2020 midseason picks: NFL on CBS analysts nearly unanimous on Chiefs to win Super Bowl, Mahomes for MVP – CBS Sports

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We are officially in the second half of the 2020 NFL season, so you know that means: Midseason predictions! Plenty of teams still have a mathematical shot at making the playoffs and hunting for a Lombardi Trophy, but nine weeks through the regular-season schedule, we’ve already got quite a consensus when it comes to expert picks for who’s going to win it all.

Below, you’ll find midyear predictions for NFL MVP and Super Bowl champion, as well as Coach of the Midseason picks, from 23 “NFL on CBS” and “The NFL Today” analysts. It’s no surprise that the reigning champion Kansas City Chiefs have lots of support as we inch toward the 2020 playoffs, but you might do a double take at just how united the experts are when it comes to MVP and Coach of the Midseason as well:

Super Bowl predictions

Nate Burleson: Chiefs over Buccaneers

The Chiefs are a complete team led by the league’s best passer, Patrick Mahomes. The Bucs have firepower at every level led by a forever-young Tom Brady.

Bill Cowher: Steelers over Seahawks

Seattle has the best quarterback in the NFC. Pittsburgh has the most balanced team in football: offense, defense and special teams. This will be a repeat of Super Bowl XL.

Boomer Esiason: Chiefs over Saints

No team has ever hosted a Super Bowl in their own stadium, so no Tampa Bay. Mahomes and Reid are virtually unstoppable. Saints have hung tough without Michael Thomas. I can see a Tampa Bay-New Orleans NFC Championship game.

Phil Simms: Chiefs over Seahawks

Russell Wilson and the Seattle offense are playing as well as anybody in the NFL. Kansas City has Patrick Mahomes and a defense that seems to come through in big moments.

Trent Green: Chiefs over Packers

Rematch of Super Bowl I. This time Kansas City wins.

Melanie Collins: Chiefs over Saints

Two words: Patrick. Mahomes. He makes the game look so effortless, and after adding sensational rookie Clyde Edwards-Helaire, the Chiefs have all the weapons in place to repeat.

Rich Gannon: Buccaneers over Chiefs

Kansas City because of their quarterback and head coach, who is also one of the best play-callers in the league, versus Tampa Bay because of Tom Brady and the defense.

James Lofton: Chiefs over Packers

Old-school Super Bowl. Kansas City’s defense is better than you think.

Jay Feely: Buccaneers over Chiefs

Tom Brady is making this offense better weekly. Antonio Brown will be the catalyst this offense needs to beat a team like Kansas City. And the defense sets this team apart from teams like Seattle.

Evan Washburn: Chiefs over Packers

The Chiefs have proven to be able to win any style of game and possess the luxury of the ultimate fixer in Patrick Mahomes, while Green Bay will benefit from a weak schedule down the stretch that should give them a bye and home-field advantage throughout the playoffs. A dream matchup in Tampa, with the Chiefs making it back-to-back.

Sherree Burruss: Packers over Bills

Aaron Rodgers is a man on a mission after Green Bay selected Jordan Love. Teammates rave about his attitude. This newfound “chip” on his shoulder and success so far under LaFleur will lead to Title Town getting another Lombardi Trophy.

AJ Ross: Steelers over Saints

Defense wins championships and the Steelers defense this season has been stellar. I pick the Steelers to take it all.

Michael Grady: Chiefs over Saints

Too much firepower on these two offenses for any squad to keep them from getting to the big game. In the Super Bowl I like the Chiefs in a shootout because New Orleans’ lone shortcoming may be their secondary.

Jason La Canfora: Chiefs over Seahawks

This is a very strange year and it’s becoming increasingly difficult to figure out which teams are truly balanced, but I have a hard time not deferring to the current champs.

Amy Trask: Chiefs over Packers

When you come at the king, you best not miss. While there are teams that can challenge Kansas City for the AFC Championship, Kansas City is the reigning champion, so until someone proves otherwise (to wit: comes at the king, and does not miss), my answer is Kansas City. Green Bay has shown on a number of occasions that it has considerable flaws, but so too do all the likely contenders for the NFC championship. Green Bay appears that it may be best able to overcome its flaws.

Kyle Long: Chiefs over Saints

Patrick Mahomes is surgical again for the Chiefs with 25 touchdowns and one interception. They have added firepower and will be getting healthy down the stretch. Saints will get to the Super Bowl because of their defense, which has come alive, and Drew Brees is looking more and more like himself.

Jonathan Jones: Chiefs over Saints

They have the most talented roster in the NFL, the best player in football and they know exactly what it takes to get there and win.

Adam Archuleta: Steelers over Packers

Balanced offense can win any way. Their front seven on defense is as physical and dominant as I’ve seen in a long time. They can shut down any offense and quarterback at any time if they’re in sync.

Charles Davis: Chiefs

THE FINAL TALLY:

  1. Chiefs (13)
  2. Steelers (3)
  3. Buccaneers (2)
  4. Packers (1)

2020 NFL MVP predictions

Nate Burleson: Russell Wilson

His defense is giving up so many big plays, he’s going to have to do more.

Bill Cowher: Russell Wilson

His fourth-quarter heroics are on another level.

Phil Simms: Patrick Mahomes

He’s had a very good year so far, and I expect it to continue. The Chiefs offense is the best in the NFL.

Ian Eagle: Patrick Mahomes

He is playing the quarterback position at a different level than everyone else in the league. He won the MVP in 2018. He’s been even more lethal in 2020.

Trent Green: Patrick Mahomes

Every week we look for someone else and every week Mahomes gets it done. His numbers are staggering.

Melanie Collins: Russell Wilson

No player has been more valuable to their team’s success so far this season than Russell Wilson. This man may go from never receiving a single MVP vote to getting all of the votes this year. He’s been insane in red zone efficiency with 86 percent of red-zone trips ending in touchdowns. No team has needed to rely on their quarterback to “cook” more than him.

James Lofton: Patrick Mahomes

He just seems to amaze and produce every week.

Evan Washburn: Patrick Mahomes

Patrick Mahomes continues to check every box week-in and week-out. His complete command of his craft this season along with the numbers and team success make him the safest bet to take home MVP honors.

Sherree Burruss: Russell Wilson 

Perfect at home to this point and with a defense that declined he’s kept the offense chugging along.

AJ Ross: Russell Wilson

Have you seen his stat lines? Give this man his roses while you can.

Michael Grady: Patrick Mahomes

Twenty-five touchdowns and one interception so far this year – are you kidding me?

Jason La Canfora: Patrick Mahomes

He is unbelievable and is now catching snaps while in motion. Even when seemingly on cruise control they accrue a ton of points and a ton of yards. He is the primary reason why.

Amy Trask: Russell Wilson

Given his performance against Buffalo, I was tempted to change my answer to this question, but I won’t. I’m sticking with Russell.  Through eight games, Seattle’s defense is giving up over 30 points per game (30th in the league) but its offense is scoring over 34 points per game (first in the league). Russell is again carrying that team, as he has for years for varying reasons.

Jonathan Jones: Patrick Mahomes

Before Week 9 I would have said Russell Wilson, but Mahomes is on a pace similar to his 2018 MVP season and his Chiefs are 8-1 thanks in large part to how well he’s taking care of the ball (just one turnover all season).

Tracy Wolfson: Patrick Mahomes

Russell? Aaron Rodgers? Nope. Right now I have to go with Patrick Mahomes as he’s been the most consistent this season so far.

Adam Archuleta: Russell Wilson

His numbers speak for themselves. Terrible defense, but to me it’s the eye test. He is so good and does so much when it counts. Right now he’s my No. 1 quarterback if I have to win a game on the last drive.

Boomer Esiason: Patrick Mahomes

Tony Romo: Patrick Mahomes

London Fletcher: Patrick Mahomes

Rich Gannon: Patrick Mahomes

Jay Feely: Patrick Mahomes

Kyle Long: Patrick Mahomes

Charles Davis: Patrick Mahomes

THE FINAL TALLY:

  1. Patrick Mahomes (16)
  2. Russell Wilson (7)

Coach of the Midseason picks

USATSI

Nate Burleson: Mike Tomlin

He has found a new identity offensively, which is as balanced as any Steelers team in history, complemented by a hard-hitting, turnover-creating defense.

Bill Cowher: Mike Tomlin

This team is one of the most selfless teams in the league. You couple that with their talent, it is a true reflection of their coach. A leader of men!

Boomer Esiason: Mike Tomlin

They’re the only undefeated team left and they look like a total team with Ben Roethlisberger back at quarterback. They may be the only team able to knock off the Chiefs in the AFC Championship.

Phil Simms: Pete Carroll

This is for making a complete change in philosophy from the run and playing defense to a wide-open offense where Russell Wilson gets to show his talent.

Tracy Wolfson: Mike Tomlin

There is not much more to say than an 8-0 start, and they haven’t even played their best football yet. And this defense! All while having their schedule messed up because of COVID. Enough said.

Ian Eagle: Mike Tomlin

Nobody knew what to expect from this year’s version of the Steelers, but Coach Tomlin’s leadership, coupled with the return of Ben Roethlisberger, has catapulted them to the top of the standings. Their consistency is no accident. Their coach always sets the tone.

Trent Green: Mike Tomlin

He has kept finding ways to win for eight straight weeks.

Melanie Collins: Mike Tomlin

It is so hard to pick against Brian Flores for this, but I’m taking Mike Tomlin. The Steelers are 8-0 and the NFL’s only remaining undefeated team. He’s never had a losing season, and he gets the most out of his players who clearly love playing for him.

Rich Gannon: Andy Reid, Bruce Arians, Mike Tomlin

It’s too close to call between the three of them.

Jay Feely: Mike Tomlin

So much uncertainty on this team coming into the season, but Mike T has them ballin’. The defense is aggressive and gets after the quarterback. The offense continues to find star wide receivers. Coach Tomlin knows how to get the most out of his players.

Evan Washburn: Mike Tomlin

Mike Tomlin has recaptured the culture in Pittsburgh and built a team that is as unified as any in the league, coupled with his impact on a special defense and he is my coach of the year at the midpoint.

Sherree Burruss: Mike Tomlin

It’s been a historic start for Pittsburgh, dealing with all the ups and downs of a Covid season and being able to keep his team successful with the best start in franchise history and only undefeated team in NFL.

AJ Ross: Mike Tomlin

He has not had a below .500 season in his 14-year tenure and considering all the challenges and personalities he’s managed over that span, he deserves way more credit.

Michael Grady: Mike Tomlin

The Steelers are 8-0 and they spanked some damn good teams along the way. Brian Flores would be a close second with what he’s done with the Dolphins.

Jason La Canfora: Brian Flores

The Dolphins are poised to be one of the most interesting teams in the second half of the year and their young head coach has steered them with dexterity to this point.

Amy Trask: Andy Reid

There are other good candidates and I was very tempted to name Brian Flores. However, I’m naming Andy for the same reason I expressed in my answer to which team will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl: when you come for the king, you best not miss.

Kyle Long: Mike Tomlin

Winning is so hard in the NFL and the Steelers are undefeated. Keeping your team focused and motivated every week is something that’s overlooked. Also his development of young talent and utilization of said talent has been fun to watch.

Jonathan Jones: Mike Tomlin

He has the only undefeated team in the NFL and, though this award is contained to one year, it’s impossible to ignore how consistently great he’s been over a decade-and-a-half.

Adam Archuleta: Mike Tomlin

Weren’t some people calling for change last year? He lost control of the team? Gimme a break. The Steelers are the most balanced team in the NFL. 

Tony Romo: Mike Tomlin

Charles Davis: Mike Tomlin

THE FINAL TALLY:

  1. Mike Tomlin (18)
  2. Andy Reid (2)
  3. Brian Flores (1)
  4. Bruce Arians (1)
  5. Pete Carroll (1)

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