Reviewing the Latest Super Bowl Odds, Post-OTAs Edition

Brandon AlisogluCorrespondent IJune 27, 2013

Reviewing the Latest Super Bowl Odds, Post-OTAs Edition

0 of 32

    You don't just play to win the game—you play to win the Super Bowl. Thus, if you’re not worrying about your team’s odds of winning the Lombardi Trophy, you’re doing it wrong.

    And who knows? You might just find a place or two to make some money.

    Each slide presents the Vegas odds for winning the Super Bowl as they stood at the time of publishing. For those who don't fully understand how to read the odds, here's a quick crash course.

    If your team has 33-to-1 odds to win the Super Bowl, that means a $1 bet would yield $33 if it won. Therefore, the higher the odds, the worse chance there is of winning, but the higher the payout if you win. And if the odds are too low, Vegas believes your team will win much more than I do.

    The key is to find value bets—bets on teams with odds given by the Vegas oddsmakers that are too high compared to what they should be. Those opportunities offer the best chances to make money.

    School is out now. Click through for the fun.


    All odds sourced from

32. Jacksonville Jaguars

1 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 200 to 1

    Welcome to Jacksonville, Gus Bradley.

    Your welcome basket includes a top-10 bust in quarterback Blaine Gabbert, a gifted running back who is coming off Lisfranc surgery and a defense that was third-worst in terms of yards (380.5 per game) and points (27.8) allowed.

    There's absolutely no reason to believe that the Jacksonville Jaguars can pull off the impossible. That's why the sharps won't even give them a one-percent chance.

    Even with the ridiculous possibility of a payday, leave your money in waterfront property in the Sahara. It would have a better chance of paying off.

    Verdict: Right On

31. Oakland Raiders

2 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 150 to 1

    The Oakland Raiders are going to be good.

    In a couple of years.

    Reggie McKenzie walked into an untenable salary-cap situation in Oakland, and he's done a decent job of adding talented players like Kaluka Maiava, Charles Woodson and Vance Walker on the cheap.

    The Raiders did well enough in the draft that there's reason to have some hope moving forward. While there's still not enough talent to contend, this franchise deserves better odds considering the betting lines given to other teams.

    I still wouldn't put any of my own cash on the Raiders winning the Super Bowl, even with the huge payoff.

    Verdict: Too High

T-30. Buffalo Bills

3 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 125 to 1

    Remember when losing four straight Super Bowls was a punch line? What Buffalo Bills fans wouldn't do to turn the clock back to those days.

    The Bills haven't made the playoffs since 1999. A streak of futility that is unrivaled by any other club in the NFL.

    With yet another new regime comes a false hope that the team will rebound quickly. It won't. Not when two of the Bills' best players, guard Andy Levitre and safety George Wilson, left via free agency and recently acquired quarterback Kevin Kolb is viewed as a short-term fix.

    We're still not in worthy long-shot territory.

    Verdict: Right On

T-30. Arizona Cardinals

4 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 125 to 1

    The Arizona Cardinals are on the upswing.

    They hired a coach, Bruce Arians, whose deep-passing attack suits the personnel currently on the roster. The trade for Carson Palmer gives them a much better shot than they've had the past two years.

    However, the Cards also play in the NFC West, which doubles as the most difficult division in the NFL. It's very possible that they will go winless in their six divisional games.

    That would mean the team has to win just about every other game on the schedule to even be in the running for a playoff spot. Remember, the 2012 Chicago Bears didn't make it in after getting to 10 wins.

    I'm warming up to the idea of a few dollars here, just in case Arizona goes on a miracle run with its talented defense and improved offense. All it takes is one costly injury to a quarterback and Seattle or San Francisco doesn't look nearly as tough.

    Verdict: Too High

T-28. Tennessee Titans

5 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 100 to 1

    It's all on you, Jake Locker.

    The Tennessee Titans are set up for success in just about every other way. At least on offense.

    The offseason overhaul solidified an offensive line that should get running back Chris Johnson rolling again, and the addition of wide receiver Justin Hunter to Kenny Britt and Nate Washington gives the Titans a bona fide trio of weapons.

    The defense has some potential, but there are far too many moving parts to predict success on that side of the ball. Safety George Wilson will be a serious upgrade in the back, and defensive tackle Sammie Hill would provide some girth up front.

    Verdict: Slightly Too High

T-28. New York Jets

6 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 100 to 1

    Let's see here.

    There's a quarterback, Mark Sanchez, whose most famous highlight is commonly known as the "butt fumble."

    There's a new offensive coordinator, Marty Mornhinweg, trying to implement a new scheme with said quarterback and Santonio Holmes as his only weapon.

    There's a whirlwind of rumors that head coach Rex Ryan will be let go after the season.

    There's not a lot of reason for optimism.

    Verdict: Too Low

26. Cleveland Browns

7 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 75 to 1

    If it weren't for quarterback Brandon Weeden, there might actually be optimism in the Dawg Pound. Alas, it’s more of the same old feeling. 

    The Cleveland Browns have plenty of talent on both sides of the ball.

    The defense will get an upgrade from Ray Horton and boasts an outside linebacker rotation that could wreak all sorts of havoc. 

    The offensive line, led by stalwart left tackle Joe Thomas, is very capable of opening holes so long as second-year running back Trent Richardson can stay healthy enough to run through them. On the outside, wide receiver Josh Gordon is primed for a breakout year.

    The pieces are there. The quarterback isn't. 

    Verdict: Right On

25. Carolina Panthers

8 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 66 to 1

    We're entering that dreaded section of the list where you see the long odds and think that this might be the place to cash in.

    After all, the Carolina Panthers finished off their 2012 campaign by winning five of their last six games.

    Their offensive tackle was so confident in the team's ability last year that he took out a full-page ad predicting a Super Bowl season. Surely the players, who are close to the action, are proper evaluators of talent and reality.

    "What? There's an NFL Network top 100 players list that was voted on by the players? They put Bernard Pollard at No. 87?"

    Well, forget that point.

    The Panthers added some nice talent to the middle of the defense, but the secondary is iffy at best. The offense will rely on Cam Newton taking a large step forward and still doesn't have a second receiving threat behind Steve Smith.

    Verdict: Right On

T-24. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

9 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 50 to 1

    Does Darrelle Revis make the Tampa Bay Buccaneers a Super Bowl contender? Apparently, not to Vegas.

    The offense is going to depend on roller-coaster quarterback Josh Freeman. That alone is enough to drop the otherwise well-off offense down a few notches, especially considering his last four weeks of 2012 (four touchdowns and nine interceptions).

    The additions of cornerback Darrelle Revis and safety Dashon Goldson improve the secondary, but the defense is missing too many pieces in the front seven to push this team past its signal-caller's limited ceiling.

    The NFC has too many talented teams to seriously consider placing a wager on the Bucs with these odds. 

    Verdict: Too Low

T-24. San Diego Chargers

10 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 50 to 1

    So let me get this straight.

    Philip Rivers hasn't played well since 2010. He also spent almost 40 percent of his snaps under duress last season, per Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

    Now he's going to turn it all around with his best lineman, Louis Vasquez, joining the Denver Broncos?

    Even better is the faith that these odds seem to place in oft-injured running back Ryan Mathews. There are stories about him acknowledging his failures, which is admirable, but nothing about him showing up at every workout and living at the practice facility. 

    On the plus side, the defense has some nice pieces, but not enough to overcome what should be an ineffective offense.

    Verdict: Too Low

T-24. Kansas City Chiefs

11 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 50 to 1

    This is an interesting number.

    Quarterback Alex Smith was playing smart, efficient football until he went down with a concussion and inadvertently gave birth to the Colin Kaepernick era. There's reason to believe that he can do well in head coach Andy Reid's short-passing West Coast scheme.

    Smith will be flanked by exciting wide receivers with Dwayne Bowe and Dexter McCluster on the outside. Oh, and the offense has a franchise-tag-worthy left tackle and the No. 1 overall pick playing right tackle.

    Plus, there are defensive playmakers at each level. Defensive end Justin Houston came into his own last year with 10 sacks, outside linebacker Tamba Hali is still a force and safety Eric Berry bounced back from a rough start to discover his groove.

    This team might actually be good. Here's the first team where a five-dollar bet doesn't sound like a terrible idea.

    Verdict: Too High

T-21. St. Louis Rams

12 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 40 to 1

    If it weren't for the San Francisco 49ers and Seattle Seahawks, you might be paying attention to what Jeff Fisher is doing with the St. Louis Rams.

    He's rebuilt the defense in his image, bringing in players who have a mean streak, like Cortland Finnegan. The Rams will need defensive end Robert Quinn, who only recorded six sacks in 14 games when taking out two outlier games, and cornerback Janoris Jenkins to take a step towards consistency. If those two do, and cornerback Trumaine Johnson is given a bigger role, passing against St. Louis will be tough.

    As for the offense, it's a make-or-break year for Sam Bradford. There are game-changing players at each position and a decent enough offensive line in front of him that the excuse well has run dry.

    Again, if it weren't for the division and the rest of the loaded NFC, this team would be getting a little more hype. But the world isn't always fair, and money isn't made by betting against reality.

    Verdict: Slightly Too Low

T-21. Minnesota Vikings

13 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 40 to 1

    If you have Adrian Peterson, your team starts off at about 25 to 1, regardless of the roster. So how did the Minnesota Vikings fall so far?

    Well, there's quarterback Christian Ponder, who looks more like a long-term sit-on-the-bench project than an immediate starter. Despite his decent start (four touchdowns and zero interceptions in the first four games), he still barely averaged a passing touchdown a game.

    And the Vikings shipped off his best target in wide receiver Percy Harvin. They did add Greg Jennings and Cordarrelle Patterson on the outside, but neither player is a proven big-time nothing-out-of-something threat like Harvin. Furthermore, Patterson's deep-ball ability will be wasted on a quarterback who doesn't particularly excel in that area.

    The defense is undergoing a transition where the secondary may prove to be the most effective unit. Cornerback Chris Cook will lead talented youngsters Xavier Rhodes, Mistral Raymond and Harrison Smith, while the defensive line boasts an aging Jared Allen and Kevin Williams.

    A lot would have to break properly for this team to make the playoffs as currently constructed. Again, there isn't enough money in play for the risk associated with Minnesota.

    Verdict: Too Low

T-21. Miami Dolphins

14 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 40 to 1

    At the end of the 2012 season, the mere mention of the Miami Dolphins grabbing the AFC East crown seemed preposterous. Now, it doesn't just seem plausible, but likely.

    Some of that has to do with the uncertainty surrounding the New England Patriots offense, but the above proclamation has more to do with what is going down in Miami.

    The defense looks primed to be beastly. I don't care if that's not a football word; there's no better way to describe it.

    Sack-master Cameron Wake will be accompanied at defensive end by exciting rookie Dion Jordan. The secondary will be led by two of the better safeties in the league, Reshad Jones and Chris Clemons, who will be joined by former Atlanta Falcons cornerback Brent Grimes.

    Offensively, quarterback Ryan Tannehill showed enough last year, sporting an 11.3 Pro Football Focus grade (subscription required), to believe he can handle the gig. However, replacing former left tackle Jake Long with Jonathan Martin is a concerning proposition.

    Overall, the Dolphins have a lot going for them, but trusting a second-year quarterback to take a Super Bowl-winning step is a bold proposition.

    Verdict: Too High

T-21. Indianapolis Colts

15 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 40 to 1

    Last year was a lot of fun for Indianapolis Colts fans. They probably felt they deserved it after enduring a torturous 2011 campaign.

    Well, here's some bad news for them: 2013 will bring the Colts a step or two backwards. Rebuilding a franchise that quickly is usually a mirage, and it's no different for Indy.

    The offense should be all right. Quarterback Andrew Luck will get a slightly improved offensive line and will lead the reclamation project of Darrius Heyward-Bey's career. 

    But the defense will be Indy's ultimate undoing.

    The pass rush will continue to struggle, as outside linebacker Erik Walden and rookie Bjoern Werner are certainly not upgrades over the injury-addled Dwight Freeney. The secondary won't fare much better because the additions of cornerback Greg Toler and safety LaRon Landry are middling at best.

    Just to drive the point home about the aberration that was the Colts' 2012 season, Indianapolis rated as Pro Football Focus' fifth-worst team (subscription required). That team won nine games determined by one touchdown or less; it's extremely difficult to consistently win those types of games, as the "breaks" rarely continuously fall your way.

    Luck (the four-leaf clover kind) and inspiration will be needed in large doses if this team is to return to the playoffs.

    Verdict: Too Low

T-21. Detroit Lions

16 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 40 to 1

    Remember the point about rebuilding not being a one-year deal for the Indianapolis Colts? That's the exact reason that the Detroit Lions are in a much better position than most believe.

    The offense is set to regain its 2011 form.

    The wide receivers are better than they were, with Ryan Broyles ready to provide an explosive counterpart to superstar Calvin Johnson. Recently acquired running back Reggie Bush will provide a souped-up version of what Jahvid Best brought to the offense, with the added ability to pick up yards between the tackles.

    The offensive line provides some questions considering the three new starters, but one is a first-rounder bred to be a left tackle, and rookie Larry Warford is a plug-and-play offensive guard. That means the only true concern is right tackle, and every offense has at least one question.

    The defense is where this team will take a large step forward.

    The recent addition of defensive end Israel Idonije means the defensive line has the depth and talent on the outside to match the best defensive tackle duo in the league. While the linebacking unit must bounce back (looking at you, Stephen Tulloch and DeAndre Levy), the secondary, with safety Glover Quin and three talented corners battling to start opposite Chris Houston, will be fine.

    Drop a few bucks here. These odds will move.

    Verdict: Too High

T-16. Washington Redskins

17 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 33 to 1

    Whether Robert Griffin III will be ready for the season opener is no longer the issue. But whether he can stay healthy for an entire season is still in doubt.

    Kirk Cousins has proven a capable spot starter. Making the jump to Super Bowl winner will take a little more seasoning. 

    The defense will get a boost from the return of outside linebacker Brian Orakpo and hopefully defensive end Adam Carriker, but the lack of cap room and draft picks left little room for improvement. A so-so defense combined with an uncertain quarterbacking situation results in so-so odds.

    Verdict: Right On

T-16. Philadelphia Eagles

18 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 33 to 1

    The sharps in Vegas either know something I don't or assume the public really believes in Chip Kelly. There can't be another reason for thinking people will plunk down money with these odds.

    The offense is difficult to project until we see how professional defenses counter whatever adaptation of Kelly's scheme he employs. It’ll also help to know who is the starting quarterback.

    Additionally, two of the Philadelphia Eagles' three biggest defensive acquisitions are incredibly overrated. Connor Barwin produced all of three sacks while playing with the attention-hogging J.J. Watt, and Isaac Sopoaga rated as the fourth-worst interior lineman out of 85 ranked by Pro Football Focus (subscription required).

    Verdict: Too Low

T-16. Dallas Cowboys

19 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 33 to 1

    At first, these odds struck me as only marginally better than the last slide and clearly another play for public money. Vegas knows that people will be attracted to big numbers and the Dallas Cowboys name.

    But this team still has the talent of a playoff-caliber franchise.

    The offensive line has a couple holes, but Tony Romo still has Dez Bryant, Miles Austin and Jason Witten catching passes. Unfortunately, the Cowboys will have to rely on the oft-injured DeMarco Murray if they're going to turn this around.

    It's the defense that can really set this team apart. Everyone knows DeMarcus Ware, but they forget about Anthony Spencer, Sean Lee and Jason Hatcher. If the underachieving secondary finds its stride, there's real potential on that side of the ball.

    When you balance the “ifs” with the talent, it all makes sense.

    Verdict: Right On

T-16. Cincinnati Bengals

20 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 33 to 1

    So two teams that were last seen trending downwards are getting the same odds as an up-and-rising playoff team? Got it. 

    Granted, the Dallas Cowboys’ odds were fine, but that's the point. This line is, well, out of line.

    Sometimes you have to remember that this isn't about straight football logic, but rather enticing people to lay down cash. 

    The Cincinnati Bengals have a ferocious, attacking defense led by its line. The front is so good that the Bengals shouldn’t have too much difficulty overcoming any possible Adam Jones suspension.

    The offense can only be held back by its quarterback. If Andy Dalton is firing accurately and taking shots downfield every now and again, Cincy will be tough for anyone to beat.

    So go ahead and open that wallet. Don't be scared of making a little money.

    Verdict: Too High

T-16. Chicago Bears

21 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 33 to 1

    There are a lot of variables facing the Chicago Bears in 2013.

    How will the team react to its first new head coach since 2004? How will Marc Trestman adjust to being an NFL head coach?

    Can the offensive line protect Jay Cutler with the additions of Jermon Bushrod and Kyle Long? Will the defense perform at the same level without its spiritual leader?

    Both sides of the ball are loaded with top-level talent like Brandon Marshall, Matt Forte and Charles Tillman. Thus, the season will hinge on the secondary cast, players like Alshon Jeffery and middle linebacker D.J. Williams.

    Again, talent with questions means this line is just about right.

    Verdict: Right On

11. Pittsburgh Steelers

22 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 25 to 1

    When you have a franchise quarterback, you always have a chance.

    In theory, this makes plenty of sense. However, we've seen what happens for the Pittsburgh Steelers when they're forced to rely solely on Ben Roethlisberger. That's why football is called the ultimate team game.

    The shaky offensive line from 2012 will need to improve dramatically to keep Roethlisberger healthy. Additionally, Markus Wheaton must become a consistent deep threat immediately to stretch the defense and open up passing lanes. 

    LaMarr Woodley should regain his status as a top outside linebacker, but who is going to help him? Jarvis Jones needs time to learn the defense, and the secondary desperately needs Troy Polamalu to rebound since the rest of the defensive backs are iffy at best.

    That's too many "needs" and "musts" for such low odds.

    Verdict: Too Low

T-10. New York Giants

23 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 22 to 1

    The New York Giants are an impossible team to peg. 

    They win Super Bowls when they don't win 10 games. They miss the playoffs when everyone is expecting big things from them.

    But those improbable runs to glory are what you can do with a good quarterback and an even better pass rush. 

    The Giants still have the same signal-caller and an exciting trio of wide receivers (for now). 

    The big question surrounds the pass rush.

    Jason Pierre-Paul should get back to occupying backfields like he's protesting how much quarterbacks are earning. However, Justin Tuck is getting older (30), and rookie Damontre Moore might not be ready to contribute right away. 

    With those thoughts in mind, this is a good number, but the value isn't there.

    Verdict: Right On

T-10. Baltimore Ravens

24 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 22 to 1

    It's no coincidence that the Baltimore Ravens have the same odds as the New York Giants. They're both built around a good quarterback capable of stringing together incredible performances and an opportunistic defense.

    Joe Flacco isn't going to be counted on as a "numbers guy" yet (stolen from Dan Patrick). What that means is that he isn't going to throw for 45 touchdowns, but he'll find ways to win. He's 54-26 in regular-season contests.

    The defense will still boast playmakers despite the losses of Ed Reed and Ray Lewis. Elvis Dumervil and Terrell Suggs will provide the push up front, while Matt Elam will be asked to anchor the back. 

    The losses that this team sustained (Dannell Ellerbe, Anquan Boldin and Cary Williams) held the Ravens back from the teens in terms of odds, and this is exactly where they should be.

    Verdict: Right On

T-8. New Orleans Saints

25 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 18 to 1

    In Sean Payton we trust. Apparently.

    The New Orleans Saints looked lost without their captain last season. The presence of Drew Brees wasn't enough to keep the Saints from slipping under .500.

    But the crew is together now, and the offense can get back to its old ways. Right?

    Maybe not.

    The offensive line has been getting ransacked for the last two years, losing one long-term starter each offseason. The receiving corps is still strong, but the running back unit has slowly bled talent.

    The defense is the real concern. The Saints weren't just bad; they gave up more yards (7,042) than any team in NFL history. Now, a recently fired Rob Ryan is going to fix that in just a few months?

    That's a tall task. And I don't bet on long odds with low payoffs.

    Verdict: Too Low

T-8. Houston Texans

26 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 18 to 1

    The Houston Texans have been on the cusp forever. Or so it seems.

    They "broke through" from their 8-8 doldrums a couple years ago, only to be escorted out of the playoffs in the divisional round twice. Thus, it's time for another epiphany, right?


    The offense should take a step forward with the addition of rookie wide receiver DeAndre Hopkins.

    But will the defense continue to get after the quarterback after losing Connor Barwin?

    Probably. And if Johnathan Joseph can find his previous form, the secondary should stabilize. 

    This is still a team with J.J. Watt, Andre Johnson and Arian Foster. You can take a flier on those guys.

    Verdict: Right On

6. Atlanta Falcons

27 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 14 to 1

    The Atlanta Falcons were that close to playing in last year's Super Bowl. One more completed pass and it could have been Matt Ryan enjoying a parade at Disney World.

    But it wasn't. So the Falcons don't get the benefit of the doubt, and it appears they get even less than that.

    This team has only gotten better through the draft (cornerbacks Robert Alford and Desmond Trufant), and general manager Thomas Dimitroff brought in Osi Umenyiora to replace John Abraham.

    Julio Jones has had another offseason to become even more deadly, and he'll still get to run with Tony Gonzalez and Roddy White.

    There's some big value here. Grab it before Vegas remembers that the Falcons are good.

    Verdict: Too High

5. Green Bay Packers

28 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 12 to 1

    The Green Bay Packers have obvious problems.

    The offensive line has one good player (Josh Sitton) and a bunch of guys masquerading as matadors. So the team responds by moving Bryan Bulaga, who was below average at right tackle, to the most important position on the line: left tackle.

    And it doesn't matter. 

    Not when the Packers have Aaron Rodgers behind that line. Oh, and a wide receiving corps that rivals any in the league.

    The defense still has Clay Matthews and a couple young guys (Datone Jones and Nick Perry) who could be ready to contribute. If Tramon Williams finds his swagger, the Pack could roll through January again.

    Verdict: Right On

4. New England Patriots

29 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 17 to 2

    Obviously, these odds aren't likely to remain the same.

    Aaron Hernandez's murder charges and subsequent release will have a large effect on the New England Patriots season. The Pats absolutely need Rob Gronkowski to get healthy and stay on the field.

    That could be a tough proposition for a guy who's undergone five surgeries since January

    Tom Brady enters the 2013 season without a bunch of his regular targets, including Wes Welker and Danny Woodhead. It's tough to replicate that type of chemistry in a hurry.

    The defense is an improving unit, but it isn't on the early-2000s level. New England's stranglehold on the AFC East may be loosening.

    Verdict: Too Low

3. Seattle Seahawks

30 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 8 to 1

    If the Lombardi Trophy was awarded to the team with the best offseason, the Seattle Seahawks would have clinched it long ago.

    Seattle added defensive ends Cliff Avril and Michael Bennett to a defensive line that was physical and fearsome last season. That's in addition to bringing in Percy Harvin for Russell Wilson to play with.

    This team was neck and neck with the best in the NFC last year. Adding those three players, along with running back Christine Michael, just seems unfair.

    The payout isn't great, but the closer you get to a sure thing, the less you deserve. It's called gambling for a reason.

    Verdict: Right On

2. Denver Broncos

31 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 13 to 2

    Should I just list all of the superstars on the team? Do you have 20 minutes?

    Or let's just keep it simple and point out that Wes Welker is the third receiving option. Third!

    To sum up the defense, the unit lost Elvis Dumervil and his 11 sacks—and shouldn't miss a beat. 

    This team is scary. And we haven't even mentioned Peyton Manning yet.

    Verdict: Right On

1. San Francisco 49ers

32 of 32

    Super Bowl Odds: 6 to 1

    If the San Francisco 49ers hadn't traded for a replacement No. 1 receiver, then these odds would be daunting when considering Michael Crabtree's Achilles injury.

    But they did. They stole Anquan Boldin, the guy who killed them in the Super Bowl, from the team that beat them for the championship.

    I'm not entirely sure how that's even possible.

    The defense showed some vulnerability when Justin Smith struggled with injuries. However, he hadn't missed any time since 2001 prior to last year. The Niners can feel confident in relying on Smith to stay sturdy.

    And, again, we haven't mentioned the quarterback yet.

    Verdict: Right On