Superbowl LVI: The last episode of the 103rd season of the NFL

The race for the Lombardi trophy is heating up


Michael Catanesi, Sports Editor

Editor’s Note: Michael Catanesi wrote this article before the start of the NFL Playoffs.

14 teams enter, and only one walks away as the champion.

At the end of every NFL season, there is always the NFL playoffs. In recent years they have moved from a 12-team playoff to a 14-team playoff. This does not sound like a big shift, but in the grand scheme of things, it changes a lot. For example, instead of the 1 and 2 seeds getting a ‘bye’ for the first round, they now have to play a wild card game. Now there is a 7-seed which allows 1 more team from each conference to get a playoff berth. But enough with the playoff format, let’s get to the teams.

Kansas City Chiefs: The 1 seed in the AFC conference this year. Though there is some controversy on how they received the one seed nonetheless they still have the first-round bye. With a record of 14-3 they cruised by this year with the MVP frontrunner Patrick Mahomes breaking the passing yard record in a season, finishing with the best offense in the league. They are the favorites to win the Superbowl this year.

Philadelphia Eagles: The 1 seed in the NFC conference this year. They dominated the NFC this year. With Jalen Hurts starting they lost only one game, but he went down with an injury late in the year losing 2 games to finish with a record of 14-3. As of now, the Eagles have the 3rd best odds to win the Superbowl.

Buffalo Bills: Finishing with the 2nd seed in the AFC conference, the Bills have dealt with a lot this year. From injuries to the Damar Hamlin crisis, they still finished with a record of 13-3. There is controversy with their finish on the season because they were not able to finish all 17 games they still finished with a strong record which in turn gives them the 2nd best odds to win the Superbowl. 

San Francisco 49ers: The 2nd seed in the NFC conference, the 49ers have a lot to prove. Going through 2 QB changes with their first QB Trey Lance going down with a season-ending injury their backup Jimmy Garropolo stepped in and he also went down with a season-ending injury, Brock Purdy Mr.Irrelevant stepped in and so far has led the 49ers to finish the season 10-0 finishing with a record of 13-4 after starting 3-4. They also had the best defense in the NFL which has given them the 4th best odds to win the Superbowl.

Cincinnati Bengals: The 3 seed in the AFC conference, The Bengals have a chance at redemption this year as last year they fell short of winning it all by losing in the Superbowl. With a record of 12–4 they also have a bit of controversy involving their record as they were also not able to complete all 17 games. With the 5th best odds to win the Superbowl, they have a chance to beat the odds again.

Minnesota Vikings: Finishing with the 3rd seed in the NFC conference they have had a very weird season this year. Finishing with a record of 13-4 which on paper looks great they had a -3 point differential on the season which is quite odd for a team that finished with a record this good. But all that matters is how they perform in the playoffs. Even with the 3 seed, they have the 9th best odds to win the Superbowl.

Jacksonville Jaguars: A surprise team in this playoffs, they made the playoffs by beating the Titans in week 18 of the season. They finished with the 4 seed in the AFC playoffs because they won the AFC South with a record of 9-8. No one expected to make the playoffs this season but Trevor Lawrence and the Jags got hot at the right time and made the playoffs. They have the 11th-best odds to win the Superbowl.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers: I believe everyone saw this coming, though not with this record. Tom Brady and the Bucs ran away with the NFC South with a negative record of 8-9, they still finished with the 4 seed in the NFC playoffs. Tom Brady has had a down year this year as a lot went on during the season. Nonetheless, they still have the 8th best odds to win the Superbowl despite having Tom Brady aka Mr. Superbowl.

Los Angeles Chargers: Justin Herbert’s first time making the playoffs his chance to prove that he can handle playoff football. With a record of 10-7 the Chargers are definitely underdogs this postseason as they finished with the 5th seed in the AFC they could potentially make a deep run in the playoffs. They have the 7th best odds to win the Superbowl this year. 

Dallas Cowboys: Yet again the Cowboys are in the playoffs. This year it does seem to be different, however. With a record of 12-5 and the 5th seed in the NFC playoffs, they have the firepower on offense and a strong defense to take them far in the playoffs. But who knows if they have what it takes to go all the way. With the 5 seed, the still own the 6th best odds to win the Superbowl.

Baltimore Ravens: Baltimore makes their return to the playoffs but it is not looking too good for them. They made the playoffs with a 10-7 record and the 6 seed in the AFC playoffs that they just barely hung onto. Their starting quarterback Lamar Jackson is out for the playoffs which means their backup is going to have to take them to the promised land. With all of this going on they have the 10th-best odds to win the Superbowl.

New York Giants: If I were to tell you this at the beginning of the season you would probably think I am crazy. The 3rd NFC East team in the playoffs they made it with a record of 9-7-1 they surprised just about everyone with the season they put on this year. On the back of Saquon Barkley, he dragged them to the 6th seed in the NFC playoffs. Nonetheless, they have the 3rd worst odds to win the Superbowl.

Miami Dolphins: A high-flying offense in Miami with the new addition of Tyreek Hill they too have a problem at quarterback like the Ravens. With a record of 9-8 and the 7th seed in the AFC playoffs, they are starting their 3rd string QB as their starter Tua Tagovailoa is ruled out with a concussion. It is not looking too good for them which is why they have the 2nd worst odds out of every team to win the Superbowl.

Seattle Seahawks: Just like the Giants this is a surprise to everyone. This season they traded away their franchise QB in Russel Wilson. They were expected to be one of the worst teams but out of nowhere, Geno Smith led the Seahawks to a 9-8 record to just barely sneak into the playoffs with the 7 seed in the NFC playoffs. Their chances are not so great however as they have the worst odds to win the Superbowl.

With this combination of 14 teams anyone can make it to the big game. From Cinderella stories to complete dominance from the top seed really no one knows what the outcome will be. As of right now, the most probable Superbowl matchup will be the Kansas City Chiefs vs the San Francisco 49ers. Many exciting games will be played this month so sit back and enjoy the best the NFL has to offer.