As of Friday, there are 100 days left until Super Bowl LIII. The NFL season is flying by.
But unlike the NBA, in which 29 teams are fighting for the chance to get swept by the Golden State Warriors, we don’t know who the Super Bowl champion will be. We do know who it won’t be, however. Yes Jon Gruden, you can make some early February golf reservations.
So with 100 days to go, let’s take a look at who are the real Super Bowl contenders:
NOT A CHANCE IN THE WORLD
Arizona Cardinals, Buffalo Bills, Indianapolis Colts, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, San Francisco 49ers (0 percent chance each)
These teams are way more likely to trade off every spare part in the next week than make a Super Bowl run. But, hey, at least you won’t be going 0-16 this year!
A CHANCE, LIKE YOU HAD A CHANCE TO WIN MEGA MILLIONS
Cleveland Browns, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins, New York Jets, Tampa Bay Buccaneers (0.0001 percent chance each)
Hey, the Browns have moved up a tier! And congratulations to the Dolphins for making this list with a winning record. That’s hard to do.
DON’T BOOK A FLIGHT TO ATLANTA, BECAUSE IT WOULD TAKE A MIRACLE
Atlanta Falcons, Cincinnati Bengals, Dallas Cowboys, Seattle Seahawks, Tennessee Titans (0.1 percent chance each)
Our group that’s got just enough going for them to be somewhat interesting, but too many flaws to take seriously. Those flaws might be an extremely injured defense, Marvin Lewis trying to win a playoff game, acting like Amari Cooper is a No. 1 receiver, an offensive line that still can’t protect Russell Wilson, or Marcus Mariota.
WELL … MAYBE?
Chicago Bears, Detroit Lions, Washington Redskins (1 percent each)
I really don’t buy any of these teams as contenders but I can’t put them any lower and risk the wrath of you, angry fan, in the comments.
OK, NOW WE’RE INTERESTED
Carolina Panthers, Houston Texans, Jacksonville Jaguars (3 percent each)
Two quality teams that I just can’t bring myself to label as true contenders. The Panthers are good and I appreciate Cam Newton’s game but I can’t see them making a deep run. The Texans looked great on Thursday night, but I worry about Deshaun Watson getting pounded into sawdust behind that bad offensive line. And no matter how many times I’m subjected to watching Blake Bortles, I just can’t quit the Jaguars.
THE 10 TRUE CONTENDERS
10. Green Bay Packers (3.4995 percent)
We know why they made the cut, and it’s not because of how they’ve played so far. The Packers have been entirely mediocre, but they have Aaron Rodgers. I’m not going to be the one to count him out.
9. Baltimore Ravens (4 percent)
Their defense is very good and we’ve seen them do it before that way. It wouldn’t be pretty but they’re well coached with maybe the NFL’s best defense, so here they are.
8. Pittsburgh Steelers (4 percent)
I fully acknowledge this is a stretch based on what we’ve seen. But if Le’Veon Bell comes back and that doesn’t cause more episodes of the “Days of Our Steelers Lives” soap opera, and everyone can just put everything to the side and play football, a Bell-James Conner combination for the running game to go with Ben Roethlisberger and the passing game … wow. They’ll probably have a battle royal in the locker room while Antonio Brown films it all for Facebook Live before they make a Super Bowl, but we all know what’s possible here.
7. Philadelphia Eagles (5 percent)
What, you think Washington is going to win the NFC East? The Eagles are going to get on a roll and maybe Doug Pederson is really good enough of a motivator to brainwash them into believing they’re underdogs again.
6. Los Angeles Chargers (6 percent)
Here’s the question: If the Chargers won a Super Bowl, would Los Angeles have a parade? And an even more pressing question: Would anyone show up to that parade, or would it just be a lot of opposing fans because spots along the route were easy to find?
5. Minnesota Vikings (7 percent)
Do I have them as legitimate contenders to justify my preseason Super Bowl pick? Yep. But seriously, it’s still a very good team (as long as they’re not facing the Bills) that will get offensive help once Dalvin Cook is healthy and hopefully Everson Griffen returns to help the defense. They still have a championship ceiling.
4. New England Patriots (11 percent)
I know, I know. But brace yourselves, because we might be spending another Super Bowl Sunday with Tom and Bill.
3. New Orleans Saints (13 percent)
Keep this in mind: If the Saints can win the next two, at Minnesota and vs. the Rams, they’ll be in the driver’s seat for home-field advantage in the NFC and all the time we’ve spent talking about the Rams will shift to Drew Brees and Co.
2. Kansas City Chiefs (14 percent)
I want them to make it just to hear Patrick Mahomes speak for an hour at Super Bowl media day. Really though, they’re the prototypical 2018 team — defense is all well and good, but it’s so much more fun to just outscore everyone if you have the players for it. And they do.
1. Los Angeles Rams (20 percent)
If you’re picking anyone else as the favorite, 100 days before the Super Bowl, you’re trying too hard.
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