The Green Bay Packers and Kansas City Chiefs are now co-favorites to win Super Bowl LVI with three weeks left in the 2021 NFL regular season.
DraftKings Sportsbook provided the updated odds Monday after Aaron Rodgers' Packers beat the Baltimore Ravens and Patrick Mahomes' Chiefs knocked off the Los Angeles Chargers in Week 15:
Their status as the teams to beat doesn't come as a surprise. Green Bay (11-3) sits atop the NFC standings, while Kansas City (10-4) leads the AFC. Earning the top seeds and the only bye in each conference would be a major boost to their title chances.
The Packers are riding a three-game winning streak in which Rodgers and the offense have racked up an eye-popping 112 points, but the defense will likely need to up its game if the team is going to go the distance.
Green Bay is averaging 30.5 points allowed over its past four games since a shutout win over the Seattle Seahawks in Week 10. If not for the nearly flawless play of the offense, the Packers could be sitting in a much different position right now.
That said, the defense displayed better form earlier in the season, highlighted by three road games against tough opponents—the Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals and Arizona Cardinals—in which the unit only gave up 18.7 points per game. That's what the team will be looking for come playoff time.
Sunday's 31-30 win over the Ravens clinched the NFC North division title for Green Bay. Rodgers discussed the feat afterward:
"You have to savor these a little bit. These are special. It's just the first step in our goals, but a lot of times the coach speak—I'm not saying that Matt [LaFleur] did this—but a lot of times there might be coach speak that takes over and says, 'Hey, you know this is just one goal and we have bigger goals and stuff,' but I think it's important to keep that perspective on how special accomplishing this is three years in a row and so just to enjoy it, to savor it, savor these moments. These are special moments."
Meanwhile, the Chiefs dealt with an endless stream of "what's wrong?" questions during a lackluster 3-4 start to the campaign.
The reality is there was never serious cause for concern because all four losses came against strong opponents—the Ravens, Los Angeles Chargers, Buffalo Bills and Tennessee Titans. Mahomes and Co. haven't suffered a bad loss all season.
They've predictably caught fire and scored some impressive victories during a current seven-game winning streak, including triumphs over the Packers, Chargers and Dallas Cowboys.
"We got heart, that's the biggest thing," Mahomes said on NFL Network after Thursday's 34-28 overtime win over the Bolts. "It hasn't been pretty the entire season, but guys stepped up and showed that championship swagger we had a couple years back. Now, we just have to keep this momentum going. We're trying to get to the playoffs and make something happen."
The NFL has held a wide-open feel throughout most of the season as no team has been able to pull away from the field, which has created crowded playoff races in both conferences. It should make for a highly entertaining finish to the regular season and postseason.
Yet, it wouldn't be surprising if the favorites from Green Bay and Kansas City are the last teams standing in February.