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NFL Preview 2023 - 5 Cents
Posted by: Paul Nichols

04 Sep 2023


Here's a quickie NFL preview for the 2023 season. Teams are listed in their predicted finish in their division.


AFC East


Buffalo Bills - Finished 1st in the division three years in a row! Make it four!


New England Patriots - I correctly called their second-place finish in this division two years, and their third-place finish last year. Let's upgrade them back to second place.


Miami Dolphins - This is year three of waiting for everything to come together. Third place.


New York Jets - From 2-14 to 4-13 to 7-10. This finally seems like more than a 5-win team. But even getting another 7 wins leaves them in last place in this division.


AFC North


Baltimore Ravens - This is a team I love to root against after they beat the Broncos on the road in the playoffs years ago and somehow won a Super Bowl. Their win tallies the last 4 years? 14, 11, 8, and 10. Let's continue the upward trend and predict a first-place finish and a surprising 13 wins.


Cincinnati Bengals - Seems every game is a fun rollercoaster, and they'll keep it going in this year.


Pittsburgh Steelers - My continuing logic on Pittsburgh is that it's an every-other-year kind of team. That logic has fallen apart as they've maintained some better-than-average consistency the last nine years. But I'm stubborn, and my math means they'll be "bad" this year. So although I'm rooting for them, I think they go under .500 for the first time since 2003.


Cleveland Browns - They seem perpetually bad. The "Jets" of the AFC North, if you will. Predicting them at the bottom of this division is an annual ritual I'm not going to zag on this year. Elementary, my dear Watson!


AFC South


Jacksonville Jaguars - Win this division by default. Hopefully we see continued improvement from Trevor Lawrence. 9 wins can win this division again.


Tennessee Titans - Finished last season with 7 losses in a row to hit my prediction of 7 wins. The last three teams in this division might all end up with 5 to 7 wins. The Tennessee Derek Henrys will get another 7 wins.


Indianapolis Colts - I dunno man. Who's on these AFC South teams? The AFC South is the "NY Jets" of divisions. Is this run game going to propel them to 200 total points? Even so, I think they're better than...


Houston Texans - The fallout continues. Last place.


AFC West


Los Angeles Chargers - I picked them atop this division last year. Doing it again. Will they lose twice to the Raiders again? Impossible. Will they lose early in the playoffs again? Possible.


Kansas City Chiefs - Won 14 games, then 12, then 14 again last year. Let's say 11 or 12 this year and second place.


Denver Broncos - I keep on overrating the Broncos. Aaaand I'mma do it again this year. 9 wins? Just any kind of reasonable play calling will make them 3 wins better. And better play for another win to get to 9.


Las Vegas Raiders - The Jets of the AFC West. But with Garoppolo perhaps there's some hope here. And with Adams and Jacobs they've got the potential to scare teams. Though they won't. Last place.


NFC East


Dallas Cowboys - From 9-7 to 10-6 to 8-8 to 6-10 to 12-5 to 12-5, and I think they'll be better this year! NFC East hasn't had a repeat champion since the Eagles in 2003 and 2004, so we've gotta pick the Cowboys over the Eagles in the division.


Philadelphia Eagles - A juggernaut. The top of this division oughta be fun! But their defense might take a step backwards so I've got Dallas on top.


Washington Commanders - 7-9 to 7-10 to a surprising 8-8-1 last year, though I correctly predicted they'd finish last. This year they might play better but still end up with a 9-8 record in the post Dan Snyder era.


New York Giants - From 3-13 to 5-11 to 4-12 to 6-10 to 4-13 to a surprising 9-7-1. However, they remain the NY Jets of the NFC East, so I think they end up back in the cellar this year.


NFC North


Detroit Lions - Not saying I'm on the bandwagon, but who else is going to win this division? From 3 to 6 to 9 wins. 12 keeps the pattern going, but 10 wins will get the job done.


Minnesota Vikings - I noted their suspect defense last year and despite going 13-4 they had a minus 3 point differential! So 9-8 is a real possibility, but I'm rooting for them.


Chicago Bears - Suggested they might eke out 4 wins last year, but they only got 3. They'll be better, sure. And Fields by himself can get this team more wins than Green Bay I think.


Green Bay Packers - I just don't know who they have, so I think Chicago can surprise them for third.


NFC South


New Orleans Saints - I keep predicting them to win this division. I just don't know which other team can do it.


Carolina Panthers - 5 wins three years in a row, and 7 last year. I don't see any improvement, but that might still be good enough for second place.


Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Won this division last year going 8-9. And they'll be worse this year.


Atlanta Falcons - A lot of fun to watch last year. Went from 7 wins four years ago to 4 wins three years ago to 7 wins two years ago to 7 wins last year. Let's say 4 wins this year! Or they could win the division going 6-11. Competing with the AFC South for worst division.


NFC West


San Francisco 49ers - Won the division last year and should repeat. Lots of stars on the team to go along with lots of injuries. I don't see the Seahawks overtaking them.


Seattle Seahawks - I'm still upset about their playoff win from 13 seasons ago. Remember? When they won 7 games and hosted a playoff game?!? The Washington Commanders hosted a playoff game three years ago at 7-9 and I wasn't nearly as upset, and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers last year at 8-9. Anyway, I think they'll be second and make the playoffs.


Arizona Cardinals - When Murray comes back they'll get some late season wins to push ahead of the Rams for third.


Los Angeles Rams - Not surprising they did worse last year. I don't see steps forward this year, though.





The fourth year of expanded playoffs gives us an extra team, a 7th, in each conference. There's only one first round bye in this format.



1st Round: Baltimore, San Diego, Buffalo, Jacksonville, Cincinnati, Kansas City, New England.

2nd Round: Baltimore, Cincinnati, Kansas City, New England.

3rd Round: Baltimore, Cincinnati.



1st Round: Dallas, San Francisco, Detroit, New Orleans, Philadelphia, Seattle, Minnesota.

2nd Round: Dallas, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Seattle.

3rd Round: Dallas, Philadelphia.


Super Bowl: Dallas over Cincinnati.


I'm 2-for-13 so far with predicting Super Bowl winners, having predicted Green Bay (Green Bay won), then New Orleans (the Giants of New York), then Green Bay (Baltimore), then Denver (Seattle won), then Denver (New England won), then Denver (Denver won), then Pittsburgh (New England), then Denver (Philadelphia), then Green Bay (New England), then Los Angeles Rams (Kansas City), then Kansas City (Tampa Bay), then Kansas City (Los Angeles Rams), then Buffalo (Kansas City). Good thing I've got a day job.


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