Super Bowl Predictions 2013: Teams with Smallest Chance of Reaching Final Game

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistDecember 31, 2012

CINCINNATI, OH - DECEMBER 30:  Andy Dalton #14 of the Cincinnati Bengals runs with the ball during the NFL game against the Baltimore Ravens at Paul Brown Stadium on December 30, 2012 in Cincinnati, Ohio.  (Photo by Andy Lyons/Getty Images)
Andy Lyons/Getty Images

The NFL playoffs will begin on January 5, but it's not too early to look toward the Super Bowl.

Every team that earned a postseason berth is dangerous, but some are more likely to make a run to the NFL's ultimate game. A few teams have one fatal flaw that will hold them back, while a few others simply aren't experienced enough yet.

It would be unwise to count any team out at this point, but three squads should be considered underdogs with Wild Card Weekend right around the corner.


Washington Redskins

The Redskins have enjoyed a crazy run to get into the postseason, but their surge won't take them to the Super Bowl.

As good as Robert Griffin III and Alfred Morris have been this season, Washington just doesn't have enough on the defensive side of the ball to get to the ultimate game.

Getting by the Seattle Seahawks on Wild Card Weekend is going to be tough enough, but the Seahawks will struggle to run the ball versus the Redskins' fifth-ranked run defense.

However, other teams could present a more difficult challenge for Mike Shanahan's group. The Redskins are 30th in the NFL when it comes to defending the pass, meaning Green Bay and Atlanta will be a nightmare for this team to stop.

RG3 makes Washington must-watch television, but it's going to be at least another year until he takes his team to the Super Bowl.


Cincinnati Bengals

The Bengals are scorching hot right now and could definitely defeat the Houston Texans to advance to the Divisional Round, but Andy Dalton's inconsistent play will eventually come back to haunt them.

Cincinnati has proven that its defense is very underrated by holding five of its past six opponents to under 20 points. With Geno Atkins in the middle, the Bengals have made a habit out of wreaking havoc in the backfield and disrupting plays before they even start.

But that won't be as easy against the likes of New England and Denver. Both of those teams protect their quarterbacks well, and Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are unflappable when given time to observe the field.

Dalton has been very good at times this season, but he's also turned the ball over 20 times. Playoff teams will not be forgiving of those mistakes, and it will cost the Bengals a shot at the Super Bowl.


Indianapolis Colts

Andrew Luck has led a remarkable turnaround in Indianapolis, but it's not likely to end in a Super Bowl bid.

There's no doubting the magic surrounding the squad. It's hard to believe that this is the same squad that won just two games last season.

Luck has played like a veteran in his rookie season, but he's had help. Reggie Wayne has been a dynamic target. T.Y. Hilton has emerged as one of the league's most exciting playmakers and Chuck Pagano has provided inspiration throughout the season.

There is a lot to like about the Colts. Their seventh-ranked passing offense is dangerous enough to hurt anybody's secondary, but the defense still has a long way to go before this team is ready to truly compete.

It's likely that Tom Brady and Peyton Manning would feast on this team's secondary if it came down to that, and Ray Rice will make the front seven's life difficult in the team's Wild-Card matchup.

The Colts' run has been one of the league's best stories, but it's probably not going to result in a Super Bowl win.