With the start of NFL 2023 upon us, it’s time to look at who is expected to be among the top contenders for this year’s Super Bowl. Every season, North American football fans come out in droves with their teams’ jerseys on, showing support for their favorite squad’s quest to become champions.
Every year, new talent emerges from trends in playcalling, defensive schemes, and player performances – leading to some of the most thrilling championship games ever seen. This season will bring about many new storylines and debates about what team will champion their way through the Super Bowl.
Today, we take a look at five highly contending teams that are anything but underdogs during this upcoming NFL campaign!
The Kansas City Chiefs: The Unstoppable Force
The Kansas City Chiefs enter the 2023 NFL season as an undeniable force to reckon with. They are the defending champions and the betting favorite to win again. Much of their strength lies in the dynamic duo of coach Andy Reid and quarterback Patrick Mahomes. Despite losing Orlando Brown Jr., they have bolstered their offensive line with the addition of Donovan Smith and Jawaan Taylor, ensuring the best protection for their star quarterback, Mahomes.
Despite not having any standout star names, the Chiefs’ wide receiver room is expected to perform exceptionally under Mahomes’ leadership. It boasts players like Kadarius Toney, Marquez Valdes-Scantling, and Skyy Moore. But the real star of their passing offense continues to be Travis Kelce, one of the NFL’s greatest mismatches.
One of the most strategic moves the Chiefs have made recently is the under-the-radar youth movement on their defensive front. Pass rushers George Karlaftis and Felix Anudike-Uzomah, first-round draft picks from the previous two drafts, are set to see increased opportunities this season following the departures of Frank Clark and Carlos Dunlap. This young, energized defense, bolstered by the steady leadership of the Reid-Mahomes partnership, makes the Kansas City Chiefs a formidable contender this season.
The Cincinnati Bengals: Poised for a Deep Run
The Cincinnati Bengals are, without a doubt, a team to keep an eye on this season. After their stellar performance last year, the Bengals are primed for another deep postseason run. The Bengals’ front office made an astute move this offseason, securing Orlando Brown Jr. in free agency. The addition of Brown offers quarterback Joe Burrow the protection he sorely lacked last year. With Brown covering the left tackle position and Jonah Williams moving to right tackle, the Bengals have arguably set up one of the strongest offensive lineups of Burrow’s career.
The formidable trio of Ja’Marr Chase, Tee Higgins, and Tyler Boyd at receiver is another key strength. Their combined talent and synergy promise to keep the Bengals’ aerial assault alive and kicking. Nonetheless, fan focus will be keenly honed on the team’s secondary, especially given the loss of Jessie Bates and Vonn Bell in free agency. How this transition plays out will be one of the Bengals’ most interesting narratives this season. Buckle up, Bengals fans – it will be quite a ride!
The Buffalo Bills: The Rising Power
The Buffalo Bills enter the 2023 NFL season with a powerful roster with impressive talent and depth. Their odds of winning the AFC are looking brighter than ever, and the team has the potential to shake things up in the playoff picture. Spearheading their offensive prowess is none other than Josh Allen, the team’s MVP candidate and recent Madden NFL cover athlete. As a quarterback, Allen has consistently demonstrated his ability to change the course of a game with his arms and legs.
However, a key factor is the team’s acquisition of running back Damien Harris in free agency. A move that flew under many radars, Harris’ addition is expected to allow Allen to limit his rushing attempts, thus keeping him fresh throughout the season. On top of that, the Bills have added first-round rookie tight end Dalton Kincaid to their passing attack. Kincaid’s potential to line up more in the slot than his traditional position adds a fascinating dimension to the Bills’ offensive strategy.
On the defensive side, the Bills were already a force to reckon with last year, ranking among the top five. This was accomplished even with the absence of Von Miller owing to a season-ending ACL injury. With Miller’s return and the team’s successful retention of safety Jordan Poyer in free agency, the Bills’ defense is primed to rank highly in the league yet again. The Buffalo Bills have the makings of a true rising power in the 2023 NFL season.
The New York Jets: The Dark Horse
In a move that surprised many, the New York Jets made a splash in the offseason by acquiring Aaron Rodgers in an unprecedented trade with the Packers. This immediately propels the Jets into Super Bowl contention. However, questions linger over how quickly Rodgers can adjust to his new surroundings and whether a deep playoff run is feasible immediately.
Rodgers’ success in a new environment wouldn’t be unprecedented, as both Tom Brady and Matthew Stafford have proven. Yet, Rodgers isn’t the only spark in the Jets’ squad. Cornerback Sauce Gardner and wide receiver Garrett Wilson, both reigning rookies of the year, add significant depth to the team.
The Jets also boast a formidable defense, potentially a top-five unit, as demonstrated last year. Together with their strengthened offense, the New York Jets are dangerous in the AFC. While the team waits to see if Rodgers can channel his magic in a new city, Jets fans everywhere dare to dream big.
The Baltimore Ravens: The Underappreciated Contenders
The Baltimore Ravens head into the 2023 NFL season as a team that, in my opinion, isn’t getting the respect it deserves in the conversation around potential contenders. Having successfully resolved Lamar Jackson’s contract situation, it wouldn’t be shocking to see him return to his MVP-level form. This is especially likely with a new offensive coordinator and a reinvigorated group of receivers, including none other than Odell Beckham Jr. and first-round rookie Zay Flowers.
Despite last season’s challenges, with Jackson limited to just 12 games, the Ravens still managed an impressive 10-7 record. This speaks volumes about the coaching prowess of John Harbaugh. Moreover, their defense ranked seventh in the league in DVOA, an impressive feat. The Ravens are poised to be a serious threat this year, provided Jackson stays healthy. So, watch out, NFL – the Ravens are ready to soar!
As we gear up for the exciting 2023 NFL season, it’s clear that the spectator’s plate is full with a number of intriguing storylines to follow. Each team brings something unique to the field, from the Kansas City Chiefs’ invigorated defense to the Cincinnati Bengals’ bolstered offensive line. The Buffalo Bills’ rising power, the New York Jets’ unexpected spark, and the Baltimore Ravens’ undervalued potential all promise to make this season one for the books.
But no pre-game analysis would be complete without a keen eye on the FanDuel NFL odds, which provide a fascinating insight into each team’s perceived strengths and weaknesses. As the season unfolds, keep these odds in mind, and embark on what promises to be an exhilarating journey of grit, skill, and spirit embodied in the high-octane world of NFL football.