The Baltimore Ravens are the new favorites to win the Super Bowl, fresh off their 20-17 win over the San Francisco 49ers on Sunday.
Trailing Baltimore are the New Orleans Saints, New England Patriots, the Niners and the Kansas City Chiefs.
The win was the Ravens' eighth in a row, moving them to 10-2 on the season. During their winning streak, they've beaten the Pittsburgh Steelers, Seattle Seahawks, New England Patriots, Houston Texans, Los Angeles Rams and the 49ers, all teams in the thick of the playoff picture.
Baltimore is now 6-1 against teams with winning records.
Baltimore's title chances are bolstered by Lamar Jackson's MVP season. The second-year quarterback has posted video game numbers—2,532 passing yards, 25 touchdowns, five interceptions, 66.5 completion percentage, 977 rushing yards, seven rushing scores—and Baltimore has smartly rebuilt its offensive scheme to best complement his talent.
The defense, meanwhile, has given up 20 or fewer points in seven straight games. Baltimore is firing on all cylinders, and the only concern is that the team might be peaking too soon. But for the moment, it is the clear best team in football.
The Saints, meanwhile, have somewhat quietly gone 10-2 and have already clinched the NFC South. Playing in a weak division has helped, as the Saints are 4-1 against the NFC South. But the Saints have also knocked off the Texans, Seahawks and Dallas Cowboys.
They may not be as battle-tested as the Ravens against top competition, but the Saints are as balanced a team as you'll find in the NFL. They've been overshadowed by the 10-2 Niners in the NFC, but the Saints are a major threat to win a title this year.
The Patriots are lacking in balance at the moment, in large part due to a startling lack of playmakers on offense for Tom Brady. If they had better weapons in the passing game, the Pats would probably be the favorites given their elite defense. But losses to the Ravens and Texans in the past month—and tight victories over the mediocre Philadelphia Eagles and Cowboys sandwiched between them—has New England's title hopes on shaky ground.
Ditto for the Niners, who will be smarting after a tough loss to Baltimore. The concern for the Niners—or at least the question that needs answering—is whether Jimmy Garoppolo can lead them to wins in meaningful January games. Of the teams on this list, the Niners are the only one with a quarterback who lacks postseason experience.
And then there's the Chiefs, who are on this list precisely because of their quarterback. Patrick Mahomes remains the best pure passer in the NFL and is a season removed from being the MVP. Mahomes, Tyreek Hill, Travis Kelce and the league's most explosive offense are a threat to beat any team on any given day.
Whether the defense will hold up its end of the bargain is the concern.