Making Super Bowl predictions has become an annual event for me. I started in 2019, when I predicted, mid-season, that the San Francisco 49ers would beat the New England Patriots in the Super Bowl. It turned out that Kansas City Chiefs beat the 49ers. In 2021, I predicted, at the start of the playoffs that the Washington Football Team would beat the Kansas City Chiefs in the Super Bowl. It turned out that the Tampa Bay Buccaneers beat the Chiefs. So far, I have managed to predict one of the teams correct each year. Maybe, this time I can predict both teams correctly.
In 2022, I am making my predictions one round later than last season. At this point, we only have 8 teams remaining. These teams are:
- Green Bay Packers
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers
- LA Rams
- San Francisco 49ers
- Tennessee Titans
- Kansas City Chiefs
- Buffalo Bills
- Cincinnati Bengals
This year I will predict what I believe will happen, as well as state what I would hope would happen.
Quick Statistical Comparison
Currently, none of the remaining teams clearly standout above the others. The strongest teams, based on win-loss record, Packers and Buccaneers (13-4) are not considered overwhelming favourites over the rest of the field. Below are the Super Bowl odds of the eight teams.
Super Bowl Odds
Source: OddsChecker as at 20/01/2022
The Buccaneers, despite having the joint best win-loss record in the league as well as being the defending Super Bowl champions have only the fourth best odds of winning. The Tennessee Titans have the best win-loss record in the AFC but only have the sixth best odds of winning.
None of the teams, standout in terms of the statistics from the 2021 regular season. Table 1 compares some of the relevant statistics from the season.
Table 1: Playoff Teams Statistics
Source: ESPN, NFL.com, and Power Ranking Guru
Note 1: SOS is strength of schedule (lower rank, tougher schedule), TO is turnovers, and Play is average yards per a play (includes weighted average of pass and run plays).
Note 2: Green numbers represent best in the conference and red numbers represent worst in the conference.
Every team have areas where they have performed well and every team have areas where they have performed badly. Table 2 summarises the teams’ relative performance when compared with just each other (e.g. a team may have a good passing game when compared with the rest of the league but not when compared with the teams remaining in the playoffs).
Table 2: Playoff teams' strengths and weaknesses (Opinion based)
Based on strengths and weaknesses, a case could be made for any of the remaining teams.
Green Bay Packers vs. San Francisco 49ers
In the Divisional Round, in the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers play at the Green Bay Packers and the LA Rams play at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the AFC, the Cincinnati Bengals play at the Tennessee Titans and the Buffalo Bills play at the Kansas City Chiefs.
San Francisco 49ers have beaten the Green Bay Packers three times in a row in the playoffs. They usually run the ball very well against them. This runs down the clock, tires the defence, and keeps Packers quarterback Aaron Rogers off the field. The game plan for this game will mostly likely be the same. The Packers run defence is still vulnerable. However, the 49ers are turnover prone and concede many penalties. The Packers could easily capitalise on these mistakes to obtain an early lead. Falling behind early would force the 49ers to pass the ball more often. The Packers make very few mistakes (i.e. penalties or turnovers). This would make it harder for the 49ers to come back. The cold weather will also favour the Packers. I predict the Packers will win.
Considering his great career (e.g. 3 MVP awards 10 Pro Bowls), Aaron Rodgers has had limited success in the playoffs (11 wins and 9 losses). and only one Super Bowl appearance. There is a good chance he will get another playoff run before the end of his career. The 49ers game gives him a chance to beat a team that had bettered him 3 times in a row. After that win, he will most likely face Tom Brady (considered greatest of all time) and the Buccaneers. This match up would be a crowd pleaser especially if Aaron Rodgers gets the better of Brady.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers vs. L.A. Rams
The LA Rams beat the Tamp Bay Buccaneers earlier in the season. The Rams opened up the lead in the third quarter and did a good job of maintaining it. In the rematch, I expect the outcome to be different. The Rams have struggled running the ball and the Buccaneers have a very good pass defence, which limits yards per pass as well as forces turnovers. The Rams pass defence give up a lot yards per play but have also managed a high number of interceptions. If Tom Brady plays to his normal high playoff standard, the Buccaneers should have no problem scoring points. The Buccaneers play at home in this game, which is also an advantage to them.
Tennessee Titans vs. Cincinnati Bengals
The Tennessee Titans appear to be underrated despite the success they have had this season. They have the joint best win-loss record in the AFC. They have beaten other playoff teams such as the 49ers, Rams, Chiefs, and Bills. As they are the number one seed in the AFC, they will also have home field advantage throughout the playoffs. In their first game, they host the Bengals. The Bengals have a very explosive passing game but lack a running attack. The Titans are very strong against the run. Therefore, we can expect the Bengals to pass the ball most of the time in this game. We can expect them to have some success as well. The Bengals do not have a top defence. The return of Titans top running back (Derrick Henry) will keep the Titans offence competitive as well as open up the Titans passing game up. They should be able to scrape past the Bengals.
Kansas City Chiefs vs. Buffalo Bills
The Kansas City Chiefs are the favourites to reach the Super Bowl from the AFC. They have been to two consecutive Super Bowls and have plenty of recent playoff experience. The Buffalo Bills have had far less playoff success but they had a good run last season before being eliminated by the Chiefs in the Conference Championship. This time round the Bills return with a better team. They have the number one ranked defence, which has been outstanding against the pass. Their offence has performed well with one of the best running games in the league. However, they have been less successful in the air. The Chiefs have a good offense that performs well both on the ground and through the air. However, the Chiefs are predominantly a passing team and have one of the best young quarterbacks in the league.
The Bills are arguably the better team but the Chiefs will most likely win this game. Chiefs’ quarterback, Patrick Mahomes, is the next superstar quarterback to dominate the league. I expect he will win 4 or more Super Bowls in his career. This Chiefs team should be sufficient to win him his second Super Bowl this season. To do that the Chiefs need to overcome the Bills, which will most likely be their toughest challenge in the playoffs.
In the NFC, I am predicting the Green Bay Packers will host the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the AFC, I am predicting the Tennessee Titans will host the Kansas City Chiefs.
Green Bay Packers vs. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
A battle between Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers can be expected to be epic. This game would be a rematch of the 2021 Conference Championship. These two quarterbacks have only played each other five times and only once in the playoffs. Both the Buccaneers and Packers are very good teams. Arguably, the Packers have the better offence and the Buccaneers have the better defence. The advantage goes to the Packers, as they will be home. Green Bay is rough on visitors in January. The game should be close but I do not expect the Buccaneers to win in the Championship game in Green Bay two years in a row. I expect Tom Brady will return next season. I think there is a good chance of a Patriots-Buccaneers Super Bowl in 2023. There is a possibility that Aaron Rodgers will miss this game because of a false positive test. If this is the case, the Buccaneers will win.
Tennessee Titans vs. Kansas City Chiefs
The battle in the AFC Conference game will be less of an epic battle but could still be a good game. The Titans running attack should dominate the Chiefs defence. This will become an important factor if the game is close or the Titans are winning. If the Chiefs jump out to a quick lead. The Titans will need to throw the ball more to catch up. The Chiefs defence give up a lot yards but they are also good at forcing turnovers. In a big game like the Conference Championship, Titans could easily make a few costly errors, which could see the game get away from them. Chiefs should win comfortably even though they would be playing in Tennessee.
Super Bowl: Chiefs vs. Packers
My prediction for the Super Bowl is the Kansas City Chiefs against the Green Bay Packers. The Chiefs would be playing in their third consecutive Super Bowl. The Packers would be returning after over a decade’s absence. The Packers would probably be slight favourites over the Chiefs. However, we could see a Covid-19 twist that would make the Chiefs the strong favourites. Aaron Rodgers may miss the Super Bowl over Covid-19 testing. There were rumours that Aaron Rodgers might boycott the Super Bowl because of Covid-19 testing rules. However, this rumour was quickly dispelled by Aaron Rodgers when he was interviewed (Daily Mail). However, Aaron Rodgers could still test positive for Covid-19 and miss the Super Bowl. We could argue that could happen to any player but Aaron Rodgers is more likely to be targeted because of his views regarding Covid-19. The NFL and Media would love to punish him for his views while also demonstrating how important it is to be vaccinated against Covid-19. This is assuming that they have not punished him in the earlier rounds.
If Aaron Rodgers does not play, the Chiefs will win. The game will most likely be a disappointment as the Packers offense will struggle and not be able to keep up with the Chiefs even if they play a mediocre game as they have done in the previous two Super Bowls. The NFL is entertainment focused but sometimes, political statements are more important to them.
What would I like to happen?
I have summarised what I think will happen. Now, I would to like describe what I would like to happen. I have been a fan of the 49ers since the mid-80s. I was attracted to them because they were a top team and I really liked their red and gold uniforms. In the 80s and 90s, they were an exciting team to watch and they have shown glimpses of that excitement in recent seasons.
Let us go back to the Divisional Round.
I would like to see the 49ers win in Green Bay. I also think they have an exciting and unique team this year. They have pulled off some exciting victories; the biggest one was against the Rams in Week 18. Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, George Kittle and Eli Mitchell are exciting offensive players. They also bring a lot of intensity on the defensive side of the ball.
I would like to see the Buccaneers win at home against the Rams. Most of Tom Brady's games are quite good. I would also prefer to see the 49ers play the Buccaneers as they play the Rams twice a year anyway.
I would like to see the Bengals win in Tennessee. The Bengals are an exciting team that can score plenty of points and move the ball well through the air.
I would like to see the Bills win in Kansas City. The Bills are a strong all-round team. Josh Allen is an exciting young mobile quarterback who has greatly contributed to the Bills rushing attack. Chiefs have been to two Super Bowls in a row and they have mostly not lived up to expectations. The Bills have not been to the Super Bowl since the 1990s and have yet to win one.
In the Conference Championships
I would want to see the 49ers win in Tampa Bay. Tom Brady has won 7 Super Bowls with the most recent win just last season. The 49ers have not won a Super Bowl since 1995; it would be nice if they got another chance this season after what happened to them 2 years ago.
Both the Bengals and Bills would make good Super Bowl teams but the Bills are the stronger team, therefore more deserving. It would be good if the Bills had a chance to avenge the four consecutive defeats they had at the beginning of the 1990s.
In the Super Bowl: Bills vs. 49ers
I would like to see the San Francisco 49ers play the Buffalo Bills in the Super Bowl. I am biased towards the 49ers, as I am fan. I believe the Bills are a deserving team for quality of play as well as entertainment. A 49ers-Bills Super Bowl should be entertaining to watch. The teams’ strengths match up well. The key to winning would be turnovers. The Bills are good at forcing them and the 49ers are prone to making them. If the 49ers avoid turning the ball over, they will likely win. As a fan, I hope they are able to do so. From the perspective of a neutral spectator, a Bills win would probably be more desirable.
If you want to read any of my other posts, you can click on the links below. These links will lead you to posts containing my collection of works. These 'Collection of Works' posts have been updated to contain links to the Hive versions of my posts.
My CBA Udemy Course
The course contains over 10 hours of video, over 60 downloadable resources, over 40 multiple-choice questions, 2 sample case studies, 1 practice CBA, life time access and a certificate on completion. The course is priced at the Tier 1 price of £20. I believe it is frequently available at half-price.
Future of Social Media