Kansas City and his quarterback Patrick Mahomes, at the top of his game, advance as big favorites to their succession in the Super Bowl race, even if Green Bay, Pittsburgh or Buffalo will be clients during the play-offs, which begin this week-end.
. On the road to Tampa Bay
The city of Florida will host the Super Bowl, 55th named, on February 7. They are only fourteen to seek the supreme title of American football and there will remain eight after this first weekend of play-offs, which oppose Saturday the Buffalo Bills to the Indianapolis Colts, the Seattle Seahawks to the Los Angeles Rams, Washington Football Team at the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, and on Sunday the Tennessee Titans at the Baltimore Ravens, the New Orleans Saints at the Chicago Bears, the Pittsburgh Steelers at the Cleveland Browns.
. The Chiefs big favorites
With the best record at the end of the regular season (14 wins, 2 losses), Kansas City, crowned for the second time in its history in February 2020 at the expense of the San Francisco 49ers, has everything to install supremacy in the wake of Mahomes , irresistible and more impressive than ever as a conductor of a fire attack.
At 25, he also competes with veteran Aaron Rodgers (Packers) for the title of MVP (best player) of the season, which would be his second after that of 2018.
Statistically, he compiles fewer pass touchdowns (38 in 15 matches, against 48 in 16 games), but has covered more yards (4,740 against 4,299). Above all, he pulled his team out of the rut several times, thanks to decisive actions in the last moments, demonstrating a formidable composure, like last year in the final (31-20), during which he sent his receivers on the touchdown twice during the 4th quarter.
Proof that the gap between Kansas City and its competitors may not be so great. But the growing experience, the confidence in good shape, the good automatisms preserved – Mahomes is always so well surrounded with the runners / receivers Tyreek Hill and Travis Kelce, despite the absence of the Canadian defender Laurent Duvernay-Tardif who chose not to play this season due to the risks of Covid-19 – make this team hard to beat.
. Green Bay, serious outsider
The Packers are, like the Chiefs, exempt from the 1st round (or Wild Card round) this weekend and therefore benefit from an extra week of rest. A privilege due to their record of 13 wins and 3 losses, the best of the National Conference (NFC).
Aaron Rodgers, MVP in 2011 and 2014, was the great architect. He had one of his best seasons at the age of 37 and was not disturbed in the least by his managers’ choice to draft a promising quarterback, Jordan Love, last spring.
Another leading team this season, but unexpectedly, the Bills, who wreaked havoc in the American conference (13 v. 3 r.) Behind the Chiefs, in the wake of quarterback Josh Allen, who has turned a corner, and from his favorite receiver Stefon Diggs.
Still, Buffalo is looking for a first victory in the play-offs since 1995. If it succeeds against Indianapolis, not to be underestimated on Saturday, a click could occur and decomplex them for the future.
. Brady is aiming for 7th heaven
After twenty years of dynasty with the Patriots, with six Super Bowls to the key, the superstar Tom Brady made the choice in the offseason to join the Buccaneers. After a difficult start, he finished the regular season better (11-5) and the time has come for him to prove that he remains at 43 this formidable player when it counts.
Against Washington, it looks pretty tight and if the adventure continues then, it will be Green Bay and Rodgers who will emerge. Not a simple route.
Especially since in this National conference, New Orleans also appears as a better armed rival, with another veteran still very successful at the throw, Drew Brees (41 years old), and the running back Alvin Kamara who has just equaled the record six successful race touchdowns in one game, against Minnesota.