Super Bowl Predictions 2013: MVP Dark Horses for Each Remaining Team

Joseph Zucker@@JosephZuckerFeatured ColumnistJanuary 12, 2013

GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 23:  James Jones #89 of the Green Bay Packers reaches over the goal line to score as he is hit by Jarius Wynn #79, Zach Brown #55 and Alterraun Verner #20 of the Tennessee Titans at Lambeau Field on December 23, 2012 in Green Bay, Wisconsin. The Packers defeated the Titans 55-7.  (Photo by Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images)
Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

While some of the greatest players in the history of the NFL have a Super Bowl MVP, one game can allow any player a shot at have their name etched in history forever.

That's why you see Santonio Holmes, Dexter Jackson, Larry White, Jake Scott and Harvey Martin amongst the likes of Joe Montana, Jerry Rice, Bart Starr, Roger Staubach and John Elway.

Considering the need for that one memorable play to be shown over and over again during the highlight reel, it's hard to look past the skill positions on offense and corner on defense.

Nobody remembers a key block or tackle, with the exception of Mike Jones stopping Kevin Dyson on the goal line, when thinking back through the previous 46 iterations of the Super Bowl.

With that in mind, here's a player on each team beyond the obvious choices who could win Super Bowl MVP.



Atlanta Falcons: Michael Turner, RB

2012 has been a down year for Michael Turner, so the expectation of him has been lowered in the postseason. Most of the attention will be drawn to Matt Ryan.

Many of the teams have very strong defenses, so Ryan alone won't be enough to ensure a Super Bowl win. And with him being the focus of opposing defenses, Turner has the chance to eat up the yards and move the chains.



Baltimore Ravens: Cary Williams, CB

Cary Williams has already made an impact this postseason. His interception of Andrew Luck was one of the plays of the game.

The Baltimore Ravens defense has been a bit down recently, so the team can't rely on the unit as much as it has in years past. Looking at the quarterbacks remaining in the playoffs, it's imperative that Williams and the Baltimore secondary step up in a big way.



Denver Broncos: Eric Decker, WR

Demaryius Thomas will demand the most attention from opposition secondaries. With that in mind, Eric Decker could find himself in space quite a few times.

His numbers on the season are good, but they're not spectacular. Although Decker has only recorded over 100 yards receiving in a game twice this season, his reliability could prove vital.



Green Bay Packers:James Jones, WR

Decker finished second in receiving touchdowns to James Jones. It's particularly surprising when you realize that Jones had almost 300 fewer receiving yards.

He has been one of the best red-zone targets in the league, with 11 of his 14 touchdowns coming inside the 20-yard line. If the Green Bay Packers get near the end zone, Jones will benefit the most.



Houston Texans: Johnathan Joseph, CB

Johnathon Joseph had a Wild Card Round similar to that of the previously mentioned Williams. Joseph minimized the effect of A.J. Green and intercepted Andy Dalton at a key moment of the game.

Joseph's 2012 hasn't been otherworldly, but his play in the secondary could decide the Super Bowl. He'll be called upon to shut down the likes of Ryan, Aaron Rodgers and Colin Kaepernick.



New England Patriots: Devin McCourty, CB

All of the things previously said about corners applies to Devin McCourty. He's intercepted five passes and deflected another 13 during the 2012 season.

McCourty also brings his skills in the return game. He was the New England Patriots main kick-returner, averaging a little over 24 yards a return. McCourty also has big-play potential, evidenced by his 104-yard kick-return touchdown.



San Francisco 49ers: Michael Crabtree, WR

Michael Crabtree has been the preferred target of the San Francisco 49ers' quarterbacks. On most teams that would mean a prolific season through the air. With the 49ers relying heavily on the run, it means 85 receptions for 1,105 yards and nine touchdowns.

If Kaepernick is going to succeed this postseason, he'll need Crabtree to be a steady target. Frank Gore can't carry the entire offense, and with defenses keying on him, Crabtree might be able to find space in the defense.



Seattle Seahawks: Golden Tate, WR

Should Golden Tate win a Super Bowl MVP, NFL fans will have a different lasting image of the receiver from the 2012 season. Tate's on-field performance hasn't been enough to trump the ending to the Green Bay game when the replacement refs awarded him a touchdown.

The Seattle Seahawks' passing attack isn't elite yet, but Tate could have himself a game as Marshawn Lynch and Sidney Rice attract the majority of the defense's attention.