NFL specialists debate: 2022 MVP and Tremendous Bowl LVII picks, plus groups to observe this offseason


Welcome to the NFL offseason. The Los Angeles Rams are Super Bowl LVI champs, and we’re already waiting for the favorites for subsequent yr’s title sport. Caesars Sportsbook says it is the Kansas City Chiefs (13-2 odds), adopted by the Buffalo Bills (7-1) and Rams (10-1). Which groups do our specialists assume will play in Tremendous Bowl LVII? You may should scroll right down to see their picks.

We additionally requested our panel of 12 ESPN NFL insiders to make their picks for 2022 MVP (trace: It is an all-quarterback race), together with probably the most attention-grabbing workforce of the offseason. We’re only some weeks away from the beginning of 2022 free agency, and the spring might be crammed with a number of beginning quarterbacks altering groups, very similar to we noticed in 2021, when Matthew Stafford was traded to the City of Angels and instantly earned his wings (and a hoop).

Aaron Rodgers, Russell Wilson, Carson Wentz, Deshaun Watson and Jimmy Garoppolo are among the many high-profile signal-callers who could change teams, however there might be extra motion earlier than April’s draft.

Let’s get into the three questions for our panel, beginning with their early Tremendous Bowl picks:

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Early Super Bowl picks | Early MVP picks
Most interesting teams of the offseason

What’s your early Tremendous Bowl LVII choose?

Stephania Bell, fantasy soccer analyst: 49ers over Bills. Twice the bridesmaids within the postseason in the course of the Kyle Shanahan period, the 49ers have the expertise to win all of it if their inheritor to the quarterback throne, Trey Lance, continues to develop. Josh Allen and the Payments had been a possession away from the Tremendous Bowl, and they are going to be again — however ultimately the Niners’ protection (with some incoming enhancements within the secondary) helps tip the size of their favor.

Matt Bowen, NFL analyst: Bills over 49ers. The Payments will undergo some adjustments with Ken Dorsey as the brand new offensive coordinator, however I nonetheless anticipate a quarterback-centric system designed round Josh Allen‘s high-end bodily talents. And with a protection that may restrict explosive performs, this workforce has the make-up of a championship squad.

Mike Clay, fantasy soccer author: Packers over Bills. Aaron Rodgers will return for another run and, after successful 13 regular-season video games however failing to achieve the Tremendous Bowl in three straight seasons, the Packers lastly get excessive. Naturally, Rodgers will retire after successful Tremendous Bowl MVP.

Tristan H. Cockcroft, fantasy soccer author: Bills over Cowboys. What?! The Cowboys within the Tremendous Bowl?! Think about it extra the product of a wide-open NFC in my estimation — although an Aaron Rodgers-led Packers workforce would stay powerful to wager in opposition to — nevertheless it’s the Payments who stand out as one of many sport’s most balanced total groups, with a quarterback in Josh Allen who’s an absolute famous person.

Dan Graziano, nationwide NFL author: Chiefs over Rams. The AFC is hard to select as a result of there are such a lot of good groups. The NFC is hard to select as a result of there look like so few. With out realizing who’s going to be the quarterback in locations corresponding to Inexperienced Bay, Seattle, Tampa Bay, Pittsburgh, Indianapolis, and many others., it is manner too early to evaluate who the true contenders will likely be. However as of now I will wager on Patrick Mahomes & Co. bouncing again, as a result of that seems like as protected a February wager as any.

Eric Moody, fantasy soccer author: Bills over 49ers. Josh Allen is likely one of the league’s prime dual-threat quarterbacks, Stefon Diggs is an elite huge receiver, Gabriel Davis is an up-and-comer on the precipice of a breakout season and cornerback Tre’Davious White will likely be again following an ACL tear. After dropping consecutive playoff video games to the Chiefs, the Payments will likely be extremely motivated to atone for his or her errors.

Jason Reid, senior NFL author, The Undefeated: Chiefs over Cowboys. After stewing all offseason concerning the Chiefs’ beautiful second-half collapse within the AFC Championship Sport, Patrick Mahomes will return higher than ever. Identical to they rebuilt their offensive line final offseason, the Chiefs will transfer so as to add pass-rushers this spring. Extensive receiver Mecole Hardman will lastly take an enormous step ahead to assist future Corridor of Famers Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill. For Dallas, Dak Prescott will lead a dominating offense. On protection, linebacker Micah Parsons will likely be second to none within the sport whereas taking cost of a top-five unit.

Jordan Reid, NFL draft analyst: Chiefs over Rams. With a nasty style of their mouths following a second-half collapse within the AFC Championship Sport loss to the Bengals, Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs will return on a rampage. And the Rams will make a return to the Tremendous Bowl by working it again for one more season with many of the identical gamers.

Kevin Seifert, nationwide NFL author: Bills over Packers. The Payments have been so shut the previous two years, and ESPN’s Soccer Energy Index ranked them as the perfect workforce of 2021 (whatever the final result of the playoffs). And at this second, there are many causes to assume Aaron Rodgers, Davante Adams and the remainder of the Packers’ elite gamers are headed again to Inexperienced Bay for another run at a championship.

Mike Tannenbaum, NFL front-office insider: Chiefs over Cowboys. Patrick Mahomes stays the perfect participant on the planet. The Cowboys will lastly recover from the hump by correcting their greatest downside — self-discipline — and dramatically lower down on penalties (they led the league in 2-21). Continuity will serve Dak Prescott nicely, and the Cowboys will likely be within the prime 5 within the league in offense and protection.

Seth Walder, sports activities analytics author: Chargers over Packers. That the Chargers missed the postseason hid the truth that Justin Herbert produced an impressive season. Slightly optimistic regression on protection, they usually might rapidly turn into harmful.

Subject Yates, NFL analyst: Bills over Packers. If Aaron Rodgers will not be with the Packers subsequent season, the sport adjustments, however with Rodgers below contract in Inexperienced Bay, I feel the Packers discover a solution to do sufficient to maintain the roster intact to some extent that one other profitable season is on faucet — this time with a visit to the Tremendous Bowl, the place they arrive up simply quick in opposition to the high-powered, Josh Allen-led Payments.

Who’s your choose to be subsequent season’s MVP?

Bell: Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals. Name it recency bias if you need, however there isn’t any denying the success of the Bengals’ 2021 season hinged on Burrow’s management and can to win as a lot as his play. Get the person some safety and after an offseason that will not be targeted on recovering from ACL reconstruction, we might see a fair higher yr from him.

Bowen: Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers. He had 38 landing throws final season with greater than 5,000 yards. An ascending pocket thrower with straightforward motion capability and upper-tier arm expertise, Herbert can have the numbers — and the big-game moments — to win the MVP subsequent season.

Clay: Josh Allen, QB, Bills. Allen has been prime six in Total QBR every of the previous two seasons whereas usually carrying the whole Buffalo offense with each his arm and legs. The Payments are constructed for one more title run, and that may place him for sturdy MVP consideration.

Cockcroft: Josh Allen, QB, Bills. I hate that the MVP award is boiling down to close certainty of going to a quarterback as of late, to not point out sometimes these on high-seeded contenders, however this will likely be one of the vital deserving awards amongst those that match these standards. The Payments ought to be large as a workforce, and Allen is already proper there within the dialog for greatest participant within the league. A 13-4 season (or a season in that vary) will give him excellent odds of an MVP win.

Graziano: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Broncos. That is proper — I went there. I do not know. Profitable three MVPs in a row is hard, however primarily due to voter fatigue. My prediction is that Rodgers will likely be in a brand new place, taking part in in addition to ever with Nathaniel Hackett as his coach … and that seems like a narrative voters might get behind, no?

Moody: Joe Burrow, QB, Bengals. Following a torn ACL and MCL throughout his rookie season in 2020, Burrow had a shocking 2021 season. In 2022, he ought to attain profession highs with a younger group of offensive playmakers, one other offseason to hone his craft as knowledgeable quarterback and contemporary motivation after a heartbreaking Tremendous Bowl loss.

Jason Reid: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs. Sure, Mahomes struggled early final season. Sure, he performed poorly within the second half of the AFC title sport. However he’s additionally able to overcoming seemingly insurmountable conditions with little time remaining on the sport clock. Simply ask the Payments.

Jordan Reid: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs. With minimal shifting elements exiting the constructing, Mahomes will not be glad with how final season ended. That can stay on his thoughts the whole 2022 season as he goes on to win his second MVP award.

Seifert: Josh Allen, QB, Bills. There’s motive to fret about Allen’s long-term trajectory, given the punishment that comes alongside along with his bodily taking part in type. However he completed the 2021 playoffs taking part in on the highest stage of his profession. That ought to carry into the close to future, particularly the 2022 season.

Tannenbaum: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Chiefs. He is the perfect participant within the sport and continues to be younger and ascending. The runner-up very nicely might be Justin Herbert.

Walder: Justin Herbert, QB, Chargers. I am undecided Herbert acquired the credit score he actually deserved final season, when he ranked third in QBR and second in complete EPA — forward of Aaron Rodgers. With Tom Brady retiring, age an element for Rodgers and sure regression from Buffalo’s protection, Herbert and Patrick Mahomes must be the favorites coming into the season.

Yates: Josh Allen, QB, Bills. Allen completed 2021 on a tear and is firmly entrenched within the dialog for greatest participant in all of soccer. Buffalo had a stretch of inconsistent play throughout this previous common season that saved him out of the MVP dialog, however I believe he will likely be an annual contender going ahead.

Which is probably the most attention-grabbing workforce of the offseason?

Bell: Packers. The standing of Aaron Rodgers is unknown at this level, which already makes them probably the most attention-grabbing. If he goes, it not solely impacts how the Packers look subsequent season (what does free agent Davante Adams do?), however there may be additionally a ripple impact. Clearly wherever Rodgers lands makes that workforce one to observe, however how different groups subsequently pursue expertise acquisition and trades makes them extra intriguing, too.

Bowen: Packers. Aaron Rodgers might be shifting on. And Davante Adams, the league’s greatest huge receiver, is a free agent. Matt LaFleur’s membership may need a a lot completely different look subsequent season if Rodgers and Adams are taking part in elsewhere.



Tim Hasselbeck considers Aaron Rodgers too useful for the Packers to commerce away.

Clay: Buccaneers. The Bucs have been a powerhouse since Tom Brady‘s arrival, however the GOAT’s retirement coupled with a CVS-receipt-length checklist of free brokers has severely clouded this workforce’s outlook. Discovering a solution to retain not less than just a few free brokers (Chris Godwin, Ryan Jensen, Carlton Davis, Rob Gronkowski, Jordan Whitehead, Ndamukong Suh, and many others.) might preserve them in wild-card competition, however that may not matter a lot if they do not discover their solution to a standout quarterback — a tricky activity contemplating the present obtainable choices.

Cockcroft: Broncos. They’ve each the cap house and draft capital (5 picks within the first three rounds) to mount a critical commerce pursuit of Aaron Rodgers, in addition to a brand new coach in Nathaniel Hackett who was Rodgers’ offensive coordinator the previous two seasons. How this workforce crafts itself coming into 2022 is a key story to observe unfold.

Graziano: Eagles. They’ve three first-round draft picks, and regardless of what was mentioned in a postseason information convention, can we actually understand how assured they’re in Jalen Hurts as their long-term QB reply? These three first-rounders imply the Eagles have to not less than discover the potential for buying and selling for a veteran. And if not, they usually determine to construct round Hurts, it’s going to be fascinating to observe what which means when it comes to how they allocate their offseason assets.

Moody: Broncos. Contemplating the workforce is available in the market for a franchise quarterback, and after what the Rams had been capable of accomplish with Matthew Stafford this season and the Buccaneers with Tom Brady the yr prior, the concept of Aaron Rodgers shifting to Denver is intriguing. The addition of Rodgers would make the Broncos instant Tremendous Bowl contenders as a result of they have already got offensive playmakers, corresponding to Jerry Jeudy, Courtland Sutton and Javonte Williams.

Jason Reid: Packers. It will be enjoyable watching all the twists and turns because the Packers try to please Aaron Rodgers and retain famous person huge receiver Davante Adams, who’s a free agent. Properly, enjoyable for everybody besides the Packers.

Jordan Reid: Packers. With commerce rumors of Aaron Rodgers swirling and Davante Adams set to turn into an unrestricted free agent, they’re set for an eventful offseason. Does Adams get a brand new deal or the franchise tag, or is he elsewhere?

Seifert: 49ers. Previously three seasons, the 49ers have performed in two NFC Championship Video games and one Tremendous Bowl. Quarterback Jimmy Garoppolo helped them get there in each instances. He additionally performed an enormous function in them falling in need of a championship. If reviews about their intent to maneuver on from Garoppolo are correct, it is going to be fascinating to see how they construct round presumed alternative Trey Lance — and if they’re any higher with him in 2022.

Tannenbaum: Broncos. I consider they’ll commerce for Aaron Rodgers. They may turn into the Packers West in a short time — they usually simply employed Nathaniel Hackett from Inexperienced Bay as head coach.

Walder: Vikings. The brand new regime has to make a vital choice on Kirk Cousins that’s going to set the observe for the franchise for years to come back. Do they transfer on from Cousins, hoping to seize worth for him in the trade market, and begin over at quarterback? Or recommit to him, lengthen his contract to decrease his instant cap hit and hope to win within the quick time period? It is a difficult spot with large penalties.

Yates: Steelers. For the primary time in practically twenty years, the Steelers will want a brand new beginning quarterback. In what looks like an offseason that might embrace some notable veteran trades, does Pittsburgh method the place that manner or work to draft its successor to Ben Roethlisberger?

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