Super Bowl 46 Predictions: NFL Schedules Unveiled, Who Will Win the Big Game?

Matt Miller@nfldraftscoutNFL Draft Lead WriterApril 20, 2011

Super Bowl 46 Predictions: NFL Schedules Unveiled, Who Will Win the Big Game?

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    Elsa/Getty Images

    There may not be an NFL season in 2011 due to labor unrest and an expired collective bargaining agreement, but at least we know who will be playing if there is a season.

    A worst-case scenario: at least Madden 2012 will have an updated schedule.

    Never wasting time to jump to conclusions, the oddsmakers in Las Vegas are ready with updated odds on who will win Super Bowl 46. We decided to also throw our odds in the mix.

    Here is your super-early look at the winner of Super Bowl 46.

New England Patriots

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    Leon Halip/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 5-1

    Miller Odds: 5-1

    The Patriots still have Bill Belichick and Tom Brady, so they continue to dominate the odds as Super Bowl favorites.

    The Patriots start the season off on Monday night in Miami, making a 1-0 start very likely.

    Notable Games:

    Week 5 vs Jets

    Week 8 @ Steelers

    Week 12 @ Eagles

    Week 13 vs Colts

Green Bay Packers

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    Matt Ludtke/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 6-1

    Miller Odds: 8-1

    The Packers must replace two starters (if you count Johnny Jolly) on the defensive line and potential one at guard this offseason. Until they have done this their odds will drop on our board.

    Aaron Rodgers and co. are fun to watch, but the offensive and defensive line will have to play better in 2011 for them to repeat as champs.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 vs Saints

    Week 5 @ Falcons

    Week 9 @ Chargers

    Week 16 vs Bears

Pittsburgh Steelers

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 8-1

    Miller Odds 8-1

    Much like the Green Bay Packers, the Steelers must make improvements on the offensive line before we can consider them strong favorites for Super Bowl 46.

    If Pittsburgh can add a top-flight cornerback, as well as a rookie starter on the offensive line, we will feel much better about them.

    Notable Games:

    Week 3 @ Colts

    Week 8 vs Patriots

    Week 9 vs Ravens

    Week 12 @ Chiefs

Baltimore Ravens

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 12-1

    Miller Odds: 10-1

    We like the Ravens a little more than the boys in Vegas, probably because of our love for Ray Rice.

    The Ravens are not without fault. They need a right tackle, help at cornerback and receiver and a healthy roster in 2011 to see themselves make a playoff run.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 vs Steelers

    Week 4 vs Jets

    Week 12 vs 49ers in Harbaugh Bowl

    Week 14 vs Colts

New York Jets

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 12-1

    Miller Odds: 12-1

    The Jets look poised to make a Super Bowl push if they can re-sign several key free agents this offseason.

    Santonio Holmes, Braylon Edwards and Antonio Cromartie are all big parts of the Jets' success. If they are not back in 2011, the odds will fall. Hard.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 vs Cowboys

    Week 4 @ Ravens

    Week 5 @ Patriots

    Week 16 vs Giants

Atlanta Falcons

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 15-1

    Miller Odds: 12-1

    If we had to make a prediction on which NFC team would play in the 2012 Super Bowl it would be a close fight between the Falcons and Packers.

    Matt Ryan and co. are back in 2011 with very little lost due to free agency. If they can add a defensive end and solid No. 2 wide receiver through the draft, watch out.

    If you will note below, it's not unthinkable for Atlanta to start the year 0-3.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 @ Bears

    Week 2 vs Eagles

    Week 3 @ Buccaneers

    Week 16 @ Saints

Philadelphia Eagles

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    Chris Trotman/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 15-1

    Miller Odds: 12-1

    The Eagles have Michael Vick and that's all they really need to remain competitive for the playoffs. Thankfully they have DeSean Jackson, LeSean McCoy and Jeremy Maclin to push them from playoff contenders to Super Bowl hopefuls.

    Notable Games:

    Week 8 vs Cowboys

    Week 12 vs Patriots

    Week 15 vs Jets

    Week 16 @ Cowboys

New Orleans Saints

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 15-1

    Miller Odds: 15-1

    The Saints are talented enough on paper to win another Super Bowl, but this is a veteran roster and injuries could limit their success.

    Drew Brees has enough around him on offense to score points. The Saints defense might be what keeps them from a second Super Bowl ring.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 @ Packers

    Week 7 vs Colts

    Week 9 vs Buccaneers

    Week 16 vs Falcons

San Diego Chargers

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 12-1

    Miller Odds: 15-1

    Why the geniuses in Las Vegas have the Chargers as 12-1 odds to win the Super Bowl we do not know, but we are betting against them.

    The Chargers are historically slow starters, have more competition in the AFC West than ever before and are facing an offseason where the roster will be overhauled—if and when free agency begins.

    With the No. 9 hardest schedule in 2011, the Chargers are fighting an uphill battle.

    Notable Games:

    Week 2 @ Patriots

    Week 7 @ Jets

    Week 8 @ Chiefs

    Week 17 @ Raiders

New York Giants

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 15-1

    Miller Odds: 20-1

    We were surprised to see the Vegas odds for the Giants at 15 to 1. Very surprised.

    Do they remember that Eli, not Peyton, is quarterbacking in New York?

    The Giants defense is superb and they were rocked by injuries in 2010, but this roster is overrated.

    Notable Games:

    Week 3 @ Eagles

    Week 9 @ Patriots

    Week 12 @ Saints

    Week 17 vs Cowboys

Chicago Bears

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 18-1

    Miller Odds: 18-1

    The Bears bring back every key player on the roster and should be able to add an offensive tackle and wide receiver through the draft.

    If Jay Cutler and Mike Martz can stay as hot as they were down the stretch in 2010, the Bears' 18th-ranked schedule will lead them to the playoffs.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 vs Falcons

    Week 2 @ Saints

    Week 16 @ Packers

    Week 17 @ Vikings

Dallas Cowboys

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    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 18-1

    Miller Odds: 20-1

    The Cowboys have changed coaches, are banking on a healthy Tony Romo and will most likely have a new starter at right tackle and cornerback.

    And they play in the toughest division in football.

    We will know by Week 8 what the Cowboys are made of.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 @ Jets

    Week 6 @ Patriots

    Week 8 @ Eagles

    Week 17 @ Giants

Indianapolis Colts

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 18-1

    Miller Odds: 20-1

    Last year's Vegas favorites are snapped back to reality in 2011.

    The Colts are facing an aging Peyton Manning, a bad offensive line and the fifth-hardest 2011 schedule.

    Making the Super Bowl may be asking a lot for this Colts team that might struggle to make the playoffs.

    Notable Games:

    Week 3 vs Steelers

    Week 9 vs Falcons

    Week 13 @ Patriots

    Week 17 @ Jaguars

Kansas City Chiefs

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 30-1

    Miller Odds: 30-1

    The Chiefs face the seventh-hardest schedule thanks to a tough division and matchups with the NFC North this year.

    Jamaal Charles and Matt Cassel are enough on offense; Kansas City now needs to add complementary pieces at wide receiver and outside linebacker to push farther in the playoffs.

    Notable Games:

    Week 3 @ Chargers

    Week 5 @ Colts

    Week 11 @ Patriots

    Week 16 vs Raiders

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    Chris Graythen/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 30-1

    Miller Odds: 30-1

    Can Josh Freeman continue to develop into a top-10 quarterback? Will young players Mike Williams and LeGarrette Blount experience a sophomore slump? Can Aqib Talib avoid jail long enough to contribute in 2011?

    The Bucs are talented, but question marks are aplenty in 2011.

    Notable Games:

    Week 3 vs Falcons

    Week 6 vs Saints

    Week 15 vs Cowboys

    Week 17 @ Falcons

Houston Texans

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    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 35-1

    Miller Odds: 35-1

    The Texans are slowly putting together a formidable roster, but there are still missing pieces. A terrible secondary held them back in 2010. A change to a 3-4 defense will be a huge obstacle in 2011.

    We will be impressed if the Texans can make it to the halfway mark at 4-4.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 vs Colts

    Week 3 @ Saints

    Week 4 vs Steelers

    Week 16 @ Colts

San Francisco 49ers

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    Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 40-1

    Miller Odds: 35-1

    Laugh it up, but the 49ers are closer than most think.

    Give Jim Harbaugh consistent play at quarterback and he can manage this team to a winning season versus the 30th-ranked strength of schedule.

    Notable Games:

    Week 4 @ Eagles

    Week 12 @ Ravens

    Week 13 vs Rams

    Week 15 vs Steelers

Miami Dolphins

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    Scott Cunningham/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 40-1

    Miller Odds: 40-1

    The Dolphins are a lot closer than you might think, too.

    If they can get solid play from Chad Henne and find a replacement for Ricky Williams-Ronnie Brown, things could start to look up.

    Overcoming the powerhouses in their own division, New England and the Jets, is step one.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 vs Patriots

    Week 6 @ Jets

    Week 12 @ Cowboys

    Week 17 vs Jets

Detroit Lions

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    Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 50-1

    Miller Odds: 40-1

    The Lions have the fourth-hardest 2011 schedule—a lot to overcome to reach the playoffs.

    The thing in their favor is no one knows how good they can be if everyone is healthy.

    Give the Lions a full season from Matthew Stafford and Jahvid Best, with Ndamukong Suh on defense, and this looks like a Wild Card team.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 @ Buccaneers

    Week 2 vs Chiefs

    Week 13 @ Saints

    Week 17 @ Packers

Oakland Raiders

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    Ezra Shaw/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 50-1

    Miller Odds: 50-1

    We agree with Vegas on this one.

    If the Raiders get the type of play from their defense that they did in 2010, and a full season from Jason Campbell and Darren McFadden, they could realistically end the season 9-7 with a chance at the playoffs.

    Replacing Nnamdi Asomugha has to be taken care of first.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 @ Broncos

    Week 4 vs Patriots

    Week 16 @ Chiefs

    Week 17 vs Chargers

Minnesota Vikings

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    Jim McIsaac/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 40-1

    Miller Odds: 50-1

    Until the Minnesota Vikings find a reliable quarterback, we might as well put their odds of winning the Super Bowl at 8,000,000-to-1.

    This is a talented roster at almost every position, except quarterback. Going off today's roster, the Vikings have no chance of ever playing for the 2012 Super Bowl.


    Notable Games:

    Week 6 @ Bears

    Week 7 vs Packers

    Week 12 @ Falcons

    Week 17 vs Bears

Jacksonville Jaguars

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    Scott Boehm/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 60-1

    Miller Odds: 50-1

    We were pretty surprised to find the Jaguars rated so low by Vegas.

    They have a veteran quarterback, a top-five running back and a pretty good offensive line.

    They also have a terrible defense, a huge need for cornerback and safeties and a lame-duck coach.

    And the sixth-hardest schedule in 2011.

    Notable Games:

    Week 2 @ Jets

    Week 6 @ Steelers

    Week 15 @ Falcons

    Week 17 vs Colts

Seattle Seahawks

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    Otto Greule Jr/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 100-1

    Miller Odds: 50-1

    The Minnesota Vikings, with Joe Webb at quarterback, are 40-1 favorites in Las Vegas, but the Seahawks, who won a playoff game, are 100-1?

    I don't get it either.

    Seattle needs to replace or re-sign one player, quarterback Matt Hasselbeck. They also have a decent backup in Charlie Whitehurst, who might be able to carry the team if needed.

    Notable Games:

    Week 2 @ Steelers

    Week 13 vs Eagles

    Week 15 @ Bears

    Week 16 vs 49ers

St. Louis Rams

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    Christian Petersen/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 60-1

    Miller Odds: 55-1

    Give Sam Bradford a downfield threat at wide receiver, an option at tight end, and a little better pass rush on defense, and the Rams are a playoff team.

    Never underestimate the importance of a good quarterback who can rally his teammates.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 vs Eagles

    Week 6 @ Packers

    Week 16 @ Steelers

    Week 17 vs 49ers

Cleveland Browns

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    Matt Sullivan/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 60-1

    Miller Odds: 60-1

    The Browns appear to be pretty far from contending for a Super Bowl. And they are. Hence the odds, but we do like them above other teams near the bottom of the pile.

    Cleveland has an exciting young quarterback with a very good offensive line and a powerful running back. Give Colt McCoy a true No. 1 wide receiver and the Browns might surprise folks in 2011.

    Notable Games:

    Week 2 @ Colts

    Week 9 @ Texans

    Week 13 vs Ravens

    Week 17 vs Steelers

Denver Broncos

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    Doug Pensinger/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 60-1

    Miller Odds: 70-1

    Getting Elvis Dumervil back in 2011 will help. Playing the third-hardest schedule will not.

    The Broncos have no idea who their starting quarterback will be, where they will find two starting defensive tackles, or how they are going to match up at cornerback.

    2011 will be a tough year, Denver fans.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 vs Raiders

    Week 4 @ Packers

    Week 5 vs Chargers

    Week 17 vs Chiefs

Cincinnati Bengals

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    Andy Lyons/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 60-1

    Miller Odds: 70-1

    The odds with Carson Palmer are much different than the odds if he retires or the Bengals trade him.

    With Palmer the Bengals have at least a shot at the playoffs. Without him they are screwed.

    But look up Bengal fans, at least you will have a chance at Andrew Luck in the 2012 draft.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 @ Browns

    Week 6 vs Colts

    Week 13 @ Steelers

    Week 17 vs Ravens

Tennesee Titans

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    Grant Halverson/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 60-1

    Miller Odds: 80-1

    The Titans must find a quarterback this offseason. Otherwise they are starting Rusty Smith in 2011.

    Without a clear outlook on who the quarterback will be, it is hard to see a bright spot for the Titans this fall.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 @ Jaguars

    Week 5 @ Steelers

    Week 11 @ Falcons

    Week 17 @ Texans

Washington Redskins

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    Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 60-1

    Miller Odds: 90-1

    The Redskins defense is good enough to win a playoff game. Their offense is not.

    Finding a quarterback is priority No. 1 this offseason in Washington.

    With a rookie quarterback lining up behind a shaky offensive line in 2011, the Redskins will not be much fun to watch.

    Unless you are a Cowboys fan.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 vs Giants

    Week 6 vs Eagles

    Week 11 vs Cowboys

    Week 17 @ Eagles

Arizona Cardinals

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    Jed Jacobsohn/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 100 to 1

    Miller Odds: 100 to 1

    The Cardinals are a quarterback away from contending in the NFC West. If they can add Kevin Kolb or even Matt Flynn in a trade this offseason we would feel much better about Arizona's chances in 2011.

    Arizona is at least two years away from contending if they choose to add their next quarterback through the 2011 draft.

    Notable Games:

    Week 4 vs Giants

    Week 7 vs Steelers

    Week 16 @ Bengals

    Week 17 vs Seahawks

Buffalo Bills

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    Al Bello/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 200-1

    Miller Odds: 1,000,000-1

    The bad news:

    When Las Vegas says you have a 200-in-1 chance of making the Super Bowl, they are trying to find a nice way of saying "you suck."

    Add on the second-hardest schedule in the NFL and things look bleak in Buffalo. Well, more bleak than normal, anyway.

    The good news:

    You are our early favorite to land Stanford quarterback Andrew Luck in the 2012 NFL draft.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 @ Chiefs

    Week 4 @ Bengals (this may decide who picks No. 1 overall in 2012)

    Week 15 vs Dolphins

    Week 17 @ Patriots

Carolina Panthers

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    Streeter Lecka/Getty Images

    Vegas Odds: 300-1

    Miller Odds: ∞ to 1

    Listen folks, there is no way in hell the Panthers will win the Super Bowl. And not in a "2001 Patriots" kind of way, either.

    There is literally no way, at all, the Panthers could win Super Bowl 46. Unless the other 31 teams shut down and the league awards Carolina the winners. Kind of like a green ribbon thing.

    Notable Games:

    Week 1 @ Cardinals

    Week 10 @ Titans (this may decide who picks No. 1 overall in 2012)

    Week 12 @ Colts

    Week 13 @ Buccaneers