It’s not the most difficult thing in the world to predict who will be still involved in the race for the Super Bowl as January draws on. The best teams in the NFL are still largely who they were two seasons ago, with only their positions on that totem pole to be argued over. Heartbreakingly for Bengals fans, who could be sitting in their commemorative Super Bowl Champion t-shirts but for a late Rams TD, their side still isn’t among the elite – though they should still be in the playoff conversation.
Most of the action at non Gamstop betting sites will, however, still be around the Chiefs, Rams, Buccanneers and Bills, and going by the playing rosters, that’s a reasonable call. But we’re not going to be talking here about who will most likely win the Super Bowl; there will be enough column inches devoted to that between now and next February. No, what we’re going to do is look at some of the dark horses who could run the top teams close – and, if they have a Bengals-style breakout season, could yet go all the way.
It’s been excruciating to be a Dolphins fan pretty much since the 1980s. Blessed with Dan Marino as QB, but cursed with poor running and shaky defenses for decades. Then they had Ronnie Brown and Ricky Williams as a running tandem, but mediocre passers. We wouldn’t say the current Dolphins playing staff is the best they’ve had in decades, but it may be on its way there. Questions remain over the offensive line, especially if Terron Armstead succumbs to one of the increasingly regular injuries that have haunted him recently – but if there can just be a perceptible improvement there, then a Tua-led offense with Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert and Sony Michel could light it up.
Las Vegas Raiders
However the Colin Kaepernick story plays out, the controversial QB will not be leading the Raiders offense in 2022. That’ll be Derek Carr, who had a superb season last time out and now has Davante Adams to throw to. They’ll have a tough schedule on account of sharing a division with the Broncos, Chargers and Chiefs, but if they can negotiate that they’ll like their chances against any prospective playoff opponent. A big “if”, for sure, but this is a list of dark horses so that’s sort of the point.
Yes, they finished bottom of the NFC North in 2021. That allowed them to add significant help early on in the draft, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. There’s already plenty of talent on the offense, and Jared Goff hasn’t become a bad player overnight. The Lions may shine out more than anything, though, because the Packers never seem more than a week away from some implosion, the Vikings have an imbalanced offense and the Bears are the Bears. If the Lions can just stay on top of their game, they have a chance to do something this season.