Super Bowl LVI picks: Newsday writers make their predictions

If the playoffs are half as exciting as last Sunday night’s regular season finale between the Raiders and Chargers, we’re waiting. This is one of the most open NFL seasons in recent times, and with the exception of the two 7 seeds, it would not be a shock if two of the other 12 came to the big game the second Sunday in February.

So who can do it? Newsday’s football writers hit their playoffs, round by round.

JOE MANNIELLO

AFC playoffs

Wild-Card round

Kansas City over Pittsburgh

Buffalo over New England

Cincinnati over Last Vegas

Division round

Kansas City over Buffalo

Cincinnati over Tennessee

AFC Championship game

Kansas City over Cincinnati

NFC playoffs

Wild-Card round

Tampa Bay over Philadelphia

San Francisco over Dallas

Arizona over LA Rams

Division round

San Francisco over Green Bay

Tampa Bay over Arizona

NFC Championship Games

San Francisco over Tampa Bay

Super Bowl LVI prediction:

Kansas City 24, San Francisco 20: In the last month or so, I was sure I would pick a Green Bay-Kansas City Super Bowl, and the NFL would finally get its first Aaron Rodgers-Patrick Mahomes match. But it just feels so obvious, and the NFL rarely makes it obvious. Enter the 49ers, who look like a 2011 Giants team getting hot and running unexpectedly for the Super Bowl. In a rematch of Super Bowl LIV two years ago, Kansas City once again gets the best of San Francisco, where Mahomes & Co. outweighs last year’s dud against Tampa Bay.

BOB GLAUBER

AFC playoffs

Wild-Card round

Kansas City over Pittsburgh

Buffalo over New England

Cincinnati over Las Vegas

Division round

Tennessee over Cincinnati

Kansas City over Buffalo

AFC Championship game

Kansas City over Tennessee

NFC playoffs

Wild-Card round

Tampa Bay over Philadelphia

Dallas over San Francisco

LA Rams over Arizona

Division round

Green Bay over the LA Rams

Tampa Bay over Dallas

NFC Championship Games

Green Bay over Tampa Bay

Super Bowl LVI prediction

Kansas City 31, Green Bay 27: Things were not quite smooth for Kansas City, especially early in the season, and the lack of defeat of Cincinnati cost it No. 1 overall. But the road to the Super Bowl is still there and Patrick Mahomes gets the best of Aaron Rodgers in the big show.

TOM ROCK

AFC playoffs

Wild-Card round

Kansas City over Pittsburgh

Buffalo over New England

Cincinnati over Las Vegas

Division round

Tennessee over Cincinnati

Buffalo over Kansas City

AFC Championship game

Buffalo over Tennessee

NFC playoffs

Wild-Card round

Tampa Bay over Philadelphia

Dallas over San Francisco

Arizona over LA Rams

Division round

Green Bay over Arizona

Dallas over Tampa Bay

NFC Championship Games

Dallas over Green Bay

Super Bowl LVI prediction

Buffalo 24, Dallas 20: Josh Allen and the league’s best defense give New York a champion in the four major sports leagues for the first time in over a decade. Offensive coordinator Brian Daboll flies directly from the Super Bowl in Los Angeles to his inaugural press conference as the new head coach of East Rutherford.

AL IANNAZZONE

AFC playoffs

Wild-Card round

Kansas City over Pittsburgh

Buffalo over New England

Cincinnati over Las Vegas

Division round

Tennessee over Cincinnati

Kansas City over Buffalo

AFC Championship game

Kansas City over Tennessee

NFC playoffs

Wild-Card round

Tampa Bay over Philadelphia

Dallas over San Francisco

LA Rams over Arizona

Division round

Green Bay over the LA Rams

Tampa Bay over Dallas

NFC Championship Games

Green Bay over Tampa Bay

Super Bowl LVI prediction

Green Bay 34, Kansas City 24: For the second year in a row, Kansas City is running into an older quarterback who still has plenty left in the Super Bowl. Aaron Rodgers will end his controversial season by winning both the regular season MVP and the Super Bowl MVP.

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