8 Bold NFL Predictions for 2023
The NFL regular season kicks off September 7th at Arrowhead Stadium, where the Kansas City Chiefs will host the Detroit Lions.
Per preseason oddsmakers, the Chiefs are scheduled to reach the Super Bowl again, matching up against the Philadelphia Eagles or San Francisco 49ers.
8 Bold NFL Predictions for 2023
And with oodles of NFL storylines available for each team, let’s get eight bold predictions on record. The following are listed in no particular order.
1. The Patriots Finish 6-11; Bill Belichick Calls It Quits
The reign has to end sometime — and some will look back and argue it finished when Tom Brady bolted for Tampa Bay in 2020.
New England doesn’t have the firepower — on offense especially — to run with the Bills, Jets, and Dolphins. The end is nigh for Belichick, and a subpar 2023 season will seal the deal.
2. Every AFC North Team Reaches the Postseason
Outrageously, no bad football teams live in the AFC North. Take out a pen and try to track the wins and losses for the Ravens, Steelers, Bengals, and Browns. It’s tricky.
So, inside the sports’ seven-teams-per-conference format, all teams from the AFC North will make the dance — plus the Chiefs, Jaguars, and winner of the Jets-Bills AFC East fight.
3. The Raiders Win the Caleb Williams Sweepstakes
Jimmy Garoppolo will get hurt, Brian Hoyer will take over as QB1 — and stink — leaving Aidan O’Connell as the other option.
None of that will be worth a damn, and the Raiders will finish 4-13 or so, enough to seize the 1st-overall pick. They’ll then, of course, use that draft capital on Caleb Williams, and almost all of the league’s dominant QBs will live in the AFC.
4. The Detroit Lions Fail to Make the Playoffs
These Vegas and media darlings will disappoint. Oddsmakers and pundits have already crowned Detroit the king of the NFC North, but the Vikings will repeat as champions, leaving the Lions to vie for second place with the Green Bay Packers.
Detroit won’t be horrible or anything of the sort, but they’ll finish around 9-8 — which is a good season by their traditionally low standards.
5. The Los Angeles Rams Have a Winning Record
Los Angeles’ roster isn’t very fruitful, but it’s hungry. And Sean McVay’s mom didn’t raise no fool.
The Rams don’t have the talent to win a Super Bowl, but they have a head coach who can foster a 9-8 record. While undergoing a rebuild, the Rams remain relevant for most of the season.
6. Deonte Banks Wins Defensive Rookie of the Year
This dude is already penciled in as a starter on the Giants depth chart and will take off in Wink Martindale’s defense. New York desperately requires defensive improvement, and Banks was the perfect draft pick.
Banks edges Will Anderson in Houston for DROY.
7. Dallas Finally Fires Mike McCarthy
Jerry Jones is getting ‘up there,’ and the 2023 season convinces him to fire Mike McCarthy after a disappointing-but-predictable playoff loss. Dallas’ roster is screaming for a competent head coach who can take the team to February football, and McCarthy isn’t quite that.
Jones will probably promote defensive coordinator Dan Quinn to head coach.
8. Lamar Jackson Finishes in Top 3 of MVP Voting
Patrick Mahomes and Joe Burrow are the frontrunners for this award but don’t forget about Jackson. He’ll experience the best offensive supporting cast of his life. Plus, he’s overdue to stay healthy for a full season.
He decides not to run the football quite as much as years past after the Ravens added Zay Flowers and Odell Beckham. Baltimore’s offense finishes near the top of the business for productivity, and Jackson ends up as a Top 3 MVP vote-getter — if he doesn’t outright win his second trophy.
Dustin Baker is a political scientist who graduated from the University of Minnesota in 2007. Subscribe to his daily YouTube Channel, VikesNow. He hosts a podcast with Bryant McKinnie, which airs every Wednesday with Raun Sawh and Sal Spice. His Vikings obsession dates back to 1996. Listed guilty pleasures: Peanut Butter Ice Cream, ‘The Sopranos,’ Basset Hounds, and The Doors (the band).