Your 2010 NFL Super Bowl Champion Is...? Predicting the Top Four Candidates

Bryan DietzlerSenior Analyst IJune 10, 2010

NEW ORLEANS - FEBRUARY 09: New Orleans Saints Quarterback Drew Brees #9 celebrates during the New Orleans Saints Super Bowl XLIV Victory Parade on February 9, 2010 in New Orleans, Louisiana. (Photo by Skip Bolen/Getty Images)
Skip Bolen/Getty Images

While it may seem a little bit too early to ask a question like this, it’s never too early to start speculating which teams will be in the Super Bowl at the end of the 2010 season.

Even though training camp hasn’t started, we can still try to predict who will do what and how far they will go.

Indianapolis and New Orleans, the two participants in last year’s Super Bowl, will surely be mentioned as the two favorites heading into the 2010 season, and why not? They both haven’t experienced a lot of change this offseason, so it’s natural to think that they will be involved in the hunt for the championship next season.

But they won’t make it back to the big dance. There will be at least four other teams that could end up playing in the Super Bowl next season. 

The question is, which four teams will play for the right to compete in the Super Bowl, and which team will be the next NFL champion?

Minnesota Vikings

All indications point to the fact that quarterback Brett Favre is going to be back for another season, so the Vikings should be in pretty good shape heading into the 2010 season. They have improved in several different phases this offseason and could give the rest of the NFC fits when making a run for the Super Bowl. This team looks good and could represent the NFC in the NFL championship.

Green Bay Packers

Yes, it’s hard to believe that we could have two potential Super Bowl participants coming out of the NFC North, but the Packers, like the Vikings, have done a good bit to improve themselves during the offseason, and with the way things are looking in the NFC, they could end up running the table. As long as the Packers don’t take a step back, they could take a step forward into the Super Bowl.

Baltimore Ravens

Many people don’t understand just how big the acquisition of Anquan Boldin was for the Ravens. They now have the dimension that was missing for much of the season last year, and that’s the passing game. With that, and with their strong running game, the Ravens now have an offense to keep the pressure off their defense. This could be the team to beat in the AFC next season.

New York Jets

The New York Jets had a pretty strong finish to the season last year, and they have only improved themselves this offseason. As long as quarterback Mark Sanchez can keep this team on the right track on offense and the defense doesn’t suffer a letdown, this team could be poised to take the next step next season.

So who are my favorites to represent the NFC and the AFC in the Super Bowl in 2010? Looking at all of these teams right now, the two that appear to be the most prepared and able to accomplish this feat are the Baltimore Ravens and the (with Favre) Minnesota Vikings.

The Ravens, barring any kind of serious injury at any of the skill positions, are very close to becoming one of the better teams in the AFC.

The Vikings, with a healthy Favre, will be hard to beat. The Packers will give them some problems, as will the Cowboys, but for now it’s hard to imagine that the Vikings won’t be the odds-on favorite to make the Super Bowl in the NFC next season. If Favre decides not to return to Minnesota, then this team will take a couple steps down and will miss the Super Bowl and quite possibly miss the playoffs.

We all know how hard it is to repeat as AFC and NFC champions, and while both the Colts and the Saints are fully capable of doing this, the odds are stacked against them. With the four teams we just outlined getting better, both the Colts and Saints could be sitting at home next Super Bowl Sunday.


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