Why each remaining NFL playoff team WILL and WILL NOT win Super Bowl LVI


Ian Hooks

The four remaining NFL teams: the San Francisco 49ers, the Los Angeles Rams, the Kansas City Chiefs, and the Cincinnati Bengals.


Kansas City Chiefs:

Why they WILL: If we’re speaking honestly, the Chiefs have some of the best offensive players in the league. Patrick Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce, you name it, they have it. In addition to these star players, the versatility of Mecole Hardman and Byron Pringle will give Mahomes a plethora of options on where to throw the ball. Even if they can’t get it done through the air, look at their rushing attack. They have a healthy Clyde Edwards-Helaire, but they also have more depth at that position than most people like to believe. They have a star back-up in Jerrick McKinnon.  You could even put Derrick Gore in the backfield for a few plays. While their defense is a bit questionable right now, nobody can really stop their offense. To me, that is a recipe for success. We saw it in Super Bowl LIV and we’ll see it again in Super Bowl LVI.

— Cabot Butts —


Why they WON’T: The Chiefs’ defense is not good enough. Josh Allen and Gabriel Davis torched this Kansas City defense, which allowed almost 330 passing yards this weekend. To add on to their defensive woes, Tyrann Mathieu, who plays a huge role on this defense as a vocal leader, has been placed on concussion protocol, following the huge overtime thriller win against the Buffalo Bills. Plus, Mike Hughes’ ankles getting absolutely destroyed is living rent free in my head right now. This one singular play of Hughes’ ankles being broken by receiver Davis describes the entire Kansas City secondary in my opinion, which is why they have no chance of winning Super Bowl LVI.   

— Ian Hooks — 


Cincinnati Bengals:

Why they WILL: Imagine the best two players on your team literally being a second-year and rookie player. For the Bengals that is the case with quarterback Joe Burrow and wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase. These two have been unbelievably good in their first pro season together. Chase has had 1,455 receiving yards, breaking many franchise records along the way, combining with 13 receiving touchdowns in 18 games. However, this early success makes a ton of sense. These two were also teammates and won a National Championship at LSU together. They already had that built up chemistry and it shows on the field with the many back shoulder fade throws and catches made by the dynamic quarterback and wide receiver duo. With all that attention that Chase draws on the field, it opens more room for the other two dangerous wide receivers on Cincinnati in the second-year player out of Clemson, Tee Higgins, and also reliable slot option, Tyler Boyd. These two have been able to both have successful seasons as well and can pop off at any time. The multitude of options at the receiver position is what could lead this Bengals team to their first ever Super Bowl win. 

— Ian Hooks —    


Why they WON’T: While I am aware of the Bengals’ offense, featuring all-pro receiver Ja’Marr Chase, along with an exceptional sophomore quarterback in Joe Burrow, they have one flaw that really worries me going forward in the playoffs. That problem: the offensive line. I am very confident that Burrow can throw the deep ball, but to do that, he needs consistent chances, and that has not been the story this season. Burrow stands as the most sacked quarterback in the NFL this year, and the Bengals seemingly haven’t done anything to try and fix it. He was sacked NINE times on Saturday; that is inexcusable. Moving forward, the Bengals are going to be facing staunch defenses, whether that be in the Conference Championship, or Super Bowl, and nothing tells me that this Bengals offensive line can hold those 300 plus pound defensive lineman. Defensively, I know they have some really good players in Trey Hendrickson, Jessie Bates III, and Chidobe Awuzie, but that’s not enough in my opinion. However, I still am unable to look past that less than stellar offensive line. With that being said, there is really no chance that the Bengals can win the Super Bowl.

— Cabot Butts —



Los Angeles Rams:

Why they WILL: Cam Akers is back and healthy for the Rams! I know he fumbled two horrific times against the Buccaneers this past weekend, but this is still a guy with loads of potential. Also, do not forget about his first game back from his preseason achilles tear in the wildcard round. Akers had a total of 95 scrimmage yards and it was a loud performance to be honest. Also, this is a team with not a lot of holes anywhere! Matthew Stafford can be an excellent facilitator of the football, passing to receiving studs in Cooper Kupp, Odell Beckham Jr, Tyler Higbee, and even a young second year player in Van Jefferson. Then on defense you have a perennial All-Pro in Aaron Donald, a lockdown corner in Jalen Ramsey, plus a still viable edge rusher in Von Miller. If this Rams team continues to play like they did against Kyler Murray and the Arizona Cardinals (and not choke the game), then this is a team that can really make a deep run in the playoffs this year. 

— Ian Hooks —  


Why they WON’T: The Rams have been unpredictable all season. Just look at their schedule, they would win a few games, and then go on a losing streak where they got embarrassed. It’s not fair to blame it on the quarterback, but Matthew Stafford has been a hit or miss quarterback all season. LA has weapons; they have Kupp, they have Akers, but I don’t think that it will matter. To me, the Rams are too up in the air to win a Super Bowl.

Cabot Butts —


San Francisco 49ers:

Why they WILL: While I will admit that penalties are a problem for the 49ers, there are so many facets of their game that go unnoticed that can really kind of override those penalties, especially on offense. Both sides of the ball for the Niners are severely underrated. They are a top ten team in total offense and defense; one of only three teams to accomplish that this season. Offensively, they will be hard to stop, especially when the defense has to keep in mind that receiver Deebo Samuel could also work as a runner out of the back field. Also, questions still surround Jimmy Garoppolo and whether he will have a starting job after this year, and if you don’t think he’s going to do everything he can to win a Super Bowl for San Francisco, you must be crazy. On the defensive side of the ball, the Niners have a terrific front seven, featuring the versatile sack man, Nick Bosa. The only negative thing I have to say about the 49ers is that their Wild Card game against the Cowboys was extremely sloppy, but I believe that they fixed that part of their game against the Packers with their exceptional defense and special teams play. With that said, I think their outstanding win on Saturday will foreshadow things to come in the Conference Championship, as well as the Super Bowl.

— Cabot Butts — 


Why they WON’T: Jimmy Garoppolo is the starting quarterback. This 49ers team beat the Dallas Cowboys because of their dynamic rushing attack with Elijah Mitchell and Deebo Samuel, Kyle Shanahan’s coaching creativity, and consistent pressure from the team’s defensive line (even when Nick Bosa was ruled out of the game). If it were not for the costly penalties and poor coaching mistakes from Dallas, then we very well may be seeing a rematch of the season opener between the Cowboys and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. However, a reason the Cowboys were able to scrape away 17 points is because of Garoppolo’s inability to throw an accurate pass. On multiple occasions, he overthrew open receivers downfield, leading to either a punt or in the one case throwing an interception ending with Cowboys quarterback Dak Prescott scoring on the quarterback scramble. With Garoppolo under center, Shanahan can try to muster another Super Bowl appearance, but I just cannot see that happening. 

— Ian Hooks —