This season more than any other, I’m having difficulty forecasting an eventual Super Bowl champion.  I feel like Flava Flav.  That was until this week when one team made all the right moves on the eve of the season to earn my trust.  Ultimately, my choice came down to a team which has been  perennial contender the entire decade,  give or take one or two seasons.

The longest shot of the playoff contenders are the Titans who are ripe with individual storylines but shot full of holes in scheme and on the roster.  There is the possible return of Albert Haynesworth via trade from Washington, whose reputation hasn’t taken such a hit, rookies in training camp performed a skit depicting Haynesworth injuring his leg squatting on the toilet.  Chris Johnson is aiming for 2,500 yards rushing, as Vince Young aims to win the 2005 Heisman and a 2011 Super Bowl MVP award in the same six month span.  After winning 8 of 10 to close out the 2009 season, they’re the obligatory pick for M. Knight Shyamalan Award for the surprise Super Bowl team of 2010.

It’s too much of a leap to consider Vince Young becoming the same world beating quarterback he was in college even after last season’s performance.  He’s still a level below Steve McNair on the Titans hierarchy.

There’s also the distinct possibility of 2010 ending in an ironic fashion.  There’s a story circulated in recent days by ESPN scribe and local mad genius, Bill Simmons claiming Rodgers was visibly rooting against Favre while watching the Conference Championships at an ESPN party in January.  The image of Rodgers lifting the Lombardi Trophy might compel Favre to return in time for rookie minicamp in May.  The wound from Favre’s acrimonious departure from the city he was revered in for 20 years still stings for both sides.

It wouldn’t be unprecedented.  In 1994, Joe Montana retired from the Kansas City Chiefs as his former backup Steve Young, “ripped the monkey off his back” and won Super Bowl XXIX.  16 years is long enough for history to circle the wagon.

As impressive as Green Bay’s 59 point output against Indianapolis in the third game of the pre-season was I try not to make assumptions about the season in games that don’t matter.  Especially, when it involves the Colts.  The Packers, however, still haven’t resolved their issues along the porous offensive line.  There is a surprise contender in the NFC though ready to swoop in from the Georgia Dome.

Dallas possesses the most complete roster in the NFL, but faces the burden of making it to a Super Bowl in their home stadium.  I could easily see Tony Romo shrinking beneath the expectations this season before redeeming himself at Super Bowl XLVI in 2012.  It’s an unwritten rule for franchises to advance to Super Bowls the year before or after they host it.  Sorry but Dallas may have to wait until next year.

They’ll have to contend with the Saint’s who’ve abandoned the power running game for a finesse style and barely beat an out of sync Favre, who is missing his top receiver in downfield threat Sidney Rice.  Unlike, New Orleans, Minnesota’s D doesn’t rely on risky blitzes and turnover opportunities.  They just blow up the line of scrimmage and dominate the secondary.  Despite, the loss Thursday night, the Vikings will advance to the Super Bowl in Dallas for the NFC.

On the AFC half, I wrestled between the Colts, Ravens, Jets, Patriots and the Bengals.

The Jets have become the NFL’s newest heels by taunting the league through HBO and the media.  It’s gotten to the point, I’m picking New England to win the division.  They’re antics and off-season machinations are reminiscent of the 2000 Redskins who signed Jeff George, Bruce Smith, Deion Sanders, Mark Carrier and Adrian Murell.  Along with the debut of a new season and a head coach with a surgically enhanced mouth, this team has incredible flame out potential.  Follow my advice. Take a trip down to Wall Street and SELL, SELL, SELL! this team’s hype.

To buy stock in the Indianapolis Colts for another season, I need to determine whether the Colts can maintain their consistency without making any major off-season tweaks.  The biggest question mark is head coach Jim Caldwell.  In January, I compared him to George Seifert and Barry Switzer.  Best case scenario is George Seifert.  Worst case is Barry Switzer.

After inheriting Bill Walsh’s 49ers, Seifert proceeded to win 98 of 128 games including at least 10 games every season through 8 seasons and won a pair of Super Bowls with both Montana and Young in ’89(his first season) and ’94.     In Switzer’s, first season, he lost in the Super Bowl, in his second he won a world championship and after his third he resigned following a 6-10 campaign.

Unfortunately, Caldwell’s resume isn’t as impressive as either.  Caldwell went 26-53 in six years at the helm of Wake Forest, yet became Dungy’s successor because of their strong faith and even keeled temperaments.  After losing the Super Bowl, it will be apparent early on whether the Colts can respond to a devastating loss under Caldwell’s command past year one.

I was wavering on the Baltimore Ravens until Ray Lewis took a blowtorch and lit a spark under the Baltimore Ravens.  For a decade now, Ray Lewis has been the defensive Peyton Manning. Like, Manning, Lewis has a Super Bowl MVP and has been a perennial contender to return there.  Believe it or not, thought the Cincinnati Bengals would shock the world and deliver a Super Bowl to Ohio.  We deserve an Ocho Cinco/T.O./Vh1 Media Day.  The additions of  T.O. and Jordan Shipley as well as the subtraction of Matt Jones and Antonio Bryant have dominated the off-season headlines in Cincy, however rookie tight end Jermaine Gresham may leave the most profound footprint in the offense.

There’s been a recent wave of eternally downtrodden franchises experiencing sudden salvation.  An AFC Championship Game appearance may be in the cards for these Bengals for the first time in two decades.

In 2009, the moribund Cardinals franchise rode Kurt Warner’s arm within fingertips of a Super Bowl and it’s been drilled into our collective thoughts about the Saints’ inspirational resurgence for the city of New Orleans..

Prior to Marvin Lewis’ arrival, the Bengals were the equivalent of a Vh1 Rehab Special.  There was chaos in the front office and mediocrity on the field.  It was an asylum in Paul Brown Stadium until Lewis arrived with the right anti-psychotic treatment for this franchise. A Saints/Bengals Super Bowl to settle the illiterate civil dispute between the New Orleans’ “Who Dat” and Cincy’s “Who Dey” slogans would be preferable.

However, Ray Lewis’ delivered a minute long Toastmasters diatribe that rallied up his base in Baltimore and the undecided from D.C. I’m back on board baby.  Ray Lewis’ fiery stump speech, combined with the surprise signing of T.J. Houshmandzadeh for less cash than Reggie Bush’s junior year contract at USC.  There are a ton of “ifs” including Ed Reed’s hip and the Ravens lack of a receiver who can stretch the field.  It all rests on whether Joe Flacco has the moxy to develop from a trained game manager to a first class playmaker in his pivotal third season.  Nine years ago, the Ravens won their first Super Bowl in franchise history with a victory over the New York Giants.  With all that said, on Monday night, your next Super Bowl Champions, the Baltimore Ravens will begin their quest for a second against the New York Jets with the help of some Old Spice swagger.