With every offseason, there are a handful of teams expected to contend for a Super Bowl, often based on their performance from the prior season. While 2012 may be a good indicator of things to come, there's no guarantees in the NFL from season to season. Here's the short list of the most overrated teams going into the 2013 season.
Should we go ahead and play the Super Bowl between the Seahawks and the 49ers (and yes, I realize they're both from the same conference)? The Seahawks have a couple huge issues working against them. They lost their creative defensive coordinator. While scheme doesn't necessarily dictate the success of a defense, it'll be difficult for Dan Quinn to get the same production out of the defense as Gus Bradley got a year ago. In addition, Russell Wilson will surprise no one this time around.
The Dolphins may be the most trendy pick in the NFL, but anyone picking them inherently assumes great development from the team's young players. That's just not realistic in the NFL. No one knows if Ryan Tannehill will continue to develop into a great passer or if he'll simply fizzle out. It seems as if we're all desperate to see the Dolphins find some success in a post-Marino world. Early returns from Tannehill and Co. have been great, but it's still too early to tell.
The Cowboys' appearance on an overrated list is almost a given. Tony Romo still has problems in must-make-a-play scenarios, and their head coach, Jason Garrett, still struggles to make wise decisions, especially in regard to clock management. In other words, the Cowboys are gearing up for another disappointing season.
The Ravens may be the defending Super Bowl champions, but they'll have a difficult time getting back to the big game with all their lost talent. They still have star power from John Harbaugh, Joe Flacco and Ray Rice, but it's far more likely that they'll either miss the playoffs or make an early exit in the wildcard round than make a deep run in 2013. They simply aren't as good as they were a season ago.
San Francisco 49ers
The 49ers are a great football team, and I hesitated to put them on this list. The only reason they caught the tail-end of the list was due to an assumption they'll be not only making the playoffs, but making a deep run. With a young quarterback, their offense could struggle some weeks, and there are a lot of other good football teams in the NFC that could knock them out of the playoffs early, such as the Packers, Falcons, Saints, or their division rival, the Seahawks.