It’s June, so that means it’s time for football writers to think outside the box when coming up with topics to write about. This is the first of a two-part series where I will examine all of the potential playoff contenders, league-wide, telling you why and (possibly) how each team could win the Super Bowl.
Why they will: The Redskins finally settled down into continuity in 2015, making the playoffs for the first time since 2012, surprising many by winning the NFC East. Kirk Cousins is now the franchise quarterback, with no looking over his shoulder for Robert Griffin to take his place. Cousins will only get better, and the Redskins list of big time play makers on offense got bigger with the addition of TCU star pass catcher Joshua Doctson. The Redskins also shored up their defense and will ride these additions to the Super Bowl.
Why they won’t: The Redskins are finally settled on long term issues, but they are nowhere near Super Bowl ready. Let’s take this one step at a time, and win the NFC East with some flare first, perhaps even winning a playoff game as well.
New York Giants
Why they will: The Giants were a defense away from winning the Super Bowl last year. They spent a lot of money and draft choices fixing their defense this off-season. They will ride these new additions to Eli Manning’s third Super Bowl win.
Why they won’t: Very few teams with first year head coaches ever win the Super Bowl. Also, much like the Redskins, the Giants need to take this one step at a time, and make the playoffs first.
Why they will: Every year the Cowboys “hype train” gets overblown in the summer, and every year, it deflates by Thanksgiving. Well, this year it will finally be different. The Cowboys will stay healthy, specifically, one Tony Romo, along with the addition of big time running back Ezekiel Elliot in the draft, will allow Romo to stay healthy. The Cowboys will finally win the Super Bowl.
Why they won’t: The Cowboys won’t stay healthy, and Tony Romo is aging by the hour. Remember, this is the same Ezekiel Elliot who once threw his entire team and coaching staff under the bus at Ohio State.
Why they will: The Panthers should have won the Super Bowl a year ago, had it not been for the team running into a historically elite defense, and a league hell bent on making sure Peyton Manning walked away with another Super Bowl. The Panthers spent the offseason shoring up some holes, and they will finish the job this time.
Why they won’t: The loss of Josh Norman will sting, and even though Newton is elite now, he won’t repeat 2015.
Why they will: The Seahawks have been one of the league’s best for a few years now. A lot of people are thinking they are headed for a fast fall, but they aren’t. Jimmy Graham will rebound and have a monster 2016 season, finally gelling with quarterback Russell Wilson. The Seahawks defense will begin the season with all of their parts in-tact, and will win their second Super Bowl.
Why they won’t: Guess what, we were all correct. For as fast as the Seahawks rose, they are headed for a fast fall. The pieces are beginning to disappear, and Russel Wilson will show us how average he really is.
Why they will: The Cardinals are in “There is no tomorrow” mode. This is a very good, but very old team. At this point, this group of veterans doesn’t care how much pain they are in, and will ignore that pain, finally taking this long unlucky franchise to the “Promised land.”
Why they won’t: As I said above, they are old, and well, Father Time is undefeated. Just ask Brett Favre.
Why they will: The Vikings are emerging from a rebuild and are one of the league’s hot young teams. They should have won the Wild Card game a year ago and who knows what would have happened after that. They only got better this off-season and according to most of their fan base, the Packers are on their way out. The Vikings will take control of the NFC North this season, and are going to win the first Super Bowl in team history, putting an end to over a half a century of suffering.
Why they won’t: I am not sure what to think of TeddyBridgewater at the moment, and this team will remain in the spot they are in until Adrian Peterson either leaves town, or changes his attitude and game, the second of which isn’t going to happen. This team would be better off without Peterson, and until they realize it, they are not going to win any Super Bowls.
Green Bay Packers
Why they will: No way in the world do the Packers repeat their 2015 meltdown again. Aaron Rodgers is just too good and the return of Jordy Nelson will help. The young talent will take off this season, and the Packers will finally win that elusive second Super Bowl with Rodgers at quarterback.
Why they won’t: Right now, we don’t know what to expect of Jordy Nelson until he gets back on the field. He is over 30, and coming off a torn ACL, so there is no depending on him to return to form. Plan B is for all of that young talent to take off, but that simply isn’t going to happen all at once. The Packers have another ho-hum season, and advance as far as the divisional playoff round yet again.