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NFL Futures for 2025 Super Bowl: Who’s the Next 49ers or Chiefs? Ravens or Lions?

NFL Futures for 2025 Super Bowl: Who’s the Next 49ers or Chiefs? Ravens or Lions? article feature image

It's Super Bowl season now and all the focus the next two weeks will rightfully be on the 49ers and Chiefs. But it's never too early to start thinking about next season's NFL futures.

Every NFL team wants to be where San Francisco and Kansas City are right now, but what 2024 teams might profile as next year's 49ers or Chiefs? Who has the foundation in place to make the run next season?

What other teams could be next year's Ravens or Lions — Super Bowl contenders all the way before falling just short on Championship Sunday? Who might be the 2024 version of the Cowboys, favorites all season, or the Packers, making a late-season underdog push?

Let's take a look and get an early edge on 2025 Super Bowl futures.

Next Year's 49ers

 

Miami Dolphins

Why are the 49ers in the Super Bowl? San Francisco's offense is absolutely unstoppable when it's rolling. The healthy 49ers led the league in both Rushing and Passing DVOA, the latter by a gulf ahead of No. 2. With Kyle Shanahan pulling the strings and everyone healthy, there's just no defense capable of covering Christian McCaffrey, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk and George Kittle all at once.

Enter the Dolphins.

There's no team in the league that can match or defend all that Miami speed. Tyreek Hill is the centerpiece, the Offensive Player of the Year Award candidate a la McCaffrey, along with Jaylen Waddle, Raheem Mostert and De'Von Achane — let alone any other speed brought in.

Head coach Mike McDaniel is literally straight off the Shanahan coaching tree. He got started with the passing a season ago, then used his run game background to ignite Miami's rushing attack this season. This is an offense that scored 70 points in a game this season, one capable of finishing not just as the top offense in the league but the best by a noteworthy margin.

Last year's 49ers were unstoppable late in the season before injuries waylaid the team. That was Miami's story this season — just too many injuries late on both sides of the ball.

Can Miami get healthy next year and unleash its offense in an even more dominant fashion? Can the Dolphins defense find itself enough like this year's 49ers defense without veteran coordinator Vic Fangio? Both defenses have plenty of weapons, and Miami should have cornerback Jalen Ramsey healthy all season.

And then, the biggest question: Can Tua Tagovailoa put together a genuinely MVP-worthy campaign and lead the NFL in all the advanced metrics a la Brock Purdy as the point guard of the best offense in the league?

Could the Dolphins beautiful whirring offensive machine be next year's 49ers? Miami is +2000 to win the 2025 Super Bowl at FanDuel.

Next Year's Chiefs

 

Los Angeles Chargers

How do you build next year's Chiefs?

It's easy, really. Just get yourself one (1) generational pass-catching option, one (1) all-time great coach and one (1) possible GOAT quarterback.

Asking a franchise to magically come up with Travis Kelce, Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes is not exactly a small order, but could the Chargers be a decent approximation?

I called Jim Harbaugh the crown jewel of this year's coaching carousel. He went 44-19-1 in four NFL seasons, winning 70% of his games and making the NFC Championship Game in three of his four seasons with the 49ers. He also just won a national championship at Michigan and has had success at every level.

It would not be a surprise to see Harbaugh step in and find immediate NFL success again, especially because he gets Justin Herbert.

No one else is Mahomes, but Herbert has about as much a complete all-around package of skills as any quarterback. He has a huge arm and can make any throw, he's mobile, he reads the defenses — Herbert can do everything, but he hasn't really put it together for a full season yet.

Could Harbaugh's partnership with Herbert turn into a Mahomes-Reid partnership overnight?

Keenan Allen is no Travis Kelce, but he's had at least 97 catches in five of the last six seasons and is coming off another monster campaign, buoyed by weapons like Mike Williams, Austin Ekeler, Quentin Johnston and others.

Might the Chargers find answers immediately? L.A. is +3000 to win the Super Bowl at FanDuel.

Next Year's Ravens

 

Philadelphia Eagles

The Ravens came into this season off a disappointing campaign. Baltimore had started 9-4 but lost four of its final five games to end the 2022-23 season with a whimper. Lamar Jackson had been an early MVP favorite but finished the season injured on the sidelines, and the team made a big coaching change to inject life into the offense, bringing in Todd Monken.

One year later, the Ravens had the best record in the NFL. Jackson finished the season healthy as the presumptive MVP, and Baltimore's coordinators — Monken and DC Mike Macdonald — were the story of the season. The Ravens stayed the court, trusted the organizational stability, got healthy and made a run.

Sounds like the Eagles to me.

Not long ago during this past season, Philadelphia was 10-1 and atop everyone's power rankings. Jalen Hurts was the midseason MVP favorite.

Then everything went sideways. Hurts struggled through injuries and wasn't effective late in the season as the Eagles lost six of their final seven games. The defense totally cratered, and Philadelphia lost its first playoff game like last year's Ravens and whimpered out of the postseason.

For a hot minute, everyone wondered if the Eagles would panic and fire Nick Sirianni, also maybe even moving on from Hurts.

Instead, Philadelphia trusted its organizational health and made smaller but significant moves, moving on from offensive coordinator Brian Johnson and defensive coordinators Sean Desai and Matt Patricia and bringing in proven veteran coaches Kellen Moore and Fangio. Moore has done a terrific job getting the most out of his quarterbacks, and he did a great job with the run game in particular in Dallas. Fangio, meanwhile, is a defensive legend. Most of the league runs some version of Fangio concepts.

The Eagles already do a little of the little things to find edges, just like the Ravens. Sirianni makes terrific in-game coaching decisions to maximize his team's chances of winning, like John Harbaugh, and the Eagles had the league's best special teams by DVOA, another Harbaugh specialty.

Philadelphia was never as good as its 10-1 record, but it wasn't as bad as its 1-6 finish either. The Eagles are a great organization with a ton of talent. They'll be back, and Moore and Fangio could elevate this roster the same way Monken and Macdonald did Baltimore this season.

Philadelphia is badly mispriced at +2200 to win the Super Bowl at DraftKings. The Eagles are as dangerous as any team in the NFC.

Next Year's Lions

 

Chicago Bears

The Lions were the opposite of the Ravens a year ago. They started off the radar totally at 1-6 but won eight of their final 10 and made a shocking playoff push late. They even ended the season with a game against the rival Packers and a chance to keep them out of the playoffs. Detroit won the game but came up short, but the Lions carried that momentum into the new season.

Sounds like another NFC North team to me.

The Bears started 2-7 this year, a major disappointment, but Chicago won four of its next six and became a formidable opponent down the stretch. The Bears had a top-five defense over the back half of the season after adding Montez Sweat, beating the Lions and even finishing the season with a game against the rival Packers and a chance to keep them out of the playoffs.

Could Chicago carry that momentum into the new season, like Detroit?

The Lions made their run thanks in part to elite play-caller Ben Johnson, plus an outstanding rookie class that included two first-round hits. Jahmyr Gibbs, Sam LaPorta, Brian Branch and Jack Campbell all played a big role on both sides of the ball.

The Bears decided to keep Matt Eberflus but brought in Shane Waldron at offensive coordinator. Waldron did an outstanding job with Geno Smith and the Seahawks offense the last couple seasons, and he was a possible head-coaching candidate. Maybe he can turn Justin Fields around — or maybe he'll be working with Caleb Williams or Drake Maye. Chicago also has its own pick at No. 10 and a chance to add a huge influx of talent at the top of the draft, just like Detroit did.

It's a long shot, but so were the Lions. The Bears are +4000 to win the Super Bowl at FanDuel.

Next Year's Cowboys

 

New York Jets

You're already chuckling at how on the nose this one is.

Do you even want to be next year's Cowboys? Maybe. Dak Prescott was outstanding, for my money the deserving MVP, and CeeDee Lamb leapt into the top echelon of weapons as a genuine Offensive Player of the Year contender after the Cowboys offense exploded six weeks into the season.

Dallas came into the year with the league's consensus No. 1 defense, some question marks as coaches and a ton of media hype and expectations. Sound familiar?

We already did the whole Aaron Rodgers-Jets hype train before it was derailed the opening Monday night of the season. Shall we run it back?

It's hard to know what Rodgers will bring off a torn Achilles, but he's a four-time MVP and bona fide star quarterback. It's also possible Garrett Wilson could make a leap in his third season. His counting stats were rough this year thanks to the pupu platter of Jets quarterbacks, but many of the underlying metrics paint Wilson as a strong breakout candidate.

Robert Saleh and Nathaniel Hackett are even around to play the roles of Mike McCarthy and Brian Schottenheimer, with just enough questionable history to hold everything back.

Could Rodgers and Wilson be next year's Prescott and Lamb? Will the Jets defense be elite yet again? You already know the media will be on this one all year long.

New York is +3000 to win it all at FanDuel.

Next Year's Packers

 

Indianapolis Colts

How about one more bonus pick for the road?

No one thought much about the Packers for most of this season, having started 3-6 and looking like they were in rebuilding mode. Jordan Love made a big leap over the back half of his first season as a starter, though, as the Packers offense exploded. Green Bay won six of its last eight to sneak into the playoffs, with Love putting up stealth MVP numbers, and the Packers made the playoffs and even pulled off the big upset over the Cowboys before nearly pulling off another over the 49ers.

Maybe the Colts are next year's Packers.

Indianapolis quietly hung around all season despite missing its rookie quarterback and star running back for much of the season. The Colts played stout defense and hung in a soft division, thanks largely to an unheralded great season from rookie head coach Shane Steichen, who helped elevate the offensive line again this season in Indianapolis.

Anthony Richardson returns for his first full season at quarterback. He's raw, and it's probably going to take some time for him to click as it did for Love, but the AFC South remains winnable and Steichen has shown he's a floor raiser who will keep his team competitive.

The Colts are +6000 to win the Super Bowl at BetRivers. That number may get longer before it gets shorter, but keep an eye on the Colts later next season if Richardson starts to show some signs of breaking out.

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