NFL fans have been waiting—praying—since the last pick of the NFL Draft that the lockout would finally come to an end.
Well get ready NFL fans, because the lockout looks nearly over. Both sides have too much to lose, as the NFL draws in billions of dollars a year in revenue.
So, just before the lockout ends, I would like to give you my early power rankings on the teams most likely to take home Super Bowl XLV.
The Falcons are coming off a spectacular 2010 season that saw them finish 13-3 and win the NFC South.
Matt Ryan and Roddy White combined to form one of the most dangerous combos in the league, and Michael Turner provided a stable ground game.
With the addition of Julio Jones, the Falcons have one of the most dangerous passing games in the NFL.
If their defense can hold serve, they could be heading to next year's Super Bowl.
The Chargers are coming off a disappointing 2010 season which saw them fail to win the AFC West for the first time in five years.
Many believe that the Chargers dominant reign is over, but I believe that they are one of the most talented teams in the NFL.
Philip Rivers is one of the best quarterbacks in the league, and their offense and defense finished 1st in both yards categories last season.
If they can improve their sloppy special teams, the Chargers may once again run supreme in the AFC West—and maybe even beyond.
They have speed that no one else can match with Desean Jackson, Jeremy Maclin and LeSean McCoy being able to outrun the majority of defenders. Their defense can be subpar at times, and teams can catch on to the attacking style of Vick.
If they can avoid this, the Eagles could hold the Lombardi Trophy come February.
Drew Brees has many different options, including Marques Colston, Robert Meachem, Lance Moore and more.
If their defense can improve, the Saints can outscore nearly any one in the league right now.
They came in Super Bowl favorites last season with the addition of Anquan Boldin, and they will become a sexy pick again this season.
Their defense has shutdown potential, and they have the offensive weapons necessary to take them all the way.
However, their season will ultimately be decided by the play of their young quarterback, Joe Flacco.
The defending AFC Champions come in to next season looking to claim their record 7th Super Bowl title.
Ben Roethlisberger has shown the ability to be one of the most clutch quarterbacks in recent years.
Their shutdown defense led by James Harrison and Troy Polamalu has the ability to hold any offense to single digits.
But as their defense ages, this may be the Steeler last year to claim the title before going into a rebuilding mode.
The Colts are coming off an AFC South crown, and they should be able to cruise to another one again this season.
Peyton Manning will be in contention for a record fifth MVP, and injured offensive weapons like Dallas Clark, Joseph Addai and Austin Collie should be back healthy.
The Colts come in to the 2011 NFL season thirsty for another Lombardi Trophy.
The Jets are coming off a second consecutive season that saw them come a game away from the Super Bowl only to fall short.
This season, Rex Ryan and Gang Green will look to overcome the hurdle and finally enter the promised land.
The Jets have spectacular offensive weapons and a shutdown defense, but once again their season will be determined by the play of Mark Sanchez—and their ability to resign their impending free agents.
The defending Super Bowl Champions are at the top of the world right now, and they have the ability to go back to back.
The Packers are led by star quarterback Aaron Rodgers, and their outstanding offensive talents Greg Jennings and a now healthy Ryan Grant—as well as their fantastic defense led by Clay Matthews and Charles Woodson.
The only thing that may stop the Packers from taking home their second straight Super Bowl title is a championship hangover.
The Patriots' dominating regular season last year was met by a shocking playoff loss to their arch rival Jets.
This season, Brady and crew are angry and ready to take home the Lombardi Trophy.
Their green defense is ever improving, and their young tight end combination of Rob Gronkowski and Aaron Hernandez give Brady so many targets.
Right now, the Patriots unstoppable offense and gelling defense make them the Super Bowl XLV favorites.