The current landscape of the NFL is more interesting than it has been in a long time. There are a bevy of great quarterbacks in the league, a mix between veterans and youth, showing that the transformation into a pure “passing league” has fully come into its own. Additionally, there are plenty of entertaining head coaches, storylines, and skilled players on both sides of the ball to keep the league entertaining on a weekly basis. This means that the possibilities are endless as to who exactly will succeed and fail in the coming years, but considering all of it, we are able to estimate what may end up happening.
Picking a Super Bowl winner before the start of any given season is a difficult task. Picking one years down the line is almost impossible. Still, if certain teams stay on their current trajectories, we can ascertain at least a relatively decent idea of who will hoist the Lombardi Trophy in the proceeding seasons. We learned a lot about various contenders during this past season, and teams that are right on the brink. Let’s get an idea of who will be making it to the Super Bowl over the long haul, and which ones will come away victorious.
Ranked below are predictions of the winner and loser of the next eight Super Bowls.
16. 2018 Losers: Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons were heartbroken during this past Super Bowl, in what was one of the most entertaining NFL games ever played. Due to a poor coaching strategy in the second half, they managed to squander a 28-3 lead, and left everyone in Atlanta in utter shock. Fortunately, they’ll get another shot at a title this year, with almost none of their key contributors leaving in the offseason, and the NFC remaining relatively weak in terms of powerhouse teams. Yet again, however, they’ll come up short. While their defense is improving, it will once again let them down late in the game, and they’ll come up short once again. The Falcons do have a great team, but they just can’t seem to shake their Super Bowl curse, every time they get an opportunity.
15. 2018 Winners: Oakland Raiders
With all the news about the Raiders eventually moving to Las Vegas in a few years, what a way to send a final parting gift to the Oakland fanbase that have supported them for decades. With Derek Carr healthy for the playoffs this season (hopefully), they’ll have a much better chance to do so than they did when Connor Cook had to step in for their playoff game last year, which they inevitably lost. Make no mistake about it, the Raiders are contenders this season, and have one of the best rosters in the league. They’ll be a force to be reckoned with, and will run through the AFC playoff picture, en route to their first Super Bowl since 2002. Without a doubt, the Raiders have a great chance to send the fans in Oakland home happy one last time before making the move to Vegas.
14. 2019 Losers: Philadelphia Eagles
With Carson Wentz still on his rookie deal, and all of their good defensive players locked up for the foreseeable future, the best chance for the Eagles to make a run is actually in the not-too-distant future. In truth, the NFC is completely wide open, with numerous teams ready to make a run at a title, and it wouldn’t be surprising to see the Eagles take that next step in a few years. They have a mix of veterans and youth, and it could happen sooner rather than later. A surprise run to the 2019 Super Bowl may be in order if they can put all of the pieces together, but Wentz won’t win his first one then. Still, it will be a nice run for Philly to build on, and they could potentially get another opportunity later on down the line.
13. 2019 Winners: New England Patriots
In what will end up being Tom Brady’s last season, the Pats will once again walk away victorious with the Lombardi Trophy, much to the disappointment of fans just about everywhere. That will make it a grand total of six Super Bowls to his credit, far and away the most all-time for an NFL quarterback. The formula that New England has implemented over the years just never seems to fail, and it would be hard to bet against them getting at least one more in their trophy case. There’s not much more to say, they’re always contenders no matter what year it is, and for the 2019 Super Bowl, they’ll end up winning yet another one.
12. 2020 Losers: Tennessee Titans
The Titans have been making all the right moves recently, and have now found an established franchise quarterback in Marcus Mariota. Amazingly, Mike Mularkey actually put together a good season as head coach, and the team is now moving in the right direction. They should be serious contenders around this projected time, if not even sooner, and a Super Bowl appearance is likely on the horizon for Tennessee in the near future. For some reason, they don’t appear to be a team that would win it all on the first go-around, although some well-timed free agency acquisitions or draft picks could change that. Either way, they’ll be in the playoff picture for sure, and should be making moves toward a Super Bowl soon.
11. 2020 Winners: Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs look more formidable right now than they have in years, and they’ll be making a solid playoff push soon. Jameis Winston has proven himself to be a franchise quarterback, and combined with the skill players they have on their offense, it’s a dangerous tandem in place. Their defensive is steadily improving, and will probably hit their peak around this projected time. It sounds strange to say it, but Tampa Bay is a legitimate contender right now, and could make a playoff run in any of the seasons leading up to this projection. Winston is the real deal, and the Bucs will finally be back in consistent contention, for the first time in over a decade. Consider them a dark horse pick for next year, hitting their prime around 2019.
10. 2021 Losers: Green Bay Packers
This is going to be Aaron Rodgers’ last hurrah for another Super Bowl, and he’s going to just barely come up short. The Packers are a legitimate contender every year that A-Rod is on the field, but recently they’ve faltered due to a lack of personnel in other areas. They should build up a pretty good team in order for Rodgers to make one more run at a title. Unfortunately, this is going to be coming at a time when many of the league’s best young quarterbacks right now are entering their statistical prime. It will be one last great run, but the Packers will ultimately miss out on another Super Bowl. If Rodgers doesn’t retire by this point, he will slowly start to regress until he does.
9. 2021 Winners: Indianapolis Colts
After years of misfortune being thrown towards Andrew Luck, this is the year he finally gets his Super Bowl ring. The Colts still have some work to do in building a defense (which has held them back before), and once they do, Luck should have no problem mowing through the AFC playoff picture en route to a Super Bowl. At this point, Tom Brady should be finally retired or getting close to it, and the road to a title will be much more open in the conference, giving way to the Colts to finally make a move. Luck’s elite skills have been diminished in the past by management decisions and poor defensive play, but this is the year it will all come together for them. Luck will get his first Super Bowl, and the Colts will finally have a roster good enough to be a real contender.
8. 2022 Losers: Denver Broncos
Despite the fact that they missed the playoffs last season, the Broncos have too good of a front office and organization to stay irrelevant for too long. They’ll still have some players on the team now by the time of this projection. This seems like enough time for Denver to regroup and make another deep playoff run, as they seem to do every time they’re considered down and out. There’s no telling who the head coach could be around this time, but the Denver front office usually gets it right, and should be in prime position to put the team in another opportunity for success in 2022. Without Peyton Manning and a truly elite defense, however, they’ll end up just a bit short in the Super Bowl.
7. 2022 Winners: Carolina Panthers
The Panthers had a rough go of it last season, but Cam Newton is simply too talented of a quarterback to falter year after year. There’s no need for Carolina to rebuild necessarily, just to re-tool some of their roster for the proceeding seasons. It wouldn’t be surprising if Ron Rivera was still head coach at this point, and if the Panthers were gearing up for another Super Bowl run. This time however, their lack of maturity won’t be a focal point, and they’ll be able to finish the job. Newton has the kind of franchise talent necessary to carry his team deep into the postseason, as we’ve already seen in 2015. He’ll have learned a lot from his last run, and be able to apply it to the 2022 Super Bowl. Look for Carolina to bounce back a few years down the line.
6. 2023 Losers: Chicago Bears
Out of all the teams that will be playing as a rebuilding team in the near future, the Bears are one that have the most likelihood in actually winning some games. New quarterback Mike Glennon may be a good stopgap, but he won’t last as a franchise player, and coach Jon Fox won’t be there at this point either. The main thing in Chicago’s favor is that they have some great young players on defense, that will be in their statistical prime by the time this season rolls around. It may be a bit of a longshot, but Chicago is due for another deep playoff run after their rebuild, and this could be their year if everything shakes out correctly. They’ll win some games in the meantime, but not enough to ward off a full-scale rebuild that will get them a bunch of new quality players.
5. 2023 Winners: Jacksonville Jaguars
At long last, the Jaguars will have finally won a Super Bowl, and it will be because of the structural changes they’re making now. Whether Blake Bortles is involved in the offense or not, they’re shown that they are committed to drafting defensive players, which is a surefire way to develop a good team quickly. Now that Gus Bradley is out as head coach, expect to see them begin to make real strides this season, and having it all culminate with a Super Bowl victory around this time. There’s no denying their level of talent, it’s just a matter of getting a coaching staff in-house that is able to maximize their potential. The Jaguars are finally moving in the right direction, after years of haphazard decisions, and poor coaching choices.
4. 2024 Losers: San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are another team in the midst of a complete overhaul, but it’s not hard to see them competing seriously again by this time. With any luck, new head coach Kyle Shanahan will still be there, and he will have constructed his effective offense around a good quarterback. The young defensive players on the 49ers right now will also be in their prime, giving them a well-rounded team that’s necessary to make a deep playoff run. At this point in the future, it will have been about a decade since Jim Harbaugh left as head coach, and they will be due for some success around that time. Just like their last Super Bowl appearance in 2012, though, they’ll ultimately come up short.
3. 2024 Winners: New York Jets
The Jets are also rebuilding, but they have the benefit of keeping their head coach, and not having a bunch of terrible decisions being made just before the rebuild, other than a couple of ill-advised free agent signings. They’ll be able to build this roster relatively quickly once they find a quarterback, as they already have a very productive front seven on their hands. Todd Bowles has a chance to stick around as head coach for a very long time, and this might just be his crowning achievement in New York when it’s all said and done. It may not seem likely right now, but by 2024 the landscape of the NFL will be playing into the hands of teams like the Jets, and they’re a good pick to win a title at that time.
2. 2025 Losers: Los Angeles Rams
Now that the Rams have axed the perennial mediocrity that was head coach Jeff Fisher, they may actually get down to making a playoff appearance in the coming seasons. Maybe Jared Goff does end up working out as the franchise quarterback overall, and he has a career year in the 2024 regular season, like Matt Ryan did last year with the Falcons, that was the catalyst for their Super Bowl appearance. Just like Ryan and Falcons, however, it probably won’t be enough, and they’ll end up losing to the Browns (who ever thought that would be a plausible scenario?). The Rams are due for some kind of success in the near future, and this would probably be the time where it is most likely to happen. They won’t end up winning it all though.
1. 2025 Winners: Cleveland Browns
OK, so the Browns are still a mess right now, and the first year under new head coach Hue Jackson wasn’t a big success in the win column, but it’s not inconceivable to think that they might be a contender a few years down the line. With the amount of draft picks they have right now, and a supposed new attitude and philosophy in the front office, the Browns are actually set up for the long-term future very well, at least in theory. If they land a franchise quarterback next season or so, by the time the 2025 Super Bowl rolls around, he should be in the prime of his career, ready to give Cleveland their first Lombardi Trophy. This is kind of a shot in the dark, but no team is as well set up in the draft as the Browns are for the next few seasons.
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