Dustin Baker’s Super Bowl Prediction — in September

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According to Vegas oddsmakers, the most probable matchup for Super Bowl LVIII is the Kansas City Chiefs versus the Philadelphia Eagles which all but guarantees that particular combination won’t occur.

Dustin Baker’s Super Bowl Prediction — in September

In fact, that was the Super Bowl matchup last year, and February rematches rarely occur in the NFL. It hasn’t happened in 30 years, with Troy Aikman’s Dallas Cowboys and Jim Kelly’s Buffalo Bills as the last example.

Thinking outside of the box, considering dark horses, roster strength, team age, and parity in the NFL, consider this a Super Bowl LVIII prediction.

AFC Champion: Baltimore Ravens

Super Bowl Prediction
Vincent Carchietta-USA TODAY Sports.

The Ravens added veterans Odell Beckham, Jadeveon Clowney, Nelson Agholor, and Ronald Darby this offseason, along with notable rookies Zay Flowers and Trenton Simpson.

Adding fresh offensive talent to Baltimore’s system, which Ravens fans and NFL pundits have requested for years, will net dividends for Lamar Jackson, whose only real curse as of late is health.

Hell, the Ravens weren’t too far away from winning a playoff game on the road last year with diet Jackson in Tyler Huntley. Well, Jackson will stay mostly upright in 2023, and the Ravens will be rewarded for handing Jackson an elephantine contract a few months ago.

Teams never repeat Super Bowl runs anymore, so the Chiefs are out. Something smells fishy in Buffalo. Baltimore will swat away the Jets and Bengals en route to Super Bowl LVIII. It’s Jackson’s time.

NFC Champion: San Francisco 49ers

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Can you remember a team in recent NFL memory where it just didn’t really matter who played quarterback? San Francisco needed a healthy human body to throw the ball late in last year’s playoffs, and because they didn’t have it against the Philadelphia Eagles, the 49ers lost.

Kyle Shanahan runs an incredibly efficient program in The Bay yes, they encounter hurdles at times, but they usually figure it out and this team feels hungrier than the Eagles, its main NFC competition.

The Cowboys, Vikings, Seahawks, and Lions will make some noise, but winning at Levi’s Stadium in the postseason doesn’t feel likely for any of the four.

Brock Purdy won’t be a Pro Bowler he’ll actually return to earth and play decent-not-great but it won’t matter. San Franciso has Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and Christian McCaffrey to galavant all over the field. And that’s on top of the NFL’s best defense in 2022 per EPA/Play.

The 49ers barely get through the NFC and face the Ravens in Las Vegas.

Super Bowl LVII

Baltimore Ravens vs. San Francisco 49ers

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Based on Lamar Jackson’s style of play similar to Cam Newton a decade ago the dynamic quarterback has one or two chances to “get this right” to the tune of a Super Bowl. Newton had his shot in 2015, missed, and that was that for his chances at a Lombardi.

Conversely, Jackson will cash in on a magical season, accompanied by a Ravens defense featuring Roquan Smith, Kyle Hamilton, Marlon Humphrey, Jadeveon Clowney, and former Viking Michael Pierce.

“Get Lamar some weapons” turns out to be a prophetic slogan, and the Ravens topple the 49ers in February by a touchdown.

Super Bowl Champion

Evan Habeeb-USA TODAY Sports.

Winner: Baltimore Ravens
27-20

Super Bowl MVP
Lamar Jackson


Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).

All statistics provided by Pro Football Reference / Stathead; all contractual information provided by OverTheCap.com.

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