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The 2009 NFL Football Season is in some cases upside down from the way the league looked in 2008. The Tennessee Titans who started their 2008 season a perfect 10-0 remain winless at 0-3. The same can be said for the Carolina Panthers who were tied with the Giants for best regular season record in the NFC just one year ago. At least the Panthers are just 2-0, but are pretty sizeable underdogs entering tomorrow night’s battle with Dallas. Still, if you look at some of the teams in the league who would have thought the Jets at this time appear to be the best team in the AFC East over the Patriots and San Francisco sits a top the NFC West at a perfect 3-0.
It just goes to show that no matter how much preseason predictions and reviews that nothing truly matters until teams actually step onto the gridiron. While the season is definitely going to have its twist and turns throughout the remaining 13 weeks of the regular season, we are going to break down some of the teams that may have a shot at the 2010 Super Bowl based what we have seen thus far in the year. Keep in mind that you will have teams that get cold and hot, and things will definitely change. However, it’s hard to pass up the chance to catch the Super Bowl odds while they are at their most profitable. Take a second to look at a few teams who are considered to be 2010 Super Bowl Champion contenders.
#5. New Orleans Saints – 9 to 1 (@ BetUS)
The New Orleans Saints quick 3-0 start may be a surprise to some, but if you paid attention to our preseason predictions we had the Saints to win the NFC South due to their potent offense. Well the season has a long way to go, but so far Drew Brees is proving us right. The Saints are 3-0 including an impressive win over Philadelphia in that stretch. Brees already has 9 touchdowns in just 3 games and is completing 70% of his passes while owning the highest quarterback rating in the league at 118.1. The Saints offense which is averaging 40 points per game remains one of the most prolific passing attacks in the NFL. Last season the Saints were extremely good on offense, but the defense was just as horrible giving up 25 points per game. The Saints defense definitely will not be the strong point of the team. However if they can have more similar performances like they did last Sunday holding Buffalo to 7 points and 243 total yards, then they are going to be extremely difficult to beat.
#4. Minnesota Vikings – 12 to 1 (@ BetUS)
Lets just first start off by saying “wow” to another Brett Farve classic last week. If you missed it, Farve threw a 50 yard laser from the 40 yard line to the back of the end zone finding WR Greg Lewis with 2 seconds to go lifting the Vikings over the 49ers in what has to be the play of the year by season’s end. Farve is the reason the Vikings could contend by the end of the season if he can stay healthy. The reason is not that he is the most important player on the field because that role goes to Adrian Peterson, but because he can make the plays when needed with his arm. The Vikings have struggled to find a quarterback that could move the ball without giving up 17 interceptions as they did in 2008. Farve has thrown just 1 pick this year even though he has thrown more than any other quarterback in his career. However, do not expect to see a lot of picks thrown by the 40 year old this year. The Vikings will keep the work load on running back Adrian Peterson who is undoubtedly the best rusher in the NFL fresh off a 1,760 yard season in 2008. The Vikings won the NFC North with all the troubles in the passing game last year. Imagine if they get consistency in the passing game and the defense continues to improve.
#3. New England Patriots – 8 to 1 (@ Oddsmaker)
First off let’s go ahead and state that the Patriots have looked absolutely nothing like a Super Bowl caliber team thus far this season. However, it’s hard to think a team this talented will not explode back to the dominating team that has ruled the NFL over the last decade. Tom Brady got off to a rusty start and perhaps has not looked as sharp as normal, but that can be expected following a knee injury. However, the offense has too many weapons to be contained. Sure, the New York Jets are playing well but the Patriots remain favorites to win the Super Bowl. New England bounced back last week beating up on the Atlanta Falcons 26-10 which should indicate even when they are not playing their best they are still among the best in the league. Brady has not been on target when the deep throws and the offense has yet to get the production needed from Wes Welker. However once those few misfires start sparking again, the Patriots are going to be tough to beat in the latter part of the season.
#2. Baltimore Ravens – 9 to 1 (@ BetUS)
It may be difficult to judge just how good the Ravens are considering they have yet to play any team with a winning record from 2008. However, we still have some high praises for this team. It all starts with the defense which is again among tops in the league. The Ravens defense ranked 2nd overall just a season ago and they could be well on their way to another strong year. We predicted the Ravens to pull of the upset over Pittsburgh in the preseason and they are going to have every opportunity. The reason the Ravens may be destined for more success in 2009 is due to the offense that has matured into a productive unit. QB Joe Flacco threw for a career high 342 yards in last week’s blowout over Cleveland 34-3. Flacco has looked sharp in just his 2nd year in the league and as a result 4 different wide receivers are already over 100 yards receiving. Add to the fact, Ray Rice and Willis McGahee are coming along nicely in the backfield and this team is going to be as dangerous as any in the AFC. The Ravens offense has slowly but consistently improved and they are going to be solid this season. As long as the defense does not fade, the Ravens could easily make a run at the AFC Championship.
#1. Indianapolis Colts – 12 to 1 (@ BetUS)
These odds are very inviting with the Colts sitting as +1200 to win the Super Bowl. Manning has been red hot in the opening games throwing over 300 yards in each contest. The Colts blew out the defending NFC Champions last week in Arizona 31-10. The Colts defense is playing extremely well holding opponents to just 15 points per game thus far in the season. The Colts defense will play a huge factor in the Colts success, but as of now everything seems to be on track. If Manning stays on fire, the Colts return to glory may be inevitable. Still, they are going to need Joseph Addai or rookie Donald Brown to get the running game going. The Colts are going to face some situations where they need their running backs to pick up first downs so it is imperative the rushing game come out of extinction. If that happens, there is not any other team in the league playing better right now.
Honorable Mention –
I’m sure some may wonder why the New York Giants are not on the list even though they may be Super Bowl contenders. The Giants are receiving 7 to 1 odds to win the Super Bowl and off to a solid 3-0 start. However, the Giants still are a concern because they way they fall apart last year. The Giants barely escaped a Washington team that was beaten by Detroit last week and hit a game winning field goal in their win over Dallas who many would consider as a bit over rated. QB Eli Manning has played well but that is nothing new for the Giants early in the year. Their biggest challenge is a lot like their biggest foes the Dallas Cowboys. The question is how will the team hold up later in the year? The big play threat at the receiver position is still in question. Steve Smith has played well and so has the emergence of Mario Manningham. However, it will be interesting to see how those young guys hold up. If they get better and do not fade, the Giants will be right in the mix. If not then it will be another disappointing story like the 2008 season.
|New England Patriots||13/2|
|New York Giants||13/2|
|San Diego Chargers||16/1|
|New Orleans Saints||7/1|
|Green Bay Packers||28/1|
|New York Jets||22/1|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||500/1|
|San Francisco 49ers||28/1|
|St Louis Rams||1000/1|
|Kansas City Chiefs||750/1|