So it will be the Colts and Saints playing in Miami. How many people will tune in?
This one will be tough to guess. Some people are predicting it will be the most-watched Super Bowl ever, but I'm not so sure. Let's break down the Pros and Cons for this matchup.
PRO: The Saints. This is a great story, as much of America would love to see New Orleans win its first championship. There's the whole Hurricane Katrina storyline, the threats of the team moving out of the city, etc. People should tune in to see if this story has a happy ending.
CON: The Saints. Despite the national attention placed on the Saints, they still play in one of the NFL's smallest markets. And though local ratings during the regular season were off the charts, it's just not possible for them to draw the same level of interest as a team from New York or Chicago.
PRO: Peyton Manning. He's the best quarterback in the league and is great to watch. He's a star and is recognizable to everyone, including very casual fans of the game.
CON: The Colts. Like the Saints, they play in a relatively small market. And they won a Super Bowl just three years ago. Outside of Indianapolis, few people will be emotionally invested in the Colts.
PRO: Those offenses. Rest assured, this will be a high-scoring affair. The over/under on total points scored is about 56, according to Vegas oddsmakers. That's at least eight total touchdowns.
CON: Those offenses. As much as people love a shootout, this game could easily become uninteresting if one of the teams really starts to run away with it.
USA Today's Michael Hiestand predicts that Super Bowl 44 will get the most viewers ever and the highest rating in a decade. Bloomberg points out that NFL ratings during the season were among the biggest ever, and quotes an ad buyer who said that the matchup in the Super Bowl matters less than the competitiveness of the game.
My prediction: this will be the #3 Super Bowl all time in terms of viewership (behind each of the last two years) as Peyton Manning and the Colts run away from the Saints in the second half.