Another NFL season is upon us and that means it's time for the annual Zane Mathews Super Bowl Prediction.

Never mind that last year I had Carolina and Kansas City going to the big game. How quickly we forget that the year before I correctly picked the Broncos to win Super Bowl 50.

To my credit, I did have Kansas City winning the AFC West last year and predicted an 8-8 finish for Denver. (Broncos finished 9-7)

In the AFC, New England looks like the team to beat, as usual. I figure the other division winners will be Baltimore, Oakland, and Tennessee, with Pittsburgh and Kansas City taking the wild cards. If Oakland improves at all, they will be extremely tough to beat.

Unfortunately, that scenario leaves the Broncos out in the cold and out of the playoffs for a second consecutive year. The Broncos will be better this year, but playing in the NFL's toughest division will leave them at 9-7 again, on the outside looking in.

In the NFC, Atlanta looks like a good bet to get back to February's big game, however, recovering from their colossal Super Bowl collapse may prove harder to overcome than they might have imagined.

Dallas, Green Bay, and Seattle should be division winners, with Tampa Bay and Minnesota getting in as wild cards. As usual, the NFC seems fairly wide open, and the eventual champion could be just about anyone. Could the Vikings be the first team in NFL history to play the Super Bowl in their own stadium?

Picking against the Patriots and the Falcons to repeat doesn't seem to make much sense since they are both so good. But, in the end, a 40-year-old Tom Brady runs out of gas, and the Falcons come up short and fall in the NFC Championship.

Oakland Raiders 34
Dallas Cowboys  24

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