Josh Frey’s 2023 NFL Playoff Predictions

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With the 2023 NFL season officially upon us, it only seems right to put together a few playoff picks for this year.

We still have four months of football to watch until the 2023 NFL playoffs actually arrive, but prior to tonight’s kickoff between the Detroit Lions and Kansas City Chiefs, here is how I see the NFL playoffs unfolding.

NFC Playoffs

2023 NFL Playoff Predictions
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Playoff Teams

  • No. 1 seed: Philadelphia Eagels
  • No. 2 seed: Detroit Lions
  • No. 3. seed: Carolina Panthers
  • No. 4 seed: San Francisco 49ers
  • No. 5 seed: Dallas Cowboys
  • No. 6 seed: Minnesota Vikings
  • No. 7 seed: New Orleans Saints

For more on how the playoff teams stack up, check out the full NFL standings predictions.

Wild Card

  • (2) Lions over (7) Saints
  • (6) Vikings over (3) Panthers
  • (4) 49ers over (5) Cowboys

The Minnesota Vikings get a favorable matchup against the Carolina Panthers, and the playoff scene proves to be a bit too much for rookie QB Bryce Young. Meanwhile, the Lions win their first playoff game since 1991 behind an overpowering offense and roaring crowd at Ford Field. San Francisco’s defense is able to subdue Mike McCarthy’s offense as well.


  • (1) Eagles over (6) Vikings
  • (4) 49ers over (2) Lions

The Vikings offensive line will have no answers for Philadelphia, and a young defense is no match for the powers of Jalen Hurts. Detroit’s Cinderella run comes to an end as well against the machine that is the San Francisco 49ers.

NFC Championship

  • (4) 49ers over (1) Eagles

Had Brock Purdy and Josh Johnson not gotten hurt last year, this matchup could have gone very differently for the 49ers. Remember, this was a 7-7 game until the final minutes of the second quarter before Johnson’s injury. This year, the 49ers get their revenge.

AFC Playoffs

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Playoff Teams

  • No. 1 seed: Kansas City Chiefs
  • No. 2 seed: Jacksonville Jaguars
  • No. 3 seed: Buffalo Bills
  • No. 4 seed: Cincinnati Bengals
  • No. 5 seed: Denver Broncos
  • No. 6 seed: New York Jets
  • No. 7 seed: Baltimore Ravens

For more on how the playoff teams stack up, check out the full NFL standings predictions.

Wild Card

  • (2) Jaguars over (7) Ravens
  • (6) Jets over (3) Bills
  • (4) Bengals over (5) Broncos

The big upset in the Wild Card round is the New York Jets defeating the Buffalo Bills on the road. Aaron Rodgers will have this offense rolling on all cylinders by the end of the year as long as the offensive line holds up, and Buffalo has run into plenty of troubles defensively during the playoffs over the past few years.

Meanwhile, the Jaguars and Bengals also advance to the Divisional Round for another year with wins over Baltimore and Denver. Sean Payton’s first season as Denver’s head coach comes to an uneventful end.


  • (1) Chiefs over (6) Jets
  • (4) Bengals over (2) Jaguars

This round sets up yet another Bengals/Chiefs playoff matchup, the third straight year where the two teams will battle it out. New York’s top-tier defense comes up just short against Kansas City while the Jaguars remain a few weapons away from being true contenders.

AFC Championship

  • (4) Bengals over (1) Chiefs

In the rubber-match between these two teams, the Burrowhead chants rise again. Cincinnati’s pass-rush proves to be too much for the Chiefs offensive line to handle, and Joe Burrow gets another chance at reaching the mountaintop.

Super Bowl

Cincinnati Bengals quarterback Joe Burrow (9) adjusts wide receiver Ja’Marr Chase (1) on the line before a play in the second quarter of the NFL Week 14 game between the Cincinnati Bengals and the Cleveland Browns at Paycor Stadium in Cincinnati on Sunday, Dec. 11, 2022. The Bengals led 13-3 at halftime. Cleveland Browns At Cincinnati Bengals Week 14 Syndication The Enquirer

Bengals over 49ers

This prediction truly comes down to the quarterback position. Joe Burrow will be able to make more throws than Brock Purdy, and he helps the Bengals snag their first Lombardi Trophy in franchise history. As for the Niners, this means they have now lost their last three Super Bowl appearances. Tough luck for the historically great franchise, but at least they still have five trophies to rest on.

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Josh Frey is a Class of 2020 graduate of The College of Idaho and managing editor of When he’s not writing about the NFL, Josh enjoys running, gaming, or rooting for the Milwaukee Brewers and Bucks. Check out his Twitter account: @Freyed_Chicken.