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Top 5 Dark Horses to Win the Super Bowl

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Top 5 Dark Horses to Win Super Bowl XVLII

Brian Spurlock- USA TODAY Sports

It’s December, which means it’s time to talk playoffs and predict who will play in the Super Bowl. Already four teams have punched their tickets to the postseason, which only leaves eight spots left in the NFL championship hunt.

Now when looking at the dark horses to win the Super Bowl there are a few things to consider. The four teams who have already clinched playoff spots have been eliminated as is any team who will get byes in the wild card round. So that eliminates another team from consideration for this list. The only other factor is the teams must be tied for a playoff spot, which eliminates 19 more teams.

That leaves us with eight teams for five spots on this list, which when you think about it makes sense because no other team could really make a run at the Super Bowl. So how does one decide between these eight teams?

There are five factors to look at when selecting this team. The first one is how talented this year’s team is and their record. The second one is playoff experience because that comes in handy come January. The third part of the criteria is the quarterback play and this one may be the least important because teams have won the Super Bowl without an excellent quarterback. The fourth factor is the defense and it’s all because defense wins championships. The fifth and final piece of information is record on the road because all of these teams will need to go on the road at some point to win the Super Bowl.

The list goes from the most obvious choices to win the Super Bowl to the dark horse to win the Super Bowl.

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Baltimore Ravens

Christopher Hanewinckel- USA TODAY Sports

The Baltimore Ravens have a ferocious defense and an offense that has become explosive of late. They're not afraid of going on the road in the playoffs and have shown they can compete with the top teams in the league. If in fact Ray Lewis is able to come back, Baltimore will be a tough team to defeat in January.

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Green Bay Packers

Andrew Weber- USA TODAY Sports

It was just two years ago, the Green Bay Packers won the Super Bowl, but it seems like forever already. This year's squad still has the ferocious front seven on defense and one of the best quarterbacks in the league, Aaron Rodgers leading the offense. The key for this team will be the production of the running game, which will be crucial come playoff time.

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New York Giants

Brad Penner- USA TODAY Sports

The defending champions are once again under the radar heading into the playoffs. It always seems like nobody believes in the New York Giants heading into the playoffs and they always seem to find a way to win. Put Eli Manning in a pressure situation and you can never count out the New York "Football" Giants.

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Chicago Bears

Rob Grabowski- USA TODAY Sports

It's weird, but somehow the Chicago Bears are under the radar this season. The defense is a turnover machine and has been the anchor in the Windy City. The Bears might not win the NFC North, but they're definitely a contender in the playoffs. Now if only Jay Cutler could get a competent offensive line.

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Seattle Seahawks

Rob Grabowski- USA TODAY Sports

This may be the most under-the-radar team on this list, but the Seattle Seahawks always seem to be pulling off upsets. Led by a rookie at quarterback and a "beast" at running back, the Seahawks have found a way to score just enough points to win. The Seahawks have a top-10 defense and that always helps you in the playoffs.