For the majority of the 21st century, it’s been nearly impossible to repeat as Super Bowl champions. The Patriots are the last team to do so, winning Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX over the Panthers and Eagles, respectively. Could the Chiefs break a two-decade drought and defend their title this year?
Not only does Sports Illustrated senior writer Conor Orr think the answer to that question is no, but he also doesn’t see the Eagles getting back to the championship game either.
With the start of the 2023 season now 100 days away, Orr commemorated the occasion with 100 bold predictions for the year. Among them is that we will have two different teams appearing in Super Bowl LVIII at Allegiant Stadium. He predicts that it will be the Bengals defeating the 49ers for the title in February.
Here’s how Orr breaks down his view of which two teams will be the last ones standing:
I realize, as one of the supreme mushes of our time, that I have an ability to make it a near certainty these teams will not reach the Super Bowl. So it was my initial plan just to put two teams I absolutely wouldn’t want to see there (say, oh, I don’t know, two random teams like the Browns and the Commanders) as my Super Bowl contenders. Alas, that wouldn’t make for a very good prediction post, and, at some point, every blind squirrel finds an acorn. The Bengals and the 49ers have, by my estimation, the two rosters that best embody the hallmark of a Super Bowl team: talent and depth at almost every position. The 49ers have enough options at the quarterback position to make sure they aren’t stuck in the title game with Christian McCaffrey in the Wildcat. Deebo Samuel believed this team was better than the Eagles last year, and, even after Philadelphia’s superb draft, I agree that the 49ers have just as strong of a roster.
Both Cincinnati and San Francisco made it to the conference title games last season, so it’s not too big a stretch to imagine they’ll go one step further this time around. Do you agree with this Super Bowl projection? Check out the rest of the predictions here.