The National Football League (NFL) is a cultural phenomenon within the US. Its rich history, intense rivalries and thrilling games have captured the hearts of millions of sports fans across the nation and the world beyond.
From the iconic Super Bowl to a peerless NCAA college program, football is a way of life for many Americans and has been the common denominator in many a friendship and family bond. The NFL was established in 1920 and has since grown into the behemoth of a league that we know today, with 32 world famous franchises from all corners of the country.
Showcasing the very best American football talent the world has to offer, the 32 teams competing are divided into two conferences: the National Football Conference (NFC) and the American Football Conference (AFC). Each conference is further divided into four divisions, making for thrilling inter-conference and divisional matchups throughout the season with no shortage of punditry, analysis and speculation to be devoured by fans.
It’s also a great opportunity for those that like to back up their predictions and sporting knowhow by putting money on the line. The most dedicated bettors usually have at least 3 accounts open to get the best promos and maximize the return on their investment.
Looking Toward the 2023 Season
The regular season always begins on the weekend following the first Monday of September, so the countdown is well underway. The 2022 NFL season was a wild one with, as ever, a number of upsets and unexpected results along the way.
The Kansas City Chiefs narrowly outperformed the Philadelphia Eagles in the Super Bowl LVII for their second title in four years, but they had to endure a number of tough challenges along the way. The Buffalo Bills, Cincinnati Bengals and Los Angeles Rams were all playoff contenders, and they have a chance to further improve in 2023.
These are our top 5 picks for the upcoming season:
1. The Kansas City Chiefs Will Repeat as Champions
As defending champions, the question on everyone’s lips is will the Chiefs be able to do what they couldn’t in 2021 and repeat. They certainly have all the pieces in place to be the first team to achieve it since the 2005 New England Patriots side.
The Chiefs have been the most dominant team in the NFL in recent history. A high-powered offense, led by Patrick Mahomes, one of the best quarterbacks in the league, is the sharp end of the wedge.
And he has a number of weapons around him, including Travis Kelce, Joe Thuney and Marquez Valdes-Scantling. The Chiefs also have an improving defensive line that’s starting to come together, led by the unstoppable Chris Jones and Justin Reid, which proved the weakest link in their arsenal last season.
2. The Buffalo Bills Will Make a Deep Playoff Run
The Bills had one of the most disappointing ends to their campaign last season, narrowly missing the number 1 seed in the AFC to the Chiefs and eventually falling 27-10 to Cincinnati in the divisional round for the second consecutive season. They are, however, not short of talent and are poised for a big year.
Josh Allen, their star quarterback, will look to improve on last year’s franchise record and they have a number of other playmakers on offense, including Stefon Diggs, Nyheim Hines and Dawson Knox. The Bills also have a strong defense, led by Micah Hyde and Tre’Davious White.
3. The Los Angeles Rams Will Be a Contender in the NFC West
The Rams had a regressive 2022 season following their Super Bowl win the previous year but they are now back as one of the favorites to win the NFL, NFC West division. Stiff competition comes from both the 49ers and the Seahawks.
If Stafford can stay injury free, he’s an incredible asset to the roster, alongside Aaron Donald and Cooper Kupp who are among the best in their positions in the league.
4. The Cincinnati Bengals Will Be a Surprise Team in the AFC
Back-to-back AFC champions, the Bengals were one of the most surprising teams in the NFL last season, and they are poised to make another run in 2023. Joe Burrow is among the best young quarterbacks in the league, and he has a number of other playmakers on offense, including Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd.
The Bengals also have a strong defense, ranked sixth best in the league, led by Trey Hendrickson and Logan Wilson.
5. The Jacksonville Jaguars Will Be a Better Team
The Jaguars had one of the worst starts to their 2022 season but still managed to win their division and make the playoffs for the first time since 2017. This will be their second season under head coach Doug Pederson and they are looking to add some key pieces in the offseason. Trevor Lawrence is still a developing quarterback, but he has the potential to be a star.
Shocks, upsets and unlikely triumphs are a given in the NFL. One thing is for sure, fans are as excited as ever to see how things play out!