Super Bowl 2012 Predictions: Ranking the Most Likely Matchups

Jeff KneisSenior Analyst IIIJanuary 9, 2012

Super Bowl 2012 Predictions: Ranking the Most Likely Matchups

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    The 2012 Super Bowl is less than a month away and the Divisional Round games are set. Now that the top teams are playing against each other, it is time to predict the top matchups that we could see in the big game.

    The Green Bay Packers are the defending champions and are in great position to defend their title. They are the clear favorites to come out of the NFC. 

    The AFC champion is more difficult to predict as their is no clear favorite. Each remaining team has their strengths and weaknesses, which will need to be overcome to reach the Super Bowl.

    Here are the top five most likely matchups for Super Bowl XLVI.

5. New Orleans Saints vs. Baltimore Ravens

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    Both teams would have to pick up a road win (or two), but it would make for an interesting Super Bowl game. They both still face tough roads, but both teams are capable of mounting an amazing playoff run.

    The powerful Saints offense would go against a tough Baltimore Ravens defense led by veterans Ed Reed and Ray Lewis

    The deciding factor would likely be Drew Brees and his recent Super Bowl experience. His confidence from his record-breaking season, could lead to an amazing NFL playoff run.

4. San Francisco 49ers vs. New England Patriots

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    In a great story for the NFL, the Jim Harbaugh-led 49ers would lead the team from a losing record to the Super Bowl in one year. Tom Brady would be playing for his fourth Super Bowl, against his childhood favorite team. 

    The game would be a great matchup between two very different teams. The Patriots beat you with just enough defense, while putting up a ton of points. The 49ers are the exact opposite as the defense is the unit the usually wins the game.

    In the end, the 49ers defense would not be able to slow down the Patriots offense enough to pull out the win.

3. New Orleans Saints vs. New England Patriots

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    Just barely edging out the 49ers, the Saints vs. the Patriots would be a high powered offensive showdown.

    Record-setting QB Drew Brees would face the three-time Super Bowl-winning QB Tom Brady. This matchup could produce Super Bowl record-breaking statistics. This would likely be a very high scoring game.

    This matchup would feature two very similar teams skill wise, but I believe a slight edge would go Tom Brady and the Patriots. 

2. Green Bay Packers vs. Baltimore Ravens

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    This matchup could be very, very intriguing. It would be great to see what will win out, great offense or great defense.

    The game could come down to which unit steps up more, the Packers defense or the Ravens offense. The Packers offense should be able to expose the Ravens secondary with all the great receiving options Aaron Rodgers has at his disposal.

    The final score should be fairly low, but the Packers offense should end up being too much for the stout Ravens defense.

1. Green Bay Packers vs. New England Patriots

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    The top two seeds should meet up in Indianapolis featuring two of the top offenses the NFL has ever seen. This matchup will feature the two of the top QBs in the league in Tom Brady and Aaron Rodgers.

    This game could end up being one of the highest scoring Super Bowls of all time. The Packers would have a slight advantage with much of the team having Super Bowl experience, as well as  having a better defense.

    You can never count out Tom Brady, but unless the Patriots defense greatly improves, the Packers should have the edge.