Instant Debate

Who is now the favorite to win Super Bowl XLVI?

Heading into the playoffs, most had the Packers or the Saints as the favorite to emerge as the NFL champion. After a thrilling divisional weekend, Green Bay and New Orleans are out and left standing are the Niners, Giants, Patriots and Ravens. Which team is now the favorite to win Super Bowl XLVI?

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  • Dave Dameshek
  • Defense will win a championship

"Favorite"? At this point -- after the 15-1 defending champs lose at home to a 9-7 team and after the Steelers' No. 1 pass defense gets torched by an option QB -- is it really possible to determine a team that should win two more games? The obvious choice would seem to be the Patriots, but they have an awful defense. That may have not been an issue in the regular season, but as Green Bay and New Orleans just found out, it's a mortal flaw in this year's playoffs. As deeply skeptical of Joe Flacco as I am, I'll take the Ravens (my preseason Super Bowl pick) to get out of the AFC, where they'll meet Alex Smith and the Niners. But what do I know? I was positive no one could beat Aaron Rodgers.

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  • Steve Wyche
  • Patriots will prevent a Harbaugh reunion in Indy

The Giants are scorching hot and appear to have the momentum around them, like several of the last few NFC teams that made the Super Bowl. I still think San Francisco wins at home, though. The 49ers simply don't beat themselves and they are frighteningly physical. New England's defense is coming together and its offense has a clear identity -- that can't be said, offensively, about the Ravens. It would be great to have The Harbaugh Bowl, but Tom Brady and Bill Belichick are in the way.

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  • Jason Smith
  • QB play will determine the champion

The Patriots are now the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Whenever we look at the career of Tom Brady, we think of where it will wind up when it's all said and done, and one of the common refrains is, "he'll win one or two more Super Bowls at some point before he's through." I think this is one of those years. New England is the most dynamic team left of the final four. But more importantly, look at the last 20 NFL seasons, counting this one. Since 1993, your Super Bowl winning QBs, with the exceptions of Trent Dilfer and Brad Johnson (who both won before the current evolution of the passer) either are or are going to be Hall of Famers. Yes, I put Eli Manning in that category. So it's hard to go against that history. Now if you're choosing between Tom Brady, Manning, Joe Flacco and Alex Smith to win it all, who are you going with? Brady or Eli, right? If it's a 2007 rematch of Patriots-Giants, I'm taking Brady in the Revenge Bowl.

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  • Charles Davis NFL Network
  • Giants coming together at the right time

It's a QB-driven league, and of the final four teams left, only one has Tom Brady guiding them ... the New England Patriots. So, the answer is obvious, correct? But, the New York Giants have Eli Manning, who has been sensational in the playoffs (and has won a Super Bowl against NE before). His receivers have ascended (Hakeem Nicks!), and the Giants pass rush and D have come alive. Alex Smith and the 49ers will have plenty to say this weekend, but I'm making the Giants the new favorite.

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  • Jason La Canfora
  • Brady will avenge SB XLII defeat

I like the two best QBs left in the field to meet again in the Super Bowl. Giants versus Pats. Eli versus Brady. And this time I wonder if the outcome will be different. It would be quite a rematch and again would come down to that New York pass rush making Tom Brady squirm. The Giants have the ability to score in a shootout. New England's defense has issues. It's a game I believe America would embrace. And I tend to think Brady finds a way to get the Patriots another ring.

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  • Adam Rank
  • Giants have the inside track to the title

The results of last weekend really weren't a surprise to me, and I had predicted the Giants and Ravens would meet in the Super Bowl. And I still believe those are the teams we will see in Indianapolis. The reason is defense. After a one-year aberration, defense still wins championships, as the cliché goes. I was ready to write off the Giants during their four-game skid, but once the defense was healthy enough they surely looked like the favorites to take the whole thing. The front four of the Giants should get enough pressure on Alex Smith this week and then either Joe Flacco or Tom Brady to take the whole thing. The only question is if the Giants can give Eli Manning the same protection he had against the Packers. If they do, the Giants will easily take the title.

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  • Pat Kirwan
  • Big Blue will do it again

The road is a tough place for the Ravens and Giants this week but I like both teams a lot, especially "Big Blue." The Patriots are a point-scoring machine at home, and the 49ers showed me a new dimension to their game when Alex Smith threw the ball 46 times. I think I'll stick with my No. 1 rule when picking teams and go with the best quarterback in the game -- even though Drew Brees and Aaron Rodgers lost last week -- and pick the Giants and Patriots to make it to the Super Bowl. Then I will take the Giants with that pass rush on a neutral field in a rematch of the last Super Bowl between these two teams.

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