The 2022 NFL campaign has reached its midway point, and it’s anyone’s guess as to who will be lifting the Lombardi trophy at the end of the season. Throughout the opening half of this term, there have been franchises that are usually in contention falling into turmoil. There are also teams that have been nowhere near the playoffs at the end of the season suddenly announcing themselves as contenders.
Before the season got underway, the Buffalo Bills are the favorites for glory next February, according to super bowl odds online. The Highmark Stadium outfit has been steadily building an impressive team in the last few years. And with superstar quarterback Josh Allen in their ranks, they have a QB capable of winning matches on his own.
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New York has also provided two of the league’s surprise packages. The Jets haven’t reached the postseason since 2010, and their rivals The Giants also have reached the playoffs just once since they won the Super Bowl – their second in four years – the following year. But this year, both sides are back, and back with a vengeance.
The Jets have picked up some impressive scalps, including the tournament favourite Bills, en route to a record of 6-3. The Giants have managed to go one better, winning seven and losing just two so far this year.
Another honorable mention is the Miami Dolphins. They currently have a record of 7-3 and have also beaten the Bills earlier in the campaign. Another impressive statistic is that the Florida-based outfit hasn’t lost when quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has played the full game.
The 24-year-old came off with an awful-looking injury against the Bengals and missed the two subsequent matchups against the Jets and the Vikings. The Dolphins would lose all three games. But with Tagovailoa fit and firing, and with some very winnable fixtures on the horizon, the Dolphins could be set for the playoffs for just the fifth time this millennium.
Then there are the Minnesota Vikings and Philadelphia Eagles. Both franchises currently have a record of 8-1 and have been magnificent this term. That pair could also be in with a shout.
But with that being said, we don’t think any of the above will leave Arizona’s State Farm Stadium with the trophy. If they continue in the same vain, however, they could surprise us all. Let’s take a look at the two teams we consider to be the main contenders this year.
As we alluded to earlier, the Bills began this season as the favourites. But thus far, it’s debatable whether they have lived up to their billing. Admittedly at some points, they have been scintillating.
On game week six, they beat the Kansas City Chiefs away from home courtesy of a masterclass from Josh Allen. He threw for 329 yards including three touchdowns and 148 of those yards were too wide receiver Stefon Diggs, who was at his brilliant best. The victory was particularly impressive as the Missouri-based franchise has eliminated the Bills in each of the last two seasons.
But as brilliant as they have been, they are also prone to the odd disaster. In the last two game weeks, they have lost back-to-back for the first time this season. They were first stunned by the New York Jets at MetLife Stadium, before losing at home for the first time this term to the Minnesota Vikings.
Sean McDermott’s side should be able to dust themselves down and go again, they’re too good not to. But even if they do reach the championship game next February, they will still have to put the ghosts of the 90s to rest. The Bills have never lifted the Lombardi trophy and, to make matters worse, lost four consecutive Super Bowls between 1990 and 1993.
Kansas City Chiefs
One thing we have learned from the NFL in recent years is that you never write off Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. They have been on fire so far this term, losing just twice to the aforementioned Bills and the lowly Indianapolis Colts, who stunned their more illustrious opponents in gameweek three.
But if there is one thing that the Chiefs have in abundance, it’s playoff pedigree. They know what it takes to win games in the postseason.
They have reached the playoffs in eight of the last nine seasons. And if that wasn’t enough, they have reached the conference finals in each of the last four seasons, winning two. Their crowning moment of course came at Super Bowl LIV where they defeated the San Francisco 49ers to lift the Lombardi trophy for the first time in 50 years.
If Mahomes continues in this form, then his Chiefs are no doubt one of the favourites once again. He leads the league ahead of Tom Brady in terms of yards thrown (2,936) and in terms of touchdowns (25). It would take a brave punter to bet against him at this point.