• Patrick Mahomes for MVP: Josh Allen has been too careless with the football and has a potentially concerning injury, and voters are too aware of how much of the Dolphins' success is driven by people other than Tua Tagovailoa.
• Sam takes the Eagles for his Super Bowl pick: Philly has the most well-rounded team in the game and has the potential to put it to anybody in a one-off encounter.
• Steve picks the Chiefs to come out of the AFC: Buffalo was his preseason pick but much depends on Josh Allen’s health and the Bills' ability to bounce back from disappointment against the New York Jets.
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SAM MONSON Picks
Not much is changing from the current status quo. I think the 49ers will still overhaul Seattle atop the NFC West, but it’s getting harder the more Geno Smith and the Seahawks win. I also like Miami to sneak past Buffalo if QB Josh Allen has to miss time with his elbow injury.
STEVE PALAZZOLO Picks
The toughest divisions to peg are the AFC North and NFC East. The Ravens look like a better team than the Cincinnati Bengals in the AFC North. The Eagles are the most complete team in the NFL this season, and there’s no reason for them to slow down. The Los Angeles Chargers are lurking in the AFC West but not enough to challenge the Chiefs.
AFC & NFC Champions
SAM MONSON picks: Buffalo Bills & Philadelphia Eagles
The Bills still have the best top-to-bottom roster in the AFC if they can keep Josh Allen healthy. They’ve shown they can get past the Chiefs if needed and have the roster to do it even if they need to go on the road.
At this point, the Eagles are likely to walk to the best record in the NFC, given their remaining schedule. The conference isn’t as strong as the AFC, so it’s hard to see them running into a better team in the playoffs.
Steve Palazzolo picks: Kansas City Chiefs & Philadelphia Eagles
The Chiefs have answered many of their offseason questions surrounding their offense. They’ve certainly gone through lulls of mediocrity, but every offense has had similar issues this season. The Bills were my preseason pick, and they’ll be right in the mix, but much depends on Josh Allen’s health and their ability to bounce back from disappointment against the New York Jets.
Philadelphia can win in all phases, and that versatility should do them well down the stretch. Wide receiver A.J. Brown has changed the dynamic of that offense and unlocked QB Jalen Hurts’ potential, so look for the Eagles to remain strong — much like they were during their title run in 2017.
Super Bowl Champion
SAM MONSON picks: Philadelphia Eagles
The Eagles and Bills were my Super Bowl picks before the season, and they both look good. The Eagles have the most well-rounded team in the game and have the potential to put it to anybody in a one-off encounter.
The Chiefs have proven they can move the ball effectively without Tyreek Hill, and Mahomes is playing his best ball since late 2020. That will be enough to earn the Chiefs their second Lombardi Trophy under head coach Andy Reid.
2022 NFL MVP
SAM MONSON picks: QB PATRICK MAHOMES, Kansas City Chiefs
When in doubt, always default to Mahomes. Josh Allen has been too careless with the football and has a potentially concerning injury, and voters are too aware of how much of the Dolphins' success is driven by people other than Tua Tagovailoa.
STEVE PALAZZOLO picks: QB PATRICK MAHOMES, Kansas City Chiefs
Mahomes has answered the questions concerning Tyreek Hill’s impact on that offense, and the star QB has been the driver for another elite offensive unit in Kansas City. The combination of elite play and high-volume expectations will give Mahomes the edge in the MVP race.