Possible? More than likely if you follow the pattern along with me.
2007 - Super Bowl XLII - New York Giants, NFC East
2008 - Super Bowl XLIII - Arizona Cardinals, NFC West
2009 - Super Bowl XLIV - New Orleans Saints, NFC South
2010 - Super Bowl XLV - Green Bay Packers, NFC North
2011 - Super Bowl XLVI - New York Giants, NFC East
2012 - Super Bowl XLVII - San Francisco 49ers, NFC West
2013 - Super Bowl XLVIII - TBD
See where I'm going here? Starting in 2006, the NFC Champions have come from the North, East, West, then South divisions. Then again, North, East, West, and if I've seen enough Sesame Street over the years that leaves...ummm...South!
Yes boys and girls, that's right. Fate has decided that an NFC South team will reclaim the NFC title in 2013.
The Saints have at least a 25% chance of winning the NFC should this trend continue. To be honest I'm being quite generous to our NFC South mates in Carolina, Tampa, and Atlanta. With Sean Payton and Drew Brees, the Saints have the most dynamic head coach/quarterback combination in the division and arguably the league. That being said, let's look at the rest of the division.
Falcons - Mike Smith and Matt Ryan. I've got to begrudgingly give them credit, they're damn good, just not great. Besides, the loser of the NFC Championship Game has failed to reach the playoffs the next year in 7 of the last 12 seasons (exceptions being the McNabb era Eagles and this past season's Niners). Also, never in NFC South history has the division had a repeat champion.
Panthers - Ron Rivera and Cam Newton. Not so much.
Buccaneers - Greg Schiano and Josh Freeman. Yeah...no.
The Saints odds are looking even better to me. Sure it's not a sure thing, and it's likely just coincidence, but I'll take it. So go ahead and book that trip to lovely East Rutherford, New Jersey next February 2nd. Bring a jacket, and scarves, and gloves, and thermals, and think warm thoughts.
Go figure, the Saints' one year to be almost guaranteed a Super Bowl trip and it will be held outdoors in Jersey. Best case scenario: 39 degrees and 3 inches of rain. Nice work, NFL! Hopefully, the AFC Champion will be Houston, San Diego, Miami, or any other franchise that will also be miserable in the winter elements.
Here's to a quirky trend repeating itself and here's to the Saints in 2013. Who Dat!