RADIO.COM’s 2020 NFL Playoff and Super Bowl Predictions

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By RADIO.COM

Salary cap be damned—the Chiefs are going for it. For Patrick Mahomes, the league’s first half-billion-dollar player, it was never a matter of when or even if—the question was always how many. This particular subject has drawn considerable debate among teammates. Chris Jones set the over/under at five while Tyreek Hill, well aware of Tom Brady’s six rings with New England, sees the Chiefs capturing an unprecedented seven Super Bowls throughout Mahomes’ Kansas City reign.

Of course, even for a player of Mahomes’ all-world caliber, stacking titles is easier said than done. After reaching the mountain top in just his third season atop the Packers’ quarterback depth chart (which became possible only after Brett Favre ceded his Lambeau throne in 2008), sports pundits forecast a massive hardware haul for Aaron Rodgers, assuming Green Bay’s triumph over Pittsburgh in Super Bowl XLV was just the beginning. A decade later, Rodgers’ stagnant championship count hasn’t moved a muscle with many now wondering if the future Hall of Famer will ever return to the winner’s circle he graced with such aplomb early in his career. The similarly decorated Drew Brees, author of nearly every passing record in existence, is also in danger of maxing out at a single Lombardi trophy.

Whether it’s recency bias on the heels of KC’s first victory parade in a half century or the belief Mahomes’ endless reservoir of talent can overcome the laws of NFL parity, the writers of RADIO.COM overwhelming favor the Chiefs to repeat as Super Bowl champs. Of the 29 writers polled, a group comprised of five central-team scribes (myself, Jordan Cohn, John Healy, Tim Kelly and Dan Mennella) and a smattering of local minds, 12 picked Kansas City to add another notch to its championship belt in 2020. The Ravens, armed with 11 returning Pro Bowlers and a generational specimen in reigning league MVP Lamar Jackson, also drew strong support from our panel, garnering six Super Bowl nominations to Tampa Bay’s four. Curiously, 11 prognosticators chose the Saints to represent the NFC in Super Bowl LV, though only two had them as the last team standing.

The Chiefs made it look easy in 2019, but has the formula changed now that they have a target on their back? With Kansas City beginning its title defense Thursday against the Texans—whom the Chiefs defeated in exhilarating fashion by erasing a 24-point deficit in last year’s postseason—it’s time we find out.

*Denotes Wild Card team

Knox Bardeen, 92.9 The Game

AFC: Bills, Ravens, Texans, Chiefs, *Browns, *Steelers, *Colts

NFC: Eagles, Vikings, Buccaneers, Seahawks, *Saints, *Packers, *49ers

Super Bowl: Buccaneers over Chiefs

Tom Brady will have his ride-off-into-the-sunset moment by adding another Super Bowl to his glowing NFL resume, this time without the help of Bill Belichick. The question is whether he’ll actually retire or try for another ring at age 44. In a quarterback-driven league, this championship matchup pits the current best Patrick Mahomes against arguably the greatest ever. Boy did the Bucs surround Brady with plenty of weapons in Tampa.

Will Burchfield, 97.1 The Ticket

AFC: Patriots, Ravens, Colts, Chiefs, *Bills, *Steelers, *Titans

NFC: Eagles, Vikings, Saints, Seahawks, *Buccaneers, *49ers, *Packers

Super Bowl: Chiefs over Saints

We get our first repeat champion since the 2004 Patriots and Patrick Mahomes tops it off with his second straight Super Bowl MVP. There’s heavy artillery across the NFL, but no one can light up a scoreboard like KC. Look for the Chiefs to outgun Drew Brees and the Saints in a high-scoring finale.

Sal Capaccio, WGR Sports Radio 550

Drew Brees following the Saints' Super Bowl victory over Indianapolis
Photo credit Ronald Martinez, Getty Images

AFC: Bills, Steelers, Titans, Chiefs, *Ravens, *Colts, *Broncos

NFC: Cowboys, Vikings, Saints, Seahawks, *49ers, *Buccaneers, *Eagles

Super Bowl: Saints over Chiefs

The Saints may have the best overall roster in the NFL. They're talented, deep and also have Hall-of-Fame quarterback Drew Brees, who finishes his career on top by winning another Super Bowl, denying Patrick Mahomes and Andy Reid a chance for their second straight Lombardi.

Josh Clark, 105.3 The Fan

AFC: Bills, Ravens, Titans, Chiefs, *Steelers, *Patriots, *Colts

NFC: Cowboys, Packers, Saints, Seahawks, *49ers, *Buccaneers, *Eagles

Super Bowl: Chiefs over Saints

The matchup I predicted a year ago finally comes to fruition in 2020. Drew Brees is able to lead New Orleans back to the Super Bowl in his final season, but unfortunately for him, his reward is a date with Patrick Mahomes and the star-studded Chiefs, who claim their second straight title. I think we may have a dynasty on our hands in KC.

Jordan Cohn, RADIO.COM

AFC: Patriots, Ravens, Titans, Chiefs, *Steelers, *Colts, *Texans

NFC: Cowboys, Vikings, Saints, 49ers, *Seahawks, *Packers, *Buccaneers

Super Bowl: Ravens over Saints

The Ravens and Saints were two of the NFL’s best a season ago. Then Baltimore went and upgraded what was already a formidable pass-rush by acquiring five-time Pro Bowler Calais Campbell while beefing up its linebacker corps with the addition of LSU standout Patrick Queen, the cherry on top of a brilliant Ravens draft class. Meanwhile New Orleans bolstered its pass-catching room by poaching three-time 1,000-yard receiver Emmanuel Sanders, brought in ace safety Malcolm Jenkins to shore up the secondary and even added another body to the offensive line by spending a first-round pick on Michigan center Cesar Ruiz. Given their improvements this offseason, I see these top-shelf franchises slugging it out in a memorable Super Bowl LV in Tampa.

Joe DiBiase, WGR Sports Radio 550

Ben Roethlisberger pumps his fist after a big play
Photo credit Sean Gardner, Getty Images

AFC: Bills, Steelers, Titans, Chiefs, *Ravens, *Chargers, *Browns

NFC: Cowboys, Packers, Saints, 49ers, *Seahawks, *Buccaneers, *Lions

Super Bowl: Steelers over Saints

Only four teams enter 2020 with more continuity than the Steelers, who quietly return 82.4% of last year’s snaps. Coming off a .500 season, Pittsburgh boasts an elite defense and should benefit immensely from the return of Ben Roethlisberger, who missed much of last year with a torn flexor tendon in his throwing elbow.

Lou DiPietro, WFAN

AFC: Bills, Ravens, Texans, Chiefs, *Patriots, *Colts, *Steelers

NFC: Eagles, Vikings, Buccaneers, Seahawks, *Packers, *49ers, *Saints

Super Bowl: Buccaneers over Ravens

Consistency, as Ross Tucker conveyed in the premiere of WFAN’s “Odds On Sports,” is going to be the key this season. Seven of my eight division winners have it and when it comes to Brady and Gronk, anything goes. The added playoff spots help fringe teams like the Pats and Packers get in, but in the end, I think the Brady and Gronk redemption tour is going to run wild with Tampa Bay becoming the first team to play a Super Bowl in its home stadium. After the Ravens knock off the reigning-champion Chiefs in one of the best conference championships ever, they’ll be ripe for the picking against Brady’s high-powered Bucs.

Dan Edwards, WCCO

AFC: Patriots, Ravens, Titans, Chiefs, *Bills, *Raiders, *Colts

NFC: Cowboys, Vikings, Buccaneers, Seahawks, *49ers, *Washington, *Saints

Super Bowl: Buccaneers over Patriots

This will be a comeback year for a pair of former franchise quarterbacks, Tom Brady and Cam Newton. Tampa Bay has too many weapons to fail and should breeze to an NFC title. The Patriots, led by a resurgent Newton and the legendary coaching mind of Bill Belichick, face a slightly tougher road in the AFC, but I expect them to stand tall in their inevitable confrontation with Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs. In a Hollywood-esque ending, Brady will get the better of his former team in Super Bowl LV, raising Lombardi No. 7 while donning Bucs red and pewter.

Chris Emma, 670 The Score

Patrick Mahomes celebrating his Super Bowl MVP Award
Photo credit Kevin C. Cox, Getty Images

AFC: Patriots, Steelers, Titans, Chiefs, *Bills, *Broncos, *Ravens

NFC: Cowboys, Packers, Saints, 49ers, *Eagles, *Bears, *Cardinals

Super Bowl: Chiefs over Saints​

The Chiefs have positioned themselves to win many more Super Bowls in the next decade, locking in their championship core with Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Chris Jones and Tyreek Hill, among others. With Andy Reid and Brett Veach in charge, Kansas City has the continuity to keep winning, including a repeat in 2020.

Adam Gerstenhaber, 92.3 The Fan

AFC: Patriots, Ravens, Titans, Chiefs, *Bills, *Steelers, *Texans

NFC: Eagles, Lions, Saints, Seahawks, *Cowboys, *Buccaneers, *Rams

Super Bowl: Ravens over Seahawks

As you’ll see, I mostly stuck to chalk, though I did go out on a limb with Detroit winning the NFC North and 2019 runner-up San Francisco missing the postseason entirely. I think this will be the year Lamar Jackson finally puts it together in the playoffs, leading Baltimore over Seattle in a thrilling Super Bowl LV.

Ryan Hannable, WEEI

AFC: Patriots, Ravens, Colts, Chiefs, *Bills, *Steelers, *Titans

NFC: Cowboys, Vikings, Saints, Seahawks, *Buccaneers, *Eagles, *Packers

Super Bowl: Chiefs over Saints

The Chiefs return almost the exact roster that won it all a season ago, so why should we expect any different in 2020? New Orleans will make one final push with Drew Brees under center, but reigning Super Bowl MVP Patrick Mahomes will ultimately prove too much to overcome.

John Healy, RADIO.COM

Lamar Jackson admires one of his league-best 36 touchdown throws in 2019
Photo credit Patrick Smith, Getty Images

AFC: Bills, Ravens, Colts, Chiefs, *Steelers, *Texans, *Broncos

NFC: Cowboys, Packers, Saints, 49ers, *Buccaneers, *Seahawks, *Cardinals

Super Bowl: Ravens over Cowboys

Lamar Jackson was the story of the NFL last season before a playoff clunker against Tennessee abruptly ended his storybook 2019. Already among the league’s elite signal-callers, Jackson now enters 2020 with a major chip on his shoulder after last year’s playoff disappointment. With the recent additions of former Jags pass-rusher Calais Campbell and prized rookie J.K. Dobbins out of Ohio State, the Ravens look even more fearsome on paper than they did a year ago when they rolled to a league-best 14-2 regular-season mark. As for the NFC, Dallas has always had plenty of offensive firepower, but with newcomers Dontari Poe and Everson Griffen in tow, the Cowboys’ daunting front seven should be as good as any in the league.

Jason Huber, WFNZ

AFC: Bills, Ravens, Titans, Chiefs, *Colts, *Steelers, *Texans

NFC: Cowboys, Vikings, Buccaneers, 49ers, *Saints, *Seahawks, *Packers