Just because football is nearly upon us doesn’t mean people are done making predictions based on things that haven’t happened yet. In fact, now that we’re on the home stretch, things are heating up. The league’s website last week published an article fielding Super Bowl predictions from all of their contributors.
In all, 10 different teams were chosen by the dozens of analysts to emerge victorious in Super Bowl LV in February. Only five teams were chosen to win by more than one analyst, and the Pittsburgh Steelers were among those five teams—ranking tied for fourth with two analysts choosing them.
Dan Hanzus picked the Steelers to emerge victorious at the end of this season over the New Orleans Saints. “Led by a resurgent Big Ben and a dominant defense, the Steelers bring the Lombardi Trophy home and send Drew Brees into retirement with an L”, he wrote.
Jim Trotter was the other analyst who believes Pittsburgh will win it all, this a familiar matchup, over the Dallas Cowboys. “Pittsburgh was forced to mature quickly last season without Ben Roethlisberger — and did”, he wrote. “That growth will be magnified with him back in the lineup”.
Hanzus and Trotter were the only two of the 35 analysts who even predicted that the Steelers would reach the Super Bowl, but considering that 17 of them picked the Kansas City Chiefs to repeat and another six chose the Baltimore Ravens, that accounts for 23 of the 35 total predictions among two teams in the AFC.
It should probably be noted that nobody has managed to repeat as Super Bowl champions since the New England Patriots did it during the 2003 and 2004 seasons. On the other hand, this is the longest streak in NFL history during which no team won the Super Bowl in consecutive years, spanning 15 championships.
The Denver Broncos repeated in 97-98. Prior to that, the Dallas Cowboys did the same in 92-93. The San Francisco 49ers repeated in 88-89. Of course, the Steelers won back-to-back titles multiple times in the 70s, first in 74-75, and then in 78-79. The Miami Dolphins in 72-73 and the Green Bay Packers, in the first two Super Bowls ever in 66-67, account for all consecutive winners, accounting for eight instances in 54 games.
Could the Chiefs break the longest streak in Super Bowl history? Will the Ravens claim their third Super Bowl in franchise history? How about the New Orleans Saints, who received the third-most votes? Can they return to the Super Bowl for just the second time?
Or will the Steelers prevail, reaching their ninth Super Bowl in team history and securing what would be an NFL-record seventh Lombardi Trophy, currently holding the most tied with the New England Patriots with six?