Who’s in the Hunt for the Lombardi Trophy?

With a little over half of the regular season behind us, people start shifting their focus to the Super Bowl. Questions like “Who do you think will be in the Super Bowl this year?” And more often than not “Who do you think has what it takes to bring home the Lombardi trophy?” I’m going to give you my thoughts on these two questions a try to break down why I feel this way.

By Lexi Sheets

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AFC East

So let’s take a look at the AFC playoff picture. Looking at the AFC East, we have to no surprise the Patriots leading the way at 8-2 over the second place Bills at 5-5. The Patriots had a rough start to their season losing their opening game to the KC Chiefs 42-27 and to make the sting worse that was at home. Their defense was all over the place, and they just couldn’t seem to come to together to stop anything. This defense was the reason they struggled so much the first half of the season. Then with the loss of Dont’a Hightower the defense struggled for a few games. But in Bill Belichick fashion they have pulled things together since their Bye week and are looking hot.

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The fact that they have had so much struggle this season and yet sit at 8-2 and have the number one offense in the league says a lot about this franchise and is one reason I believe we will be seeing yet another Super Bowl run from the Patriots this year. Will Tom Brady get number six? We’ll just have to wait and see how things play out for the Patriots.

AFC West

Now looking at the AFC West, this Division is a little harder to break down as it is made up of three good teams. We have the KC Chiefs leading this division with a 6-4 record mostly due to their undefeated run they had back at the beginning of the season before taking their first loss to the Steelers. But the LA Chargers closely follow them with a 5-6 record; the Chargers have been making plenty of noise in the hunt for a playoff spot. Philip Rivers is out to prove he’s not washed up yet. With teammates like Antonio Gates, Keenan Allen, Melvin Gordon, Tyrell Williams backing him he should have no problem proving that point. I would watch this team closely as they could very easily find themselves in the hunt by seasons end.

But wait I said this division was made up of three good teams, well that’s right there is a third team in this division that could find themselves in the playoff picture by seasons end. That team is the Oakland Raiders, no it’s ok I’ll wait for you to stop laughing then explain why.

Ok, now that you’re done I’ll tell you that the Raiders sit in third in this division with a 4-6 record, which means if Derek Carr can get on his game and up his completion percentage to help win the rest of their games. With a lost or two from the other two teams, they could very easily find first place in the AFC West. Let not forget talking football here, Any given Sunday either team could win you never know what’s going to happen. But with top stars like Marshawn Lynch, Amari Cooper, Michael Crabtree, and Khalil Mack out on the field helping fight for a victory. They too could be in the hunt it’s a long shot be it could happen.

AFC North

Now turning our attention to the AFC North, it is going to be short as the 8-2 Pittsburgh Steelers lead the division with a very comfortable lead over the 5-5 Baltimore Ravens. The as the Steelers have been on fire this season even taking down the Chiefs and stopping their undefeated streak. I think we’ll be seeing the Steelers make a run at the chance to bring home the coveted trophy this year.

AFC South

Moving on to the AFC South the Jacksonville Jaguars lead the way in this division at 7-3 but have the Tennessee Titans on their heels at 6-4. Both teams have been playing amazingly this season. The scale could tip in the Titans favor at the end of the season as these two teams compete in the final game of the regular season. So a win there could put the Titans in first place and the playoffs. We will just have to wait and see how that game turns out.

NFC Playoffs

Now let look at the NFC playoff picture. Only two divisions in this conference have a clear lead and have locked down a spot in the playoffs. First to have secured a spot in the playoff is the Philadelphia Eagles. The Eagles lead the NFC East with an amazing 9-1 record and with the Cowboys in trailing at 5-6 that pretty much locks it down for the Eagles.

The second guaranteed team leads the NFC North division with a 9-2 record over the 6-5 Detroit Lions, and that team is Minnesota Vikings. I know surprising right you’d think it would be the Green Bay Packers again but as the Packers lost Aaron Rogers to a season-ending injury early in the season, it has left the door open for the Vikings to walk right in and take first place. That’s what they’ve done.

Ok so with both the NFC East and North taken care of let shift our focus the NFC West this division still has a tight race for first. As it stands, the L.A Rams lead with 7-3 record, but the Seattle Seahawks are in hot pursuit with a 6-4 record. Teams are being manned by great quarterbacks the Ram have Jared Goff who has looked fantastic this season, and the Seahawks have their veteran quarterback Russell Wilson at center. This could still be a battle for first place. Watch these two teams closely as Seahawks could steal first from the Rams at any moment.

I saved the best for last this playoff hunt is going to be the wildest ride you have yet to see. In the NFC South we have the New Orleans Saints out in front at 8-2, the Carolina Panthers in second at 7-3, and the Atlanta Falcons in third at 6-4. Now the Falcons got into the wildcard spot this Monday when they knocked off the Seahawks, but if they play their cards right could find themselves in the playoffs and not as a wildcard. Now, on the other hand, the Saints have a game against the Panthers coming up in a week which if the Panthers can knock off the Saints in that game. They would then be tied for first at 9-3. So the NFC South is far from being decided yet and with just four games left after the Saints face off with Panthers, there’s no way to tell who will come out on top.

So I’ve gone over all the Divisions, and how things could play out now, I will give you my predictions for the conference championships. So here it is I believe with the way the Patriots have gotten things back on track, and as well as their offense has been doing, we will see them take on the Steelers amazing defense in the AFC Championship game.

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I also believe that in the NFC Championship will see the Eagles dynamic offense take on the Vikings explosive defense. Overall I believe that the Patriots will take down the Steelers and the Eagles will take out the Vikings.

Giving us an Eagles Vs. Patriots Super Bowl in which I would have to put my money and the Pats why because you don’t bet against Brady he is a man on a hunt once he’s in pursuit and he has missed very few shots with five rings; need I say more?