Image: ESPN

Preseason has begun,so it’s time to really start looking at how the new season will shape up.  Who is trending upward, and who do we expect to fall back to earth a bit? And what vets will have a break out season, and what rookies will have a big impact in their first season?

Teams that could make a surge forward in 2023.

Baltimore Ravens – The Ravens did not have their star quarterback down the stretch of 2022, and there was a contentious contract negotiation with Lamar Jackson, as well as calls for the team to move on from Greg Roman it’s former OC. The team has signed Lamar for 5 years, Greg Roman has gone and has added firepower on the outside with Zay Flowers, and Odell Beckham Jr.  I expect the Ravens to keep Lamar healthy and for that offense to take a step forward, and they’ll also do so as a team.

Detroit Lions – The knee biters of the North, finished strong last season, and had a high powered offense behind Jared Goff, and a tough feisty defense behind Aida n Huchtinson.  There’s no more Aaron Rodgers in their division, the NFC North is ripe for the taking.  Expect the Lions to be major contenders if not favorites to win their division.

Denver Broncos – With Sean Payton aboard, many of the mistakes of the short Nathaniel Hackett era maybe reversed and hopefully Payton can revive the career of Russell Wilson who has come into camp looking lean and mean and with less privileges and perks than what he had last year.  Denver already had a sound defense, expect it’s offense to get a boost and for Russ to play better.  They might not win the division but expect them to not be the dumpster fire they were In 2022.

New York Jets – Do no look now the Jets could take a giant leap forward with Dalvin Cook joining their backfield, an already ferocious defense and by adding Aaron Rodgers who is already familiar with the Offensive Coordinator Nathaniel Hackett.  The Jets were contenders last season even with awful quarterback play.  Even if Rodgers is not MVP worthy as was just a couple seasons ago, he could make the Jets major players in a stacked AFC conference.

Ex Factors

What players outside of the usual suspects will have an impact on the 2023 season?

  1. Sam Howell – The Commanders season hinges on whether the young QB can defy the low expectations of a 5th round draft pick. Don’t sleep on Sam or the Commanders.
  2. Geno Smith – The Seahawks got him another great receiver, expect the Seahawks to compete in a fairly weak NFC West
  3. Deshaun Watson – With absence and personal issues he’s been forgotten about a little in Cleveland, I expect to see him back to his old self making lots of plays, and making the Browns very competitive in a tough AFC North.

The NFL Season is upon us, what are your predictions?  Tweet me @MrRobAnthony to see if our pre season “narrative” and outlook for the season looks similar.

Jets Coach talking about types of players that he wants on Hard Knocks on MAX.

Pat McAfee talking up Sam Howell and his arm strength and how he looks in the Eric Bieniemy offense.