2012 NFL Playoffs: Who Will Take Home the Lombardi Trophy?

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2012 NFL Playoffs: Who Will Take Home the Lombardi Trophy?
Rob Carr/Getty Images

Where did the last 17 weeks go?.

It seems like just yesterday, there were discussions of Tebow's role in New York, Peyton's return to the gridiron and the hype surrounding rookie phenoms Andrew Luck and Robert Griffin III. After 17 weeks and 512 football games, the final 12 teams have gotten through the gauntlet that is the NFL regular season and will compete for one goal: to crown themselves as Super Bowl champions.

They say that once the playoffs begin, anything can happen. But one thing is for sure, there will be a new champion crowned on the night of February 3.

This year's playoffs include some obvious favorites: the New England Patriots, Baltimore Ravens, Green Bay Packers, Atlanta Falcons, Houston Texans and San Francisco 49ers. But, like every NFL season, there are the teams that crash the playoff party such as the Washington Redskins, Indianapolis Colts and Minnesota Vikings.

Will Tom Brady lead his Patriots to a second consecutive Super Bowl appearance? Can Peyton Manning continue his spectacular comeback by riding the Broncos into New Orleans? Can Matt Ryan and the Falcons win a playoff game? Will one of the three rookie quarterbacks make a remarkable playoff run? The answers to these questions and a Super Bowl prediction will be made in this 2012 playoff preview.

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