Two days from now, football will be back. If ever there was a time for this emoji:

Emoji Hands

…this would be it.

Shout out to every other sport and Hard Knocks for getting us through the summer. Truly appreciated.

Now that all the fantasy teams have been drafted, suicide pool picks have been picked (I got Philadelphia and San Francisco with my two entries this week), it’s time to figure out who can win the Super Bowl in Arizona.

As fun as it is to pick a team to win, it’s really impossible. The best way to figure it out is to split the teams into “Those who can win it” and “Those who cannot,” so here goes:

Teams that definitely are NOT winning the Super Bowl –

Dolphins Jets Football

All teams who will start rookie QB’s at some point this season. See you later Minnesota, Oakland, Jacksonville, Cleveland, and Tennessee.

Teams with smedium QB’s that are non-rookies. Let’s get Houston, St. Louis, Tampa Bay, Miami, Arizona, and Kansas City out the paint.

Teams that have a track record of never being shit. That means Detroit (sigh), the Jets, Buffalo, Dallas, and Cincinnati are out of the running.

The teams that overachieved last season. Say good night to Carolina and Kansas City (again).

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And finally, teams with gaping holes on one side of the ball. So Washington, Chicago, Atlanta…your defenses suck, you’re all out.

That leaves 12 teams in the mix, which basically represents my playoff bracket. Let’s whittle it down to a Super Bowl pick.

Teams that definitely CAN win the Super Bowl –


Seattle is a logical choice to repeat this season. They won last year, playing out the season as one of the two or three best teams all along. They didn’t lose anyone critical going into this season, AND they managed to avoid a crippling suspension that bit many other teams.

The only real reason I’m picking against them is history. It’s hard to repeat. And for the last few years, the reigning Super Bowl champion hasn’t come close to repeating.

Denver has Peyton Manning. I hate Peyton Manning. They’re out.

The Giants and Eagles only make this list because someone has to win the horrible NFC East, and I like Philadelphia’s offense. Neither will win a game in January.

Similar story with Baltimore. They get here because Joe Flacco has won a Super Bowl, not because I think he will. He was perfect in the playoffs the year he won it. Don’t see that happening again. At least he got paid though. Count your money, Joey!

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I believe in the power of Andrew Luck, but I don’t think Indianapolis has a complete enough team to realistically compete for a championship. The stench coming off of Trent Richardson and most of the defense is enough to overpower Luck’s knack for making the right play.

Green Bay, who bit me last year, have my favorite quarterback and what looks like an amazing offense. I just don’t trust the defense or their ability to stay healthy.

Sleeper picks –


These are the teams that I can’t really justify for the Super Bowl, but want to say “I told you so” if they make a Flacco-esque run in the playoffs.

San Diego and Pittsburgh fit the bill here. The Steelers always seem to have a good team. And this year, they have a lot of names that I like. I could see it coming together for them in the playoffs. And they can’t be as bad as they were last year, right?

The Chargers are a team I’m irrationally high on. I drafted Phil Rivers in just about every fantasy league I’m in. Their offense will be good, and if their defensive pick ups play well, they can shock the world…except for me. Because I told you so.

True contenders –

Three teams left. I’ll pencil New England into the Super Bowl by elimination. They are loaded on both sides of the ball. Though their defense is more a collection of good players than a cohesive unit, I’ll give them the benefit of the doubt.

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Deciding between San Francisco and New Orleans is tough, but I’ll give the nod to the Saints. The 49ers are dealing with those suspensions that Seattle has avoided, and they lost some pieces on defense, the strength of the team. This could be the year the Niners show their true colors. Are they Super Bowl champs or the new Buffalo Bills? There is already speculation about the coach leaving, and it’s hard to keep an elite roster together.

The pick –

Tom Brady

I’m going with the Patriots to win it all this year. We can put Brady ahead of Manning for good on the “All Time” list, and stop mentioning Spygate forever.

Works for me.

I’ve typed enough. Simple question: who you got this year?

Hit the comments and let me know!