Any team boasting Tom Brady is always going to be hard to take down and the veteran quarterback proved he was still the best in the league after leading a previously also-ran Tampa Bay Bucs team to a Super Bowl championship last season.
The Bucs will be the team to beat in 2021 and the NFL odds have them on top to win again are pretty favorable, with the defending champs and the Kansas City Chiefs also slated to return to the Super Bowl next year.
The Chiefs are the 9/2 Super Bowl favorites while the Bucs have been attached to odds of 7/1. The Buffalo Bills are right behind at 11/1 while the Los Angeles Rams are 12/1.
Meanwhile, there are teams in the NFC that could unseat Brady and Tampa Bay or at least make it difficult for them to get to the final hurdle.
Let’s take a look.
Green Bay Packers
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The Bucs are the obvious favorites to win the NFC where the bookies are concerned (7/2) but the Packers will always have a shot. Green Bay is 7/1 to win the conference and will be especially encouraged should Aaron Rodgers decide to stay put.
Bucs LB Lavonte David – Photo by: USA Today
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers is the subject of trade rumors after requesting to leave the team during the offseason. The Packers will be among the favorites for the NFC in any case but certainly will be better off if Rodgers sticks around.
Green Bay was just a touchdown and conversion away from winning the NFC Championship last year but strangely opted for a field goal. While their defense isn’t the best in the conference, the Packers managed to slow Brady down considerably in the second half with three interceptions.
As it pertains to Rodgers’ future, former Packers teammate A.J Hawk had this to say after spending a week with the quarterback.
“What have I said from the start? I said, ‘I don’t see him playing anywhere else.’ That’s what I said, right?” he said on The Pat McAfee Show, per CBS Sports. “I don’t see Green Bay trading him, I don’t see that happening, I don’t know how it has to work, but yeah, I still feel like he’s going to be in Green Bay.
“I was there for a week [with Rodgers] and I still don’t know. I don’t know if anyone has any answers. I don’t know how either side feels. I don’t know if they’re making progress, but either way, they have to make progress one way or the other before camp starts.”
Bucs QB Tom Brady and Rams DT Aaron Donald – Photo by: USA Today
The Rams made the playoffs last year although there were issues with Goff at quarterback, going out to the Packers. The team had the No.22 offense in the league last year but their defense led the way. Raheem Morris replaces Brandon Staley at defensive coordinator, so there will be an adjustment there.
Should Stafford gel with the team the way management would hope, the Rams could be a major threat in the NFC. Staying healthy will be key for Stafford, and if his injuries are truly behind him, the Rams could win the NFC West.
The Seahawks (11/1) are one of those teams sports fans sleep on for no reason. They’re always going to cause trouble in the NFC and are almost always in the thick of things.
They are in a challenging NFC West division and have to contend with the Rams, the Arizona Cardinals, and San Francisco 49ers, so their path to a conference championship will be tough. However, with Pete Carroll in charge and Russell Wilson controlling things from the QB position, there will always be a chance.
Seattle has always prided itself on having a strong defense, but finished at 15 in that department last term. There will need to be serious improvement if the Seahawks are to threaten the Bucs in the NFC.
Seattle’s offense, on the other hand, finished in the Top 10, as Wilson threw for over 4,200 and 40 touchdowns with just 13 interceptions. The Seahawks might be the most immediate beneficiary if Rodgers decides to leave the Packers, and they could actually be the team best-positioned to take on the Bucs for dominance over the NFC if the defense rebounds.