Five weeks have already flown by in the National Football League calendar, and it is at this time of the season where strong opinions can be formed as to which team will be lifting the Vince Lombardi Trophy at Superbowl XXXXIX, next February in Arizona. Here are some of the main protagonists who’ll aim to walk away with the big prize in just under four months’ time.
The most recent Superbowl was between the Seattle Seahawks and the Denver Broncos, with Seattle running out the very convincing 43-8 winners, which has only happened once previously, when Dallas and Buffalo made back-to-back Superbowl appearances in the early nineties.
Seattle edged Denver out again more recently, back in Week 3, with a 26-20 home win and the Seahawks look to have very strong credentials to repeat their win of last term. Quarterback, Russell Wilson is in just his third season as a pro with Seattle and his lively mobility from behind center, along with a very accurate arm has catapulted Wilson into one of the most feared signal-callers in the league.
The Seahawks’ offensive guile is compounded with some serious defensive speed and steel. Head Coach Pete Carroll has overseen his team to three wins from their first four outings this season, and Seattle looks to be a safe bet to go deep into the playoffs once more with such a strong roster on both sides of the ball.
When Denver secured a deal to acquire legendary quarterback Peyton Manning back in 2012, the Broncos have been in safe hands ever since. A very strong league campaign last term was ultimately derailed by Seattle, but the men from the Mile High Stadium will be highly motivated to go that extra step this year. Manning, even at 38, shows no signs of regression in his performances, and has begun this season in superb form.
The Broncos are three wins from four starts and have racked up an average of 29 points per game – mainly due to the quality of Manning – but the concern for Denver must be in their inability to run the football this term. Running-back Montee Ball was side-lined with a groin injury in Denver’s recent demolition of Arizona, and the Broncos’ lack of offensive balance may halt their chances yet again.
Another team to consider at larger odds include the San Diego Chargers who dealt the Seattle Seahawks their only defeat of the season thus far. Quarterback Phillip Rivers is having a renaissance in his career under Head Coach Mike McCoy, and the Chargers outfit could really push the Denver Broncos for the AFC West crown and beyond. With a current 4-1 record, and very winnable games upcoming against divisional rivals Oakland and Kansas City, before a trip to Denver, San Diego look to be of some value.
Two other clubs worthy of interest at big prices are the Indianapolis Colts and the Dallas Cowboys. The Colts highlighted their defensive strengths with a 20-13 win over the Baltimore Ravens in Week 5. Indy’s ‘D’ smothered Ravens’ past Superbowl-winning QB Joe Flacco, which included four sacks. Indianapolis also has the highest point-scoring average in the league thus far with fast-improving QB Andrew Luck calling the shots. If the Colts can steer clear of injuries, then an eight-year wait for another title might be on.
Dallas has been one of the surprise stories of the NFL this season with some impressive wins in their current 4-1 record. Running Back DeMarco Murray has been in scintillating form, leading the league in yards from scrimmage, while maligned QB Tony Romo has chipped in with moments of magic himself. It might be a fantasy story to see the Cowboys lift their fifth title in their history, but sometimes dreams do come true.
In summary, Seattle would be the strongest selection of all the mentioned teams; they are without any real weakness, which is a major advantage especially when play-off time comes around. Denver has been the perennial bridesmaid in recent seasons, by losing to both Superbowl champions, but it could be time for a new force to emerge from the AFC, and Indianapolis fits the bill. Another team with many play-makers, they could be the big surprise to all!