2022 NFL Predictions: Dark-Horse Super Bowl Picks Certain to Surprise

Zach Buckley@@ZachBuckleyNBAFeatured Columnist IVAugust 12, 2022

2022 NFL Predictions: Dark-Horse Super Bowl Picks Certain to Surprise

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    The 2022 NFL season is here.

    Well, the preseason contests have arrived at least, and the games that count will follow close behind.

    So, do you have your pick for Super Bowl LVII yet? If not, you've come to the right place, as we're looking past the favorites and spotlighting three dark-horse teams sure to exceed expectations.

Philadelphia Eagles

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    The Eagles are ready to soar into Super Bowl contention. The biggest question is whether quarterback Jalen Hurts is up to that lead flight.

    The dual-threat quarterback was rock-solid in his first season as a full-time starter. He went 8-7 under center, completed better than 61 percent of his passes, nearly doubled up his nine interceptions with 16 touchdowns and added another 10 scores with his legs.

    If Hurts can leap forward from that production, Philly has everything it needs to make a Super Bowl run.

    The wide receiver group is stacked with A.J. Brown now lined up alongside DeVonta Smith. Miles Sanders is a playmaker, and Dallas Goedert makes things happen. Tack on a disruptive defense with impact talents at tackle and cornerback, and you just might have a championship recipe.

Los Angeles Chargers

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    The Chargers could be a championship contender hiding in plain sight.

    While they aren't totally off of the national radar, they might be better prepared for a deep postseason run than people think after this club went 9-8 with one of the league's leakiest defenses last season.

    Well, luckily the front office focused on fixing those leaks. The trade market brought Khalil Mack to town. Free agency delivered J.C. Jackson. Those are two top playmakers at position of need, and in a defense already featured agents of chaos like Joey Bosa and Derwin James, this unit could take a big climb up the statistical rankings.

    If that happens, look out, because this offense is already incredible. Justin Herbert will have an MVP season in him at some point, and it could be this season. Keenan Allen and Mike Williams make a dynamic tandem at receiver, Austin Ekeler does a little (or, really, a lot) of everything and newcomer Gerald Everett could be primed for a big year.

Indianapolis Colts

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    Few clubs disappointed more than the Colts last season, who had a playoff berth right in their grasp before closing the campaign with consecutive losses to the Las Vegas Raiders and Jacksonville Jaguars.

    Those final flops surely greased the wheels for the offseason trade of Carson Wentz, and Indy's hopes now rest on the shoulders of a potentially rejuvenated Matt Ryan.

    The 37-year-old appeared to be running on fumes as the Atlanta Falcons tumbled down the standings, but a chance to win—and win big—in the Circle City could be the spark that gets things back on track for the former MVP. He has a good offensive line in front of him, a great running back in Jonathan Taylor and an emerging star at receiver in Michael Pittman Jr.

    Add on what might be the best defense in football, and Indy has a chance to win it all.

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