Even with more than a month left in the NFL regular season, it’s not hard to figure out the teams that are serious contenders to win Super Bowl LVIII. The trick is picking just one team out of all of the contenders. On the one hand, every team has flaws and reasons why they could be tripped up on their way to the Super Bowl. However, we wanted to keep things positive and only stick to the reasons why each team is capable of being crowned champion. Therefore, we decided to make a case in favor of each serious contender ultimately winning Super Bowl LVIII.
San Francisco 49ers
While not an overwhelming favorite, most sports betting sites are listing the 49ers as the current favorites to win the Super Bowl. The San Francisco defense is the biggest reason for that. The 49ers have been led by that side of the ball in recent years, and 2023 is no exception. After a three-game losing streak earlier in the season, the 49ers have gotten back to winning games behind a suffocating defense that is giving up a league-low 15.5 points per game. With the midseason addition of Chase Young, San Francisco’s already strong pass rush got even better, giving the 49ers a better chance to close out games late in the year and in the playoffs.
Of course, the 49ers are also averaging over 28 points per game on offense. Brock Purdy went through a slump in the middle of the season but seems to have come out of it. He also has an exceptional supporting cast around him, most notably the NFL’s best running back Christian McCaffrey. With receivers like Deebo Samuel and Brandon Aiyuk, as well as tight end George Kittle, Purdy has more than enough help around him to carry the 49ers to a Super Bowl, especially if the defense continues to play at a high level.
Kansas City Chiefs
When you have Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce, you always have a chance. Even if Mahomes isn’t having his best season, he’s still more than capable of producing moments of magic in the biggest games. After all, the Chiefs are 11-3 in the playoffs with Mahomes at quarterback, including two previous Super Bowl wins in the last four years.
Perhaps more importantly, Mahomes and the Chiefs have something they didn’t have during their previous Super Bowl wins, which is an elite defense. Kansas City’s defense ranks third in the NFL in points allowed, holding all but one opponent to 21 points or less this season. If the Chiefs can continue to play stout defense, it’s not hard to envision Mahomes and the Kansas City offense being able to score at least 22 points against any team in the league.
With 10 wins in their first 11 games, there are plenty of reasons to think the Eagles can beat any team they come across in the playoffs. Jalen Hurts is playing at an MVP level, especially after a string of comeback wins over elite teams. With the likes of A.J. Brown and Devonta Smith catching passes from him, Hurts has the supporting cast around him to continue playing at a high level.
With wins this season over the Dolphins, Cowboys, Chiefs, and Bills, Philadelphia has already beaten the caliber of teams that they’ll come across on the way to the Super Bowl. Plus, the Eagles are looking like a safe bet to finish the regular season with the best record in the NFC. Getting home-field advantage throughout the playoffs and a first-round bye will give the Eagles a huge edge, giving them an easier path to get back to the Super Bowl for the second straight season.
Tua Tagovailoa is certainly among the NFL’s MVP candidates right now while wide receiver Tyreek Hill might be the most valuable non-quarterback in the league. He’s on pace for a record-setting season and has looked unstoppable at times. With Jaylen Waddle also part of the equation, the Dolphins have the most dynamic passing attack in the NFL.
Of course, it’s not all about Tagovailoa and Hill. Led by Raheem Mostert, Miami’s rushing attack is also one of the best in the NFL. If the Dolphins can get rookie De’Von Achane healthy by the end of the season, they’ll have a two-headed monster in the backfield. Running the ball effectively is critical during the playoffs, which is something the Dolphins should be able to do. That will help Tagovailoa play his best in Miami’s most important games, making the Dolphins a tough-out in the playoffs.
Despite playing in arguably the toughest division in football, the Ravens have managed to seize control of the AFC North. They’ve won six of their last seven games heading into a bye in Week 13, setting up Baltimore for a strong finish that could help the Ravens claim home-field advantage in the AFC.
Obviously, Lamar Jackson has been a huge key to Baltimore’s success. He is once again leading one of the most dynamic rushing attacks in the NFL, which will be a huge asset in the playoffs. But Jackson is also having his most efficient season as a passer, adding an element to the Baltimore offense that will come in handy during the playoffs. Meanwhile, the Ravens have allowed the second-fewest points in the NFL in 2023. The Ravens have always been built on exceptional defensive teams. They have one of those defenses this season, not to mention an MVP candidate like Jackson leading the offense, making the Super Bowl a realistic possibility.
After a series of blowout wins, it’s hard to overlook the Cowboys this season. Almost all of their wins have come by huge margins with Dak Prescott leading the best offense in the league. With CeeDee Lamb, they have an elite wide receiver while Tony Pollard has come on strong lately as well. Also, the Dallas defense isn’t so bad, ranking among the top five in points allowed. That gives the Cowboys one of the most balanced teams in the league and a genuine shot at winning the Super Bowl.