2019 NFL Predictions: Expert picks for Super Bowl, MVP and all of the major awards
Get ready for all the NFL predictions that you can handle
We're only days away from the start of the 2019 NFL season, which can only mean one thing: it's time to make some predictions, so that's exactly what we're going to do below.
Who's going to win MVP? Who's going to win rookie of the year? Who's going to be the last team to get a win?
We rounded up seven of our NFL writers here at CBSSports.com to answer all those questions plus 10 more, which means you're definitely going to want to keep reading.
If you're wondering how things shook out in on our ballots, here's a short preview: Our MVP votes were all over the place, with our seven experts choosing five different winners. On the other hand, one thing we did mostly agree on is that the Chiefs will win the Super Bowl, although even that wasn't unanimous. Of our seven experts, only four of them picked the Chiefs to win it all. Four of our seven experts also voted on the same player to win offensive rookie of the year.
Although you'll see all of our award predictions below, one thing you won't see is our predictions for each division this year. If you want to see our regular season and.
I also jumped on the Pick Six Podcast with my best friends in the entire world -- Will Brinson, Sean Wagner-McGough and Ryan Wilson -- to break down why we picked what we did. You can subscribe to that podcast (and you should!) by clicking here or listening to the show in the player below.
Alright, let's get to these predictions.
Super Bowl champion
Jason La Canfora: Patriots
Because why not? All they do is win, win, win.
Pete Prisco: Packers
The defense will be much improved and we know they have Aaron Rodgers, who will be in the league MVP race. I love where this team is heading.
Will Brinson: Vikings
The defense has always been Super Bowl worthy, but now the offense will catch up thanks to Gary Kubiak serving as a czar on that side of the ball. Kirk Cousins came into the league in a Kubiak/Mike Shanahan scheme and thrives off play action. Dalvin Cook spent his entire FSU career in a zone-blocking scheme. Rookie Garrett Bradbury had 95+ percent of his run blocking plays come in ZBS last season. Flooding the field with Stefon Diggs, Adam Thielen, Kyle Rudolph and Irv Smith while teams try to key in on Dalvin Cook? Good luck.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Chiefs
The Chiefs don't have a defense, but even without a defense last year, they came a coin toss away from reaching the Super Bowl. Patrick Mahomes and the rest of the offense are good enough to power the Chiefs to the Super Bowl. Andy Reid finally gets the championship his career deserves.
Jared Dubin: Chiefs
You can always do worse than picking the team with the best quarterback. There might be better teams out there than the Chiefs, but most of them reside in the NFC. It's far easier to make it through the lesser conference to get to the Super Bowl in the first place, so your odds are better if you pick a champ from that side of the bracket.
Ryan Wilson: Chiefs
Kansas City is somehow better on offense -- Patrick Mahomes is a year wiser, Sammy Watkins is poised for a big year and the team added Mecole Hardman in the draft. The biggest question is the defense, but that unit should be improved over the 2018 squad.
John Breech: Chiefs
Despite what it might seem like, I swear there was no CBS Sports memo that required us all to pick the Chiefs this year.
Super Bowl MVP
Jason La Canfora: Tom Brady
See above answer on why I picked the Patriots to win the Super Bowl.
Pete Prisco: Aaron Rodgers
It's his year. He will win the MVP in the regular season and the Super Bowl.
Will Brinson: Kirk Cousins
If the Vikings win the Super Bowl, the quarterback is probably going to get it. I would be fine putting Cook or someone like Harrison Smith here too though.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Patrick Mahomes
If the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, their superstar quarterback will almost undoubtedly win Super Bowl MVP. Their defense is so bad that pretty much any game they win will require Mahomes to play at an elite level.
Jared Dubin: Mahomes
It's (almost) always the quarterback.
Ryan Wilson: Mahomes
Mahomes threw for 5,000 yards, 50 touchdowns and 12 interceptions last season and we expect him to be even more efficient in 2019. He's the best player in the NFL and No. 2 may not even be close.
John Breech: Mahomes
If the Chiefs win the Super Bowl, there's a 99.8 percent chance that Mahomes is going to be named the MVP, and that 99.8 percent chance moves up to 100 percent if he breaks every Super Bowl passing record ever, which seems like something he's completely capable of doing.
Regular Season MVP
Jason La Canfora: Drew Brees
I think the way he faded down the stretch last year was more to do with being beat up than anything else. His numbers will be off the charts.
Pete Prisco: Rodgers
Want numbers? How about 4,800 yards, 43 touchdown passes and eight picks?
Will Brinson: Ben Roethlisberger
Perennially undervalued when it comes to this award, Big Ben will have narrative on his side this year thanks to the departure of Antonio Brown and Le'Veon Bell. If the Steelers QB goes out and throws for 5,000 yards and 35+ touchdown passes (numbers I think he hits), the voters will flock to reward him for succeeding without his top pair of weapons.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Mahomes
Mahomes staves off regression by submitting his second straight 50-touchdown, 5,000-yard season to capture his second straight MVP award.
Jared Dubin: Mahomes
Mahomes is going back-to-back.
Ryan Wilson: Ezekiel Elliott
Elliott will prove to Jerry Jones -- and the rest of the world -- just how valuable he is to the Cowboys. The biggest question heading into the season is how much he'll get on his new contract before he returns to the team.
John Breech: Brees
A quarterback has won this award for 11 of the past 12 years, so I'd be crazy not to pick a quarterback here. Although I really like Mahomes' chances of winning MVP in 2019, I'm going with Brees because MY GOD, can the guy just win an MVP award. Brees has finished second in the MVP race a total of four times in his career, which is the most in NFL history. I feel like he's finally due.
Offensive Player of the Year
Jason La Canfora: Mahomes
He won't throw 50 TDs again but I bet he throws 45.
Pete Prisco: Julio Jones
This is the year he finally gets those touchdowns to go with his yards and catches. The Atlanta offense will be potent.
Will Brinson: Matt Ryan
The Falcons don't play outdoors until November! Ryan is going to put up big stats because he always does. But if they're hollow he won't rise to the level of MVP.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Christian McCaffrey
The Panthers offense should continue to run through their versatile running back. Last season, he exploded for 1,965 yards and 13 touchdowns from scrimmage. Expect a similar type of season.
Jared Dubin: Deshaun Watson
Despite the atrocious offensive line, I've got high hopes for the Houston offense this season. Watson has arguably the NFL's best receiver on his side, an elite deep threat, a new weapon out of the backfield in Duke Johnson, a quality slot man, and a group of versatile tight ends. All the pieces are in place for him to have his best season yet.
Ryan Wilson: Ryan
Ryan threw for 4,924 yards, 35 touchdowns and 7 interceptions last season -- but he was also sacked 42 times. The Falcons drafted offensive linemen in the first two rounds and if Ryan can stay upright he'll light up the rest of the league.
John Breech: Mahomes
If Mahomes doesn't win MVP, then he's going to win offensive player of the year. As a matter of fact, we can probably just go ahead that he's going to win one of those two awards every year for the rest of his career.
Defensive Player of the Year
Jason La Canfora: Aaron Donald
Healthy, in his prime and enters the season with one hand on this hardware already.
Pete Prisco: Von Miller
With Bradley Chubb emerging on the other side, it's Miller who gets more one-on-one situations and he takes advantage of it.
Will Brinson: Myles Garrett
This Browns defensive line looks like it could be deadly and Garrett should be a big beneficiary of single teams and being allowed to unleash his full compliment of moves.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Khalil Mack
One of the most prolific sack masters captures his second DPOY award with a 15-plus sack season on the league's best defense. Obviously, Aaron Donald is Mack's biggest competition, but if Donald regresses after his bonkers 20.5-sack season (which he probably will), then it'll be tough for him to repeat as DPOY. Mack wins a tight race with Donald.
Jared Dubin: Aaron Donald
Aaron Donald should be everybody's pick to win this award until somebody else takes it from his cold, dead hands. He is by far the most destructive defensive force in the league right now, and he's the odds-on favorite to lead the league in sacks, tackles for loss, and basically everything else that matters from a defensive line standpoint.
Ryan Wilson: J.J. Watt
Watt played in just eight games combined in 2016-2017 but bounced back in 2018, starting all 16 games and logging 16 sacks. He may be 30 years old but he's still among the best in the NFL -- and more than capable of his fourth Defensive Player of the Year honor.
John Breech: Watt
Aaron Donald and Khalil Mack are probably going to get most of the votes here, but I'm going with Watt. After missing 24 games due to injury in 2016 and 2017 combined, Watt finally looked like his old self last season. Not only did he play all 16 games, but he ranked second in the NFL with 16 sacks. Watt has already won this award three times in his career and I think he's going to add a fourth trophy in 2019.
Coach of the Year
Jason La Canfora: Frank Reich
Pete Prisco: Matt LaFleur
Winning the Super Bowl in his first season would mean he can only go down from there.
Will Brinson: Mike Zimmer
Correlating my Vikings pick with the coach pick, I believe a big season from Minnesota (13-3) will result in Zimmer being handed the hardware, especially when his demands on offense are met.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Freddie Kitchens
The Browns end their historic playoff drought, which results in some deserved hardware for their first-year head coach.
Jared Dubin: Ron Rivera
I love the Panthers this season. They were looking good until Cam Newton's injury last season, at which point the entire team fell apart. The diversity of weapons on their offense should prove too much for opposing defenses, and Rivera always coaches up the guys on his side of the ball. If they can get to 11-5 or 12-4, they can take down the NFC South and get Rivera some hardware.
Ryan Wilson: Mike Tomlin
After losing Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown, Tomlin has one of his best coaching campaigns of his 13-year career; the Steelers make a deep playoff run, the offense doesn't miss a beat and the defense returns to its dominating form.
John Breech: LaFleur
The Packers' decision to fire Mike McCarthy is going to look like the smartest move in the history of football after the 2019 season. Although LaFleur hasn't even coached a single game yet, Aaron Rodgers already sounds revitalized, and if a revitalized Rodgers can lead the Packers to the playoffs, there's a good chance LaFleur is going to go home with this award.
Offensive Rookie of the Year
Jason La Canfora: Miles Sanders
Prime to be a key element and what could be one of the league's best offenses and a team with legit Super Bowl potential.
Pete Prisco: Kyler Murray
He will start from day one in an offense that will allow big numbers. That's why he will win it.
Will Brinson: Garrett Bradbury
AN OFFENSIVE LINEMAN. I'm going out on a limb and saying that no one truly impresses on the QB/RB/WR side of things and Bradbury transforms the Vikings offensive line and running game and gets credit for it.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Murray
Murray is the rookie quarterback best positioned to put up gaudy numbers in Year 1. The Cardinals might not be good in 2019, but their offense should be exciting. Murray's ability to contribute as a runner should help him in the OROY race.
Jared Dubin: Murray
He's going to be the starter in a spread-em-out, run-a-ton-of-plays offense from Day 1, and his team figures to have a terrible defense (especially while Patrick Peterson is out). He's going to put up some huge numbers so long as he stays healthy.
Ryan Wilson: Murray
It won't be pretty at times in Arizona, but it will be better than it was in 2018. Murray has the talent to be special and we'll see glimpses of that this season as the Cards begin the process of revitalizing this franchise.
John Breech: Sanders
Although Kyler Murray will likely put up big numbers in Arizona, the Cardinals are likely going to be bad, which is why I'm going with someone else. I like Sanders to win this for multiple reasons. For one, a running back has won this award in three of the past four seasons, and also, the Eagles offensive line is exactly the line you want if you're a rookie running back. If Sanders gets enough touches, he should be in the running to win this award.
Defensive Rookie of the Year
Jason La Canfora: Ed Oliver
Love all the pieces already around him on what should be a top-five defense. He could be a game-wrecker from day one.
Pete Prisco: Josh Allen
Playing on a front that is already loaded with talent, he is going to pile up double-digit sack numbers.
Will Brinson: Allen
I don't like to base too much on the preseason, but Allen is going HAM against defenses and looks like he could do damage in the Jaguars already loaded defense.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Allen
The Jaguars were extremely fortunate to see Allen fall to them at No. 7. Joining an already very good defense, Allen is set up to put up monster numbers during his rookie season after an impressive preseason.
Jared Dubin: Quinnen Williams
This dude is a monster on the interior and should be able to make a ton of plays by slicing through the line to corral opponents in the backfield.
Ryan Wilson: Devin Bush
The Steelers' defense was lost without Ryan Shazier so the team traded up to No. 10 to take Bush in the 2019 NFL Draft. His sideline-to-sideline speed and coverage skills makes him an obvious fit in the middle of Pittsburgh's D.
John Breech: Bush
This might be the most competitive year ever for this award, and that's because it feels like there's at least 10 guys who could win it (Josh Allen, Nick Bosa, Devin White, Clelin Ferrell and Quinnen Williams to name a few). However, I'm going to go with Bush and that's because I think he's going to be an impact player on a team that I think will end the season in the playoffs.
Jason La Canfora: Lamar Jackson
He will prove the haters wrong in a big big way (Note: La Canfora picked Mahomes as his breakout player last season, so he seems to have an eye for breakout quarterbacks).
Pete Prisco: Dalvin Cook
This is the year he leads the league in rushing.
Will Brinson: Jacoby Brissett
I would put Brissett as a comeback, but there's nothing to come back from. I think Brissett shocks some people with his quarterback play for the Colts this year. He could sneak into the MVP discussion if he leads them to a division title.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Leonard Floyd
The former first-round pick has averaged only five sacks per season in his three-year career. Playing opposite of Khalil Mack in what could be a more aggressive defense under Chuck Pagano, Floyd could be poised for the best season of his career. The prediction is that gets to somewhere around 10 sacks in 2019.
Jared Dubin: Damien Williams
Sure, he sort of broke out last season. But as the No. 1 back on the league's best offense, he is primed to explode. I'm expecting very, very big things.
Ryan Wilson: James Washington
After a forgettable rookie season, Washington shines in Year 2, in part because he has no choice; the Steelers have to replace Antonio Brown's production and Washington steps up to the challenge.
John Breech: Josh Gordon
I'm not sure Josh Gordon qualifies in this category since he already had a breakout season in 2013, but since he hasn't really done anything since then, I think we can count him here. Gordon put up 740 yards in the Patriots offense last season and that was just in 11 games, if he can stay on the field for all 16 games this season, he's likely going to put up huge numbers.
Comeback/Most Improved Player
Jason La Canfora: Odell Beckham
Getting out of New York and getting with Baker Mayfield will be the best thing that could have happened to him.
Pete Prisco: Josh Allen
He will take major steps forward as a potential star passer this season.
Will Brinson: Cam Newton
Returning from shoulder surgery (two in three years no less) to lead your team to the playoffs can put you in the comeback conversation pretty easily.
Sean Wagner-McGough: David Johnson
It's not that David Johnson was bad last year, it's just that he was stuck in a terrible offense that failed to take advantage of his unique skillset. In Kliff Kingsbury's offense, Johnson should return to his 2016 form, reemerging as one of the best running backs in the league.
Jared Dubin: Earl Thomas
When Thomas is on the field, he is as good as it gets at his position. Playing in Wink Martindale's always-excellent Baltimore defense will allow him to continue making plays on the ball and shutting down opposing passing games.
Ryan Wilson: Jacoby Brissett
Brissett attempted just four passes last season but he started 15 games in 2017 and the Colts went 4-11. Two years later and Brissett is a much better player and the Colts are a much (much, much) better team, even now that Andrew Luck has retired..
John Breech: Jimmy Garoppolo
The 49ers had an ugly season last year due in large part to the fact that Garoppolo missed 13 games after tearing his ACL. The fact that the 49ers finished 4-12 is probably going to work in his favor, because if Garoppolo can just get them to .500 in 2019, that will likely mean that he's playing well enough to win this award.
Jason La Canfora: Bears, Cowbooys
For the Bears, they have a tougher schedule, no kicker, and a QB who still has a lot to prove. As for the Cowboys, when do they ever thrive when expectations are high?
Pete Prisco: Texans, Colts
On the Texans' end, I just worry too much about that offensive line. As for the Colts, no Andrew Luck means no playoffs. Jacoby Brissett can't carry a team like Luck.
The Bears are the most obvious regression team, their defense simply can't be as good as it was in 2018 by virtue of natural statistical/turnover regression and I don't think the offense takes a big enough leap to counter it. As for the Saints, this is a balanced roster, but Drew Brees' age concerns me a lot. On the Chargers' end, I'm off the bandwagon! I also don't like the Rams. Something is stinky about this team, and Gurley's injury plus the offensive line attrition should be concerning.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Colts, Titans, Cowboys
Without Andrew Luck, the Colts -- a talented team on both sides of the ball -- will drop below .500 and fall out of contention in a lackluster division, finishing with 5-7 wins. The Titans somehow managed to win nine wins last year despite ranking 20th in DVOA. I think they're due for regression, finishing somewhere in the same ballpark as the Colts. I don't think the Cowboys will be bad, but I don't think they're returning to the playoffs after winning 10 games last year. They should fall to around .500 and the Eagles should surpass them in the NFC East.
Jared Dubin: Colts, Chargers, Bears
Andrew Luck is very good. Jacoby Brissett is less good. The Chargers just have so many injuries right now that I can't see them getting to 12 wins again. Even if they fall off, though, they're still a good bet to make the playoffs. And much to Sean's dismay, it's a damn-near guarantee the Bears defense regresses at least a bit this season, and I'm not sure Mitchy Troobs has it in him to offset that regression..
Ryan Wilson: Bears, Texans
Can Chicago trust Mitchell Trubisky, and more importantly, will they find someone -- anyone -- to kick field goals? Here's a stat we keep coming back to: Deshaun Watson was sacked 62 times last year.
John Breech: Texans
Last year, I predicted the Texans would go from last place in 2017 to first place in 2018, and I ended up being exactly correct. This year, I'm predicting that they're going to fall back into the AFC South cellar once again and my prediction mostly has to do with the fact that they have one of the worst offensive lines in football.
Jason La Canfora: Raiders, 49ers
Neither one is headed to the postseason, but both could find themselves above .500 or right at it which would be a big step from a year ago
Pete Prisco: Jaguars, Steelers, Falcons
The Jaguars defense could be the best in the NFL. Nick Foles is better than Blake Bortles. Add it up, and it's a playoff year. As for Pittsburgh, don't jump on the Browns bandwagon just yet. The Steelers are winning the NFC North. On the Falcons' end, by improving the offensive line, Matt Ryan will be that much better. And the defense can't suffer as many injuries as a year ago. Can it?
Will Brinson: Broncos, Vikings, Panthers
All aboard the Joe Flacco bandwagon, Broncos will bounce back. As for the Vikings, they only won eight last year so I'll take it. On the Panthers' end, a healthy Cam will get them to nine wins or more.
Sean Wagner-McGough: Browns, Steelers, Falcons
The Browns and Steelers are in the same boat. They weren't bad last year, but neither of them made the playoffs. The prediction is that both will make the playoffs with the Steelers winning the division and the Browns snagging a wild card spot. The Falcons were bad last year, but I think they're poised to reemerge as a playoff team with a 10-win season. Injuries played a big role in their demise a year ago. If they can stay healthier, they have a good shot to journey into January.
Jared Dubin: Panthers, Packers, Jets
I've already gone through the Carolina rationale. The Packers will benefit from having Not Mike McCarthy running their offense, and people will see how much Aaron Rodgers was being held back. Add in their improved defense and they should challenge for that division. And the Jets might not make the playoffs (they probably won't), but this was a team that was already better than its 4-12 record last year and added a bunch of talent this offseason. Sam Darnold should be able to get them to eight or nine wins.
Ryan Wilson: Browns, Falcons, Panthers
We're not fully buying into the Browns' hysteria but they'll be much better than the 7-team they were in 2018. If the Falcons can protect Matt Ryan and the Panthers can keep Cam Newton healthy, both teams are making the playoffs.
John Breech: Packers, Jaguars, Browns
Jaguars fans, please make room for me on your bandwagon, because I think I'm going to be jumping on it this year. Not only do the Jags have the best defense in the AFC South, but they get to go up a Texans team with a below average offensive line, a Colts team that just had their starting QB retire and a Titans team with a quarterback who can never seem to stay healthy. As for the Browns and Packers, I think both teams improve by at least two games on what they did last season.
Last team to get a win
Jason La Canfora: Redskins
That offensive line is going to be a big big problem and Dwayne Haskins will end up playing sooner than later for one reason or another. Tough early schedule.
Pete Prisco: Dolphins
They are starting Ryan Fitzpatrick because they think they can win. I doubt it.
Will Brinson: Raiders
If they don't beat the Broncos Week 1 (and I don't think they will), it could be 7 or 8 weeks before the Raiders win a game..
Sean Wagner-McGough: Dolphins/Redskins
The two teams meet in Week 6. I think both teams will be winless entering the matchup. I was tempted to pick the Bengals, but they get the Cardinals at home in Week 5, which is winnable.
Jared Dubin: Dolphins
Ryan Wilson: Raiders
They travel more miles than any team in the league and Antonio Brown could still go off at any moment.
John Breech: Raiders
This one could blow up in my face as early as Week 1 and that's because I actually like their chances against the Broncos. However, if they lose that game, the Raiders might not win a game until November when they play the Lions in Week 9.
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