With the first week of the 2020 NFL season complete, Loyolan sportswriters offer their thoughts on which team impressed them the most and who they think might win the Super Bowl.
Alex Hutton, sports editor: New Orleans Saints
All of the attention in the NFC South this offseason was on the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and the transactions they made, such as the signing of legendary quarterback Tom Brady. But in week one, the Saints hosted Tampa and reminded everyone that they remain the division’s best team. New Orleans’ defense flustered Brady by forcing two interceptions, one of which was returned for a touchdown. Although 41-year-old quarterback Drew Brees is clearly slowing down, he game managed nicely and his offensive line did well protecting him, allowing only one sack. Between the defense, the offensive line, newly acquired receiver Emmanuel Sanders and newly paid running back Alvin Kamara, the Saints have the pieces necessary to make a Super Bowl run.
Nick Rossi, asst. sports editor: Kansas City Chiefs
Heading into week one, the Kansas City Chiefs were certainly one of the most common favorites to bring home the Lombardi Trophy this year. Coming off the back end of an impressive 2019-20 season, including a Super Bowl win over the 49ers, the Chiefs remain one of the NFL’s strongest contenders. They tied down star quarterback Patrick Mahomes to an impressive 10-year contract this offseason that will pay the Super Bowl MVP over $500 million. With Mahomes as the centerpiece of this franchise for the foreseeable future, the Chiefs kicked off the new season right where they left off. Their offense hit its typical impressive stride and dropped 34 points in a 34-21 defeat of the Houston Texans. Mahomes threw for 211 yards in addition to three touchdowns. The league should hope this offense somehow slows down, or the Chiefs could well be on their way to back to back titles.
Ellie Kinney, asst. sports editor: Baltimore Ravens
While the Chiefs still look strong, my pick to win the Super Bowl this year is the Baltimore Ravens. Last season’s MVP-winning quarterback Lamar Jackson is 0-2 in the playoffs in his young career, so I know he’s motivated to turn that around. Jackson’s explosive offense is paired with a defense that some analysts rank number one in the league; this combination will make it tough for opponents to compete with them. The Ravens showed their dominance on both ends with their resounding 38-6 win over the Cleveland Browns in Week one, and I expect them to keep up this momentum throughout the season. Keep an eye out for Baltimore’s week three matchup against the Chiefs. If the Ravens can upset the reigning champions, there will be no doubt that they have what it takes to win it all.
Dean Anagnostopoulos, sports intern: Dallas Cowboys
With week one of the NFL season coming to an exciting finish, many teams looked in midseason form. The reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs didn't miss a stride, as they were lifted by Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes and newly drafted running back Clyde Edwards-Helaire. Even the Green Bay Packers appeared unstoppable, as Aaron Rodgers threw for 364 yards and four touchdown passes torching the rookie Viking corners. With that said, it's one game and a lot can change throughout the season, but I am going out on a limb and predicting that the Dallas Cowboys will win it all. After losing their first game to the Rams, it was a tough night for Dak Prescott and the crew. The Rams defense was incredible and did not allow for much of the firepower offense Dallas is known for. However, Ezekiel Elliott looked great and will be a key part of their success this season. With new coach Mike McCarthy in place, I think this is what Dallas needed to take the next step. He won a Super Bowl as a coach in Green Bay and his veteran experience will be the remedy for the Cowboys to win their first trophy since 1996.