Leading up to Super Bowl XLI (can you hear my wife groan in misery?), I have some final game predictions. I’m not smart enough (or nerdy enough) to know how many points any team will win by, but here is what I expect to see:

AFC Championship – Tom Brady and the New England Patriots take down Peyton Manning and the Colts. I don’t know how they do it, but the Patriots manage to make Brady look like a golden boy. The Colts are good, but we’ve seen them breakdown and I think the Pats can exploit and create Colts weaknesses.

NFC Championship – Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints have a definite edge over the Chicago Bears. The Saints don’t display much in the way of weakness. They are consistent and building confidence. Despite the improved performance of Bears’ quarterback Rex Grossman against the Seahawks, I don’t expect to see him hold up as well against a much stronger Saints defense. As we saw this past weekend, the Saints have two killer running backs – probably the best combination in the league – and a Pro Bowl quarterback.

Super Bowl XLI – I expect to see New Orleans vs. New England. Both teams deserve to win, but the edge goes here to New Orleans. The Patriots have the playoff and Super Bowl experience, but they just don’t have the consistency and strength of New Orleans. I’ll predict New Orleans by 14.

So there you have it. I pick New Orleans to go all the way. Any of the four remaining teams can win it all given the right (or wrong) circumstances. Here’s the order of most likely to become Super Bowl Champions this year:

  1. New Orleans
  2. New England
  3. Indianapolis
  4. Chicago

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