New Orleans And New England Super Bowl LIII
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The New Orleans Saints And New England Patriots WILL Face Off In Super Bowl LIII

Offense has been the name of the game this season, but the team with the best defense will be standing at the top of the mountain in February.

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The New Orleans Saints And New England Patriots WILL Face Off In Super Bowl LIII

When I first made these predictions a few months back (shameless plug), I had the New Orleans Saints and New England Patriots meeting each other in Atlanta for Super Bowl LIII. Through 10 weeks of the NFL season, I see no reason to back off from those predictions now. Let's examine why that's the case.

New England Patriots

The Patriots were the easiest team to predict this year because they have the two steadiest men at the two most important leadership positions on the team; Tom Brady at quarterback and Bill Belichick at head coach. While other factors will influence the team throughout the year, it is a virtual lock that New England will be playing deep into January as they do every single year. They currently sit atop the AFC East and have won six games in a row, which is the second longest streak in the NFL. What's fascinating to me is that the Pats are able to toy with their identity in the early part of the season until they find exactly who they are. They then perfect that formula throughout the regular season and gear up for another postseason run.

While most coaches would face heavier scrutiny and more pressure to win games early in the season, Belichick knows he can mess with the formula and will eventually get the same stellar result. It's been a blast to see Belichick and offensive coordinator Josh McDaniels utilize players such as wide receiver Josh Gordon and former wide out turned running back and special teams ace Cordarrelle Patterson in unique ways, next to longtime Patriots such as Julian Edelman and Rob Gronkowski. The way he can mix and match player like chess pieces, while Brady executes the offense perfectly on the field is masterful. We've seen no signs of decline in the 41-year-old QB, who has outdueled Chiefs QB Patrick Mahomes (the early MVP favorite) and Packers QB Aaron Rodgers.

For as much off-season drama was made about whether the Brady and Belichick marriage was still working, the Patriots are still the favorites in the AFC. The most likely team to knock them off is the Mahomes-led Chiefs, who as of now possess home-field advantage in the playoffs. If they can make Brady and Belichick come to Arrowhead for a January showdown, the Chiefs could very well be holding the Lamar Hunt trophy in the stadium he built, as well as potentially launching a dynasty of their own against a team that has had several of their own in the 21st century.

New Orleans Saints

There probably isn't a more complete team in football right now than the Saints. They are absolutely clicking on all cylinders on offense. QB Drew Brees has been fantastic once again, leading one of the most well-rounded offenses he's ever had. (I think Brees is perennially underrated and is perhaps one of the five greatest quarterbacks to ever play the game, but that's a discussion for another day). Sean Payton is a maestro of play-calling, and in a league where younger guys like Sean McVay and Kyle Shanahan get a lot of credit (and rightfully so), it's important to note that some of the older guys are still kicking ass. Brees is being complemented by second-year stud RB Alvin Kamara, who is an electric freak both running and receiving. Mark Ingram provides him with a heck of a second back as well. That's without mentioning WR Michael Thomas, who is playing as good of football as any wide receiver in the NFL.

For as much attention as Odell Beckham Jr., Antonio Brown and Julio Jones get as the top receivers in the league, Michael Thomas and Adam Thielen have been the two best this season. The defense is also rounding into form. They've got talent all over the board, where guys such as Marshon Lattimore, Cameron Jordan, and Marcus Williams are all big-time players. The move up for pass rusher Marcus Davenport in this years' draft and the trade for former New York Giants cornerback Eli Apple show that this is a team that's trying to win right now while maximizing Brees' championship window. You have to respect that. The Rams pose the biggest threat to the Saints, and a potential rematch in January should have all NFL fans foaming at the mouth.

Super Bowl Winner: New Orleans Saints

This year has been all about offense. Whoever will win the game will need to score a lot of points, which is why I've got these two teams playing for the title (as well as the Rams and Chiefs playing in their respective conference championships). Those four teams can score in bunches. However, I believe that this New Orleans team has a bit higher of a ceiling than the Patriots team, largely in part because I believe their defense can turn into a very good unit. I think that may make the difference in Atlanta.

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This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
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