After watching the first NFL Sunday of 2015 unfold yesterday, I am more confident than ever that the New England Patriots will return to the Super Bowl this February.
Let’s run through the contenders.
For some reason the Colts were the favorite choice among national analysts to win the Super Bowl this offseason, but people that actually understand the game of football knew this team has major issues that will prevent them from getting to the big game. They can’t stop the run, they have a mediocre offensive line, and their quarterback turns the ball over too much.
Yesterday versus Buffalo, the Bills racked up 147 yards on the ground, they picked Andrew Luck off twice, sacked him twice, and hit him five times. This game was not nearly as close as the final score shows, but it did show the Colts have a lot of flaws going forward.
The Broncos’ offense is going to be bad this year. Very bad.
They can’t block, they can’t run the ball, the receivers struggle to consistently get open, but most importantly, Peyton Manning is done. I thought Manning would look a little better than he did the last time we saw him in action last January, but his arm is just as bad as it was then. I honestly feel bad for Peyton at his point. One of the greatest to ever do it is going to go out looking like a shell of himself.
As for the defense, yes, they are very talented, but they have weaknesses the Patriots will thrive off of: weak linebackers, bad safeties, and a small defensive front. Tom Brady is a master of manipulating the middle of the field, and that is exactly where Denver’s defense can be exposed.
It’s hard to judge the Ravens based on their regular season performance, because they always turn it up a notch in the playoffs, but losing Terrell Suggs hurts them badly. Their secondary isn’t great, and without Suggs, their pass rush isn’t a monster either. Joe Flacco‘s receiving corps is a lot weaker than it has been in years past, and the offensive line struggled yesterday in Denver.
With all of that said, I’d still probably rank the Ravens ahead of the Colts and Broncos as challengers to the Patriots. Losing Suggs really hurts, but this team knows how to play the Pats hard in the postseason, particularly Joe Flacco, who becomes Tom Brady-esque in the playoffs. So if they can manage to squeeze into the tournament, they could possibly do some damage.