Jarrod Thurman @JarrodChiefsFCS Chiefs Focus @Chiefsfocus
The schedule was announced a month ago, making it easier to predict the records of each team. The season will begin with the Lions coming to Kansas City and end in Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas. I predicted all 285 games including the playoffs and came up with these results. I’ll give a record of each team in every division, provide an analysis of the division, and predict all 14 playoff teams. The number in parenthesis is the seed for the playoffs.
One more quick comment before I begin, yes there are a lot of teams with 14 or more wins a lot with 2 or fewer, but I did this because I believe the gap between the best teams in the league and the worst teams is the biggest it has ever been. The Chiefs, Bengals, and 49ers are actually that much better than the Texans, Cardinals, Commanders, and Broncos.
Chiefs 16-1 (1), Chargers 10-7 (6), Raiders 4-13, Broncos 2-15
The Chiefs are the kings of the AFC West and as long as number 15 is at center, this isn’t changing any time soon. Justin Herbert finally got the elusive playoff berth last season and he will repeat this feat in 2023. The Raiders and Broncos are the bottom feeders, Jimmy G. won’t turn the team around and Russell Wilson’s best years are behind him. Despite the comment about Russell Wilson, this might be the year the Chiefs winning streak over the Broncos ends and it will happen in the Mile High City.
Bengals 15-2 (2), Browns 8-9, Ravens 7-10, Steelers 7-10
This is Joe Burrow’s division now. He became the first Bengals quarterback to win back-to-back division titles last season. DeShaun Watson failed to find his footing in his short time playing last season, but I think he somewhat gets back to normal next season. I’ve expressed my concerns about the long-term future of Lamar Jackson, I think he’s gonna regress again next year. Mike Tomlin gets his first losing season next year as Kenny Pickett is not in the team’s long-term future.
Bills 14-3 (3), Dolphins 12-5 (5), Jets 9-8 (7), Patriots 4-13
Josh Allen, much like Mahomes and Burrow, is the king of his division. The defense will take a small step back but Josh Allen will be better. Year 2 of the Tua/Tyreek/Waddle trio should be an explosive one as they get into the playoffs again. Aaron Rodgers’s first year in the Big Apple should help the Jets take a step forward into their first playoff appearance in 13 years. The Patriots are facing a new era, and not in a good way as Bill Belichick will have the fewest wins in a season as a coach since his first season with the Patriots in 2000.
Jaguars 13-4 (4), Colts 5-12, Titans 4-13, Texans 1-16
In the AFC South’s 21 seasons, there have only been 3 times a team has failed to repeat as champions, this year is going to be no different. Trevor Lawrence makes his next step forward as a quarterback and repeats as division champs. The rest of the division is pretty bad. None of the other teams will win over 5 games, primarily because they all will likely start rookie quarterbacks by the end of the season. Kinda crazy that a 23-year-old quarterback is going to be the most experienced starting quarterback in a division.
49ers 16-1 (1), Seahawks 10-7, Rams 3-14, Cardinals 1-16
The 49ers, not the Eagles, are the best team in the NFC in 2023. They have a solid defense, a good offense with a young quarterback with a bright future. Geno Smith will be looking to have a solid second season with the Seahawks and I think he will miss the playoffs. Much like the AFC South, the division, the division heavily falls off after that as the Rams and Cardinals aren’t very good teams and are probably two of the worst teams in the league.
Lions 12-5 (3), Bears 11-6 (6), Packers 11-6, Vikings 9-8
Say what?? Are the Lions the best team in their division? Sounds crazy but I think they are. They have an experienced quarterback who really stepped it up last season. The Bears I said a few months ago have the makings for a huge step forward. The Packers may struggle in their first year or two without Rodgers but still manage 11 wins but miss the playoffs due to tiebreakers. Kirk Cousins once again will have a mediocre season, but the entire division manages to be over .500.
Eagles 14-3 (2), Cowboys 13-4 (5), Giants 11-6 (7), Commanders 2-15
The Eagles had what is in my opinion an overrated offseason (not saying it was bad, just as good as everyone thinks), but they are still the best team in the division. The Cowboys and Giants both should be wildcard teams again. The Commanders are gonna be one of the worst teams in the league in 2023.
Saints 10-7 (4), Buccaneers 8-9, Panthers 5-12, Falcons 5-12
The Saints signing Derek Carr was an overrated transaction but because their division is awful they’ll win the division. The Buccaneers will be facing life after Brady and will struggle to have a winning record with new quarterback Baker Mayfield. The Panthers will likely rely on a rookie quarterback and the Falcons don’t have a good team overall.
In the wildcard round of the playoffs, we will have Bengals over Jets, Dolphins over Jaguars, Bills over Chargers, Eagles over Giants, Cowboys over Saints, and the Lions earn their first playoff win in 22 years over the Bears.
The Divisional matchups will then be Chiefs vs Dolphins, Bengals vs Bills, 49ers vs Cowboys (for the 10th time), and Eagles over Lions. My predictions on those games will lead to conference championship game rematches from 2022 as it will be Chiefs vs Bengals for the 3rd straight season and 49ers vs Eagles. The Chiefs win back-to-back conference championship games again and the 49ers get revenge.
Super Bowl LVIII in Vegas will be a Super Bowl LIV rematch, the 8th rematch in Super Bowl history. It will be the same result as well as the Chiefs’ repeat. The final score will be 31-27 as the 49ers fail to finish a last-minute drive. The MVP? Kind of a surprise, Chris Jones who sacks Brock Purdy twice and forces a fumble.
That’s your predictions for next season. Hopefully, it’s correct because that means our beloved Chiefs will win their 3rd Super Bowl in 5 years, officially becoming a dynasty and further cementing Patrick Mahomes legendary status at only 28.