NFL: Super Bowl fairytale in 2022?

Dynasties are a staple of sport. For the most part, those with the deepest pockets are able to acquire the most luxurious of creams and find themselves rising to the top as a result.

Part of the NFL’s appeal though – and that of American sport in general – is that regulations are put in place that help to prevent monopolies from forming. There will inevitably be exceptions to this rule – the New England Patriots claiming six rings between 2001 and 2018 while gracing nine Super Bowls in a 17-year run.

Salary caps, the draft system, injuries and the unpredictable nature of what can happen any given Sunday do, however, help to level the playing field somewhat.

Underdogs always have a chance. September brings with it hope and optimism on an annual basis, with 17 games all that stand between champions of the defending and elect variety as sights are set on the play-offs.

Dreams can fade quickly, with the ambition of autumn making way for the cold bite of winter. Pre-season fancies can become also-rans in the blink of an eye. One team hoping to avoid that will defending champions, Tampa Bay Buccaneers. In the latest NFL odds they are priced as the favorites at +500 to win the Superbowl. Get Tampa Bay Bucs tickets early before they sell out if you want to take advantage of this opportunity!

Could there be a fairytale in 2022?

The 2021-22 campaign is shaping up to be another cracker, with exciting upstarts looking to rock the apple cart of an established order. Of the 32 sides to start the season, 12 have never experienced what it feels like to go all the way.

Of those, four have never even reached a Super Bowl. Could this be their year?

For the Detroit Lions, Jacksonville Jaguars and Houston Texans, the answer would appear to be ‘no’. A long wait to get within touching distance of the Vince Lombardi trophy appears set to extend for at least another 12 months.

The Cleveland Browns, though, are still clinging to dreams of glory. Having snapped a 12-season run of losing campaigns in 2020-21, back-to-back play-off hunts remain on the cards.

If Baker Mayfield performs consistently and the likes of Nick Chubb, Odell Beckham Jr and Jarvis Landry can be kept out of the treatment room, then a sporting fairytale can still be written at the Dawg Pound.

The Browns are +1800 shots at present, which places them very much in the middle of the pack.

Similar odds can be found for other first-time hopefuls the Tennessee Titans (+1800) and Los Angeles Chargers (+2000), with their work to be done in those respective camps.

History may, however, beckon for the Arizona Cardinals (+800) and Buffalo Bills (+550). The Cards opened the season with a seven-game unbeaten run out of the blocks, while the Bills are looking to take charge of an AFC East once dominated by the all-conquering Patriots.

Even the most ardent of supporters will not allow themselves to check hotel prices in Inglewood just yet but, with Kyler Murray and Josh Allen leading the charge, said plans may be added to New Year to-do lists.

After all, nobody got anywhere in life without daring to dream a little. Shoot for the stars and you may just get there, just as long as Tom Brady is not on intergalactic passport control.

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