Super Bowl 51 Tips
Super Bowl 51 will be held in Houston, Texas on February 5th 2017. Let’s get to the three teams I like preseason to have a shot at winning the Vince Lomardi trophy come February.
Green Bay Packers
The Packers had a pretty poor season by their standards last season and they still made it to the divisional round of the playoffs. They were without their star receiver Jordy Nelson for the whole season who tore his ACL. It emerged over the off-season that Randall Cobb was playing through injuries the whole year but both players are back healthy this season.
The Packers made an off-season move acquiring tight end Jared Cook from the LA Rams. Cook has never fullfilled his potential but he’s never played with a legitimate quarterback, now he’s paired with the best in the league at Lambeau Field.
Eddie Lacy has trimmed up over the off-season after being slammed for being overweight last season by the coaches and national media. In 2013 and 2014 he was a top 10 running back and with an elite offensive line he could be the key to unlocking a deep run to the Super Bowl come the winter months.
Green Bay will benefit on the whole from having an elite offense back on the field. Putting up big amounts of points week in, week out and hoping to outscore opponents. They have the easiest 16 game schedule in the league which really helps with seeding. If they get the best record in the NFC and secure home field advantage teams will find it very tough to go to ‘The Frozen Tundra’ in the playoffs and come away with the victory.
From the AFC I like the look of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Much like the Packers they are built on offense with the likes of Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, Le’Veon Bell & Deangelo Williams. They have lost Martavis Bryant for the season through suspension but have still have the best receiver in Football.
Maurkice Pouncey is back on the offensive line to give even more protection to Big Ben. In 2014 he was ranked in the top 3 at centre but missed all of last season with injury. The Steelers were 3rd in total offense last year and with a healthy offensive line they have a huge chance to be number one in the league.
My only concern would be their defensive unit, front seven in particular. However they were a young unit last season and drafted CB Artie Burns, CB Sean Davis and DT Javon Hargrave. It may take a few weeks for the rookies to get used to things but they can learn of veteran players like James Harrison and become a force later in the season.
If you fancy a big priced bet on naming both teams in the Super Bowl then Ladbrokes have a very good market called ‘name the finalist’.
I just can’t leave the Arizona Cardinals out of being a Super Bowl contender this season. They led the NFL last year in total offense and were fifth in total defense. They went 13-3 during the regular season last year but lost to Carolina in the NFC Championship game on the road at Carolina.
Offensively they have a good trio of wide receivers, even if Larry Fitzgerald isn’t getting any younger he still keeps performing season after season. David Johnson should thrive even more behind an impoved offensive line after they picked up Evan Mathis from Denver.
Unlike both other teams mentioned above Arizona have a really good defense. I still think they probably would have won the Super Bowl last year had Tyann Mathieu been playing in the playoffs. If you’ve watched ‘All or Nothing’ on Amazon which followed Arizona last year you will see how big of a player in the locker room Mathieu is and how much respect the other players have for his ability. Their front seven isn’t elite by any means but they traded for defensive end Chandler Jones to replace Cory Redding who is retiring. They also drafted Robert Nkemdiche in the first round who will be an improvement on last years options.
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