I selected the Colts last years a as kind of a longshot who would pay off well. Their odds are not as good in 2014 but still worth throwing down some bones on. There are many factors that make me think the Colts could get there. First of all, they have the Golden Boy who can do no wrong in Andrew Luck. Its season three for Luck and now the expectations are really coming into play for him. His is too good of a talent to think he won’t at some point get a Super Bowl. Why not this year? It is going to happen sooner than later. They added Hakeem Nicks and Trent Richardson starts his first full season with Indy. Both had very disappointing 2013 seasons so it can only get better for them.
Once again the AFC South could challenge for worst division in football. The other three teams could be considering rebuilds as two have new coaches and one a new quarterback. Actually all three could end up with new QBs under center for most of the season. Maybe Houston has a major comeback and can challenge Indy or Tennessee gets a huge lift from Ken Whisenhunt but it should be another division crown for the Colts. After that they will need to most likely beat a Denver or New England but they are due.
Arizona has two major factors against them going into the season, unlike Indy they have to play in the NFL’s toughest division with the two teams who were in the NFC title game last year. But to everyone’s surprise the Cards were able to challenge both the Seahawks and Niners all season and almost made the playoffs. The other thing that worries many is at the quarterback position with Carson Palmer. Palmer wasn’t great last season but he could be enough at the position to make the Niners and Hawks be nervous of a three team race.
What I like is everything else with Arizona. They have done a great job in the past couple seasons rebuilding the offensive line and they still have Larry Fitzgerald to go along with Michael Floyd. But what I really think could propel them is their defense. They lost Dansby and most likely Washington but I loved the signing of Antonio Cromartie to play with Patrick Peterson. Peterson could emerge as the defensive MVP this season, and it wouldn’t shock me at all. Now I am not saying the Cardinals are going to the Super Bowl but I think the odds are too good to take a chance on this club. Big payouts for minimal throwdowns.
Cincy was the outsiders choice to make the Super Bowl once the playoffs started last season but the Bengals crumbled and didn’t come close. Like the Cardinals I probably won’t be making the Bengals my choice to represent the AFC in the Super Bowl but it wouldn’t be crazy if they did. So that is why I think throwing some cash down at these odds wouldn’t be a bad idea. The Bengals bring back a ton of talent on offense and you could say have only one place that is questioned. Andy Dalton has been a solid starter in his first three seasons but now it is time to take it to a new level under new offensive coordinator Hue Jackson. Cincy has backs, pass catchers and a solid line so its on Dalton to make the difference.
The Steelers and Ravens have owned this division the past 10-15 years but last season both failed to make the playoffs giving the Bengals the opening. Both teams hope to be better but are still most likely looking up at Cincinnati. I think you could argue when it comes to roster talent 1-53 the Bengals may be right behind the Seahawks, Broncos and 49ers so it is gonna come down to a guy like Dalton to do what Peyton, Wilson and Kaepernick have been able to do in the playoffs.
Let’s throw a longshot out there. How about the Bucs? They have a coach who has been to the Super Bowl already in Lovie. The Bucs also have a solid mix of young talent and veteran free agent pickups over the past couple seasons. The first question is who is going to be under center? McCown or Glennon? It looks like McCown but I think could change. So could McCown or Glennon take a team to the Super Bowl this fall? Probably not but it’s a long shot as I said. The Bucs QB should be an immediate impact from Mike Evans to go along with Vincent Jackson and Doug Martin. On defense, they dropped Revis but still have a solid defensive front that added Michael Johnson and grabbed Verner to replace Revis.
The NFC South usually looks solid on paper but could be easier than expected. The Saints found ways to most likely improve in the offseason but that is not a lock. Carolina won the division but somehow lost many key components like Jordan Gross and Steve Smith. And everyone expects a bounce back from the Falcons but I am not buying it. So the Bucs could slip through as that long shot it may be worth throwin $10 on.
I may never be allowed to write anything after this crazy one. The Raiders are more likely to go 0-16 than win a Super Bowl but hear me out. They now have a veteran QB who has won and wants to show he can still play in Matt Schaub. Sounds a little like Rich Gannon. The Raiders went out and added a bunch of veterans who everyone trashed them as being too old like Woodley and Tuck. But they did this in the early 2000s and were successful. Added a solid performance back in MJD and will try to get one last run out of Darren McFadden. Then got potentially the AFC defensive rookie of the year in Khalil Mack. Could they shock the world? Probably not but its 75-1 to get to the Super Bowl so maybe throw $5 down and at least you can keep the stub as a joke.