Super Bowl 2012: 6 Players and Teams We Wish Were Playing in Title Game
With conference championship week underway and Super Bowl XLVI just around the corner, there are many teams and players lamenting what could have been.
And while the Super Bowl should feature an outstanding matchup no matter who makes it, there are several players and teams who we would have wanted to see in the title game even more.
Here are a few of those players and teams that would have really made Super Bowl XLVI special.
Arian Foster, RB, Houston Texans
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The Houston Texans, who made their first playoffs in franchise history, leaned on their ferocious defense and outstanding running game once their top two quarterbacks went down with injuries.
A big reason for their success on the ground has been running back Arian Foster, who made the Pro Bowl last year and followed it up with a 1,224-yard, 10-touchdown performance in the regular season.
Foster is an elite NFL running back who has a potent combination of speed, power and agility, and we would have loved to see this guy in action in the Super Bowl.
Tim Tebow, QB, Denver Broncos
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Tim Tebow is one of the most remarkable stories in NFL history.
Nobody would have ever dreamed the Denver Broncos would have made the playoffs after a 1-4 start, but after Tim Tebow took over as the Broncos' starter, the team went on a 7-4 run and, with a little help, edged out the Raiders and the Chargers for the division championship.
While the defense and the coaches deserve a lot of the credit for the run, it can't be denied that Tebow was the spark that started it all.
Tebow did not have impressive numbers through the air, but he did throw for twice as many touchdowns as interceptions and also added 660 yards and six touchdowns on the ground through 11 starts.
If that wasn't enough, Tebow and the Broncos even upset the Pittsburgh Steelers in the wildcard round. Love him or hate him, Tebow is a winner, and it would have been an amazing storyline to see him in the Super Bowl.
Calvin Johnson, WR, Detroit Lions
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The 6'5", 235-pound receiver accentuated his incredible 96-catch, 1,681-yard, 16-touchdown regular season with 12 catches for 211 yards and two touchdowns in New Orleans.
With the rapid development of quarterback Matthew Stafford, Johnson emerged as the most explosive and dynamic receiver in the NFL this season, and it would truly be a treat to watch him play in this year's Super Bowl.
Jared Allen, DE, Minnesota Vikings
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The Minnesota Vikings had one of the worst records in the NFL this season, thanks in large part to an awful secondary.
It was amazing how bad the Vikings' defensive backs were, though, because Minnesota had a good pass rush thanks to Jared Allen. Allen had an outstanding season, racking up 66 tackles, 22 sacks, four forced fumbles and an interception.
If there was one player from one of the worst teams in the NFL who we would love to see in the Super Bowl, Jared Allen would have to get a lot of consideration.
Green Bay Packers
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The best team in the NFL during the regular season, the Green Bay Packers looked unstoppable on offense for most of the year.
And as bad as the defense played at times, they seemed to come up big when needed.
Quarterback Aaron Rodgers had a record-breaking season, recording the highest quarterback rating in NFL history, and his receivers were some of the best in the league.
Beyond the offense, the Packers also featured Charles Woodson in the secondary, Clay Matthews at rush linebacker, and BJ Raji on the defensive line.
Despite their poor performance at home against the New York Giants, this whole team would have been a lot of fun to watch if they had made it to the Super Bowl.
New Orleans Saints
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It's remarkable that the New Orleans Saints almost beat the San Francisco 49ers in San Francisco despite turning the ball over five times.
That just goes to show how potent this team really is, and it would have been a lot of fun to see this team in the Super Bowl.
Quarterback Drew Brees, who broke Dan Marino's single season record for passing yards, and pass-catchers Jimmy Graham, Marques Colston and Darren Sproles formed one of the most unstoppable offenses in the NFL.
The defense was good enough, and all in all, this was a team that could have won the Super Bowl had they not had an off day in San Francisco.