Writers for Sports Illustrated’s MMQB went through an interesting exercise on Friday: predicting which NFL teams will win Super Bowls in the next five years.
The most popular answer they gave? The Kansas City Chiefs.
Ten MMQB writers made predictions: Mitch Goldich, Gary Gramling, Jonathan Jones, Kalyn Kahler, Robert Klemko, Bette Marston, Mark Mravic, Conor Orr, Tim Rohan and Jenny Vrentas.
Eight of the ten — all but Marston and Orr — predicted the Chiefs will win at least one Super Bowl in the next five seasons. Of those who did, all but Klemko and Mravic thought the Chiefs would win two Super Bowls.
The MMQB writers also think the New England Patriots will continue to be in the mix during the next five Februarys. All but Goldich, Gramling and Rohan think the Patriots will win at least one Super Bowl. Marston thinks New England will win two, while Orr thinks the Patriots will win three.
Of course, Orr also thinks the New Pangea Polar Bears — an expansion franchise — will win a championship between now and 2024. Go figure.
As the Goldich noted up front, making predictions five years in advance is tricky at best.
A lot can happen in five years. Do you remember February 2014? Super Bowl XLVIII? The Seahawks beat the Broncos 43-8, the copycat league was obsessing over how to build a defense like Seattle’s, Eddie Lacy had just won Offensive Rookie of the Year in Green Bay and the Texans were on the clock with the No. 1 overall pick.
Just the same, some of what they said is fascinating, and worth considering.
GOLDICH: Like everyone else, I’m looking at quarterbacks first and foremost. I think Patrick Mahomes is going to be the best in the league over the next five years, and given the other pieces around him, I put the Chiefs down for two. Most five-year stretches in Super Bowl history include a repeat winner, so I’d put my money on them. I also believe in the cores around Andrew Luck and Carson Wentz and trust those front offices to build Super Bowl winners around them.
One of them thinks Jon Gruden’s $100 million contract will pay off.
GRAMLING: The Las Vegas Raiders are your Super Bowl LVIII champs, with a roster that includes zero players who were on the 2018 team. A five-year tanking process and the continued absurdity of the rookie wage scale allows them to load up the roster with cheap, elite young talent (Super Bowl MVP Tua Tagovailoa!), and inspires a league-wide epidemic of cynical tanking.
Another — not the only one — is all-in on John Dorsey in Cleveland.
KLEMKO: My deep, deep projection is the Browns. John Dorsey is the NFL’s best roster builder in my opinion, and with the combination of Baker Mayfield and a fan base finally reaping the rewards of its loyalty in the dormant years, that team will be riding an emotional high for the next decade.
Of course, there has to be somebody picking the Chargers. Here’s one of them.
ROHAN: Call me a softie, but I say Philip Rivers breaks through and wins one Super Bowl before he retires. The supporting cast around him is just too good, and if the Chargers continue drafting well, it’ll only get better.
Many of the writers spoke mostly in terms of quarterbacks — which isn’t surprising. One predicted that after Brady’s retirement, the Patriots would win another championship with Belichick coaching Jacoby Brissett or Jimmy Garoppolo. Yet nobody picked the Green Bay Packers to win one with Aaron Rodgers.
Few of the writers believe the Los Angeles Rams are building a dynasty. Only three picked the Rams to win a championship in the next half-decade, but four think the Philadelphia Eagles will win another championship; after the Chiefs and Patriots, the Eagles were the most popular choice.
So this is really long-range stuff, but it’s still cool to see some recognition for what the Chiefs have accomplished, and the success that may lie before them.