How many favorites end up holding the Lombardi Trophy at the end of the year? Last season, only eight of 36 ESPN.com experts picked the Seattle Seahawks.
That's why I went with the Philadelphia Eagles as my Super Bowl pick. The Eagles are trending upward with an innovative head coach (Chip Kelly), the best running back in football (LeSean McCoy) and a defense that allowed 19 points in its last seven regular season games.
Only two other ESPN contributors -- Titans team reporter Paul Kuharsky and ESPN the Magazine's Seth Wickersham -- picked the Eagles, too. In the Super Bowl, I have the Eagles beating the Indianapolis Colts, who get there on the strength of the best young quarterback in the game in Andrew Luck.
In the AFC, I primarily went with the favorites to win the AFC East (Patriots), AFC South (Colts) and AFC West (Broncos). My other pick -- which will be an unpopular one in Baltimore -- is the Steelers winning the AFC North. I do have the Ravens and Bengals earning both of the wild card spots.
In the NFC, I again went with the popular teams to win the NFC East (Eagles), NFC North (Packers) and NFC South (Saints). The toughest decision was the NFC West, where I have the 49ers taking the division. The wild card spots go to the Seahawks and Lions.
As far as individual honors go, I have Kelly winning Coach of the Year, Peyton Manning earning another MVP award, Sammy Watkins capturing the NFL offensive rookie of the year award and C.J. Mosley taking the NFL defensive rookie of the year award.
I also offer my annual disclaimer that I'm terrible at preseason predictions. Case in point: Last year at this time, I predicted the Atlanta Falcons to beat the Denver Broncos in the Super Bowl.