NFL off to fast start, early Super Bowl prediction

COLIN HORNING, Sports Writer

The first two weeks of the 2019-20 NFL season have been full of excitement, drama (Antonio Brown), injuries and multiple bizarre situations. We all know about the fiasco with Brown’s cryogenically frozen feet, helmet and conversations with the Raiders front office that may have involved physical confrontations. 

The debacle seemed to be over when Brown’s demand to be released was met with signing on to join, who else, but the Patriots, leaving Raiders and Steelers fans, as well as seemingly everyone not from New England, shaking their heads. 

All the while new allegations have surfaced involving sexual assault accusations against Brown.  Meanwhile in Pittsburgh, the Steelers took another big hit as Ben Roethlisberger is out for the season.  The Steelers just can’t seem to catch a break.

Several other star quarterbacks such as Drew Brees and Cam Newton have also gone down with injuries, but are not lost for the season. 

The crazy nature of the NFL didn’t stop there as Jets quarterback Sam Darnold will miss extended time with mononucleosis, and another franchise quarterback in Andrew Luck shocked the NFL with his retirement just before the season started.

There have also been reports of multiple Miami Dolphins players requesting trades after just one game, on top of many of the team’s star players being traded away already.

To top all of that,  the Cleveland Browns won their first Monday Night Football game in over a decade, the Bears sunk a game-winning 53-yard field goal after being recently notorious for kicking problems and one game has already ended up in a tie.  At this rate, NFL fans are in for a historically exciting season.

Right away, it’s clear that the defending champion Patriots are the team to beat in the AFC. The duo of Tom Brady and Bill Belichick alone are good enough to warrant a formidable opponent week-in and week-out. 

Pairing the two future Hall of Famers with arguably the best receiving core in the league and a solid defense makes this team an easy favorite.

However, that was all before the signing of Brown; adding him alongside Julian Edelman and Josh Gordon gives New England without a doubt the best lineup of receivers in the league.

Few teams in the AFC can compete on the level of the Patriots, but expect the Ravens and Chiefs to compete with New England for the AFC championship. Baltimore’s top-notch defense can carry them far into the playoffs, and the Chiefs simply have too many offensive weapons to be slowed down. 

A rematch of last year’s AFC title game seems likely again this year.  Expect the Chiefs to overcome last year’s disappointment and pull off the upset against New England.

In the NFC, the field looks more balanced and uncertain than the AFC. The NFC West already looks very competitive with the Rams, Seahawks and 49ers all looking exceptional.

Expect Seattle’s postseason experience, star players and coaching to lead them to the NFC title game.

The NFC South and NFC North both look weaker and unlikely to produce a Super Bowl champion this season. The Dallas Cowboys look strong so far this year, and the division title just being a race with the Eagles will make it easier for them in their path to the postseason. This may be the season for the Cowboys to overcome their playoff woes and finally make it back to the NFC title game, this time to face Seattle.

This matchup is very intriguing, but the Seahawks have the offensive tools and defensive players necessary to take out Dallas and get back to the Super Bowl.

A Chiefs-Seahawks Super Bowl would match an offensive powerhouse against a defensive juggernaut making for one of the most exciting Super Bowl matchups. 

This game could easily come down to the wire, but Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs offensive firepower will be too much for Seattle to handle, giving Kansas City their first Lombardi Trophy since Super Bowl IV.