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The chances of a team losing in the Super Bowl and then returning the next season are very slim.

The San Francisco 49ers held a 10-point lead in Super Bowl LIV entering the fourth quarter, but Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs erased that deficit en route to hoisting the Lombardi Trophy.

That loss left a sour taste in the 49ers mouth and this year they are going to seek retribution. However, history is not on their side. Since 1972, only eight teams have reached the Super Bowl a year after losing the big game. Of those eight teams, only three have avenged the loss with a victory, with the most recent being the 2018 Patriots.

Before we get into whether or not they will return to the Super Bowl, let’s discuss their chances of winning the NFC West.

  • Division Odds: -105
  • Over/Under: 10.5

The NFC West runs through San Francisco. They are the favorite for a reason. If you are a betting person, bet on the 49ers to repeat as division champs and also take the over.

The defense is one of the best in the NFL and will be a big reason the 49ers make a deep playoff run yet again. Richard Sherman is a year older but also a year wiser. Linebacker Fred Warner is emerging as one of the elite at the position. Add that to a pass rush that features Nick Bosa and Dee Ford and you have a recipe for success.

Jimmy Garopolo will look to improve on an impressive first season as a starter. He threw 27 touchdowns and 13 interceptions while completing 69% of his passes. If San Fran can get over some early receiving injuries, they will be in good shape. Also, they have George Kittle who they made the highest-paid tight end in NFL history.

I see the 49ers returning….to the NFC Championship game, but falling to the New Orleans Saints.

Prediction: 12-4

Can Russell Wilson Finally Get an MVP Vote?

  • Division Odds: +230
  • Over/Under: 9.5

Russell Wilson is one of the top 5-10 quarterbacks in the NFL and has been a big reason why Seattle has enjoyed success with him under center. This next sentence may shock you. Wilson has never received an MVP vote. Let that sink in for a minute.

Entering the 2020 season, Wilson has the third-best odds (+755) to win the award behind Mahomes and Lamar Jackson. Expect him to finally get a vote and lead the Seahawks on a playoff run.

Chris Carson will continue to pound the rock as he has the last two seasons. The run game of Carson allows Wilson to use play-action, which really opens up the field. In 2019, Carson rushed for 1,230 yards with seven touchdowns. If you are a fantasy football player, Carson would make a good selection in either the second or third round.

Last year Seattle was 11-3 in one-possession games, something that I feel they should be close to again this season. They don’t blow teams out of the water and are comfortable playing in close games.

The defense got a boost in the offseason when Seattle traded for Jamal Adams to pair alongside Bobby Wager. If Seattle can force turnovers, this team can really challenge the 49ers for the division crown.

Prediction: 11-5

Will the Rams Return to the Postseason?

  • Division Odds: +450
  • Over/Under: 8

The Rams failed to do what the 49ers are attempting to do this year by missing the playoffs a year removed from a Super Bowl appearance. Los Angeles finished 9-7 and would have qualified for the playoffs under the new 14-team format that begins this season.

Jared Goff played like a man possessed in the final five games of the season, helping the offense to average 29 points per game in that span. With head coach Sean McVay still calling the plays and receivers Robert Woods and Cooper Kupp, Goff should be in good shape.

Running back Todd Gurley no longer resides in the LA backfield, but that should be able to be replaced. McVay said they will use a “three-back rotation” with rookie Cam Akers, Derrell Henderson, and Malcolm Brown. Akers is the better of the three options for fantasy football purposes as he is expected to be the leading back at some point this season.

The defense will be the biggest question mark this season for the Rams. They will be under new defensive coordinator Brandon Staley. Aaron Donald will wreak havoc on opposing quarterbacks and Jalen Ramsey will attempt to make it difficult for the NFC West quarterbacks.

Prediction: 8-8

Hopkins Will Thrive with Murray

The Arizona Cardinals will have one of the best offensive attacks in 2020. DeAndre Hopkins was traded for in the offseason, and now he is the highest-paid wide receiver after a contract extension. This bodes well for second-year quarterback Kyler Murray, who will look to improve on his rookie campaign. He threw for over 3,700 yards, 20 touchdowns, and 12 interceptions.

Murray will need to improve his completion percentage on passes 11-20 yards downfield, but I think he continues to ascend this season under Kliff Kingsbury‘s Air Raid offense.

Much like the Rams, the biggest question mark will be the defense. Despite spending a bunch of money on defense this season, the cornerback positions are shaky at best and that could spell trouble against the likes of Wilson, Goff, and Garopolo.

Prediction: 7-9

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