6 Under-the-Radar NFL Teams That Could Be in the Super Bowl in 2025

DraftKings already has odds on who’ll capture that title, with the San Francisco 49ers and Kansas City Chiefs unsurprisingly leading the way. But surprise Super Bowl runs aren’t extremely rare in this league.

 

With that in mind, let’s look at some teams with odds north of +2000 that could become Cinderella-type champs in 2025.

 

 

The Houston Texans blew expectations out of the freakin’ water in what was supposed to be a rebuilding year in 2023, thanks primarily to an incredible rookie season from quarterback C.J. Stroud. Combined with an exciting second-year head coach in DeMeco Ryans and a promising young defensive star in Will Anderson Jr., the ingredients are there.

 

Now, they’ve got a chance to bring in some serious experience and put it all together with more than $65 million in salary-cap space.

 

Look for Houston to build on a stepping-stone season in which it went 10-7, won a playoff game in dominant fashion and posted a top-12 defense-adjusted value over average (DVOA). Maybe even enough to sneak into the Super Bowl.

 

 

That’s the key, of course. The New York Jets managed to win seven games last season despite averaging just 15.8 points per game, mainly because the defense posted the third-best DVOA in the league.

 

Now, with Rodgers back from his Achilles injury, can you really rule them out? What if they also land more talent (Davante Adams?) this offseason? With the 10th overall draft pick and veterans potentially willing to take discounts to play with Rodgers, it’s entirely possible.

 

Of course, it’s just as possible the 40-year-old Rodgers is toast and New York remains a middle-of-the-pack team in 2023, but we’re telling you there’s a chance.

 

 

Need we say more? OK, as with the Jets, we will. And in the case of the Los Angeles Chargers, it’s really that Harbaugh-Justin Herbert connection. We saw what the guy got out of his quarterbacks the last time he was coaching on the West Coast, and it’s possible he’ll bring out the absolute best in a 25-year-old QB who has at times looked like a star.

 

Sure, the Bolts are stuck in a tough AFC West and a bad cap situation at $44 million over, but it’s not as though Herbert totally lacks support, and he may get more via the No. 5 overall pick.

 

The 2021 No. 1 overall pick has shown flashes, but Urban Meyer and issues with consistency, support and/or injuries have factored in. Now, he’s entering Year 4 for a Jacksonville Jaguars team that has posted winning records in both of Doug Pederson’s seasons as head coach but has yet to make that big leap.

 

They’re not exactly flush with draft or real-world capital, but they were a relatively young team in 2023 and ranked 10th in DVOA. The trajectory could be good if Lawrence puts it all together, so there’s certainly a window.

 

 

It’s quite surprising that a minority of the NFL’s teams have worse Super Bowl odds than the Cleveland Browns, who ranked eighth in DVOA while powered by a killer defense despite losing quarterback Deshaun Watson to a shoulder injury midway through the 2023 campaign.

 

That this team survived Watson’s loss speaks to its talent, resilience and coaching. Now, just imagine what could happen if Watson can stay healthy and get back on the track that saw him become a superstar in Houston?

 

Yeah, the Browns lack a first-round pick and are strapped for cap space, but they also have very few key in-house impending free agents.

 

Even in a tough division, I’d expect Cleveland to contend again in ’24.

 

Had to give you a real swing for the fences to close this out. The Minnesota Vikings’ top concern right now is to simply keep key impending free agents Kirk Cousins and Danielle Hunter, but if they can do that, there’s a chance they could shock the football world in 2024.

 

Remember, the Vikes were on a tear when Cousins suffered a season-ending torn Achilles injury in late October. If he returns and they can get some of that vibe back in the NFC, the weaker of the two conferences, an improbable late-career Super Bowl run isn’t out of the question.

 

 

Gideon Canice

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