Never forget one of the NFL’s longest standing tenets: it’s hard to repeat success. Obvious, right? Well when the defending champion New England Patriots are favored to win every game this season, it can be hard to forget. With seemingly (key word) no strong competition in the AFC, the Patriots seem to have yet another easy path to the Super Bowl. They have already begun sending their season ticket holders tickets to the AFC Championship game! Can you blame them? They’re a great team with a QB that has shown no signs of slowing down despite reaching 40 years of milage last month. They make winning look easy. Too easy. And this is why they won’t win the Super Bowl for the second year in a row. In fact, I don’t think they’ll make it there. When a team makes winning look as easy as they do in the NFL, something isn’t right. This year will be a true test of how hard it truly is to repeat success in the NFL. My official predictions are in the image below along with some notes:
-Ben Roethlisberger may be getting up there in age (and may retire after this season), but his offensive corps is as electric as ever. Defensive concerns still remain, but don’t forget that this team won seven straight to end the season last year and actually ended up top 10 in points allowed. This is still a really good team and yes, they have what it takes to beat the Patriots.
-My NFC side looks awfully familiar to what it was last year as far as teams go and this is where I expect to have the most issues. The NFC is full of teams looking to bounce back (Eagles, Panthers, Bucs, etc.) and is constantly surprising the league with the playoff outlook. Despite my predictions, don’t be shocked if the NFC looks vastly different than last year.
-I say it nearly every year, but this has to be the year Aaron Rodgers makes it to another Super Bowl. He’s just too good not to get another chance. If the Packers disappoint this year (i.e. lose in first round of the playoffs or worse), I would fully expect coach Mike McCarthy to be out of a job after the season. Rodgers was so close last season and I think he has unfinished business this year.