The Chiefs are the best team in the NFL. No, not because the Steelers lost either. Kansas City was already the best team in the league despite dropping an in-division game to the Raiders earlier in the year.
At (+260) odds, the sportsbooks believe the reigning, defending, undisputed Super Bowl-champion Chiefs are the best bet to repeat and so do I. Not only are the Chiefs the No. 1 team in total yards per game (427.6), but they are also second in points per game (30.8).
Defensively, they are equally as dangerous. While they are yielding the 17th fewest yards per game (358.2), the Chiefs are only surrendering the sixth-fewest PPG (21.2). Their defense bends but not breaks.
The Chiefs are also the No. 1 team in turnover differential (+11), tied with Pittsburgh. When you are a top-six team in 4-of-5 of the most telling statistical team categories, you’re a tough out.
And when you employ Patrick Mahomes, the best quarterback in the NFL, while pairing him with Andy Reid, a sure-fire Hall of Fame head coach, you have an edge over the other 31 teams in the league.
We have seen the Chiefs win shootouts, defensive grinders and in come-from-behind fashion — see their 2019 Super Bowl run. They are a team that can beat you in many ways. Playing in Kansas City, they can also excel in torrential weather conditions, which bodes well for them in January.
Out of the NFC, I believe the Green Bay Packers are poised to make a run. If you remember back to last season, the Packers made it all the way to the NFC Championship game only to be blown out of the water by the 49ers.
However, despite the fact that the Packers finished 2019 with a 13-3 record, they did not pass the eye test. They were not a good 13-3. That team had holes.
The 2020 Packers are much different. Sure, you can still punch them in their face and run the football down their throats, but it is happening at a lesser rate. Last year’s Packers were allowing the 18th-fewest total yards per game (352.6) whereas this year’s Green Bay defense is surrendering the 11th fewest (339.3).
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While the Packers’ defense was actually better overall last season, yielding the ninth-fewest points per game (19.6) — Green Bay is allowing the 15th most this year (24.9) — the additional points could be coming as a result of their offense playing outstanding in 2020.
The 2020 Packers are second in total yards (396.6) and No. 1 in PPG (31.6). They were 15th in PPG in 2019 (23.5). This year’s Packers are scoring 8.1 additional PPG, which could result in more garbage time production for their opposition. While the Packers are still in the positive in turnover differential (+4), they are ninth in the league. That is one spot they need to improve at moving forward.
The Saints and Rams are also in the NFC conversation, but both teams have holes — Drew Brees in the colder months and Jared Goff’s hot and cold streaks. I’ll side with the better quarterback here.
The Packers are your best bet to win the Super Bowl coming from the NFC. It is hard to find a trio better than Aaron Rodgers, Aaron Jones, and Davante Adams. Not even the Chiefs pack that much punch at three of the most important positions on offense. The Chiefs lack the running game the Packers can bring. That could play a role if these two teams meet in February.
Week 14 Super Bowl Futures: Sleeper
My dark horse team to win the Super Bowl is the Colts. However, while I like the Titans a lot, we have seen let-downs from them in each of the past two seasons. I don’t trust their defense.
And if you follow my writing or on-air work, I favor teams that can run the football and play defense, which is why the Colts are in the conversation.
Aside from a shocking loss to the Jaguars in the season opener, the other three Indianapolis losses came at the hands of the Browns, Ravens, and Titans.
Meanwhile, they knocked off the Bears and Titans on the road while winning a shootout against the Packers at home. Sure, the Bears are 5-7 now, but they were a 3-0 football team when they were defeated by the Colts in Chicago, which is not an easy out.
Although they beat the Bears in a defensive struggle, the telling victory for me was over Green Bay. It was a 34-31 shootout. Many, including myself, did not think they can keep up in a high-scoring affair with an elite offense. They not only kept up, but they won.
While you wouldn’t think it, the Colts are actually scoring the 10th-most PPG (27.3). With an offense led by Philip Rivers and filled with a bunch of role players, rookies, or notable names past their prime — T.Y. Hilton — where are the points coming from? Defense.
The Indy defense is surrendering the 10th-fewest PPG (22.8) while allowing the fifth-fewest total yards per game (319.0). On top of playing shut-down football at times, they can actually score the football as well.
The Colts have scored 36 touchdowns this season. However, 31 of them came from the offense. The remaining five, were scored by their defense or special teams. Those five scores by the Colts D/ST are a league-high — the Ravens, Patriots, and Eagles each of four.
What’s even more impressive is the fact that the Colts have scored so many different ways (five). They have logged a touchdown rushing, passing, a kick return, an interception return, and a blocked punt return. Only the Patriots have scored more ways (six).
With a (+7) turnover differential, good for third in the NFL, the Colts are quietly one of the most dangerous teams in football. As long as Rivers plays clean football — he only has nine giveaways this season, all picks — and stud rookie RB Jonathan Taylor can maintain his recent run of success — back-to-back games with 110+ total yards — this Colts team is a sleeping giant.
Anthony Cervino is an NFL Writer and Betting Analyst for The Game Day. He is also a lifelong NFL savant and self-proclaimed league historian. In the industry, Anthony has excelled in both the fantasy football and sports betting space with fantasy his proverbial bread and butter.
Anthony has made appearances on SiriusXM, amongst other publications. He is also the co-creator of the FF Faceoff (Faceoff Sports Network) and the FF Faceoff Mental Health Podathon partnered with the Hayden Hurst Foundation.
15th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for both draft and in-season accuracy (2019)
| 8th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for sleepers (2020)
| 13th most accurate ranker in the FantasyPros ECR for in-season accuracy, including 2nd at quarterback and 3rd at tight end (2021).
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