Season Predictions

Super Bowl LVI predictions: Chiefs vs. 49ers in L.A.?

With the 2021 NFL season just around the corner, our analysts predict which teams will compete for -- and capture -- the Lombardi Trophy at Super Bowl LVI on February 13, 2022, in Inglewood, California.

NOTE: All betting lines -- listed alongside each team -- are courtesy of Caesars Sports Book and are current as of 10 a.m. ET on Friday, Sept. 3.

Which team will win Super Bowl LVI?

Rank
1
Kansas City Chiefs
Kansas City Chiefs
11 votes · +500

Brian Baldinger: Chiefs over Buccaneers. With the sting of last year's Super Bowl loss still weighing heavy, Andy Reid, Patrick Mahomes and Co. are on a mission. They blaze through the postseason and exact revenge on Tom Brady's Bucs on the game's biggest stage. This time, the Chiefs' overhauled offensive line proves to be the difference. 


Judy Battista: Chiefs over Packers. Aaron Rodgers finally gets back to the Super Bowl, but in a high-scoring game, the Packers can't overcome a rebuilt offensive line protecting Patrick Mahomes


Jeremy Bergman: Chiefs over Packers. This Super Bowl I rematch (same teams, same locale) will rival Eagles-Patriots for highest-scoring title game, with Patrick Mahomes running to the end zone -- not for his life -- capturing his second Lombardi in three tries.


Gil Brandt: Chiefs over Buccaneers. Unlike last year, Patrick Mahomes will be fully healthy and well protected. With an improved defense, too, the Chiefs avenge their Super Bowl LV loss to the Bucs.


Chase Goodbread: Chiefs over Rams. In his third straight trip to the big one, Patrick Mahomes gets the pass protection he didn't get against the Bucs last year. It'll take a shootout to beat Matt Stafford.


DeAngelo Hall: Chiefs over Buccaneers. We get a repeat of the league's top two teams. This time, Patrick Mahomes takes down the G.O.A.T. behind a revamped offensive line, avenging last year's Super Bowl loss.


Dan Hanzus: Chiefs over Rams. The pairing of Sean McVay and Matthew Stafford proves to be a smashing success, but even an excellent Rams defense cannot figure out Patrick Mahomes, who follows up his second NFL MVP award with another Super Bowl MVP.


Shaun O'Hara: Chiefs over Packers. Mahomes torches the AFC once again and gets a better performance from his offensive line to steal another Lombardi from Titletown, while Rodgers has another stellar postseason only to see his defense fail him again. His future is in Jeopardy!


Scott Pioli: Chiefs over Buccaneers. The Chiefs are still the most talented and fastest team in the league. They won't allow the Bucs to get the best of them two years in a row.


Chad Reuter: Chiefs over Packers. This is a rematch of Super Bowl I, which was also played in Los Angeles. Both teams will "matriculate the ball down the field" to honor the late Hank Stram, but this time, the Chiefs come out on top.


Marc Ross: Chiefs over Buccaneers. The Chiefs and Bucs become only the second pairing in NFL history to face off in back-to-back Super Bowls, joining the Cowboys and Bills (Super Bowls XXVII and XXVIII). Behind his revamped and rejuvenated offensive line, Mahomes adds to his résumé and takes top-dog status from TB12. 

Rank
2
San Francisco 49ers
San Francisco 49ers
Five votes · +1400

Kevin Patra: 49ers over Bills. No rookie QB has ever made it to a Super Bowl. That all changes, and then some. With Trey Lance unleashed in Kyle Shanahan's offense, the Niners blast past the Bills in a shootout that leaves Buffalo once again a game shy in the Lombardi quest.


Adam Rank: 49ers over Browns: People seem to forget how good the 49ers were in 2019, when they were last fully operational. Now they are back to avenge their previous Lombardi loss. Tough for the Browns, whose first Super Bowl Sunday ends in defeat.


Gregg Rosenthal: 49ers over Ravens. Trey Lance becomes the first rookie quarterback to lead his team to a Super Bowl title after Fred Warner tips Lamar Jackson's potential game-winning throw at the buzzer.


Marc Sessler: 49ers over Bills. Kyle Shanahan's season-long, on-field sea poem -- captained by electric rookie Trey Lance -- crescendos with a dominant offensive showing (250-plus ground yards) against a heartbroken Bills squad at uber-fancy SoFi.


Lance Zierlein: 49ers over Chiefs. Kyle Shanahan exacts revenge against the Chiefs in a Super Bowl and finally brings home the Lombardi with touchdowns from both Jimmy Garoppolo and Trey Lance

Rank
T-3
Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills
Three votes · +1200

Gennaro Filice: Bills over 49ers: San Francisco comes on like a freight train in the back half of the season, with rookie Trey Lance supplanting Jimmy Garoppolo to make sweet music in Kyle Shanahan's orchestra. But the beat stops on Super Bowl Sunday, when the Josh Allen project realizes its full potential, giving the Bills their first Lombardi Trophy.


Adam Schein: Bills over Rams. Josh Allen and Sean McDermott lead Buffalo to its first-ever Lombardi Trophy, and Allen delivers on his promise from my SiriusXM Radio show to jump through a table lit on fire, mega Bills Mafia style.


Matt Smith: Bills over Packers. Josh Allen follows up an MVP campaign with a Super Bowl victory, while Aaron Rodgers and the Packers realize they're a perfect pair and decide to run it back (despite the loss) for years to come.

Rank
T-3
Los Angeles Rams
Los Angeles Rams
Three votes · +1400

Brooke Cersosimo: Rams over Bills. Matthew Stafford deserves more recognition for what he's done in his career so far. In 2021, he provides his best campaign to date by earning the league MVP award before guiding the Rams to a Super Bowl LVI victory and being named game MVP. Long an afterthought in Detroit, Stafford's résumé is now under the lights and on the cusp of a Canton bid. 


Marcas Grant: Rams over Chiefs. Matthew Stafford reaches football Valhalla in a high-scoring contest between two of the NFL's top offensive minds.


Maurice Jones-Drew: Rams over Chiefs. This game is all about points -- and not just on the offensive side of the ball. The Rams secure their second Lombardi Trophy after Aaron Donald achieves the trifecta, with a strip-sack fumble-return touchdown late in the fourth.

Rank
T-3
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Three votes · +650

Ali Bhanpuri: Buccaneers over Browns. After a grueling, decades-long journey, the Browns finally reach the NFL’s mountaintop only to find the wily dragon waiting for them to be even more cunning and dangerous than ever before. Tom Brady crushes yet another young upstart’s football dream, becoming the first QB ever to go back-to-back with two different teams. Meanwhile, the Bucs become the all-time example of the age-old adage: If it ain’t broke …


Jeffri Chadiha: Buccaneers over Browns. The Browns finally reach the Super Bowl, but they can't handle a Tampa Bay team that is too talented and experienced. Tom Brady gets his eighth ring.


Dan Parr: Buccaneers over Chiefs. Repeating isn't easy. But neither is winning a title as a 43-year-old quarterback with a bad knee after an abbreviated offseason in your first year with a new team, and Brady just did that. Doing it all over again might be too tall an order -- the Chiefs should be better up front on offense than they were last season -- but I'm not going to pick against the G.O.A.T.

Rank
6
Green Bay Packers
Green Bay Packers
Two votes · +1400

Tom Blair: Packers over Chiefs: Aaron Rodgers makes all the offseason drama worth it with his second ring. Patrick Mahomes begins to really pull for a youth movement in the NFC.


Nick Shook: Packers over Browns. Cleveland builds on last year's success and sprints to the Super Bowl, but can't outgun Aaron Rodgers and the Packers.

Rank
T-7
Cleveland Browns
Cleveland Browns
One vote · +1600

Joe Thomas: Browns over Buccaneers. In a shootout, Baker Mayfield hands the city of Cleveland its first Super Bowl victory behind a 250-yard, three-TD passing effort.

Rank
T-7
Las Vegas Raiders
Las Vegas Raiders
One vote · +8000

David Carr: Raiders over Rams. The Rams are so overcome with being the second team in as many years to play in a Super Bowl in their own stadium that they overlook the mighty Raiders. The Black Hole travels well and packs SoFi Stadium to help push Jon Gruden's group to a 35-24 win.

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