In a roundtable discussion on ESPN.com, more analysts favored the Rams over the Bucs to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LVI. Los Angeles, which traded away Jared Goff and several first round picks for Matt Stafford this offseason, is coming off a 10-6 season. The Rams finished second in the NFC West, but advanced to the divisional round of the playoffs after beating division winner Seattle 30-20 in the Wild Card round.
In the roundtable responses, three ESPN analysts – Matt Bowen, Dan Graziano and Seth Walder – picked the Rams as the NFC representative for Super Bowl LVI. All three picked the Rams to lose to their AFC opponent, with the trio each picking different winners.
Two other analysts, Mike Clay and Kevin Seifert, chose Tampa Bay as the NFC champion. Clay also picked the Bucs to repeat as Super Bowl champions. A sixth analyst, Jeremy Fowler, selected the Packers to defeat the Bills in his Super Bowl prediction.
The Bucs and Rams face each other in Week 3, as Stafford tries to replicate what Tom Brady did a year ago in Tampa Bay. The Rams will be a formidable foe as long as Sean McVay is there, despite the fact that they lost some key defensive pieces in safety John Johnson, cornerback Troy Hill and innovative defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. Replacing Staley will be Raheem Morris, whose Falcons’ defenses were lit up by the Bucs for a combined 75 points in two meetings last year.
Tampa Bay is looking to become the first franchise to repeat as Super Bowl champions since Brady and the Patriots did it in 2002 and 2003. The Bucs 2021 schedule was recently ranked as the most favorable in the NFL by Clay.
Jon Ledyard is PewterReport.com's newest Bucs beat writer and has experience covering the Pittsburgh Steelers as a beat writer and analyzing the NFL Draft for several draft websites, including The Draft Network. Follow Ledyard on Twitter at @LedyardNFLDraft
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