ESPN has given the Kansas City Chiefs a 21 percent chance to win Super Bowl LV.
ESPN has released their official 2020 NFL season projections—what they refer to as the Football Power Index (FPI)—and the Kansas City Chiefs come out on top after winning a Super Bowl championship for the first time in 50 years.
One year after hoisting the Lombardi, the Chiefs have made it a priority to “Run It Back,” which means bringing back 20 of 22 starters from the Super Bowl team and the vast majority of the core who had any significant playing time at all. (And even those starters, Reggie Ragland and Stefen Wisniewski, were likely positions to be upgraded.)
ESPN’s FPI predicts the Chiefs will win 11.2 games (top overall mark) and have a 94 percent chance of making the playoffs. After years in which making the postseason was the goal and fans would root for a chance to punch a playoff card, it feels surreal to see the Chiefs given such confidence to step into the postseason, like it’s an automatic berth. Such is life after winning it all.
The San Francisco 49ers and Baltimore Ravens are the only other teams projected to win double digit games in 2020. Perhaps the best news is that the Chiefs aren’t expected to encounter much in the way of competition this season as teams continue to remake themselves to keep up with K.C.’s offense. The Denver Broncos are ranked No. 17 in terms of expected wins, followed by the Los Angeles Chargers at No. 20 and Las Vegas Raiders at No. 23.
As for the Super Bowl matchup, the Chiefs are the favorites to represent the AFC over the Ravens while the New Orleans Saints are very slight favorites over the 49ers to win the NFC. Either opponent would provide a thrilling matchup against the Chiefs—either a rematch of the previous year’s Super Bowl or a showdown between a legendary quarterback making his final run at another title (Drew Brees) against the NFL’s best young talent (Patrick Mahomes).