June 14, 2024 11:00am

If Patrick Mahomes doesn't win the next Super Bowl, who will?

There is a rivalry developing between Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow

Photo of Rick Gosselin
NFL Correspondent

Patrick Mahomes has won the last two Super Bowls and three of the last five. He can’t win championships forever.

So in this month’s NFL Power Poll, we asked our panel of former players, coaches, officials, talent evaluators, writers and broadcasters to predict which of these five franchise quarterbacks would be the next to win a Super Bowl – Joe Burrow, Jared Goff, Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson or Jalen Hurts.

All five of the quarterbacks received votes – but Burrow received the most. The Cincinnati quarterback received 51 of the 145 votes cast, followed by Jackson with 45, Goff with 29, Hurts with 12 and Herbert with 8.

Burrow, Goff, Hurts and Jackson have all played in conference championship games and both Burrow and Goff have played in Super Bowls. Burrow and Goff have lost conference championship games to Mahomes and the Kansas City Chiefs and Hurts has lost a Super Bowl to them.

“A healthy Joe Burrow has the skills and poise to help the Bengals dethrone the Chiefs,” said Hall-of-Fame voter Ira Kaufman of JoeBucsFan.com. “The confidence he exudes lifts every Bengal player and Cincinnati is the only AFC team to defeat KC in the playoffs since the 2019 season.”

Burrow and the Bengals defeated the Chiefs in the AFC title game in Kansas City in 2021, then lost to the Chiefs in the 2022 AFC title game. But there was no rematch in 2023 because Burrow tore ligaments in his wrist in the fifth game and spent the rest of the season on injured reserve.

Goff lost a Super Bowl with the Los Angeles Rams to Tom Brady and the Patriots and then lost an NFC title game last season to Brock Purdy and the San Francisco 49ers. So he’s been close to a ring.

“I picked Goff because he wouldn't have to go through Mahomes until the Super Bowl,” said Bruce Castleberry, the sports editor of the Boston Herald.

Added Wayne Larrivee, the radio voice of the Green Bay Packers: “This might be the year for the Lions and Goff is a big reason why. Ben Johnson didn’t stick around as offensive coordinator for anything less than a Super Bowl. We shall see.”

But even Hurts had his supporters.

“It isn’t ALWAYS about the quarterbacks,” said Hall-of-Fame voter Barry Wilner. “Should anyone dethrone the Chiefs this season, it needs to be a deep, well-rounded and versatile team with a top quarterback as a key element. That would be the Eagles, whose offseason moves have made them the top contender. The main question is if Philadelphia implodes again — or is motivated by its flop in December and January last season.”

In our second question, we asked which free-agent signing would have the biggest impact on his team this season and we offered up seven options: running backs Saquon Barkley (Philadelphia) and Josh Jacobs (Green Bay), quarterback Kirk Cousins (Atlanta), edge rusher Danielle Hunter (Houston), defensive tackle D.J. Reader (Detroit), linebacker Patrick Queen (Pittsburgh) and offensive tackle Tyron Smith (NY Jets).

Cousins was the runaway winner with 57 votes, followed by Barkley with 36, Hunter with 17, Jacobs with 13, Reader and Smith with five apiece and Queen with 4.

Cousins went to the Pro Bowl in both 2021 and 2022 but his 2023 season ended after eight weeks with a torn Achilles tendon. He passed for 4,000 yards in seven of his last eight healthy seasons and threw a career high 35 touchdown passes in 2020 with the Vikings.

Hunter was the interesting choice because of who signed him – the AFC South champion Houston Texans. He collected 16 ½ sacks last season and led the NFL with 23 tackles for losses.

“Houston has a lot of pieces in place and a good edge rusher might put them over the top,” said former Hall-of-Fame voter Vito Stellino.

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About Power Poll: Power Poll asks questions of significant key players in American sports today. It's member list draws on people from media, team management, and league management. It is not a scientific survey, but the results afford a fascinating glimpse into the thoughts, opinions, and beliefs of those who know most about the sport.

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