12/11: Saints with Golden Halo…Vikings Fall from Grace

As the NFL heads into the final weeks of the regular season, which team do football fans think has the best chance of winning the Super Bowl?  The New Orleans Saints top the list with 32% of football fans saying they will still be victorious come February.  The Indianapolis Colts receive 15% followed by the Minnesota Vikings with 8%, the Dallas Cowboys with 5%, and the New England Patriots with 4%.

hands catching football


What a difference six weeks make!  When Marist last asked about the Super Bowl favorite in October, the Vikings were the pick of 13%.  The Colts came in second with 10%, and the New York Giants ranked third with 9%.  The Pittsburgh Steelers also scored with 9%, and the Patriots followed with 8%.

Looking back to pre-season picks, 16% of football fans favored the Patriots.  The Steelers were close behind with 13%.

Table: 2010 Super Bowl Picks
Table: 2010 Super Bowl Picks (Pre-season)

Battle of the Quarterbacks

If Drew Brees of the New Orleans Saints hasn’t insured his throwing arm, maybe, he should.  25% of football fans say he’s the best quarterback in the NFL.  But, Brees shouldn’t get too cocky.  The same proportion of armchair quarterbacks report Peyton Manning of the Indianapolis Colts is the man with the golden arm.  23% of fans say the unretired Brett Favre of the Minnesota Vikings is the man to beat while 8% say the same about Tom Brady of the New England Patriots.  Kurt Warner of the Arizona Cardinals and Carson Palmer of the Cincinnati Bengals receive 2% and 1%, respectively.   Less than 1% think Philip Rivers of the San Diego Chargers is the best quarterback in the NFL this season.

Table: Best NFL Quarterback

From the Sidelines

How big of a deal is football to Americans?  More than six in ten Americans are football fans.  This includes 19% who report they follow the sport a great deal, 15% who say they watch it a good amount, and 28% who keep tabs on the NFL a little.  38% of Americans don’t follow the sport at all.

Table: Football Fans

Marist Poll Methodology