The Picks: Super Bowl XLV

By Drew Magary
|  Friday, Sep 10, 2010  |  Updated 2:00 PM EDT
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The New Orleans Saints begin defending their Super Bowl championship, starting tonight.

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It’s that time of year. Time for you folks to put your heads together and finally make your ultimate prediction for the 2010 NFL Season. Who will be playing in Cowboys Stadium this February? Get it right, and you shall be deemed a football soothsayer on par with Jimmy the Greek, or Phil Mickelson, or that octopus that picked all those World Cup games. They’ll call you “Dr. Q,” and they’ll set you up with your own Sunday morning handicapping show on Vegas public access TV! Get it wrong, and you’re still just another poor schlub, picking games like a monkey flinging his droppings at the wall. Here we go:

Peter King (Sports Illustrated): Steelers over Packers. You know what scared me about King’s reasoning for this pick? It kinda made sense. I don’t want to live in a world where Peter King makes salient points. It scares me.

Bill Simmons: Colts over Falcons.

Gene Wojciechowski (ESPN): Colts over Saints. Really? A repeat Super Bowl? Is that the dullest, lamest prediction you’ve ever heard? The Super Bowl matchup has repeated itself exactly one time. Way to be a student of history, kid.

Sixteen ESPN Experts: Every year, ESPN brings together 16 people to make Super Bowl predictions, and every year those 16 people make the blandest, least varied predictions possible. It’s a wide open year, yet between those 16 experts only five teams were picked to win it all (Dallas, Green Bay, Indy, Baltimore, New Orleans). Six of them picked the Colts. Four apiece took the Ravens and Packers. Only two went “out on a limb” and picked Dallas or the Saints to repeat, which isn’t a bold choice at all. Come on, man!

Bodog: Colts, Packers, Saints (all 8/1 odds).

Closing My Eyes And Pointing Randomly At The Team Logos On NFL.com: Steelers vs. Vikings. NOT BAD!

The Wife: Redskins over Chargers

Me: I think there are any number of teams in league that missed the playoffs last year and could have breakout years to make it all the way to Dallas. It’s what New Orleans did last year, and it’s more the norm than not. The question is… which team?

Everyone hates Jay Cutler, but the Bears signed Julius Peppers and added a brilliant third down back in Chester Taylor. You’d be surprised what a difference two guys like that can make, even with Cutler gift-wrapping picks all day long.

And what about the Giants? They were champs two years ago, but haven’t gotten it back together since despite having excellent lines. And San Francisco plays in a dreadfully easy division, and could snag a first round bye with little to no effort.

Those are the kind of teams that could end up making every ESPN prediction look stupid and wrong. I think the team that does it is Tennessee.

They were 13-3 just two years ago, and now they have a better offense and a QB in Vince Young who could do some damage if his head is screwed on right. I say they build off of last year and make it all the way to the Big One. But they lose to the Saints. I’m bold, but I ain’t dumb. Saints over Titans.

Yours in the comments. Get ready. Your first NFL weekend of the year is coming up.

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