NFL Midseason Predictions 2019: Playoff Picks, Super Bowl Champ, Awards Winners

With nine games worth of information—every team has hit the halfway mark— The MMQB’s writers and editors revisit their preseason playoff and award predictions and take another shot at picking who will play for it all in Miami in February.
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Russell Wilson, Stephon Gilmore, Christian McCaffrey, Nick Bosa

A handful of teams have risen to the top of their respective divisions over the first nine games of the 2019 NFL season—the Patriots, 49ers and Saints, to name a few—but who will keep it up come January? Can the Colts, after losing Andrew Luck before the start of the season, reach the postseason? Can we expect the Patriots to play in their fifth Super Bowl in six seasons?

Below, The MMQB makes their playoff, Super Bowl and award picks.

ALBERT BREER

AFC
1. Patriots
2. Chiefs
3. Ravens
4. Texans
5. Bills
6. Colts

NFC
1. Saints
2. 49ers
3. Vikings
4. Eagles
5. Packers
6. Seahawks

SUPER BOWL LIV: Saints over Patriots

The toughest call here was determining whether the Eagles or the Cowboys will win the NFC East—and I’m going with Philadelphia for two reasons. One, because the Cowboys’ schedule is a bear from here on out. The next layup they have is in Week 17 against the Redskins. The second reason is because I picked the Eagles to win the Super Bowl in the preseason. I’m not sticking to that, but I did feel like I should put them in the playoffs, given that.

MVP: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
Offensive Player of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
Defensive Player of the Year: Myles Garrett, DE, Browns
Offensive Rookie of the Year: Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
Defensive Rookie of the Year: Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers
Comeback Player of the Year: Travis Frederick, OL, Cowboys
Coach of the Year: Kyle Shanahan, 49ers

* * *

ANDREW BRANDT

1. Patriots
2. Ravens
3. Chiefs
4. Texans
5. Bills
6. Chargers

NFC
1. 49ers
2. Packers
3. Saints
4. Eagles
5. Vikings
6. Seahawks

SUPER BOWL LIV: Packers over Patriots

I am going to hold off on recency bias, as my Super Bowl teams just lost, yet admittedly retain my Packer bias. Despite Green Bay‘s dud of a game in Los Angeles on Sunday, I see them as the best team in the NFC having won games with defense, without their best receiver, with the NFL's most improved player (Aaron Jones) and the league's best quarterback. The Patriots are, well, the Patriots, although they feasted on a weaker schedule in the first half of the season. I think the AFC has only three playoff-caliber teams—Patriots, Chiefs, Ravens—while the NFC has seven: these six plus the Rams. Teams on the rise in the season's second half include the Eagles, Vikings and Chargers. Teams on the decline: Cowboys (common, they lost to the Jets), Colts and 49ers (slightly). And in February, the football Gods will give us Brady and Rodgers, where the Packers will prevail on yet another "omg" play from Rodgers. And yes, as to personal bias: guilty.

MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
OPOY: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
OROY: Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
DPOY: Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots
DROY: Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers
COMEBACK: Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
COACH: Matt LaFleur, Packers

* * *

BETTE MARSTON

AFC
1. Patriots
2. Chiefs
3. Ravens
4. Texans
5. Bills
6. Colts

NFC
1. 49ers
2. Saints
3. Packers
4. Cowboys
5. Seahawks
6. Eagles

SUPER BOWL LIV: Saints over Patriots

In the preseason, I picked the Saints to beat the Patriots in the Super Bowl, and I see no reason to change that after nine games this season. Both teams have proven to be among the top three in the league (check out our midseason NFL power rankings poll), and with Drew Brees back—ahead of schedule!—from his broken thumb and playing behind a stout offensive line, you can’t go wrong. Also, it’s an even-numbered Super Bowl, which means the Patriots can’t win it, obviously.

MVP: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
OPOY: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
DPOY: Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots
OROY: Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
DPOY: Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers
COMEBACK: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
COACH: Kyle Shanahan, 49ers

* * *

CONOR ORR

AFC
1. Patriots
2. Ravens
3. Chiefs
4. Jaguars
5. Bills
6. Colts

NFC
1. 49ers
2. Packers
3. Saints
4. Eagles
5. Seahawks
6. Vikings

SUPER BOWL LIV: Seahawks over Patriots

I just want everyone to know that I picked the Seahawks as Super Bowl champions before the Jadeveon Clowney trade and Russell Wilson to win MVP before everyone else. Everyone. This is my pick and my team and no one else is allowed to take the credit for this. The NFC playoff field is brutal, but it’ll get weird down the stretch. And when things get weird, you call Pete Carroll.

MVP: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
OPOY: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
DPOY: Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots
OROY: Gardner Minshew, QB, Jaguars
DROY: Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers
COMEBACK: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
COACH: John Harbaugh, Ravens

* * *

GARY GRAMLING

AFC
1. Patriots
2. Chiefs
3. Ravens
4. Texans
5. Bills
6. Colts

NFC
1. Saints
2. 49ers
3. Vikings
4. Eagles
5. Packers
6. Seahawks

SUPER BOWL LIV: Eagles over Chiefs

The Eagles are getting right—the defense has their starting cornerbacks again, and while Ronald Darby and Jalen Mills are not world-beaters Jim Schwartz can now call the defense he wants to (you know, blitzing and all). The ground game is rolling to the point where Philly can ultimately go without the ideal deep threat that was DeSean Jackson. As for the Chiefs, they’ll have Patrick Mahomes back in January. The Andy Reid Bowl is still on! (That’s in reference to the Super Bowl matchup, not to be confused with the Andy Reid Bowl, which is thick gravy poured over ground chuck and three fistfuls of croutons, available at participating Wawa’s.)

MVP: Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
OPOY: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
DPOY: Marshon Lattimore, CB, Saints
OROY: Daniel Jones, QB, Giants
DROY: Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers
COMEBACK: Derek Carr, QB, Raiders
COACH: Sean McDermott, Bills

* * *

GREG BISHOP

AFC
1. Patriots
2. Chiefs
3. Texans
4. Ravens
5. Bills
6. Colts

NFC
1. 49ers
2. Saints
3. Packers
4. Cowboys
5. Seahawks
6. Vikings

SUPER BOWL LIV: Chiefs over Saints

I want to pick the Patriots and the 49ers here, but based on what we’ve seen through nine weeks of this season, I find New England’s offense to be problematic enough to sink a playoff game in January, giving another elite team just enough of a chance to win. The Chiefs’ record through nine weeks is misleading; they’ll soon get Patrick Mahomes back, and if he’s at close to full health, which he was clearly not even before his injury, I like Kansas City over New England in late January. I’d consider both Houston and Baltimore capable of Super Bowl runs, but I like the Chiefs, peaking at the right time, instead.

As for the NFC, I could make a case for every team except the Cowboys. The 49ers and Vikings both look balanced, but I’d worry about Jimmy Garoppolo and Kirk Cousins in the latter stages of the playoffs. Both are capable, and both have weapons, but if we’re splitting hairs here, I’m betting elsewhere. For as great as Russell Wilson has been, I don’t think the Seahawks defense can be carried into February. The Packers have now had two separate weeks at different points in the season where their offense vanished, which doesn’t bode well for consistency throughout the playoffs. All of which leaves … the Saints, their improved defense and a healthy and relatively rested Drew Brees. In a deep, fascinating conference, the bet here is on New Orleans.

MVP: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
OPOY: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
DPOY: Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots
OROY: Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
DPOY: Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers
COMEBACK: Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
COACH: Sean Payton, Saints

* * *

JENNY VRENTAS

AFC
1. Patriots
2. Chiefs
3. Ravens
4. Texans
5. Colts
6. Bills

NFC
1. Saints
2. 49ers
3. Packers
4. Eagles
5. Seahawks
6. Vikings

SUPER BOWL LIV: Patriots over Saints

I had the Patriots here before Sunday night’s loss in Baltimore, so I’m not going to overreact so much that I change it. Their offense is deficient in key areas, namely line and receivers, but Tom Brady and Josh McDaniels always seem to figure out a new groove. Drew Brees benefits from his five-week injury break and stays fresh deep into January, leading the Saints to the Super Bowl matchup they felt they were cheated out of last season.

MVP: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
OPOY: Christian McCaffrey, RB, Panthers
DPOY: Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots
OROY: Kyler Murray, QB, Cardinals
DROY: Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers
COMEBACK: Jimmy Garoppolo, QB, 49ers
COACH: Bill Belichick, Patriots

* * *

KALYN KAHLER

NFC
1. 49ers
2. Saints
3. Packers
4. Eagles
5. Seahawks
6. Vikings

AFC
1. Patriots
2. Ravens
3. Texans
4. Chiefs
5. Colts
6. Raiders

SUPER BOWL LIV: 49ers over Ravens

I think the 4-4 Raiders have a real chance to make the playoffs. Oakland been an extremely difficult team to figure out this season. One week they get dismantled by the Vikings run game and lose by double-digits, the next week they completely shut down the Bears defense and scheme Khalil Mack out of the game. Jon Gruden has created some really smart game plans that have worked his season, and Derek Carr is much improved from the quarterback that we saw struggle last season. In the win over Detroit this week, he went 20-for-31 for 289 yards and two touchdowns. Rookie running back Josh Jacobs is a real talent and tight end Darren Waller has emerged as a matchup nightmare. The defense is suspect (three of the Raiders losses have been double-digit blowouts) but the Raiders are second in the AFC West and in the mix right now.

MVP: Deshaun Watson, QB, Texans
OPOY: Lamar Jackson, QB, Ravens
DPOY: Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots
OROY: Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
DROY: Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers
COMEBACK: Dalvin Cook, RB, Vikings
COACH: Kyle Shanahan, 49ers

* * *

MITCH GOLDICH

AFC
1. Patriots
2. Chiefs
3. Ravens
4. Texans
5. Bills
6. Colts

NFC
1. 49ers
2. Packers
3. Saints
4. Eagles
5. Seahawks
6. Panthers

SUPER BOWL LIV: Packers over Chiefs

I know people hopped off the Packers’ bandwagon after they laid an egg this week against the Chargers, so consider this my attempt to buy low. It’s a long season, and everyone has a game like that, just not always three days before we have to post our predictions. The NFC is really deep, it’s almost like there are no wrong answers. I almost picked New Orleans and Seattle before landing on Green Bay. But I like what they’ve done on both sides of the ball and think they’ll be the last NFC team standing. 

And even though the AFC has looked top-heavy all year, I think any of the 2-4 seeds are capable of winning in New England. The Patriots can’t count on a defensive touchdown every single week. Put me down for Kansas City, my preseason AFC pick. They will get healthier at the right time and survive a very fun couple weeks after their conference is down to four. We were robbed of a Mahomes-Rodgers shootout on Sunday Night Football in Week 8 because of Mahomes’s injury, so let’s see it in Super Bowl LIV.

MVP: Aaron Rodgers, QB, Packers
OPOY: Russell Wilson, QB, Seahawks
DPOY: Stephon Gilmore, CB, Patriots
OROY: Josh Jacobs, RB, Raiders
DROY: Nick Bosa, DE, 49ers
COMEBACK: Cooper Kupp, WR, Rams
COACH: Kyle Shanahan, 49ers

Question or comment? Email us at talkback@themmqb.com.