A week on Friday, the NFL season will get underway in the early hours of the morning in the UK with the current Superbowl Champions, the Kansas City Chiefs, taking on the Houston Texans of the AFC South in the opening game of the 2020 NFL season. What will follow is 17 weeks of action through to the end of the year where six teams from each of the conferences, the AFC and NFC, will make it through to the playoffs.
Interest in the NFL is now truly global and of course, the start of such a huge season, especially on a weekend that also sees the FA Premier League restarting, could easily get lost. So we haved decided to bring you our special NFL season preview a week earlier than usual in order to cover it in full.
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Let’s now take a look at some of the big stories from pre-season before we take a look at the teams who we think will be in with a chance of Superbowl success in February next year.
NFL – Pre-Season 2020 – Top Stories
There were plenty of eye-opening moves this off-season, DeAndre Hopkins leaving Houston to join Arizona was a surprising move and an upsetting one for Texans fans, while Todd Gurley leaving the LA Rams to join Atlanta was another surprise. However, the biggest move was Tom Brady leaving the Patriots to rock up in Tampa Bay and not only that, the Bucs then persuaded his old brother in arms Rob Gronkowski to come out of retirement to join him.
Of course, there were hundreds of other moves in the offseason involving key men on both defense and offense, but it is Brady’s new role in Tampa Bay that will have most people watching with intent over the early weeks of the season.
So will Brady turn the Bucs from perennial underachievers into a team that could challenge for the top honours? Let’s take a look at the teams we rate as genuine Superbowl contenders.
Genuine Superbowl Contenders
- Kansas City Chiefs – 6/1
- Baltimore Ravens – 6/1
- San Francisco 49ers – 8/1
- New Orleans Saints – 11/1
The two big AFC teams of last season, the Chiefs and the Ravens are the bookies favourites to win the Superbowl this season and it is not hard to see why. The Chiefs, with Patrick Mahomes leading the most dynamic offense in the NFL, can put up points against anybody as they showed racking up 21 fourth quarter points to win the Superbowl back in February against the 49ers. Defensively though they do lack a little and that makes the Ravens a more enticing prospect for me as they are a much more balanced team and the signing of Calais Campbell is a huge upgrade in defense.
In the NFC, the beaten Superbowl finalists the 49ers should be good to go again, although having lost Deforest Buckner to the Colts, their defence may have taken a big hit. That for me makes the Saints the clever pick in the NFC. With Drew Brees resigned and a stellar support cast on offense including Michael Thomas and Alvin Kamara, the Saints could be the team to ignite the NFC and claim the Championship that they have been close to on a number of occasions in recent seasons.
Each Way Bets
- Tampa Bay Buccaneers – 14/1
- Indianapolis Colts – 20/1
- Seattle Seahawks – 20/1
- Tennessee Titans – 25/1
There’s no doubt that Brady and Gronkowski’s arrival will add further firepower to an already stellar offense in Tampa Bay, but the Bucs defense is the problem here and I think that could be their Achilles heel in this coming season. The Seahawks will challenge the 49ers hard in their division and in the AFC South I expect the Colts and Titans to control things in this division with both likely to make it into the off season. The Colts have made some solid moves to improve their team this off season and the Titans, though they have lost a couple of notable names, have also made some decent moves too. It should be a real barn-burner in the AFC South this season between those two teams and the Texans.
Our Superbowl Winner Pick – Baltimore Ravens
The Ravens will be haunted by their playoff defeat to the Titans last season but the signing of Calais Campbell on defense allied to their all-powerful offense means that they for me are the outstanding pick of the eight teams outlined above.
*All odds shown were correct with bet365 Sport as of 2.20pm on Tuesday 1st September 2020.