The Chiefs are the favorite to repeat in 2021, with Patrick Mahomes in a league of his own at the quarterback position. Kansas City is considered by many to be invincible, which is actually quite interesting considering that they trailed by double digits in all three of their playoff games during last season's Super Bowl run. The 49ers were on the wrong side of that game, blowing a double digit lead late. Jimmy G failed to live up to the moment, but he might get another shot in 2021. The Ravens are starting to develop a reputation for choking in the playoffs, coming off another disappointing post-season.
Here are Ricky's Top 3 Super Bowl Longshot Picks:
1: Cleveland Browns = 40-1 to win outright.
Cleveland was a sexy pick for a dark horse last year, but after Baker Mayfield had a disastrous sophomore season, fewer people are ready to believe in the Browns heading into this season. There is no doubt that he's going to need to be better if the Browns are going to take the next step, but there were some positives from last season. The Ravens and the Steelers have owned the AFC North for decades, and Cleveland won at Baltimore and at Pittsburgh last season. Cleveland has a solid defense, and they should have one hell of a running game with Nick Chubb and Kareem Hunt. Myles Garrett might be the most intimidating pass rusher in the league, and he should be a beast this season coming back from a suspension for his assault on Mason Rudolf. OBJ might be the biggest wild card, given his history as a true "diva" wide receiver.
2: Minnesota Vikings = 28-1 to win outright.
The Packers dominance in the NFC North continued last season, albeit thanks to what was perhaps a stroke of luck. They weren't your typical 13 win team, and that became clear when they were blown out by San Francisco in the playoffs. Green Bay raised a lot of eyebrows when they drafted a QB with their first pick in the draft, and they also ruffled some feathers. A disgruntled Aaron Rodgers is going to be hard pressed to lead this team to 13 wins again this season. The Vikings won 10 games last year, and shocked the Saints in the Wild Card Game. They lost at San Francisco in the divisional round, but they do have all the pieces in place for another strong run this season. Their success will likely hinge on the health of Dalvin Cook, and the arm of Kirk Cousins. The Vikes drafted WR Justin Jefferson from LSU in the first round of the draft, and he will try to fill the void left by Stephon Diggs departure to Buffalo. The Vikes have a legit shot to win their division in 2021.
3: Dallas Cowboys = 17-1 to win outright.
The Cowboys were one of the favorites to win it all last year, but it was just another disappointing season under Jason Garrett. Jerry Jones finally pulled the trigger, firing Garrett and replacing him with Super Bowl winner Mike McCarthy. An upgrade in coaching and an excellent draft for Dallas should give the Cowboys a better chance to live up to their potential. CeeDee Lamb was perhaps the most talented receiver in the draft, but slipped all the way to #17 in the first round after an average showing in the NFL combine. Despite finishing 8-8 last season, they were still just a game out of first place in the NFC East. A 17-9 loss at Philly on December 23 was the difference between winning the division or missing the playoffs. It could shape up the same way this year, but they face the Eagles at Jerry World on December 28.