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NFL Power Rankings: The 10 Teams Most Likely to Win 2012 Super Bowl

Aidan MackieSenior Analyst IJune 16, 2011

NFL Power Rankings: The 10 Teams Most Likely to Win 2012 Super Bowl

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    FOXBORO, MA - NOVEMBER 21:  Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots shakes hands with Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts after their game at Gillette Stadium on November 21, 2010 in Foxboro, Massachusetts. (Photo by Jim Rogash/Getty Images)
    Jim Rogash/Getty Images

    NFL fans have been waiting—praying—since the last pick of the NFL Draft that the lockout would finally come to an end.

    Well get ready NFL fans, because the lockout looks nearly over. Both sides have too much to lose, as the NFL draws in billions of dollars a year in revenue.

    So, just before the lockout ends, I would like to give you my early power rankings on the teams most likely to take home Super Bowl XLV.

10. Atlanta Falcons

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    ATLANTA, GA - JANUARY 15:  Quarterback Matt Ryan #2 of the Atlanta Falcons rolls out to pass against the Green Bay Packers during their 2011 NFC divisional playoff game at Georgia Dome on January 15, 2011 in Atlanta, Georgia. The Packers won 48-21.  (Phot
    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    The Falcons are coming off a spectacular 2010 season that saw them finish 13-3 and win the NFC South.

    Matt Ryan and Roddy White combined to form one of the most dangerous combos in the league, and Michael Turner provided a stable ground game.

    With the addition of Julio Jones, the Falcons have one of the most dangerous passing games in the NFL.

    If their defense can hold serve, they could be heading to next year's Super Bowl. 

9. San Diego Chargers

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    DENVER - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers takes the field against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. The Chargers defeated the Broncos 33-28.  (Photo by Doug Pensing
    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    The Chargers are coming off a disappointing 2010 season which saw them fail to win the AFC West for the first time in five years.

    Many believe that the Chargers dominant reign is over, but I believe that they are one of the most talented teams in the NFL.

    Philip Rivers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and their offense and defense finished 1st in both yards categories last season.

    If they can improve their sloppy special teams, the Chargers may once again run supreme in the AFC West—and maybe even beyond. 

8. Philadelphia Eagles

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    PHILADELPHIA, PA - JANUARY 09:  Michael Vick #7 of the Philadelphia Eagles reacts against the Green Bay Packers during the 2011 NFC wild card playoff game at Lincoln Financial Field on January 9, 2011 in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.  (Photo by Chris Trotma
    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Led by the resurgence of Michael Vick, the Eagles became the most dangerous offensive team in the league last season.

    They have speed that no one else can match with Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy being able to outrun the majority of defenders. Their defense can be subpar at times, and teams can catch on to the attacking style of Vick.

    If they can avoid this, the Eagles could hold the Lombardi Trophy come February. 

7. New Orleans Saints

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    SEATTLE, WA - JANUARY 08:  Quarterback Drew Brees #9 of the New Orleans Saints walks off the field after the Saints were defeated 41-36 by the Seattle Seahawks during the 2011 NFC wild-card playoff game at Qwest Field on January 8, 2011 in Seattle, Washin
    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    The Saints are coming off a shocking playoff loss to the dismal Seahawks last season, but they still have the most dangerous aerial game in all of the NFL.

    Drew Brees has many different options, including Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore and more.

    If their defense can improve, the Saints can outscore nearly any one in the league right now. 

6. Baltimore Ravens

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    KANSAS CITY, MO - JANUARY 09:  Linebacker Ray Lewis #52 of the Baltimore Ravens reads the play in 2011 AFC wild card playoff game against the Kansas City Chiefs at Arrowhead Stadium on January 9, 2011 in Kansas City, Missouri.  (Photo by Dilip Vishwanat/G
    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    The Ravens are coming off another great season marked by a tough playoff loss to the rival Steelers.

    They came in Super Bowl favorites last season with the addition of Anquan Boldin, and they will become a sexy pick again this season.

    Their defense has shutdown potential, and they have the offensive weapons necessary to take them all the way.

    However, their season will ultimately be decided by the play of their young quarterback, Joe Flacco. 

5. Pittsburgh Steelers

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    ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  Ben Roethlisberger #7 of the Pittsburgh Steelers calls a play against the Green Bay Packers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The defending AFC Champions come in to next season looking to claim their record 7th Super Bowl title.

    Ben Roethlisberger has shown the ability to be one of the most clutch quarterbacks in recent years.

    Their shutdown defense led by James Harrison and Troy Polamalu has the ability to hold any offense to single digits.

    But as their defense ages, this may be the Steeler last year to claim the title before going into a rebuilding mode. 

4. Indianapolis Colts

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    INDIANAPOLIS, IN - JANUARY 08:  Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Indianapolis Colts looks to pass against the New York Jets during their 2011 AFC wild card playoff game at Lucas Oil Stadium on January 8, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. The Jets won 17
    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    The Colts are coming off an AFC South crown, and they should be able to cruise to another one again this season.

    Peyton Manning will be in contention for a record fifth MVP, and injured offensive weapons like Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai and Austin Collie should be back healthy.

    The Colts come in to the 2011 NFL season thirsty for another Lombardi Trophy. 

3. New York Jets

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Mark Sanchez #6 and Shonn Greene #23 of the New York Jets reacts to a play against the New England Patriots during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Jets are coming off a second consecutive season that saw them come a game away from the Super Bowl only to fall short.

    This season, Rex Ryan and Gang Green will look to overcome the hurdle and finally enter the promised land.

    The Jets have spectacular offensive weapons and a shutdown defense, but once again their season will be determined by the play of Mark Sanchez—and their ability to resign their impending free agents. 

2. Green Bay Packers

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    ARLINGTON, TX - FEBRUARY 06:  Aaron Rodgers #12 of the Green Bay Packers throws a pass against the Pittsburgh Steelers during Super Bowl XLV at Cowboys Stadium on February 6, 2011 in Arlington, Texas.  (Photo by Joe Robbins/Getty Images)
    Joe Robbins/Getty Images

    The defending Super Bowl Champions are at the top of the world right now, and they have the ability to go back to back.

    The Packers are led by star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and their outstanding offensive talents Greg Jennings and a now healthy Ryan Grant—as well as their fantastic defense led by Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson.

    The only thing that may stop the Packers from taking home their second straight Super Bowl title is a championship hangover. 

1. New England Patriots

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    FOXBORO, MA - JANUARY 16:  Quarterback Tom Brady #12 of the New England Patriots stands on the field during their 2011 AFC divisional playoff game against the New York Jets at Gillette Stadium on January 16, 2011 in Foxboro, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa
    Elsa/Getty Images

    The Patriots' dominating regular season last year was met by a shocking playoff loss to their arch rival Jets.

    This season, Brady and crew are angry and ready to take home the Lombardi Trophy.

    Their green defense is ever improving, and their young tight end combination of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez give Brady so many targets.

    Right now, the Patriots unstoppable offense and gelling defense make them the Super Bowl XLV favorites. 

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