NFL Super Bowl XLIV - February 7, 2010

During last year’s season, I posted a lot of NFL predictions, looking at each and every game for each and every week of play. I chose not to do that this year, but I do want to voice my opinion as to who I think will make the playoffs and who I think will hoist the Vince Lombardi Trophy as the winner of Super Bowl XLIV.

These football picks are based partly on who I think will win, but the predictions are also heavily influenced by who I want to win too. As a result, I know that there are at least a couple of Beyond the Rhetoric readers who will immediately disagree. That’s fine. I encourage you to share your own predictions through the comment form at the bottom of this page.

So, who’s going to win Super Bowl XLIV in February?

NFC Championship: Green Bay Packers vs. New Orleans Saints

When Brett Favre decided to “retire” and leave Lambeau Field for good, it was anyone’s guess where the Green Bay Packers organization would go. Based on the performance by Aaron Rodgers last year, it seemed like they could be on an upward swing and this momentum has carried into the current 2009-2010 season. The Packers are doing quite well and it looks like they’ll be riding a hot streak into the playoffs.

The trade that brought Drew Brees to New Orleans was a monumental one and it looks like the superstar quarterback is easily in the running for the MVP award. Call it sentimentality, but seeing this organization rise above the damage of Hurricane Katrina is something special too. It certainly helps that they are undefeated too, thus far.

Between these two, I’m giving the NFC championship to the Saints.

AFC Championship: Cincinnati Bengals vs. Indianapolis Colts

The AFC side of the equation has proven to be quite interesting too. For many years, the football team in Cincinnati was better known as the “Bungles” due to their absolute ineptitude. Something changed. Barring a last second surge by the Baltimore Ravens, the Bengals should be able to take the AFC North division title. Maybe it’s because Chad Johnson got to change his name to Chad Ochocinco. He may have a giant ego and many people may dislike him, but you’ve got to love that passion to win.

Yes, the Indianapolis Colts and Peyton Manning overcame their playoff curse three seasons ago and it looks like they’re coming back for seconds. While some of the wins this year have been by the hair on their chinny-chin-chins, the Colts seem to find a way to win. Going through the AFC championship game, I foresee the Colts remaining undefeated.

Super Bowl: Indianapolis Colts vs. New Orleans Saints

This could be a bit of a dream Super Bowl for me, because it will clearly be one for the record books. If the Colts and Saints indeed meet one another in the big game, that could mean that they have been undefeated throughout the season with only one of the teams facing its first loss at Super Bowl XLIV. Remember that the New York Giants beat the New England Patriots a couple of years ago, ending the undefeated run of the Pats.

With two of the best quarterbacks in the league, this matchup could prove to be an offensive firefight. And that’s certainly a lot more fun to watch than a defensively-minded chess game. Since the Colts already hoisted the trophy once already, I want to see Super Bowl XLIV go to the Saints of New Orleans.

Champion: New Orleans Saints

What do you think? Who will win Super Bowl XLIV?