The New England Patriots lived by the mantra of no respect in this year’s NFL playoffs, and they apparently can keep that philosophy for another year. Despite winning Super Bowl 53, 13-3 over the Los Angeles Rams, they are not the favorites to win next year’s big game.
That would be the team they defeated in this year’s AFC Championship game, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Westgate Las Vegas SuperBook posted the updated odds shortly after the game on Sunday, and has the Chiefs as the 6/1 favorite.
The Patriots, who won their sixth Vince Lombardi Trophy at Mercedes Benz Stadium on Sunday, are clumped in at 8/1 with New Orleans, and the LA Rams, the team they beat.
McVay Praises Belichick
Rams coach Sean McVay doesn’t need any convincing the Patriots are the best team. He told reporters after the 13-3 loss that he was awed by his contemporary, Bill Belichick.
“Coach Belichick did an outstanding job,.” McVay said “There is really no other way to put it. I’m pretty numb right now, but definitely, I got out-coached. I didn’t do nearly good enough for our football team.”
The Patriots won their sixth Super Bowl since 2002 with a defense that stymied Los Angeles, who had the second best offense in the NFL, averaging 421 yards a game. On Sunday, the Rams garnered just 292.
Kansas City Offense Tough
The Chiefs had the No. 1 offense in 2018 and a big reason why was quarterback Patrick Mahomes. The second-year player out of Texas Tech was named MVP, and his coach Andy Reid told reporters he should continue to get better.
“I saw him continue to grow during training camp, and every week since then, I thought he continued to better his game,” Reid said “That’s a great foundation for him. His work ethic, his love for the game, his leadership – all of those things – continued to grow. That will drive him, and it gives us a great opportunity to be a productive football team.”
The Achilles heel for Reid is his defense, which finished 31st out of 32 teams this season. The casualty of the team’s woes was defensive coordinator Bob Sutton, who was fired by Reid two weeks ago.
“I’ve said before that change can be a good thing, for both parties, and I believe that is the case here for the Chiefs and Bob,” Reid said in a statement. “This was not an easy decision, but one I feel is in the best interest of the Kansas City Chiefs moving forward.”
Dark Horses Lurking
Los Angeles Chargers, Pittsburgh and Chicago are at 14/1 and all three have issues they need to address if they are going to win the Super Bowl in 2020.
The Chargers got the furthest of the three in playoffs, losing to the Patriots in the AFC Divisional game. They seem to have a propensity of getting in playoff situations, but then collapsing. They were favored to beat New England, but got routed, 41-28.
Chicago lost to Philadelphia at home in the NFC Wild Card game. They have a stifling defense, but will be looking for an offensive playmaker in the offseason.
Pittsburgh failed to make the playoffs, and spent the year beset with controversy. The Steelers had star running back Le’Veon Bell sit out the entire season in a contract dispute. James Connor filled in well, but they missed the All Pro in the backfield. Another problem was wide receiver Antonio Brown. He allegedly got into a verbal altercation with quarterback Ben Roethlisberger and was benched for the final game of the season. He is demanding a trade.