Super Bowl LIII predictions: Rams have midseason momentum
- Super Bowl forecast
- Playoff teams
With the 2018 NFL season at its midpoint, our analysts revisit/revise their preseason award winners, playoff predictions and Super Bowl picks.
Participating analysts: Judy Battista, Jeremy Bergman, Gil Brandt, Reggie Bush, David Carr, Charley Casserly, Jeffri Chadiha, Cynthia Frelund, Dan Hanzus, Daniel Jeremiah, James Jones, Maurice Jones-Drew, Adam Rank, Adam Schein, Marc Sessler, Nick Shook, Herbie Teope, Jim Trotter, Reggie Wayne.
Who will win Super Bowl LIII?
1. Los Angeles Rams (11 votes)
Judy Battista: Rams over Patriots. The offseason acquisition binge pays off, as the league’s most dominant and balanced team becomes the second upstart in a row to topple the Patriots.
Reggie Bush: Rams over Chiefs. Sean McVay and Andy Reid trying to out-scheme each other on the game’s biggest stage? That would be a sight to see. No matter what happens in their Week 11 Mexico City clash, I bet McVay spends hundreds of hours in the playbook prepping for a possible rematch.
David Carr: Rams over Patriots. I’m sticking with my preseason prediction and analysis, because it still holds true. The NFC is absolutely loaded, with about six teams looking like true contenders. It’s the Rams, though, who edge out the competition, while Sean McVay proceeds to out-scheme Bill Belichick for his first Lombardi.
Jeff Chadiha: Rams over Chargers. Todd Gurley becomes the first running back to win Super Bowl MVP honors since Terrell Davis did it for the Broncos in Super Bowl XXXII.
Dan Hanzus: Rams over Patriots. The Rams entered the season with a ton of hype — then they went out and backed it all up. They top it off by handing Bill Belichick the most lopsided playoff defeat of his career.
Daniel Jeremiah: Rams over Patriots. It’s hard to imagine the Patriots could be an underdog in this game, but I don’t think they will be able to keep pace with Sean McVay’s squad.
Maurice Jones-Drew: Rams over Chargers. With balanced offenses and defenses that have the personnel to do some serious damage, these two squads are built for the postseason. Goff and Gurley vs. Rivers and Gordon — I give the edge to the league MVP (Gurley) and his squad. It’s going to be so good!
Shaun O’Hara: Rams over Chargers. An all-Los Angeles Super Bowl in Atlanta … They should just consider heading up to the Rose Bowl instead if this matchup comes to pass. In all seriousness, I think this would surprisingly be a defensive game — much different from their Week 3 meeting, which the Rams won 35-23.
Adam Schein: Rams over Chargers. Before the season, I said the Rams would win an all-L.A. Super Bowl classic. Even with the genius of Patrick Mahomes’ Chiefs and the Patriots, I’ll stay with it. Todd Gurley and Aaron Donald lead the Rams to victory.
Nick Shook: Rams over Patriots. While an all-L.A. Super Bowl sounds appetizing, the Patriots rise again (perhaps for the final time), upending the Chiefs on the way to a meeting with the unstoppable Rams. Sean McVay completes his meteoric ascension by securing the title the Dodgers couldn’t bring home.
Jim Trotter: Rams over Chiefs. The league and CBS get precisely what they desire: a game in which the last team with the ball wins.
2. New Orleans Saints (5 votes)
Gil Brandt: Saints over Patriots. With no legitimate competition in the AFC East and an earlier win vs. Kansas City, the Patriots are looking at another scenario in which the road to the Super Bowl goes through Foxborough. The Saints have been electric on offense, and so have the Rams, but New Orleans has a more experienced quarterback in Drew Brees. Getting a win vs. the Rams this week will be pivotal for the Saints in gaining homefield advantage in the NFC playoffs.
Cynthia Frelund: Saints over Chiefs. The Saints snapped out of an early season funk and again look like the powerhouse I picked to win it all in the preseason. To say that the Chiefs have not let me down would be an understatement.
Adam Rank: Saints over Chargers. This was my pick at the start of the year, and I’m not ready to hedge off it just yet. This is setting up to be the perfect season for Drew Brees, setting the all-time passing record and collecting another Super Bowl win.
Marc Sessler: Saints over Chiefs. After New Orleans upsets the high-flying Rams, Sean Payton and Drew Brees cement their legacy in a points-waterfall showdown over K.C. Brees retires days later. Payton takes the Browns job.
Herbie Teope: Saints over Chiefs. Drew Brees comes out on top and rides off into the sunset as a two-time champion. Patrick Mahomes will have another shot at the title down the line.
3. New England Patriots (2 votes)
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Jeremy Bergman: Patriots over Vikings. Against my better judgement, I’m sticking with my preseason prediction. Neither club has totally flopped, so why shouldn’t I? (Though Kirk Cousins’ affinity for coming up short in big games is starting to worry me.)
Charley Casserly: Patriots over Rams. Los Angeles enters Super Bowl LIII undefeated, but with two weeks to prepare, Bill Belichick is able to hold the Rams under 30 points. New England has too many weapons for L.A. and wins in a shootout.
T-4. Green Bay Packers (1 vote)
James Jones: Packers over Chargers. The Packers might not look like a contender right now, but Aaron Rodgers will get the crew going. When he does, Titletown gets another Lombardi. Go, Pack go!
T-4. Kansas City Chiefs (1 vote)
Reggie Wayne: Chiefs over Saints. What a year for Patrick Mahomes. He backs up his Offensive Player of the Year campaign with a ring after out-dueling the league’s all-time passing leader.
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