Kansas City & Tampa Bay: Leading Contenders for NFL Title

The two protagonists of the past Super Bowl lead the group of favorites to with the NFL season that starts this Thursday, September 9.

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We tell you which are the outfits that look with the best chances of achieving it. Photo: Pexels

LatinAmerican Post | Onofre Zambrano

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Leer en español: Kansas City y Tampa Bay: principales candidatos al título de la NFL

Tampa Bay is not the surprising rival of last season and this time it is among the favorites to repeat a good performance in the NFL, along with their Super Bowl rivals, the Kansas City Chiefs; as well as Green Bay Packers; Baltimore Ravens ; and, to a lesser extent, some others like the San Francisco 49ers, Dallas Cowboys, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns or Arizona Cardinals.

For the first time in the history of this competition, the season will have 18 weeks on the calendar and 17 commitments to play in the regular season. But being able to know from now who will be the champion looks quite complicated, so in Latinamerican Post we do a review of the teams that look with the greatest chances of achieving it.

The main candidate

Kansas City Chiefs played American Conference finals in 2019; then they played and won the 2020 Super Bowl against the San Francisco 49ers; and this year they returned to the Super Bowl to give up their title to the Buccaneers. They have the best offense on the circuit, and the best quarterback - according to many fans - Patrick Mahomes.

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Therefore, Andy Reid's team is once again the favorite to win it all. The Chiefs spent time in the previous months to strengthen their offensive line, and also maintain the base of the team that has reached the Super Bowl in 2019 and 2020, with the fastest receiver in the league, Travis Kelce, and the offensive linemanTyrek Hill (Mahomes' perfect attacking partner).

But it does not end there, because the Chiefs managed to sign key pieces for their offense such as: guard Joe Thuney, from the New England Patriots; the center Austin Blythe from the Los Angeles Rams; offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr., former Baltimore Ravens; and defensive tackle Jarran Reed, from the Seattle Seahawks.

The champion is not underestimated

After an offseason in which they bet on keeping their squad and not making large investments, the Tampabay will pay a total of 167.8 million dollars on their payroll, since it is clearly not one of the most powerful franchises on the circuit in the economic aspect even after being champion.

The panorama places them below the $ 182 million salary cap, but maintaining a competitive team, thanks to the agreements with Tom Brady and Mike Evans, the best pieces of the attack, as well as the veterans Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski, plus coach Bruce Arians .

Sacurity was the key word for the Florida team for the title last season, so Devin White and Lavonte David will repeat in the defensive formation. In terms of salaries, they also agreed with Chris Godwin, Jason Pierre-Paul, Ali Marpet, and Ryan Jensen .

Tampa Bay will seek its first title in the NFC South Division since 2007, thus breaking the clear dominance imposed by the New Orleans Saints of more than a decade, but now without Drew Brees it will be difficult to repeat.

“We have to create our own future, and that is a matter of attitude, commitment and preparation. Nothing that happened last year will carry over to this year. It's a whole new challenge, ” Brady told the Dallas News.

The other candidates

Trident Matt Le Fleur, Aaron Rodgers and Za 'Darius Smith are ready to try again with Green Bay, but in a different situation due to the franchise's financial crisis. The objective in the offseason was to secure the permanence of Rodgers, a vital piece in their offense, and then to support Smith, the main defensive element.

What do they need to do this year to get to the Super Bowl? First, to improve the defensive action that, despite last year's irregularity, managed to play in the final of the Conference against Tampa Bay . If the team, which is almost the same as the previous season, manages to be healthy and Rodgers repeats his MVP numbers, Le Fleur could lead them to the decisive match for the Vince Lombardi award.

The Rams reached the Super Bowl in 2019 with Jared Goff as quarterback, but have suffered for two consecutive seasons since. In one of these being eliminated in the first phase. But Goff, downgraded and traded to the Detroit Lyons, is history. Now the one in charge is Matthew Stafford .

Stafford has long been one of the most underrated quarterbacks in the NFL. Since 2011, he has averaged 4,453 yards, 28 touchdowns and 13 interceptions every 16 games for Detroit. This time around, under coach Sean McVay, he has a better chance of winning with receivers like Cooper Kupp and Robert Woods, and tall defenders like Aaron Donald, Jalen Ramsey and Darious Williams .

The Baltimore Ravens is the team with the most regular-round wins on the entire circuit since 2019, but it is the most disappointing team at the same time when it comes to playing the playoffs. Three years being favorites to reach at least the end of the conference, but not even that.

Their star, Lamar Jackson, has all the lights on him, he must improve his passing effectiveness, especially now that his running offense has lost JK Dobbins, his main element.

To improve that important aspect of the offense, which is the one that can put them back in the postseason, they have Ronnie Stanley; Bradley Bozeman in the center; rookie Ben Cleveland as guard alongside with Kevin Zeitler; and Alejandro Villanueva at right tackle. The other point to improve is the mental one, the time has come to show personality in the direct elimination matches.