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
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
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