And the Super Bowl winner is…

“Winning a football game isn’t a matter of life or death…
it’s actually more important than that”
- Unknown

As the leaves change colors it becomes increasingly important, especially among men, that we are able to argue and predict who will win the Super Bowl as early as possible.

Women of course, don’t really care much about football, even though they might fake it once in awhile, but in reality, they don’t really understand why 11 people, standing together, would wear the same outfit to work on the same day.

However, the male species cares greatly about football, and the ability to predict future outcomes in the NFL, carries a certain cache with men of all ages. It’s a fact as sure as the sun rises in the east.

But, it’s not so easy. Things change. Teams that start out strong often fade, and vice-versa. Last year at this time, the Denver Broncos and the NY Giants were undefeated. How’d that work out? For the time being, Tennessee was winless, but rallied furiously over the last 2-months falling just short of the playoffs.

Meanwhile, the Saints and Colts were head and shoulders above everybody, and the chasm between the NFL haves and have-not's was wide. The cream rose to the top, and stayed there.This year, not so much… But, I still trust my eyes, they tell me a lot. Even though the divide between the elite and the bottom-feeders is not as pronounced as it’s been in recent years, I believe there are only (6) teams that can win the Super Bowl.

And the rest?

Fuggetaboutit, they’re pretenders. In the AFC, three teams, because of their defenses, are for real. And in the NFC, three teams, because of their quarterbacks, are also for real.

Let’s start with the Baltimore Ravens. Ray Lewis is this generation’s Lawrence Taylor. When Ed Reed returns in 3-weeks, memories of 2001 will start to emerge. They make the list.

Pittsburgh gets Big Ben back this week, but even without him, their defense, led by Troy Polamalu has been absolutely stifling. The Steelers were on hiatus last year, but they’re back in a big way now. Add to them to your list also.

Rounding out the list are the NY Jets. Led by Rex Ryan, the architect of the aforementioned 2001 Baltimore Raven World Champion defense, they have lived up to their billing. I could care less about Revis Island, simply look at his supporting cast. They say 2/3 of the world is covered by water? The rest is covered by the NY Jet defense.

One of these three teams will represent the AFC in the Super Bowl. Book it.

In the NFC, I still like Brett Favre and the Minnesota Vikings. Soon, he’ll get Sidney Rice back, and he’s starting to get used to life without Chester Taylor. Meanwhile, Randy Moss is a load-in-the-shorts, but he wants a ring. So does Favre. Owner Ziggy Wilf gave him $20 million reasons to deliver the goods. Don’t go to sleep on the Vikings.

Next on the NFC list are the New Orleans Saints. You heard me right. They’re a shell of the team you saw last Feb 8th, but once Reggie Bush, Pierre Thomas and Darren Sharper return, they’ll rally big, late in the season, and still manage to win 10-games. Meanwhile, Drew Brees is alive and well. Never, ever count this man out. The SD Chargers did back in 2005, how’d that work out?

Completing the list are the NY Football Giants. Why does everybody make fun of Eli Manning? Is it the dorky look on his face? Now that he’s below the radar again, and he’s found a new star connection with Hakeem Nix, he’s already started making the type of plays that compliment their solid running game, and move the chains. If you don’t think he’s proficient, you’d be wrong, just ask Rodney Harrison.

By the way did you notice that the three QB’s on the NFC list have all won Super Bowls? That matters. That’s it. These 6 are for real, and as far as the other 26 teams? Thank you for your participating in the 2010 NFL Season.

Why these Six Finalists? I trust my eyes, they tell me a lot. The AFC teams boast defenses that are unbreakable, while the NFC boasts three QB’s that won’t be denied.

One of these six teams will win Super Bowl XXIV in Dallas, there’s no doubt in my mind. And it should be noted, the AFC teams with the great defenses also have capable quarterbacks, and the NFC teams with the top-flight quarterbacks have excellent defenses as well.

So, even though we are still over 3-months away from the Super Bowl, my man card is secure given these bold predictions. Then again as the great Dennis Miller might say, “It’s just my opinion, I could be wrong.”

(c) 2010 BernieFratto.com