2021 Offseason Questions: Did Two Best Teams Reach Super Bowl This Year?

The Pittsburgh Steelers’ 2020 season is now in the books, and it ended in spectacular fashion—though the wrong kind of spectacular—in a dismal postseason defeat at the hands of the Cleveland Browns, sending them into an early offseason mode after going 12-4 in the regular season and winning the AFC North for the first time in three years.

After setting a franchise record by opening the year on an 11-game winning streak, they followed that up by losing three games in a row, going 1-4 in the final five games, with only a 17-point comeback staving off a five-game slide. But all the issues they had in the regular season showed up in the postseason that resulted in their early exit.

The only thing facing them now as they head into 2021 is more questions, and right now, they lack answers. What will Ben Roethlisberger do, and what will they do with him? What will the salary cap look like? How many free agents are they going to lose? Who could they possibly afford to retain? Who might they part ways with—not just on the roster, but also on the coaching staff?

These are the sorts of questions among many others that we have been exploring on a daily basis and will continue to do so. Football has become a year-round pastime and there is always a question to be asked, though there is rarely a concrete answer, as I’ve learned in my years of doing this.

Question: Did the two best teams (in each conference) make it to the Super Bowl this year?

Every season in every sport is full of woulda-coulda-shouldas. Many things have to go right for any one team to make it to the championship game, regardless of whether or not they are the ‘best’ team, if there ever is such a thing. Sometimes, it seems, it’s the healthiest team who wins, or at least the healthiest in the most strategic positions. But that’s just one of numerous factors.

Looking at the Super Bowl slate for the 2020 season, we have Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs facing Tom Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Mahomes is a former league MVP and Super Bowl MVP, reaching the AFC Championship game in each of the past three seasons and now the Super Bowl in each of the past two years.

Brady, of course, is Brady, playing in his 10th Super Bowl and having made it to the conference finals for the billionth time in a row, though this is his first time in the NFC, having moved on from a long, long career with the New England Patriots.

So were these the two best teams from either conference? Will this matchup for the Super Bowl this year truly represent the best on the best? The case I’m sure is easy to make for the Chiefs, though the Buccaneers are looking to become the rare Wildcard team to win the Super Bowl this year.

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