Teen Page editor offers his Super Bowl predictions

Football

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Jordan Eisen, Parkway North High School, Senior

I could be wrong, but this has felt like the wildest season in NFL history. For the most part, the teams that we thought would be good made the playoffs, and the teams that we thought would be bad did not. 

However, every team headlining the list of Super Bowl favorites suffered a mind-boggling loss at some point during the season, and several of these teams are also limping into the playoffs. 

The New Orleans Saints demolished the Green Bay Packers, the Tampa Bay Buccaneers are riddled with injuries and the Dallas Cowboys haven’t beaten a good quarterback since Week 2. And that’s just the top NFC teams. 

In the AFC, the Tennessee Titans’ offense doesn’t work without Derrick Henry, the Kansas City Chiefs played half of the season with a dysfunctional offense, the Cincinnati Bengals lost to Mike White and the New York Jets. Nevertheless, one team from the NFC will play one team from the AFC in the Super Bowl.

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Although the Packers did allow five passing touchdowns to Jameis Winston and the Saints in Week 1, they seem like the most well-rounded team in the NFL. On offense, Aaron Rodgers is undeniably the MVP, Davante Adams is truly unstoppable, and Aaron Jones with AJ Dillon make up a rushing attack that can take over a game. 

Most interestingly, the Packers defense has taken a huge step this season and should be good enough to finally take the Cheeseheads past the NFC Championship game, where their season has ended the past two seasons. Injured superstar Jaire Alexander will join the likes of breakout linebacker De’Vondre Campbell, journeyman Rasul Douglas and top defensive tackle Kenny Clark. 

But the season has still been a rollercoaster for the Packers with  COVID controversy and nerve-racking games that shouldn’t have been close. But when scouring their roster, there are no holes. They are my pick to win the NFC.

The AFC is a lot more interesting because it’s completely dependent on one person: Derrick Henry. The Titans’ running back was having an unprecedented season in which he seemed on track to win the MVP (something a running back hasn’t done since Adrian Peterson in 2012) before he broke his foot in Week 8. Now, especially with Titans securing a first-round bye, Henry may be able to return for the playoffs. But even if does, he might not be completely healthy and capable of managing a full workload. Therefore, I can’t say that the Titans are my pick for the Super Bowl. 

It would be very on-brand this season if a random team like the Bills caught fire and won it all, but that’s not a logical prediction either. 

My pick for the AFC is the Chiefs. The stats may look like their offense has completely returned to form, but that’s simply not the case. The Chiefs’ early season woes were brought upon them by teams defending them with two high safeties, but recently teams have stopped utilizing that widely successful scheme. 

Perhaps they’re afraid of Chiefs running back Darrel Williams or don’t think they have the personnel.

Picking the Chiefs is certainly a risk, as a team could just devise a game plan and halt the Chiefs’ offensive wagon, but the other competition in the AFC is so weak (provided Henry isn’t himself) that it’s a risk I’m willing to take.

Although I do think that the Packers and Chiefs are pretty clearly their conference’s most well-rounded teams, I think this Super Bowl really comes down to whichever team gets hot at the right time. If Matthew Stafford stops throwing mind-numbing interceptions for the Rams and the Bengals stay hot, we could see that matchup. If Kyler Murray and the Cardinals get back on track, I wouldn’t be surprised; the same is true for literally any other combination of teams. 

I’m not sure how we’ll get there, but I have confidence in one thing: This year’s Super Bowl will match the season and be one of the wildest of all time. 

Packers over Chiefs, 34-29.


Listen to Jordan Eisen’s podcast “Field of Vision Sports” in which he interviews professional guests from ESPN, CBS, etc. wherever you get your podcasts or join 7,000 people in following @fov_sports on Instagram.