KANSAS CITY — I’m picking a Chiefs-Saints Super Bowl. I’m picking the team that lost the coin toss and never touched the ball in overtime of January’s AFC Championship Game versus the team that got jobbed on the pass-interference non-call in the NFC Championship Game. Let’s call the 54th Super Bowl the Fairness Super Bowl.
It’s a rarity though, seeing the losers of the two title games one year make the big game the next year. Only twice in 53 Super Bowls have the two championship-game losers (or AFL and NFL title games a half-century ago) met the following year in the Super Bowl. But I saw both teams in August, and there’s not a lot to dislike about either team. Both are better than they were last January, and neither seems to carry the weight of painful losses into this season. “No hangover here,” Saints defensive end Cameron Jordan told me. “Nobody here feels stuff like that.”
My AFC picks and playoff seeds:
1. Kansas City
3. New England
5. LA Chargers
My NFC picks and playoff seeds:
1. New Orleans
3. LA Rams
4. Green Bay
6. San Francisco
Only three new playoff teams (Steelers, Packers, 49ers), which is light; in the last three years, there have been six, seven and seven new postseason teams, respectively. So I’ll be wrong there.
AFC title game, Jan. 19, 2020, at Kansas City: Chiefs 27, Patriots 25.
NFC title game, Jan. 19, 2020, at New Orleans: Saints 30, Eagles 23.
Super Bowl 54, at Miami Gardens, Fla.: Kansas City 37, New Orleans 27.
A few awards:
MVP: Patrick Mahomes, QB, Kansas City — 2. Carson Wentz, QB, Philadelphia; 3. Jacoby Brissett, QB, Indianapolis.
Offensive player: Mahomes — 2. Ezekiel Elliott, RB, Dallas; 3. DeAndre Hopkins, WR, Houston.
Defensive player: Aaron Donald, DT, Rams — 2. Cameron Jordan, DE, New Orleans; 3. Khalil Mack, LB, Chicago.
Coach: Andy Reid, Kansas City — 2. Frank Reich, Indianapolis; 3. Kyle Shanahan, San Francisco.