Bowl Champions
The 2021 Super Bowl champions started their season with an opening day loss at New Orleans but rebounded to win their next three games. November saw Tampa lose three out of their five games leaving them 7-5, but they saw out the rest of the season undefeated with a 15-5 record.
On their way to thefinal, the Buccaneers defeated three Super Bowl MVP quarterbacks inDrew Brees, Aaron Rodgers, and Patrick Mahomes, becoming the first team in NFL history to play a Super Bowl in their home stadium and only the seventh team to win the Super Bowl as a wild card team.
Can Tampa do it again?
Winning a Super Bowl increases expectations and puts pressure on a team, even one with experienced campaigners like Brady and Gronkowski and a veteran coach in Bruce Arians. But the Buccaneers have managed to keep their entire core of starters together in free agency, meaning they have the best-looking squad in the league right now. You only have to look at the latest NFL odds to see that you can’t rule out the repeat for Tampa.
An intriguing NFL Draft and some aggressive free agency deals have shaken up the rosters of several rival teamswho will be looking to challenge the Buccaneers this season.But who are the teams that have the best chance of lifting the Vince Lombardi trophy?
Kansas City Chiefs
You can’t look past the Chiefs when it comes to title contenders. They’ve played in the past two Super Bowls and future ‘GOAT’ Patrick Mahomes is one of the best quarterbacks around. He finished second in passing efficiency the past two seasons and at 25 years old, he’s only going to get better.
The Ravens Orlando Brown has been recruited to play left tackle and Joe Thuneywas added in free agency, while Kyle Long has come out of retirement, giving Mahomes the protection he needs to perform.
Traditionally, the Chiefs are fast starters, having won their last six season-openers and winning their first four games in each of the past four seasons. This year that record will be severely tested as they face a tough opening day fixture against the Browns, followed by the Ravens a week later. if they can come through that undefeated, don’t be surprised to see them back in the Super Bowl for a third year in a row.
Last season saw the Bills claim their first AFC East championship since 1995 and they are ready to step up and challenge the Chiefs this year. Buffalo have possibly the best player roster in the AFC and managed to return their entire offensive line from a year ago. They re-signed OT Daryl Williams and DB Levi Wallace, plus drafted two great edge rushers in Greg Rousseau and Carlos Basham in the first two rounds.
At QB,Josh Allen has been transformed into a future superstar and with veteran route runners Stefon Diggs, Emmanuel Sanders, and Cole Beasley in the team, we can expect great things from Allen in his fourth NFL season.
Coming off three straight double-digit win seasons, the Ravens have to be seen as contenders once again.They have aformer MVP quarterback in Lamar Jackson, a top-3 tight end in Mark Andrews, and a defense that ranked second in the league in 2020.They also boast one of the best cornerback trios in Marcus Peters, Marlon Humphrey and Tavon Young.
Baltimore may be short at wide receiver, but they have a great coach in John Harbaugh and an offense that can hurt teams in every way possible. The only concern would be their inability to come from behind last season.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are a team that has to be in the mix even though they’ve only generated one winning record in the past four seasons. The reason is that when quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo is fit and playing, San Francisco is 22-8.
With Trey Lance, the third pick in the 2021 Draft,competing for that QB starting spot, there’s no reason the 49ers can’t go far this year.They have a superb offense and an elite pass rusher in Nick Bosa. The re-signing of elite left tackle Trent Williams is also huge.
Los Angeles Rams
The Rams had one of the best defences last year but have since lost their defensive coordinator to the Los Angeles Chargers. John Johnson III and Troy Hill are also big misses for this team.
On the positive side they have made a significant upgrade at quarterback by adding Matthew Stafford to the roster. With Aaron Donald, Cam Akers and a healthy DeSean Jackson in the team, the Rams offense will always be a threat.
Sean McVay is a great coach but a run all the way to the Super Bowl looks to benothing more than an outside chance.
Tampa Bay have managed to bring back nearly every contributor from last season’s championship squad, including all 22 starters. With players like Tom Brady, Devin White, Tristan Wirfs, and Gronkowski on their roster, this is a team built to win trophies.
Can anybody stop Brady from going back-to-back since he repeated with the Patriots? History tells us that when it comes to Tom Brady, anything is possible.