As training camp draws closer, so does the start of the 2012 NFL season. And the best part of this season: no lockouts or collective bargaining agreement disputes. Thus, fans are able to follow their teams' offseason activities to their fullest extent.
As a result of the lockout, a bigger emphasis has been put on the organized team activities and minicamps that were sorely missed by some teams last season that were either rebuilding (i.e. Carolina Panthers and St. Louis Rams) or by teams that took some steps back as a result of a cut-back offseason (Philadelphia Eagles).
However, now that we have an offseason to watch and observe, we now ask ourselves, what dark-horse teams are out there this year? Sure, we know about the likes of Green Bay Packers, the New England Patriots, the Pittsburgh Steelers the Baltimore Ravens and the world champion New York Giants. What teams, though—ones that oft struggled last season—could possibly push for the chance to make a big impact in their conference and secure a playoff bid?