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Wild Card Teams Most Likely to Win Super Bowl 56

| January 12, 2022 10:00 am PDT

The 2021 NFL regular season is in the books, and it’s time to look ahead to the playoffs. The Green Bay Packers and Tennessee Titans clinched a first-round bye, while the other 12 playoff teams will battle on wild-card weekend.

Green Bay and the Kansas City Chiefs open as the Super Bowl favorites, but what about the wild card teams? We’ve seen seven wild-card teams win the Super Bowl.

The chances of it happening this season likely went down when the Indianapolis Colts and Los Angeles Chargers missed the playoffs, but there are a few deserving teams.

Let’s check out which wild card teams can win Super Bowl 56.

Arizona Cardinals

For most of the season, it looked like the Arizona Cardinals would compete for the No. 1 seed in the NFC. If that didn’t come to fruition, they would have the NFC West title to fall back on.

Following a 10-2 start, the Cardinals faltered down the stretch. They lost four of their last five games to finish 11-6. More importantly, they finished second in the NFC West.

The big question is can this team return to their early-season status as Super Bowl contenders?I believe they can.

Kyler Murray missed three games in the middle of the season with an ankle injury. However, that didn’t seem to make a big difference as the Cardinals offense cleared 20 points in two of those three games.

In their recent losing skid, the biggest problem has been their defense. Check out their points per game compared to the first 11 weeks.

In their recent losing skid, the biggest problem has been their defense. Check out their points per game compared to the first 11 weeks.
  • Week 1-11: 18.4
  • Week 13-18: 27.3

Turning around that defense will be the first step towards making a Super Bowl run.

The early betting lines for wild card weekend have the Cardinals as a (+4.0) point underdog to the Los Angeles Rams. Arizona beat Los Angeles pretty handily in Week 3, but the Rams responded with a road victory in Week 14.

I always feel like division games are dangerous for the better team. These teams know each other so well that it’s almost an even matchup.

If Arizona defeats the Rams, we’re likely looking at a matchup with the Green Bay Packers or Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Arizona nearly beat Green Bay in Week 8 before a last-second interception ruined their comeback.

Arizona likely won’t mind going on the road, as they’re 8-1 this season away from State Farm Stadium. Their defense will be key to them making a Super Bowl run.

San Francisco 49ers

I’ll be honest; I didn’t think the San Francisco 49ers would be a playoff team. Everyone was expecting a return to their 2019 form, but I didn’t see it. Following a 3-5 start, I felt pretty good about my prediction.

The 49ers proceeded to win seven of their last nine games, making the playoffs with a 10-7 record. I’ll give credit to the 49ers. They knocked off a few impressive teams in that stretch.

  • Los Angeles Rams: 31-10
  • @ Cincinnati Bengals: 26-23
  • @ Los Angeles Rams: 27-24

Their Week 18 victory over the Los Angeles Rams was their best of the season. They needed a win to make the playoffs, but they trailed 17-0 before storming back in the second half.

The 49ers have the best odds to win the Super Bowl among all wild card teams. I’d say some of that has to do with their matchup with the Dallas Cowboys.

Dallas won five of their last six games, but it’s fair to question the quality of their opponents. They played two playoff teams, losing to the Arizona Cardinals and beating a Philadelphia Eagles team playing their backups.

Their defense and run game made the 49ers so dangerous in 2019. They might not be as strong this season, but they have enough to make a Super Bowl run.

  • Rushing Yards Per Game: 127.4 (7th)
  • Yards Allowed Per Game: 310.0 (3rd)

Honestly, I think they’ll beat Dallas and move on to face the Green Bay Packers. San Francisco nearly beat the Packers in Week 4, but the Packers kicked a last-second field goal.

In 2019, San Francisco beat Green Bay in the playoffs. The Packers struggles in the postseason play into their weakness as a top contender to win the Super Bowl.

The 49ers Super Bowl chances will come down to their offense. Their run game has been great, with Elijah Mitchell emerging as a rookie superstar, but can Jimmy Garoppolo lead them on a deep run?

New England Patriots

It’s been a roller-coaster season for the New England Patriots. Their playoff chances weren’t looking good following a 2-4 start. Then, they started rattling off wins.

New England won seven straight games, defeating strong teams like the Los Angeles Chargers, Tennessee Titans, and Buffalo Bills. They went from potentially missing the playoffs to claiming the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

After their Week 14 bye, New England didn’t have a great close to the season. They dropped three of their final four games to finish 10-7.

A big reason for their late-season struggles was Mac Jones. Jones had a great performance over the Jacksonville Jaguars but check out his numbers in their three losses.

  • 56.1 completion percentage
  • 235.0 passing yards per game
  • 3 touchdowns
  • 5 interceptions

Limiting turnovers will be the key to Jones leading the Patriots on a Super Bowl run. He only threw two interceptions in their seven-game win streak.

This week, it might not all be on Jones as the Patriots play the Bills for the third time. Who can forget their first matchup when the Patriots attempted three passes and 46 rushes? The Bills won the second matchup, but New England had success on the ground.

That’ll be the key to knocking off the Bills. If they can do that, the Patriots will have a much easier matchup with the Tennessee Titans.

New England took care of business with a 36-13 victory in Week 12. However, it’ll likely be a different Titans team with Derrick Henry back in action.

Of course, I can’t talk about the Patriots without mentioning Bill Belichick. His postseason success came with Tom Brady, but this is his time to show he can lead a team to the Super Bowl without Brady.

Las Vegas Raiders

Following one of the wildest games in recent memory, the Las Vegas Raiders are in the playoffs for the first time since 2016. That season, the Raiders lost Derek Carr right before the playoffs, so they didn’t stand much of a chance. It’ll be different this time.

Las Vegas has dealt with as much turmoil as anyone this season. They made a midseason coaching change and cut one of their top wide receivers.

After dropping to 6-7, this team rallied around each other and made a playoff push. They won their final four games over quality opponents.

  • @ Cleveland Browns: 16-14
  • Denver Broncos: 17-13
  • @ Indianapolis Colts: 23-20
  • Los Angeles Chargers: 35-32

The Raiders are one of three true longshots in the playoffs. Their (+6000) Super Bowl odds are in line with the Philadelphia Eagles. Only the Pittsburgh Steelers are a bigger longshot.

How will the Raiders make a Super Bowl run? It starts with their defense. We’ve seen their defense’s potential, but they aren’t the most consistent group.

Las Vegas will face the Cincinnati Bengals. These two teams played in Week 11, with the Bengals winning 32-13. It was closer than the score indicates as the Raiders trailed by three with five minutes remaining.

The Raiders did a great job slowing down Joe Burrow in that game. However, they didn’t have an answer for Joe Mixon.

It’s almost like pick your poison with stopping Mixon or a Bengals passing game that features Ja’Marr Chase and Tee Higgins.

If the Raiders defeat the Bengals, they better hope the other two wild card teams lose. That would give them a matchup with the Tennessee Titans instead of the Kansas City Chiefs.

It seems like the Raiders could be a team of destiny. I wouldn’t mind betting on them to make a Super Bowl run.

Betting on Super Bowl 56

There has been so much parity this season that it wouldn’t surprise me to see one or two wild card teams make a Super Bowl run.

I still think the Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs are the teams to beat, but they aren’t unbeatable. There are other good division winners, but I could see them losing to any team we discussed.

In the AFC, I genuinely believe the Las Vegas Raiders or New England Patriots could knock off the Tennessee Titans. Although, they have to make it past the wild card round. Whatever happens, it should be an exciting postseason.

The top Super Bowl betting sites will give you all the necessary information and odds for Super Bowl 56. Check them out to win some money this postseason.

Nicholas Sterling

Nicholas has been a Sports Writer with GamblingSites.com since May 2021. He has a rich sports background, writing about NASCAR, NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL, Golf, etc. Nick is always ready for a new challenge.

He enjoys rooting on D.C. sports teams, including the Commanders, Wizards, and Capitals.

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