Every NFL Team's Odds of Winning the Super Bowl Next Year
Congratulations to the Baltimore Ravens for defeating the San Francisco 49ers in Super Bowl XLVII.
So, what's next?
That's what lots of people want to know, right? Thirty-one other teams don't get to bask in the glory of a Super Bowl run. They have to look to the future.
Let's take a second and realize what this isn't. This isn't an exercise in prognostication. I'm not picking through who I think is going to land a great free agent or a great draft class.
I'm also not playing doctor and picking who gets to come back healthy and who doesn't. This is what happens if the next season were starting today and everyone were healthy again.
The other thing this isn't is listing the teams in order of how good they'll be next season. A team might have a great chance to get to nine or 10 wins, but next to no chance at winning the Super Bowl.
So, what's the criteria for winning a Super Bowl a year away? Mostly cohesiveness, solid quarterback play and having climbed toward that mountaintop already.
Elite teams are elite for a reason, and they tend not to fall off the map or come out of nowhere very easily. There's some great up-and-coming teams that may need to wait their turn.
Here are the odds for each NFL team to win next year's Super Bowl.
Oakland Raiders: 0.5%
Why They Could Win It All: Because anything can potentially happen in the NFL.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Carson Palmer, mostly. The rest of the team is still years away as well.
I've said it before, and I'll probably say it a number of times over the next six months: I love what Reggie McKenzie and Dennis Allen are starting to do in Oakland.
Still, this is a group that needs at least three years to bring its team—from operations to roster development and beyond—into the modern era.
They're not winning anything with an impotent, mistake-prone offense and a toothless defense. Look for the Raiders to take a step forward in 2013, but nowhere near the playoffs.
Jacksonville Jaguars: 0.5%
Why They Could Win It All: Defense plus running game could be a formula for success.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Who is throwing the ball? No...really, who is that?
The Jaguars may or may not have closed the door on the Blaine Gabbert era, but with the second pick in the draft, current tea leaves look like a pass-rusher could be headed to Jacksonville.
An effective pass-rusher would help bring that defense back to being one of the more solid, if underrated, units in the league. Add in a running game on top of that, and the Jaguars could change their culture around very quickly.
In the end, though, this team needs to wipe away a lot of mistakes both from the front office and the last two coaching staffs.
There is a lot of excitement in Jacksonville, but it needs to find a quarterback, and it needs to improve the talent level in every phase of the game.
Arizona Cardinals: 0.5%
Why They Could Win It All: "Quarterback Guru Magic."
Why They Might Not Win It All: The foundations may be crumbling.
The worst part about the Cardinals is how many exciting players they have on offense and defense who absolutely suffered with incompetent play at the quarterback position.
Bruce Arians may fix a lot of that in the same way he tutored Peyton Manning, Ben Roethlisberger and Andrew Luck. With solid QB play, the Cardinals could start to look like the team that beat the Patriots last fall and less like the team that couldn't buy a win during the last three-fourths of the season.
It isn't just the QB position, however. The offensive line is atrocious, and the running back position is a question mark due to injury and contract issues.
This team needs some serious work over the next two to three years, and no one should expect a quick fix.
Tennessee Titans: 0.5%
Why They Could Win It All: Jake Locker puts it all together.
Why They Might Not Win It All: The offense and defense both liable to fall apart.
When the Tennessee Titans drafted Jake Locker, they had to know that they would be putting the keys of the franchise in his hands. If he failed, the coaches and personnel men would not last long after him.
This is a kid—immensely talented, yes—who never really won anything of note in college. The Washington Huskies did not rise to Pac-12 prominence while he was there. They had talent, but Locker was never able to get them over the hump.
The Titans would kill to even know where that hump is. They languish in something less than mediocrity whether Chris Johnson plays well or not. The offense is "meh" (really, that is the best descriptor on the planet for it), and the defense has tons of playmakers who struggle to fit together.
There is an infinitely better chance that the Titans fire everyone next season than celebrate a Super Bowl win.
Philadelphia Eagles: 1%
Why They Could Win It All: Chip Kelly's offense catches the NFL by storm.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Kelly doesn't have his guys yet.
One of the underreported things about Chip Kelly is that he's known for running a really tight ship. It's not just dogmatic adherence to his practice schedule and tempo, but that everyone knows where they're supposed to be and is ultimately accountable for themselves and one another.
He was running NFL-style practices at Oregon while the Eagles were clearly doing something much different in Philadelphia. So, maybe the Eagles could have a 49-like bounce back to the top of the NFL, but a lot of these players are not going to be used to Kelly's style.
There will be some push back, especially if the losses start piling up. Moreover, he's going to be looking for guys that fit his persona just as much as his offense. That's going to mean some talented Eagles looking for work elsewhere if they don't buy in.
Tampa Bay Buccaneers: 1%
Why They Could Win It All: The offense clicks, the defensive back seven stops being a liability.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Mutiny.
Speaking of teams that need to win if their coach's style is ever going to be acceptable, the Buccaneers could go into full-on mutiny if Greg Schiano isn't able to ingratiate this team to his style and pull out some wins early in the season.
Still, there's a lot to like about the Buccaneers' talent on both the offense and on the defensive line.
A couple of pieces here and there (maybe another receiver, another linebacker, a defensive back), and the Bucs could be a formidable team.
Kansas City Chiefs: 1%
Why They Could Win It All: Competent quarterback play plus Pro Bowl talent equals contenders.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Is Andy Reid really whipping anyone into shape?
The Chiefs were a terrible team last year, but that had a lot to do with the quality of their coaching and the quality of their quarterback play.
They've already gotten a big upgrade to the coaching department, but the biggest question is whether or not they will have a quarterback to facilitate any decent play from anyone else on that team.
Then again...there isn't an Andrew Luck at the top of this draft, and their isn't a surefire free agent available. There are only question marks and Band-Aids.
Also, remember that Reid lost his last team when they seemingly tuned out his voice and realized he was just trying to save his job.
Cleveland Browns: 1%
Why They Could Win It All: Lots of young talent.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Lots of young talent.
The Browns have a lot of great young players who should be great once they all grow up together. The challenge in the next few years will be keeping them together and finding complementary pieces to go along with them.
Of course, making sure Brandon Weeden (or Colt McCoy) is the actual quarterback of the future is probably the most important task of 2013. When there is so much young talent, there is sure to be growing pains as well.
Coach Rob Chudzinski will not only have to set the Browns on the right course, but he'll have to navigate the rocky seas along the way. The Browns have brighter days ahead, but 2013 is too soon to expect anything more than baby steps.
San Diego Chargers: 2%
Why They Could Win It All: They have a quarterback...sort of.
Why They Might Not Win It All: A.J. Smith left a mess.
Philip Rivers gets a lot of flak considering how little talent he's had around him in the past few years. It's hard to have a vertical passing game when you don't have a competent running attack, anything resembling an offensive line in front of you or receivers who can separate deep.
With a little fine tuning, the Chargers offense could be humming again in no time, and Rivers could polish his reputation. Yet, the Chargers are going to have to fix all of those gaping holes on the roster.
Coaching alone isn't going to help them get back to the playoffs. They need to replace all of the talent Smith has let walk over the years, and that isn't going to be a one-year process.
New York Jets: 2%
Why They Could Win It All: Remember everything before last year?
Why They Might Not Win It All: Too many holes on the roster.
The Jets were an utter mess in 2012, but if anyone can remember before that, they were a perennial favorite in the AFC.
Mark Sanchez can still play, but last year proved he needs a ton of help around him which the Jets need to provide. If they can restock the cupboard, that offense could find some daylight again.
The defense, however, still needs a pass rush and could use some more talent up front and at safety. They need help just about everywhere except cornerback and wherever Muhammad Wilkerson wants to line up.
Buffalo Bills: 2%
Why They Could Win It All: They have a ton of talent on paper, and nice coaching should help.
Why They Might Not Win It All: They're probably not getting a new QB or a dome.
The Bills are a solid football team. Ryan Fitzpatrick can put up decent numbers, and having one of the better running back tandems in the league helps.
Over on defense, the Bills clearly have a solid pass rush now that Mario Williams is healthy. If they can keep Jairus Byrd around, there's little reason that they can't contend in the AFC East next season.
The biggest problem is that once the wind picks up and the temperature drops in Buffalo, Fitzpatrick's lack of zip is magnified. This team will need to win more cold-weather games if it wants to compete in the postseason.
Miami Dolphins: 2%
Why They Could Win It All: Their defense is a lot better than people think.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Can they protect Ryan Tannehill and add weapons?
The Dolphins can't win anything with their offense as it's currently constructed.
Ryan Tannehill has some great physical tools, but without a lot of protection (they're likely losing Jake Long) and without a couple of decent targets, it's going to be difficult to move the ball.
The defense should continue to be legit and one of the more underrated units in the league. However, this team can only go as far as its offense, and it has a ton of work to do.
St. Louis Rams: 2%
Why They Could Win It All: They're a young team with a vastly improved defense.
Why They Might Not Win it All: Is Sam Bradford the guy? Will he have enough help?
The Rams took a major step forward on defense in 2012 because Jeff Fisher took a few chances, came up roses and was able to steer the ship toward his intended destination.
On offense, Sam Bradford doesn't have any protection or nearly enough help from his receivers and tight ends. If Steven Jackson continues to decline, the Rams aren't going to have any offense left.
The Rams would need a lot of help in this offseason to make any sort of noise next year, but the way they were able to take that step in Fisher's first year has to give the fanbase a little bit of hope.
Carolina Panthers: 2%
Why They Could Win It All: Cam Newton is a stud, and their defense is improving.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Can the defense continue to improve its play?
Cam Newton gets all the storylines, but the true hurdle of the Panthers' 2012 season was the play of the interior offensive and defensive lines.
The running game, though highly paid, couldn't get going. The defense had trouble getting off of the field—at least earlier in the year.
With Steve Smith not getting any younger, the Panthers offense needs to find an identity that isn't just Newton making incredible plays.
Detroit Lions: 3%
Why They Could Win It All: The offense could put up a ton of points.
Why They Might Not Win It All: The offense doesn't always do that, and the defense doesn't get stops.
All year long, the narrative around the Lions was that they couldn't win because they didn't have a competent running game or enough talent in the defensive backfield. All of that is true, but they have bigger fish to fry.
The offense was built to pass, and when receivers went down around Calvin Johnson, they were in damage-control mode. On defense, the pass rush never materialized, and that was a major problem.
The Lions need to cut down the penalties, improve their talent and actually execute what this team was built to do. Still, when Matthew Stafford is chucking it up to Megatron, there aren't a lot of better combos in the league.
Dallas Cowboys: 3%
Why They Could Win It All: Lots of talent at those skill positions.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Rest of the roster is a problem...oh, and coaching.
The Cowboys are suffering from the whole "owner as GM" thing. The roster has tons of flashy skill-position talent, but the offensive line is a mess, and the defense lacks depth.
Tony Romo gets the derision, but last I checked, he's not playing safety or center. The Cowboys are bringing in lots of help for Jason Garrett this offseason, but it may be too little, too late.
The Cowboys might be one of the most talented teams on paper in the entire league, but eventually they need to build the core of their team. Hopefully Garrett figures some basic clock management in the meantime.
Chicago Bears: 3%
Why They Might Not Win It All: Defense isn't getting any younger.
The Bears offense, especially with coach Marc Trestman, shouldn't be much of a problem. Jay Cutler has another year with his favorite receiver, and Alshon Jeffery has another year to acclimate to NFL life.
If the Bears offense continues to mature and puts up big points, they can play with the big boys. It doesn't really matter what happens on defense or the running game. Put up points through the air, and they can win lots of football games.
The problem with that, of course, is that Cutler is going to make some mistakes, and eventually the Bears aren't going to win the turnover battle in every single game. When they can't, the defense needs to get stops, and the offense needs to be able to run the ball.
Indianapolis Colts: 3%
Why They Could Win It All: Did you see what they did last year?
Why They Might Not Win It All: They're still not that talented on defense or the offensive line.
Andrew Luck did a lot of amazing things in his rookie season, and the Colts got a lot of surprising efforts from guys like Vick Ballard and Dwayne Allen, among others.
No one expected anything like what the Colts were able to do in their first year under Chuck Pagano, but taking the next step will be a huge test both for him and Ryan Grigson.
All that said, the Colts still need another half-dozen guys on defense before they can really start playing with the big boys. On offense, the line needs to be completely overhauled, and the weapons around Luck need to continue to improve.
Minnesota Vikings: 3%
Why They Could Win It All: Adrian Peterson.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Christian Ponder.
When Adrian Peterson takes the field, anything can happen.
In 2011, the Vikings had a better season than their record indicated thanks to a number of close losses. In 2012, they were finally able to put some wins together, and an injury to Christian Ponder crushed their hopes on Wild Card Weekend.
Ponder will need to take the next step and get more help than just Peterson if the Vikings want to be serious contenders.
New Orleans Saints: 3%
Why They Could Win It All: Sean Payton is back, baby!
Why They Might Not Win It All: The Saints defense and offensive line is still awfully suspect.
With Sean Payton back from suspension, the Saints have got to like their chances in 2013 and beyond.
He's not only the heart and soul of this team, but he's an offensive mastermind who clearly would've had more luck than the rest of the Saints staff at putting up yardage post-Bountygate.
The personnel on the field, however, is still a problem.
The offensive line isn't pass protecting like it was a few years ago, and that hurts on the deeper, more complex routes that the Saints want to run. The defense, too, can't be nearly as porous.
Eventually, putting up 5,000 yards every season needs to equal more than just offensive records.
New York Giants: 3%
Why They Could Win It All: Postseason experience and Eli Manning.
Why They Might Not Win It All: The defense isn't nearly as good as Tom Coughlin thinks it is.
The Giants have Super Bowl-caliber talent, a Super Bowl-caliber quarterback and a Super Bowl-caliber coaching staff.
Still, they might not get back because the pass rush hasn't been there like it has in the past, and the end-of-game magic hasn't been there as frequently for Eli Manning.
This team can get right back to the playoffs and the Super Bowl next season, but with another season like 2012, the "window is closing" talk is sure to start.
Pittsburgh Steelers: 3%
Why They Could Win It All: The defense is still elite, and Big Ben is still Big Ben.
Why They Might Not Win It All: You can't live by the big play alone.
Without a running game and a receiver to work the intermediate part of the field, it's all big plays all the time for Ben Roethlisberger, who is still able to work some magic periodically.
Because Big Ben is so good, the Steelers will never truly be out of games. We know their defense isn't giving up a ton of points.
The Steelers can't afford to take a single step back in 2013. As a team, they're getting younger, but their Hall of Fame-caliber players are fading away. They have the ability to get back to the mountaintop, but everything needs to go right.
Cincinnati Bengals: 4%
Why They Could Win It All: They have the potential to be extremely explosive.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Can Andy Dalton shoulder that pressure?
Is Andy Dalton the guy? After years one and two, we have a resounding "maybe." He's certainly talented and can facilitate a lot of great plays with the awesome talent he has around him.
So he's not Dan Marino? That's OK.
He just needs to not make mistakes and utilize A.J. Green and Jermaine Gresham and let that defense continue to do its thing.
That's AFC North football.
To get to the Super Bowl, however, Dalton will need to be better than that. If he can't take the next step as a passer, the Bengals won't ever be great.
Washington Redskins: 4%
Why They Could Win It All: Robert Griffin III.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Can RGIII stay healthy?
Everything revolves around Robert Griffin III.
Alfred Morris is a great back in the zone-blocking scheme, but the specter of Griffin's running ability keeps opponents from stacking the line of scrimmage and gives Morris that much more room.
In the passing game, RGIII is light years ahead of most of the projections for his career. The defense improved throughout 2012, and a few more bodies could really make a difference this offseason.
The problem is, can RGIII stay healthy? He doesn't just like to run, he likes to take hits.
Playing hurt and taking hits are going to take their cumulative toll on his career. Without RGIII, the Redskins aren't getting anywhere.
Seattle Seahawks: 4%
Why They Could Win It All: An amazing defense and Russell Wilson.
Why They Might Not Win It All: They can't get complacent...that starts at the top.
The only thing standing between the Seahawks and "the next level" is themselves.
I'm not just talking about the players, either. If the personnel department gets complacent (i.e., "we're OK with Sidney Rice as our No. 1 wide receiver), this team can't compete with the big boys. However, if they continue their meteoric rise, there's not much else that can stop them.
I foresee huge things for the Seahawks in the future, but next year might be just a little early.
Denver Broncos: 5%
Why They Could Win It All: Peyton Manning.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Everyone other than Peyton Manning.
The Broncos don't have a bad team at all, but Peyton Manning covers over a lot of other roster sins.
He makes the offensive line look better. He makes his receivers look better. He takes a load of pressure off of the defense and makes things awfully easy on the coaching staff.
If Manning has an off day, the whole team feels it. That isn't a horrible problem, and it's one that most elite teams have, but the Broncos don't have a ton of time to put a better team around Manning.
Their time is now. The window was never open very far.
Green Bay Packers: 5%
Why They Could Win It All: The offense.
Why They Might Not Win It All: The defense.
Aaron Rodgers and the passing offense don't need a lot of help. Sure, they can't run the ball, but do they really need to? They didn't when they won a Super Bowl the last time.
But an inability to stop Colin Kaepernick was their Achilles' heel in 2012 and likely could be for quite a few years to come. If not Kaepernick, Robert Griffin III or Russell Wilson will give them the same trouble.
If the defense can continue to take steps forward, the Packers will be very competitive.
Houston Texans: 5%
Why They Could Win It All: They're an awesome team on paper.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Games aren't played on paper.
The Texans are a really good team. They have a ton of great talent and can dominate for stretches of games like almost no one else in the NFL can.
Matt Schaub probably didn't deserve to go to the Pro Bowl this past year, but give him another receiver across from Andre Johnson, and he could easily go to another Pro Bowl next season.
On defense, the Texans are still a work in progress, but they have one elite pass-rusher (J.J. Watt) and a bunch of good parts around him. The problem is: They let teams stick in games for too long.
Going to overtime against teams like the Detroit Lions and the Jacksonville Jaguars? That can't happen for a team headed to the Super Bowl.
They have to learn how to be ruthless. They need a little of that Belichickian Patriots swagger. If they don't find that, they're always going to be one step behind the rest of the great teams in the NFL.
Atlanta Falcons: 7%
Why They Could Win It All: They are explosive.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Need to learn how to win the big ones still.
To some extent, the Falcons have the same problem as the Texans.
They could, conceivably, win every game on paper, but there's just little spots on offense and defense (lack of consistent running game, hole at middle linebacker) that get in their way if they make any mistakes.
If Matt Ryan and the Falcons' high-octane passing attack can put up 30 points in every game, they'll win most of those. Ryan just needs to learn how to be a finisher and continue to get that playoff monkey off of his back.
New England Patriots: 7%
Why They Could Win It All: They have an elite offense, an added rushing attack and the defense is no longer a liability.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Is the window closed?
Tom Brady is 35 years old.
His physical skills are already eroding, and it's not going to get any better. All of the different wrinkles in the offense (addition of Rob Gronkowski/Aaron Hernandez, additional role of Steven Ridley, etc.) help mask the fact that Brady's deep ball isn't what it used to be.
The Patriots can still put up a ton of points, Brady just needs more help than the team is used to needing to give him.
There could still be some magic up in New England, but it isn't going to get any easier from this point onward.
Baltimore Ravens: 7%
Why They Could Win It All: Joe Flacco looks like he might actually be elite.
Why They Might Not Win It All: What will this defense look like without Ray Lewis?
Is it disrespectful to put the Ravens lower than the 49ers?
Joe Flacco and the Ravens have taken huge steps forward offensively and have a chance to seriously invest on that side of the ball. Add a lineman and a receiver in the draft, and there's no reason a repeat couldn't happen.
The biggest question is whether or not this team will continue its fantastic "us vs. them" world-beater mentality without their emotional leader.
San Francisco 49ers: 10%
Why They Could Win It All: A full offseason with Colin Kaepernick means special things could happen.
Why They Might Not Win It All: Will they shore up defensive lapses from this postseason?
The 49ers had a magical run to the Super Bowl and in the second half, post-blackout. Looking at the young talent on their roster, there's little reason to believe they couldn't sit at the top of the NFC for years to come.
Yet, something has to be done about the defense. It was so solid during the regular season, but elite offenses in the postseason found ways to pick it apart.
A lot can change between now and the beginning of the 2013 season, but right now, the 49ers look like favorites next year.
Michael Schottey is the NFL national lead writer for Bleacher Report and a member of the Pro Football Writers of America. Find more of his stuff at The Go Route.