The 2023 NFL schedule was launched Thursday.
Can quarterback Patrick Mahomes and the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs repeat as champs?
The Chiefs will kick off the NFL season Thursday, Sept. 7, by internet hosting the Detroit Lions. ESPN’s Monday Night time Soccer opener is Sept. 11 and can function the Buffalo Payments on the New York Jets for Aaron Rodgers’ debut with the Jets.
Primarily based on power of schedule — which is decided by opponents’ data in 2022 — the Philadelphia Eagles have the hardest schedule of the 2023 season and the Atlanta Falcons the best.
The ultimate regular-season video games for the 2022 season will likely be performed Jan. 7, 2024. The playoffs start Jan. 13 and proceed by means of Tremendous Bowl LVII on Feb. 11 in Las Vegas.
This is a daring prediction for each workforce following the schedule launch. Click on on the hyperlinks to see the complete schedule and extra evaluation.
The Aaron Rodgers Curse ends. Rodgers has by no means misplaced at AT&T Stadium (4-0). His lone Tremendous Bowl win got here there, with Mike McCarthy as coach. Rodgers broke the Cowboys’ hearts there within the divisional spherical of the 2016 playoffs, threw the profitable landing cross to Davante Adams in 2017 and ran out to a 24-0 lead in a 10-point win in 2019. However these had been with the Packers. This time, McCarthy will get one over his former quarterback and the Jets in Week 2. Learn extra from Todd Archer
The Giants beat the Cowboys within the opener. Hey, any win over Dallas is a daring prediction nowadays, particularly once you determine this would be the seventh time prior to now 12 years they’ve met within the opener. The Giants have received solely as soon as. The Cowboys have received 11 of the previous 12 conferences between the groups, however it is a completely different workforce underneath coach Brian Daboll and normal supervisor Joe Schoen. Learn extra from Jordan Raanan
The NFC East will likely be up for grabs Week 18. There hasn’t been a repeat division winner since 2004. And whereas the Eagles have the firepower to buck that pattern, the NFC East is within the midst of a resurgence with each workforce ending with a .500 report or higher in 2022. Couple that with the Eagles’ troublesome schedule, and it needs to be a photograph end. Learn extra from Tim McManus
Gradual begins have been widespread in Ron Rivera’s first three seasons. Washington began 1-5 in 2020; 2-6 a yr later and 1-4 final season. The Commanders then have rallied annually with robust stretches, however the previous two years the holes had been too deep. So, they’ll begin a minimum of 3-3 and put themselves in place for a stronger season. It helps that 4 of their first six video games are in opposition to groups that went a mixed 19-49 final yr — and their first two opponents could have new coaches. Learn extra from John Keim
The Bears aren’t constructed to contend for the playoffs in 2023. However, with a shifting panorama within the NFC North, Chicago will find yourself profitable three of its six divisional matchups after going 0-6 in opposition to Detroit, Inexperienced Bay and Minnesota final season. It begins with a win within the dwelling opener in opposition to Inexperienced Bay adopted by one other win at Soldier Area in opposition to Minnesota on Oct. 5 and culminates on Nov. 19 in Detroit within the midst of a tricky stretch with 4 of 5 video games on the highway from Week 8 to 12. Learn extra from Courtney Cronin
The Lions will win their first NFC North division title. Though the Lions have received their division earlier than, most not too long ago in 1993, it was known as the NFC Central and had 5 groups. Aaron Rodgers and the Packers had dominated the division of late, profitable three of the previous 4 titles. With Rodgers gone to the New York Jets, and after closing out the yr with a win at Lambeau Area over the Packers for the regular-season finale, the division is up for grabs. The Lions had their first profitable report since 2017, after profitable eight of their closing 10 video games in 2022 to complete at 9-8, and can look to go even additional underneath head coach Dan Campbell. Learn extra from Eric Woodyard
Quarterback Jordan Love and the Packers will begin quick and have a profitable report early provided that their first six video games — and eight of the primary 9 — are all in opposition to non-playoff groups from a season in the past. That may maintain the Packers related late within the season, they usually will not get flexed out of any night time video games. Learn extra from Rob Demovsky
The Vikings are going to be underneath .500 in each their first 5 video games and their final 5 video games, which makes these seven in between essential to their playoff possibilities. The primary 5 opponents embrace each Tremendous Bowl LVII members — the Kansas Metropolis Chiefs and Philadelphia Eagles — in addition to the Los Angeles Chargers, one other 2022 playoff workforce. And the Vikings’ closing 5 opponents embrace one AFC Championship Recreation participant (the Cincinnati Bengals) and three divisional video games which can be by no means simple, together with two in opposition to the Lions and one in opposition to the Packers. Learn extra from Kevin Seifert
The Falcons win the NFC South. Atlanta has made sufficient on-paper enchancment defensively mixed with a plethora of offensive expertise surrounding quarterback Desmond Ridder to make a professional case as the highest workforce in an unsure division. That theoretical gentle schedule will assist, as will having to face considered one of their hardest opponents, Jacksonville, at a impartial web site as a substitute of on the highway. A ten- or 11-win season is feasible for Atlanta, which might have virtually 1 / 4 of its schedule in opposition to rookie quarterbacks. Learn extra from Michael Rothstein
Bryce Younger, at the moment listed second on the depth chart behind Andy Dalton, would be the Week 1 starter in opposition to Atlanta. He’ll get off to a 2-0 begin on his option to profitable Offensive Rookie of the Yr simply as Cam Newton did in 2011 after being the No. 1 general decide of that draft. Younger will one-up Newton (6-10 as a rookie) by main Carolina to the playoffs for the primary time since 2017 in an NFC South that’s up for grabs for the reason that retirement of Tom Brady. Learn extra from David Newton
The Saints will end with a greater divisional report after going 2-4 final season. It is too early to know if they’ve the flexibility to win the division, however they’ve a major alternative to complete higher than a three-way tie for 7-10. Learn extra from Katherine Terrell
The Buccaneers will begin 1-3 earlier than taking their bye. However, quarterback Baker Mayfield will cause them to seven wins in his first season in Tampa Bay. Learn extra from Jenna Laine
No matter how they begin, the Cardinals will discover a rhythm and a few wins beginning round Week 9 after they journey to Cleveland. That’ll begin a string of winnable video games: Dwelling in opposition to Atlanta is subsequent adopted by a visit to Houston after which dwelling in opposition to the Rams. Murray will doubtless be again by then, and that four-game stretch might be a reprieve from a brutal begin to the season within the first eight video games. Learn extra from Josh Weinfuss
Cooper Kupp will get off to a fair stronger begin than he did in 2022 — and he’ll sustain the tempo. Coming into Week 10 — the week he injured his ankle and what ended up being his closing recreation of the season — Kupp had 72 catches for a tempo of 153 over a 17-game season. The NFL single-season report is 149 by Michael Thomas for the Saints in 2019. Kupp did that with out having a wholesome Matthew Stafford for among the season. Learn extra from Sarah Barshop
Quarterback Brock Purdy will begin all 17 regular-season video games. Since coach Kyle Shanahan and normal supervisor John Lynch arrived in 2017, the Niners have gone by means of a complete season with one starter as soon as (Jimmy Garoppolo in 2019). What’s extra, Purdy is coming off elbow surgical procedure, which has left some questioning if he’ll even be again in time for Week 1. However the Niners are assured in how Purdy’s restoration goes, and it is doable he will likely be absolutely cleared as quickly as 5 months after surgical procedure. All Purdy has to do after that’s keep wholesome and productive sufficient to carry down the job the entire season. It is a massive ask, however the 49ers’ religion in Purdy could be very actual. Learn extra from Nick Wagoner
The Seahawks will beat the Bengals in Cincinnati in Week 6 for a 4-1 begin. That is considered one of 4 10 a.m. PT kickoffs on their schedule, however they have been glorious within the early video games in current seasons and will likely be effectively rested coming off their bye. They need to be closely favored in dwelling video games in opposition to the rebuilding Los Angeles Rams and Carolina Panthers, which means they’d need to win these, plus one other highway recreation in opposition to both the Detroit Lions or New York Giants — two playoff groups from a yr in the past — along with beating the Bengals for a 4-1 begin. Learn extra from Brady Henderson
What a prime-time bonanza the Payments have from Week 6 to Week 10, with 4 in 5 video games, and that is not even together with the sport in opposition to the Jaguars in London that will likely be broadcast to a nationwide viewers in Week 5. This will likely be an attention-grabbing stretch, and Buffalo will take benefit to win all 4 of these prime-time video games, together with that rematch in Cincinnati. Learn extra from Alaina Getzenberg
The Dolphins could have seven wins by the point they hit their Week 10 bye. These first 9 video games are removed from simple, with 5 video games in opposition to playoff groups from a season in the past, together with each Tremendous Bowl members. Miami ought to have the ability to deal with video games in opposition to the Patriots (twice), Broncos and Panthers, so in an effort to hit this lofty prediction, it might want to win these video games and win three in opposition to the Chargers, Payments, Giants, Eagles and Chiefs. Certain, it appears daring, however final yr I predicted the Dolphins would begin 8-2. They as a substitute began 7-3 with Tua Tagovailoa lacking two video games, so possibly I am onto one thing right here. Learn extra from Marcel Louis-Jacques
The Patriots will likely be 5-5 at their bye week, exhibiting gradual enchancment that can spark hope for the second half of the season. Attending to .500 on the bye seems prefer it might be a problem due to the mixture of a difficult opening stretch of opponents and Invoice Belichick generally referring to September as an extension of the preseason by way of how his workforce comes collectively. Stealing a minimum of one division win earlier than the bye will likely be vital, and the Patriots will try this — with their finest likelihood coming in opposition to the Dolphins in Week 2. Learn extra from Mike Reiss
The Jets will hit their bye week at 4-2, which might be fairly an accomplishment when you think about the issue of their schedule. Everybody will give attention to Rodgers, in fact, however the protection will carry the flag. Just like the Jets, the Cowboys, Patriots, Chiefs, Broncos and Eagles could have new offensive playcallers. Meaning early rising pains, which might imply decrease scores than anticipated. With 9 starters returning on their fourth-ranked protection, the Jets needs to be effectively geared up to win these sort of video games and carry the workforce till Rodgers and the offense discover their footing. Learn extra from Wealthy Cimini
Lamar Jackson not solely performs in December however goes undefeated within the month. Jackson has been unable to complete the previous two seasons due to an ankle harm in 2021 and a knee harm final season. Now, with a five-year, $260 million extension, Jackson will get again to dominating in December, when he’s 13-3 (.813) in his profession. That is the third-best report in December since 2018 behind Patrick Mahomes (19-3) and Aaron Rodgers (17-3). It will not be simple for Jackson as a result of Baltimore performs three straight video games in opposition to 2022 playoff groups (at Jacksonville, at San Francisco and residential in opposition to Miami) in that month. Learn extra from Jamison Hensley
The Bengals go undefeated in prime-time video games in 2023. That is a tall order contemplating the Bengals have a highway recreation at Baltimore and a house recreation in opposition to Buffalo on the calendar. However Cincinnati has had robust performances on the nationwide stage since 2020 and has been a workforce that embraces the highlight. Learn extra from Ben Child
Till final season’s last-second comeback over Carolina, the Browns hadn’t received a season opener since 2004. Whereas the Bengals stay formidable, Cleveland has largely had Cincinnati’s quantity, particularly at dwelling, even since Joe Burrow took over at quarterback. The Browns will win back-to-back season openers for the primary time for the reason that 1993-94 seasons. Learn extra from Jake Trotter
The Steelers win all three West Coast video games — at Las Vegas, at L.A. Rams, at Seattle. After a 2022 season during which the Steelers did not go away Jap Normal Time, they are going to put in 16,525 miles in 2023. However even when they’re enjoying removed from dwelling, the Steelers fan base travels notoriously effectively and has a historical past of taking on West Coast venues, giving the highway workforce a uncommon edge. Learn extra from Brooke Pryor
After concluding the 2022 season with a 3-13-1 report, the Texans will win a minimum of six video games in 2023. The Texans added extra expertise to their offensive line, defensive position and quarterback room this offseason. Their possibilities to surpass final yr’s win complete are bolstered by video games in opposition to three groups projected to win fewer than seven video games: the Tampa Bay Buccaneers, Colts and Cardinals. Learn extra from DJ Bien-Aime
Expectations are low, however do not be shocked if the Colts handle to get to .500 at their bye week given the groups on the early a part of their schedule. The familiarity with their division foes will definitely stage the enjoying discipline in these matchups. Then, there’s the likelihood that the presence of rookie quarterback Anthony Richardson offers the Colts some offensive benefits in that groups haven’t but seen the design of their offensive assault. Groups will ultimately modify, however the Colts assume they may have an higher hand early on. Learn extra from Stephen Holder
The Jaguars will sweep the AFC South for the primary time in franchise historical past. The Jaguars have not received greater than 4 division video games for the reason that AFC South’s inception in 2002 however have added WR Calvin Ridley to an offense that ranked tenth in scoring and yards. And quarterback Trevor Lawrence is predicted to be even higher in his second season with coach Doug Pederson. Bear in mind, Pederson turned Carson Wentz into an MVP candidate of their second season collectively. Plus, all three division opponents drafted QBs within the first or second spherical, and all three might be the starters in some unspecified time in the future this season. Learn extra from Mike DiRocco
The Titans entered final season having completed as the highest seed within the AFC, which led to 5 prime-time appearances in 2022. Tennessee didn’t make the playoffs final season and now has solely two prime-time video games on the schedule this yr. That’s the lowest quantity in a single-season since 2019, after they appeared in just one prime-time recreation. Learn extra from Turron Davenport
The Broncos, someway, someway finish their dropping streak in opposition to the Chiefs. In some unspecified time in the future the Chiefs need to get bored, do not they? Former interim coach Jerry Rosburg virtually pulled it off in Week 17 final yr with a workforce that had 22 gamers on injured reserve. The Broncos have not defeated the Chiefs since Sept. 17, 2015, in Arrowhead Stadium when Peyton Manning was at quarterback. Kansas Metropolis has received the previous 15 video games between the 2 groups. Learn extra from Jeff Legwold
In coach Andy Reid’s 10 years, the Chiefs have a season-opening win streak of 9 video games, two of 5 video games and two of 4 video games. They may have one other related begin in 2023. If there’s an prolonged smooth a part of the schedule, it is the primary eight video games, which brings solely three matchups in opposition to 2022 playoff groups. A 3-0 begin seems doubtless, and the Chiefs might simply be undefeated heading right into a Week 7 recreation in opposition to the Chargers. Learn extra from Adam Teicher
The Raiders, regardless of the powerful begin to the schedule and an unusually late bye week, will nonetheless be within the playoff hunt in December. Jimmy Garoppolo being a greater match for the offense at quarterback than Derek Carr will present dividends, as long as Garoppolo stays wholesome. All-Professionals Davante Adams and Josh Jacobs are their common good selves at receiver and working again, respectively, and Tyree Wilson, Maxx Crosby and Chandler Jones will likely be disruptive to opposing quarterbacks. And Las Vegas, with three of its closing 4 video games in opposition to the AFC West, two of these video games coming at dwelling, will management its personal future. Learn extra from Paul Gutierrez
The Chargers will enter their bye 4-0, with their Kellen Moore-directed offense stealing the eye of the NFL, and proving that that is the season to play to expectations. There will likely be some missteps alongside the way in which, however the Chargers will stay within the race for a division title, with the AFC West being determined in a Week 18 matchup in opposition to the Chiefs. Learn extra from Lindsey Thiry
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