After the preseason suggested that the Eagles' offensive line may have trouble protecting Vick and opening holes for Ronnie Brown, ESPN's love has moved to the Atlanta Falcons. This morning, on "Mike and Mike," Mike Greenberg and Mike Golic picked Atlanta to win the NFC South (neither see the Saints even earning a wild card spot in the playoffs!), and Golic has the Falcons going to the Super Bowl.
Later in the morning, Colin Cowherd spoke out against the conventional wisdom that put the Green Bay Packers in the Super Bowl in favor of the Falcons because the Falcons have a very forgiving schedule. The only problem with that analysis is that the Saints have a very similar schedule with two breaks the Falcons don't get. Saints play the Bears in the Superdome while the Falcons have to go to Chicago. The Falcons face one more Pro Bowl-caliber quarterback (one of Cowherd's yardsticks) in Michael Vick when they play the Eagles in a game that's sure to have Twilight-like implications in the battle for ESPN's love, while the Saints play the wounded New York Giants and the boy-next-door Eli Manning.
I'm always surprised by how much statistical information ESPN collects before throwing it all out in favor of the results it wants or the intangibles its narratives.