NFL season is wide open

In recent memory, nothing has been more important in sports than getting hot at the right time. Just ask last year’s champions: the St. Louis Cardinals, New York Giants and Los Angeles Kings. All three were huge underdogs, but ran the table in the postseason and rode momentum to a title.

With the NFL season approaching, I have a feeling this one will be as exciting as ever. There are just so many teams with the ability to catch fire and win a title that truly anything can happen. There are the obvious contenders. The New York Giants, New England Patriots, Pittsburgh Steelers, Baltimore Ravens, San Francisco 49ers, Green Bay Packers, Philadelphia Eagles, New Orleans Saints and Houston Texans wouldn’t really shock anyone if they won the Super Bowl. That being said, here are some dark horse teams that have a real shot to win it all.

The Detroit Lions are looking to make the leap this year. While their defense still needs improvement, the Matthew Stafford-Calvin Johnson connection is the type of home run play that will make sure no one sleeps on them.

Their rivals, the Chicago Bears, have made some upgrades. Adding Brandon Marshall to pair with Jay Cutler, as well as Michael Bush, Chicago will have a top offense to go with its always-solid defense.

Everyone’s waiting to see how Peyton Manning’s neck holds up, but what if he doesn’t miss a beat? The Denver Broncos would then look like a favorite.

Staying in the AFC West, it’s always hard to count out the San Diego Chargers. Despite the fact that they seem to always underachieve, they have a ton of talent, and now a completely healthy Phillip Rivers.

If the Dallas Cowboys can minimize their mistakes, they could be dangerous. Tony Romo runs a high-powered offense and new defensive talent make the Cowboys deadly.

Matt Ryan’s breakout year may final happen since he’s throwing to Roddy White and Julio Jones. If it happens, there’s no reason the Atlanta Falcons can’t match up with the division rivals Saints.

The point is, there’s just so much depth in NFL teams this year. Not all of them are created equal, but they all have at least an outside shot of having a glorious winter. That’s why I suggest you watch football this year every single week. Although you should be doing that already.