With the Super Bowl just a week away, anticipation grows ahead of this years’ showpiece between the Cincinnati Bengals and the LA Rams.
But for those new to the sport and tuning in for the first time, SWL runs you through the 32 NFL rosters and who you should support based on your UK football team.
Dallas Cowboys = Man United
The team of the 90s. The Cowboys’ impressive tally of three rings during the decade even trials United’s title laden period in which they amassed five Premier League Crowns.
Both teams are hugely successful and equally rich but equally await a crown to take them back to the top. Needless to say, both are not everyone’s cup of tea.
New York Giants = Blackburn
Both teams were spurred on to success by a superstar and things swiftly fell apart following their departure. Alan Shearer meet Eli Manning.
The two have fallen a long way since and staggeringly Blackburn have shown more signs of life in the past couple years.
Philadelphia Eagles = Sunderland
These two both moved into shiny new stadiums at the turn of the century that still look as good as new now. They have also been the focus of hit documentaries, sadly Sudnerland’s had a more tragic end.
Washington Commanders = Wolves
The newly-named Commanders rebrand is very much ongoing and it remains to be seen how successful their new dawn will be.
Perhaps Wolves can be a source of inspiration – having dropped down to League One, they now sit on the cusp of European football.
Both teams have also won the top national prize on three occasions.
Atlanta Falcons = Hull City
Falcons are much more of a powerhouse than Hull but both are responsible for arguably the greatest collapse in a big final in the 2010s.
Hull’s concession of a two goal lead to Arsenal in the 2014 FA Cup Final was the first time a team let a two goal lead slip in the final of the competition since Sheffield Wednesday lost to Everton by the same 3-2 scoreline in 1966.
The Falcons were on the wrong end of the largest comeback in Super Bowl history when they somehow turned a 28-3 lead into a heartbreaking 34-28 defeat against Tom Brady’s New England Patriots.
Carolina Panthers = Watford
Whilst the Panthers are one of the newer NFL franchises, Watford feel like a different and fresh entity to the team of the Graham Taylor years with their constant chopping and changing of managers.
Both have fallen short of a first major trophy in the last decade and may not have another shot at glory anytime soon.
New Orleans Saints = Leicester City
A championship winning story like no other? Perhaps only the New Orleans Saints triumph a few years after Hurricane Katrina could eclipse Leicester’s fairytale league victory in 2016.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers = Leeds
For so long these two were in the doldrums.
They both drew upon ageing legends within their sport to take them back to where they belong.
Marcelo Bielsa and Tom Brady may have different roles, but both will forever be in the hearts of their respective teams for what they’ve helped them achieve.
Chicago Bears = Southampton
Each year there is renewed hope for the fans of both these teams that they could push on and achieve a winning record.
Both can beat the best on their day but at the same time a thrashing never seems too far away.
Detroit Lions = Burnley
Unfashionable and seemingly going nowhere year after year. Life as a Lions or Burnley fan is never easy.
Green Bay Packers = Chelsea
The Packers are rarely far away from the Super Bowl and the same is applicable to Chelsea’s yearly title pushes.
Both had a particularly barren run in the final quarter of the last century but bounced back in the late nineties and have cemented their position as one of the sport’s most renowned teams.
Minnesota Vikings = Everton
Mediocrity springs to mind for both these teams and neither have been in contention at the top for some time.
The Vikings have just moved into a new home, and Everton are set to move away from Goodison Park in the next few years. But the prospect of success for both sets of expectant fans seems distant right now.
Arizona Cardinals = Bournemouth
Both teams appointed promising young coaches after disappointing season’s in the last couple of years and look to be on the up exciting fans as they go.
LA Rams = Palace
Yes the Rams could soon be this year’s Kings and success for Palace this year would constitute a top half finish but they are not too dissimilar.
Rams Quarterback Matthew Stafford is key to their hopes of glory at the Super Bowl. You can hear all about his story below.
San Francisco 49ers = Arsenal
Mikel Arteta and Kyle Shanahan are both young coaches who assumed the position of head coach for the first time at their current clubs.
Both coaches divide their fan bases, mainly due to the fact that supporters have big expectations due to former glories.
Moreover both look set to be without their “franchise” player of recent years with both the 49ers Jimmy Garropolo and Arsenal’s Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang taking leave from famous red jerseys.
Seattle Seahawks = West Ham
Yes, the Seahawks were kings in 2013, but both are perennial underachievers and who are currently a couple additions away from really making an impression on the league.
They both have experienced and well-respected coaches in the hot seat who have been through tough times but neither’s position has been under threat for a while.
In 2016 the teams even trained together during the Hammers pre-season tour of the States.
Baltimore Ravens = Sheffield United
The shared trait of these two teams is their strong defence.
Chris Wilder’s Blades built a European challenging side in 2019/20 based on a solid foundation having just achieved promotion.
The Ravens are similar to this but have sustained such a reputation throughout their history. Plus, Lamar Jackson is the NFL equivalent of an overlapping centre-back.
Buffalo Bills = Tottenham Hotspur
The phrase “Spursy” is synonymous with bottling competitions and frankly no one has done that in more impressive fashion than the Buffalo Bills.
Between 1990 and 1993, the Bills managed to reach a staggering four Super Bowls. Unfortunately, they managed to lose all of them.
Cincinnati Bengals = QPR
Much like QPR, the Cincinnati Bengals have spent a large part of their history away from the big time.
However, the outlook for the team is more positive now. Both squads have a series of exciting young talents who can take the team forward in the coming years.
Cleveland Browns = Derby County
This pair will forever be known for their unrivalled ability to lose.
Everyone remembers the glorious Derby County side of 2007/08 led by the flowing haired Robbie Savage as they marched to a record low of 11 points in the Premier League.
Ten years later the Cleveland Browns achieved a similar low of having an 0-16 record in 2017. In fact, across three seasons from 2015 to 2017, the Browns had a record of 4-34.
Denver Broncos = Ipswich Town
One of the finest eras of the Denver Broncos was during the 1980s, where they managed to reach the
Super Bowl on three occasions (1986, 1987, 1989) guided by the legendary John Elway. Although they never managed to win it at this time.
At a similar point in time, it was Bobby Robson who was making waves across Europe with his Ipswich side, culminating in a UEFA Cup triumph in 1981.
Houston Texans = Aston Villa
In DeShaun Watson and Jack Grealish, both of their fortunes rested almost entirely on one man’s shoulders in recent seasons, before both decided they wanted out between last season and this.
Indianapolis Colts = Blackpool
In Peyton Manning, the Colts had one of the finest to ever grace the game, but their success aside from him is minimal.
Blackpool have a similar relationship with Sir Stanley Matthews, whose only major honour, the 1952 FA Cup, is forever known as the Stanley Matthews Final.
Jacksonville Jaguars = Brentford
Neither of these clubs could be mistaken for perennial title contenders. However, both look to utilise a foreign market to improve their fortunes.
The Jaguars play a yearly game in London as part of the NFL International Series. Brentford have a strong relationship with Denmark due to owner Matthew Benham also owning FC Midtjylland.
Kansas City Chiefs = Brighton and Hove Albion
Potentially a surprising choice, given that the Patrick Mahomes led Chiefs have arguably been the best team in the NFL over the past five years.
But this comparison is because this is very much the golden era for both clubs.
The Chief’s only Super Bowl win since merger was in 2019 and as Brighton look likely to stay in the Premier League again this season, this will be their longest ever stint in the topflight.
Las Vegas Raiders = Newcastle United
Both clubs are famed for their large fan bases, the Raiders are often known as “The World’s Team”, but neither has managed to deliver consistently for those fans.
The Raiders have won three Super Bowls, but the last time they won their own division was 2002, much like Newcastle who won the UEFA Intertoto Cup in 2006 but have been relegated to the Championship twice since.
Los Angeles Chargers = Birmingham City
Neither of these teams have had much to shout about over the years, with the Raiders having only won the AFC Championship once in 1994, much like Birmingham, who have never won the topflight, but have got two FA Cups and two League Cups.
They are also generally overshadowed by their inter-city rival.
Miami Dolphins = Nottingham Forest
This pair have both experienced great success, Forest with their two European Cups in 1979 and 1980, and the Dolphins are the only team to ever go a season undefeated in 1972.
But neither has done a whole lot since, leaving them both stuck remembering a glorious past that more recent teams have failed to emulate.
New England Patriots = Manchester City
This one is a simple explanation, these two have been the most dominant side of recent years.
The Patriots have won six Super Bowls, all of them coming since the turn of the century and five of City’s seven topflight titles have come during the same period.
New York Jets = Norwich City
The only thing stopping the Jets from emulating Norwich’s yo-yo form of recent seasons is that the NFL has no relegation. Neither side has been competitive for a long time.
Pittsburgh Steelers = Liverpool
No team has won more than the Steelers’ six Super Bowls, with only the New England Patriots able to match it, they are historically one of the best teams in the NFL, although wins have proved hard to come by in recent years.
This is very similar to Liverpool, who’s 19 topflight titles are second to Manchester United, with 18 of these 19 coming before 1992.
Tennessee Titans = Bristol City
The Titans are a team who have become very successful in comparison to those in the region, having won 11 divisional titles.
However, they have only transformed these into one Super Bowl appearance, where they lost 23-16 to the St. Louis Rams.
This is not unlike Bristol City, who are the arguably the best team in the South-West, but they have only spent 11 seasons in the topflight in their entire history.