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2011 NFL Predictions: 5 Non-Playoff Teams Who Could Win 2011 Super Bowl

Eli NachmanyCorrespondent IIIMay 26, 2011

2011 NFL Predictions: 5 Non-Playoff Teams Who Could Win 2011 Super Bowl

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    DENVER, CO - JANUARY 2:  Quarterback Philip Rivers #17 of the San Diego Chargers warms up before a game against the Denver Broncos at INVESCO Field at Mile High on January 2, 2011 in Denver, Colorado. (Photo by Justin Edmonds/Getty Images)
    Justin Edmonds/Getty Images

    In 2010, a few surprise teams made the playoffs, including the Kansas City Chiefs and Seattle Seahawks, while perennial contenders missed the boat.

    Be it injuries, incompetent coaching staffs, apathy, lack of depth or other reasons, teams like the San Diego Chargers and Dallas Cowboys missed the playoffs despite having high hopes to begin the season.

    Here are five teams that, despite missing the playoffs in 2010, could turn it around and win the 2011 Super Bowl.

Houston Texans

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    HOUSTON - JANUARY 02:  Quarterback Matt Schaub #8 of the Houston Texans hands running back Arian Foster #23 the game ball after Houston defeated the Jacksonville Jaguars 34-17 at Reliant Stadium on January 2, 2011 in Houston, Texas.  (Photo by Bob Levey/G
    Bob Levey/Getty Images

    In 2010, the Texans suffered from a lack of strength in the secondary and sputtered to the finish line.

    Despite high expectations, this team fell behind the Indianapolis Colts and Jacksonville Jaguars in a loaded AFC South and couldn't stage a comeback.

    With one of the NFL's best offenses,  featuring Matt Schaub, Andre Johnson and breakout star Arian Foster, the Texans can never be counted out.

    However, Wade Phillips has now installed a new defensive philosophy and brought in Brandon Harris, potentially opening doors for the Texans to overcome their defensive woes and win a title.

Detroit Lions

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    MIAMI - DECEMBER 26:  Lineman Ndamukong Sue #90 celebrates a sack against the Miami Dolphins at Sun Life Stadium on December 26, 2010 in Miami, Florida.  (Photo by Marc Serota/Getty Images)
    Marc Serota/Getty Images

    The Lions winning the Super Bowl isn't something this world is ready for yet, but following the 2011 season, Detroit could hoist the Lombardi Trophy.

    Matthew Stafford is one of the game's most promising young stars, and if he can stay healthy, the Lions are capable of anything.

    The defensive line is silly good, featuring rising stars Ndamukong Suh and Nick Fairley, as well as accomplished veterans like Kyle Vanden Bosch, Cliff Avril and Corey Williams.

    The Lions have a talented enough roster to surprise a lot of people in 2011, and if a few things fall their way, Detroit could win it all.

San Diego Chargers

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    SAN DIEGO - DECEMBER 05:  Tight end Antonio Gates #85 of the San Diego Chargers carries the ball against the Oakland Raiders at Qualcomm Stadium on December 5, 2010 in San Diego, California. The Raiders defeated the Chargers 28-13.  (Photo by Jeff Gross/G
    Jeff Gross/Getty Images

    It was astounding the Chargers didn't make the playoffs, despite playing amazingly on both sides of the football.

    San Diego's special teams play drove them into the ground, and after the Bolts dug themselves into a hole, the team couldn't claw their way out.

    The Chargers finished the season strongly last year, and with Philip Rivers leading the show, this team can never be counted out as a strong Super Bowl contender.

    With a full year from No. 1 wideout Vincent Jackson, watch the Chargers return to form in 2011 and capture a playoff berth after an off-year.

Tampa Bay Buccaneers

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    LANDOVER, MD - DECEMBER 12:  Josh Freeman #5 of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers looks for a receiver during the game against the Washington Redskins  at FedExField on December 12, 2010 in Landover, Maryland. The Buccaneers defeated the Redskins 17-16. (Photo by
    Larry French/Getty Images

    The Buccaneers surprised a lot of people in 2010, jumping to a 10-win season after a dismal 2009.

    Led by young star Josh Freeman, the Buccaneers are looking strong, and this team can play with anyone in the league.

    Effective leadership at the top with Mark Dominik and Raheem Morris opens doors for Tampa Bay, and if Da'Quan Bowers and Adrian Clayborn pan out, the Buccaneers could make even more noise in 2011.

    This team shored up a big need in the draft by addressing the pass rush and are now in prime position to win for a long time.

New York Giants

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    GREEN BAY, WI - DECEMBER 26:  Hakeem Nicks #88 of the New York Giants is congratulated by Kevin Boss #89 after scoring a touchdown against the Green Bay Packers at Lambeau Field on December 26, 2010 in Green Bay, Wisconsin.  (Photo by Matthew Stockman/Get
    Matthew Stockman/Getty Images

    After winning an improbable Super Bowl in 2007, the Giants haven't been able to replicate their successes with Eli Manning running the show.

    Still, don't forget this team has—for the most part—been there for a Super Bowl run, and with the addition of Prince Amukamara, the Giants have improved enough to be in this discussion.

    Look for the Giants to have diagnosed the problems that plagued them in 2010 and return with a renewed focus on not turning the ball over.

    The Giants' defense is as strong as ever, and the offense looks to be able to follow suit in 2011 should they exercise more caution with the football.

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