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Super Bowl 2012 - New England Patriots are the ultimate underdogs despite being favorites

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The Patriots rotational front seven only really features one marquee player in Vince Wilfork. Considering the group previously contained Wilfork, Ty Warren and Richard Seymour, it is almost inconceivable that the Patriots are even in this Super Bowl.

For the most part, the Patriots linebacking corp is made up of recognizable names, but Rob Ninkovich continues to keep the underdog theme running through the roster as a whole. Ninkovich has bounced around between teams during his seven season career, but the Patriots made good use of his versatility this year.

Antwaun Molden may have been a third round pick of the Houston Texans in 2008, but he has only started two games in his four year career. Molden, along with Kyle Arrington who leads the team in turnovers, has become a key fixture for the Patriots' secondary after Devin McCourty's struggles this year.

While Molden was a third round pick, Arrington was overlooked—quite literally—coming out of Hofstra as being too small to play the position. Instead, Bill Belichick has made use of his instincts and intelligence to get the best out of the undrafted free agent.

Entering training camp this year, the Patriots had three starting caliber safeties on their roster. While Brandon Meriweather was a freelancer and massively overrated nationally, he was still a capable starter for the team. James Sanders was inexplicably let go while Pat Chung is the only remaining starter from the trio.

Chung has seen Devin McCourty join him on the back end, while Sterling Moore has made a name for himself in the playoffs.

Moore is a rookie who has only played in eight career games after bouncing around from the Raiders' practice squad, to the Patriots' practice squad, to the Patriots' active roster, back to the practice squad and now the active roster once again.

The New England Patriots may be the favorites this weekend, but this group of players will be using the motivation of being rejected over and over again to propel themselves to the top of the NFL world.

Tweeting @Cianaf

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