Super Bowl 2019 NFL – When, Where, Odds, Predictions
Before NFL Week 16, with three game weeks left to go, let’s have a look at the most likely candidates to meet in the 2019 Super Bowl.
Currently, 26 teams are still alive in the chase though some only in theory, and only 4 teams clinched a playoff berth so far.
The remaining 8 spots are chased by 13 teams that have a realistic chance of making it to the playoffs.
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Only the top two teams from each division get to appear in the Divisional Round automatically, while everyone else has to play the Wild Card Round first.
Divisional Round: AFC
Currently, Kansas City Chiefs hold the #1 seed in AFC, although they lost to their direct rival Los Angeles Chargers on last Thursday and now the two teams have an identical 11-3 record. However, the Chiefs hold a better divisional record and are therefore the #1 seed while the Chargers are still in the Wild Card race though they did clinch a playoff berth. Things can still change here, as the Chiefs have a 4-1 divisional record and the Chargers have 3-2. The Chiefs and the Chargers are both in AFC West so only one can come out on top. The Chiefs visit the Seahawks and then host the Raiders, so the Seatlle game could make or break their #1 seed. The Chargers first host the Ravens, and then visit the Broncos.
With the defeat to Pittsburgh Steelers, New England Patriots (9-5) dropped from the #2 seed in AFC to #3 and find themselves in the Wild Card race. Houston Texans (10-4) took their spot as they won their game, and if these two teams would be tied, the Patriots would be on top as they have a better divisional record, 3-1 to 3-2. Neither team even clinched a playoff berth yet and this will be an interesting battle. The Patriots host the Bills and the Jets, their favorable division again coming to rescue. Houston Texans visit the Eagles, and then host the Jaguars, and it’s the Eagles game that will either give the Texans a spot in the playoffs or will relegate them back to the Wild Card round.
Wild Card Round: AFC
While the Chiefs, the Chargers, the Patriots and the Texans fight for those two first seeds that bring a bye in the Wild Card Round, there are many more teams that are hoping to reach the Wild Card Round. Eight of them, to be precise. Currently the two remaining Wild Card positions are occupied by Baltimore Ravens (8-6) and Pittsburgh Steelers (8-5-1), and the Ravens have a more favourable schedule but they’re behind Steelers and are actually the #6 seed, so they’re the ones that could lose their spot.
Colts and Titans also have a 8-6 record and are chasing that Wild Card spot, and it will be an interesting battle until the end, especially as Titans and Colts meet in Week 17. Miami Dolphins are right behind these two with a 7-7 record, and Cleveland Browns didn’t yet lose hope with their 6-7-1 record. Cincinnati Bengals were just eliminated from the race, so it’s these 10 teams that will fill the 6 spots, with Chiefs and Chargers being the only certain members of the playoffs so far, but neither clinched the bye yet. Texans are also looking good, and everything else is open.
This is one of the most interesting Divisional Rounds in recent years, as not even the Patriots and the Steelers are safe, and anything can happen. We could assume the Patriots will make it as they’re facing two weak divisional opponents, but the Steelers are in trouble as they’re playing the Saints next, and if they lose, Colts and/or Titans could overtake them in the race. Ravens also have a very difficult game against the Chargers.
Divisional Round: NFC
Currently, New Orleans Saints and Los Angeles Rams are the two teams that have a firm hold on the bye as they both clinched the playoffs and the division.
Rams managed to do that despite the defeat that took their record from 11-2 to 11-3, and the Saints went from 11-2 to 12-2.
This means the Saints now suddenly have the edge and are the team that is more likely to play the lowest winning seed from the Wild Card round, while the Rams will have to play the highest winning seed.
Wild Card Round: NFC
Last week there were 12 teams that were chasing the remaining four spots, but now only seven teams remain. Chicago Bears (10-4) are currently in the best situation of all the chasers as they clinched the playoffs and the division title, and the Rams defeat helped them, as now they have a certain chance of getting a bye. It’s unlikely though, as the Rams are playing the Cardinals and the 49ers, and they’d have to lose at least one of those games in order for the Bears to have a chance to get the bye and avoid the Wild Card round.
Dallas Cowboys are also looking good despite their defeat to the Colts, as they have a 8-6 record and are currently the #4 seed, and are playing against the Buccaneers and the eliminated NY Giants. They should make the playoffs. Seattle Seahawks should, too, despite also having a 8-6 record and having to play the Chiefs, as their opponent in the last round are the lowly Arizona Cardinals. Minnesota Vikings (7-6-1) are currently holding that last Wild Card spot.
Philadelphia Eagles (7-7) have a chance to make it, and they’d probably have to beat both the Texans and the Redskins, while the Vikings should lose to either the Lions or the Bears. Washington Redskins (7-7) are still, surprisingly, in the chase, and they could make the playoffs if they beat the Titans and the Eagles while the Vikings lose at least one game. Carolina Panthers only have theoretical chances with their 6-8 record, and Cam Newton’s shoulder injury has been their downfall as they are in a long losing streak. They might even rest Newton in the last two games, which means Falcons and Saints will have an easier task than if #1 was on the field.
In essence, this is a race between the Vikings, the Eagles and the Redskins for that last Wild Card spot, if we expect that 8-6 Cowboys and 8-6 Seahawks won’t do something dramatic and miss out on the playoffs. Cowboys have the best schedule of all these teams, while the Seahawks have to play the Chiefs, and the Vikings have to play the Bears. The Eagles and the Redskins could decide who goes to the playoffs in the last game, if they win this week against the Texans and the Titans respectively.
Two conference championship winners, AFC and NFC, will meet in the Super Bowl. The winners of each conference will meet on 20 January 2019. We do have a slight clue on which teams could be in this round, as it seems the Chiefs, the Rams and the Saints could be the three strong favourites in the Divisional Round games.
If the Saints and the Rams would defeat their opponents in the Divisional Round, then they’d meet in the NFC Conference Championship game. Kansas City Chiefs are currently the top seed in AFC, but they could still lose it because of their defeat to LA Rams last week, so this conference is still very much open.
Super Bowl 53
First of all, Super Bowl 53 will be played on 3 February 2019 in Atlanta, Georgia, home of the Atlanta Falcons. The Mercedes-Benz stadium only officially opened in time for the 2017 NFL season, and this stadium with a retractable roof can take 75,000 people.
This is the third Super Bowl played in Atlanta, and it’s almost certain that Maroon 5 will be headlining the half-time show.
As is already usual, the home team won’t make it to the Super Bowl, even if Atlanta Falcons (4-10) did have a slim mathematical chance of appearing in the Wild Card round which expired last week.
We won’t be seeing the Falcons in the Super Bowl on their home stadium.