Optimism reigns supreme this week ahead of the start of the NFL season.
At this point, each of the 32 NFL teams hopes to win Super Bowl LI, which will take place Feb. 5 in Houston. But not all hopes are created equal.
While we can’t reveal exactly what will happen this season, powers such as the Denver Broncos, Carolina Panthers and New England Patriots have a much greater chance of triumphing this season than, say, the Cleveland Browns do.
That’s where the predictions come in.
Prognosticators, including some from other leading media outlets, are busy predicting the outcome of the NFL season. Let’s look at some of the most notable prognostications.
USA TODAY Sports
The Pittsburgh Steelers boast a terrifyingly powerful offense. Writer Nate Davis expects the Steelers to run all the way to the Super Bowl, where they’ll defeat the Arizona Cardinals, whom he describes as a “complete team.”
Monday Morning Quarterback’s Peter King
The Green Bay Packers have put their offensive band back together, with Jordy Nelson returning from injury to help quarterback Aaron Rodgers achieve continued success. King says the Packers will conquer the NFC and face the offensively stacked Steelers in Super Bowl LI.
CBS’ “Eye on Football” Experts
The seven wise men of CBS.com failed to form a consensus and thus have picked four different teams to win the Super Bowl. The Seattle Seahawks earn three votes, largely based on Russell Wilson’s experience, their intimidating defense and even scarier home-field advantage. Two experts have picked the Cardinals, following the “complete team” line of reasoning we saw earlier. Others predict the Panthers and Packers to go all the way.
ESPN’s NFL Insiders
Once again, a committee produces a split decision. Of the five members, three pick Seattle, and two back Arizona. The Patriots finally appear on the list of contenders, with two ESPN Insiders picking them to lose in the Super Bowl.
Tom Brady’s suspension must be the driving force behind the experts’ low expectations for the Patriots. Or maybe the coming weeks and months will demonstrate that Arizona, Pittsburgh and Seattle are just that good.
Thumbnail photo via Troy Taormina/USA TODAY Sports Images