Roundtable: Our Super Bowl predictions

0
174
Baltimore Ravens quarterback Lamar Jackson (8) scrambles during the second half of an NFL divisional playoff football game against the Tennessee Titans, Saturday, Jan. 11, 2020, in Baltimore. Jackson hopes to lead the Ravens to the postseason. Photo courtesy of Nick Wass, File / AP Photo.

The 2020 NFL season has finally arrived, with it coming all the highs and lows of watching your team as they make a push for the ultimate prize. In this week’s roundtable, the DC Sports Section will be giving their predictions for which two teams will reach the Super Bowl, what the final score will be and who will be hoisting up the Lombardi Trophy once it’s all said and done. Will the Chiefs repeat? Can Lamar Jackson take the next step to earn his first playoff win? Can we ever count Brady and the new-look Bucs out? Let’s dive in: 

Danny Barletta, Sports Editor 

Houston Texans quarterback Deshaun Watson (4) calls out signals as he lines up with running backs Duke Johnson (25) and David Johnson (31) during NFL football training camp Thursday, Aug. 27, 2020, in Houston. Photo courtesy of Brett Coomer / Houston Chronicle via AP, Pool.

You know what? This is going to be a wacky season. The pandemic has caused many good players to opt out, and it also wildly impacted training camp and the preseason. So I believe we’re going to see some things we’ve never seen before this year, and one of those is having a brand new Super Bowl matchup of teams that have never won the big game. My pick is that the Houston Texans, with their $160 million quarterback Deshaun Watson, will defeat the Minnesota Vikings, who will appear in their first Super Bowl since 1977. I think the Vikings offense, despite the loss of Stefon Diggs, is still very good, and their secondary is one of the best equipped in the league. I have no real reason for picking the Texans to win it all other than liking their offense (and specifically Watson) a lot. On paper, they’re maybe the fourth-best team in the AFC, but they play in a weak division, so we know they’ll make the playoffs, and from there, anything can happen. Watson will plow his team through the playoffs, and the defense will be good enough not to cost him. It’s going to be a weird season, so let’s get weird. Texans: 33 Vikings: 24 

Ben Berg, Campus Correspondent  

Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson (3) warms up during NFL football training camp, Thursday, Sept. 3, 2020, in Renton, Wash. Photo courtesy of Ted S. Warren / AP Photo.

With a lot of uncertainty heading into the NFL season, two things actually are certain: Patrick Mahomes is the best quarterback in the AFC and Russell Wilson is the best quarterback in the NFC. Sorry to any Lamar Jackson, Drew Brees or Aaron Rodgers fans but it’s just the way it is. Given that the last time the Chiefs took the field on a Sunday, they won the Super Bowl, I won’t spend much time on why they’re heavy favorites to repeat in a weak conference. But the Seahawks, with year two of D.K. Metcalf on the way and the first star DB Pete Carroll’s had since prime Richard Sherman in Jamal Adams, might finally have a roster worthy of their Hall-of-Fame QB-head coach duo in Wilson and Carroll. That being said, they’ll fall just short of the Chiefs in the big game thanks to a two-touchdown performance from Travis Kelce. Chiefs: 21 Seahawks: 17 

Matt Severino, Campus Correspondent  

Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) warms up during NFL football training camp Saturday, Aug. 29, 2020, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Mo. The Chiefs opened the stadium to 5,000 season ticket holders to watch practice as the team plans to open the regular season with a reduced capacity of approximately 22 percent of normal attendance. Photo courtesy of Charlie Riedel / AP Photo.

In the year of the unexpected, I am expecting more of the same. Between players opting out, inevitable positive cases and games possibly getting cancelled or postponed, this season will test teams like never before. Last year Patrick Mahomes stole the show from MVP Lamar Jackson, en route to winning the Super Bowl. This year, the script gets flipped. Mahomes wins the honor for the second time in three years, but the Ravens take down the top seeded Chiefs in the AFC Championship.  Their challenger for the trophy? The Seahawks.  No team feels the impact of no fans this year like Seattle, but even after underperforming in the regular season, Russel Wilson puts together another magical run.  Pete Carroll and company knock off Aaron Rodgers, Drew Brees and Tom Brady in the playoffs to reach the big game and in a defensive battle, Seattle kicks a game-winning field goal as time expires. Seahawks: 20 Ravens: 17 

Matt Garry, Campus Correspondent 

Like all other professional sports, this NFL season is going to be a lot different than in seasons before. However, I think one thing will remain the same: Patrick Mahomes continuing to dominate the league. I believe that with a combination of having the best quarterback in the NFL, a brilliant head coach in Andy Reid, a variety of weapons on both sides of the ball like Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce and playing in a relatively easy division, the Chiefs will be back in the Super Bowl come February. In the NFC, I think that the Saints will have a strong season if they are able to sign Alvin Kamara to the extension he is holding out for. Their offensive weapons and deep roster on defense will give them the best chance to contend with the Chiefs, but I believe this season will ultimately belong to Kansas City for the second straight year. Chiefs: 35 Saints: 24 

Leave a Reply