It was 50 years since the Kansas City Chiefs won their last NFL Super Bowl, but in February the Chiefs made history, bringing the Lombardi Trophy back to Missouri. The Chief’s long-awaited success has certainly romanticized the NFL once again. It’s already whetted the appetite for what’s to come in the NFL 2020/21 season and whether another franchise has the ability to create new headlines.
NFL fans and bettors will have had one eye on the recent NFL Draft to see which franchises have sufficiently strengthened their rosters to realistically challenge for the Super Bowl LV. When it comes to NFL betting on Super Bowl futures markets, which typically remain open right the way throughout the postseason until February’s Super Bowl, most bettors will look to squad depth in key areas as a deciding factor for a team’s Super Bowl LV chances. With that in mind, let’s assess the four NFL franchises that are most likely to be battling it out in the playoffs for a place in the Super Bowl LV.
Kansas City Chiefs
There’s no doubt that the Chiefs will be an even scarier prospect in the 2020/21 NFL season. Not only will they continue to have the services of Super Bowl LIV MVP quarterback Patrick Mahomes at their disposal, they will also have the addition of Sammy Watkins and Demarcus Robinson to enhance the Chiefs’ already impressive contingent of catchers. In the first round of the recent NFL Draft, Kansas City also selected running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Helaire will be a welcome acquisition, plugging the gap left following LeSean McCoy’s departure. Edwards-Helaire has significant room for development and could certainly be a major weapon for Mahomes to aim for.
It’s highly probable that the Ravens would have been considered a major force to be reckoned with in 2020/21 before their hugely successful NFL Draft. Baltimore made more savvy picks to enhance their running game, with the addition of tailback J.K. Dobbins. The key for the Ravens this summer was to provide 2019/20’s well deserved MVP quarterback Lamar Jackson with even greater targets to aim for. Speed demon Devin Duvernay was another clever addition, as was sixth-round pick James Proche who has developed a reputation for being one of the finest contested catchers in the college game. Their biggest need was a first-rate linebacker, which was solved with their first-round pick of Patrick Queen. Some may argue that the Ravens’ roster is as good as, if not better, than the Chiefs, but whether they have enough “box office” names in their ranks remains to be seen.
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco endured a painful Super Bowl loss to Kansas City in February, but many believe the 49ers will be able to lick their wounds and come back stronger in 2020/21. The Niners experienced several players departing at the end of the season, with Sanders, Buckner and Staley all leaving the franchise for various reasons. The speed with which they replaced these characters in the recent NFL Draft was mightily impressive. Pro Bowl left tackle Trent Williams is potentially an improvement on Staley, while first-round picks Javon Kinlaw and Brandon Aiyuk are also capable of replacing Buckner and Sanders like-for-like. Despite reaching the Super Bowl in February, the Niners endured one of the worst injury records last season. Only five teams suffered bigger injury lists than them. If they can get better luck this time around, they could have enough in the tank to be a credible challenge to the Chiefs.
New Orleans Saints
There were few bigger surprises in the 2019/20 NFL season than New Orleans’ Wild Card defeat to the Minnesota Vikings. Several home truths were told in the days following the loss and hopes abound in New Orleans that their heroes can bounce back in style in 2020/21. Saints have certainly been savvy with their off-season selections so far. In free agency, New Orleans were able to prise receiver Emmanuel Sanders away from conference rivals San Francisco, taking the load off Michael Thomas’ shoulders. First-round draft addition Cesar Ruiz has enhanced the Saints’ already imposing offensive line. Meanwhile the acquisition of Zack Baun will offer more edge-rushing capabilities for the New Orleans front seven.
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