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The Lions, Ravens, and Jaguars will go far in 2023.
Ok, the 2022 NFL season has been over almost 48 hours. I’m having withdrawals. Let’s get into some completely unfounded projections for 2023 to fill the gap.
Aaron Rodgers is leaving town and going to the AFC. Jordan Love needs time. The Bears have years to go to rebuild. The Vikings are purple-wearing, dome-playing, playoff-losing frauds. This is the Detroit Lions’ division to lose in 2023, but they won’t.
Jalen Hurts and the Eagles are the truth. Dak Prescott and the Cowboys are not. The New York Giants are a team on the rise. The Washington Commanders are a team on the verge of a total collapse. The Eagles win this division walking away.
This division is not going to be any more interesting to watch in ‘23 than it was in ‘22. The GOAT is gone in Tampa Bay, and no one seems to be at the helm in N’awlins, I bet you can’t name the coach or QB in Carolina, and the Falcons are, well, the Falcons.
No one knows who the QB will be in San Francisco next season but the offense is loaded with guys to get the ball to in short space and the D is glorious, a rough NFC Championship aside. I love Geno Smith but I dunno how much farther that story is going. The Rams are a threat to no one but themselves and the Cardinals are eons away from challenging.
Bengals vs Ravens is a developing situation that is a lot more interesting in ‘23 with a healthy Lamar Jackson on the Ravens’ roster. Joe Burrow is a stud; those playoff losses will turn to dubs with time and the receiving core is sick. The Steelers need to figure out what they have at QB and play 17 games all out. The Browns don’t interest me and I sure don’t trust them.
Buffalo seemed like a team of destiny in 2022; can’t help but wonder if the Hamlin situation didn’t prove too much of a distraction when it counted. Do you buy Tua in Miami with an 11-year-old coach? Me neither. Aaron Rodgers could change the landscape in the division if he ends up with the Jets. The Pats are on the decline, bad draft picks at QB notwithstanding.
2023 will be the year of Trevor Lawrence — the kid is going to the Pro Bowl, becoming a national brand, and running waist-deep into the postseason; book it. The Titans will decline because they are losing vision of what their game is. Indianapolis and Houston aren’t worth discussing as playoff prospects.
Patrick’s division will again be won by Patrick. The Chargers and Justin Herbert are in a developing situation and I dig their vibe heading into 2023. If the Raiders get Rodgers in a trade, this division could get sexy. Until then, the Raiders are middling and Denver is loathsome; not the city, just the way they play football there.
Playoff Team Predictions
I’ll take Philly as the #1 seed in the NFC with Detroit, San Francisco, and – I don’t know – let’s say the Panthers in the NFC south. For wildcards, I’ll take the Giants, the Cowboys, and the Vikings, with all to lose in the first round of the playoffs.
KC is the #1 team in the AFC and the NFL until someone proves they ain’t. Jacksonville and Buffalo will control their divisions in 2023, while Lamar Jackson leads the Ravens over the Bengals in the AFC North. For wildcards, we’ll slot in the Bengals and Chargers to win in the first round, and the Jets to lose.