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Flappr's 2023 NFL Season Preview

Politics have never been more cynical, stupid or insulting to your intelligence.


Luckily FOOTBALL IS BACK!


So, indulge that part of your brain that is looking for an escape and enjoy our 32(ish) paragraphs on 32 teams in this 2024 NFL Season Preview.


Teams are listed in the order I think they will finish in their respective divisions.


(*) denotes the teams I think will make the playoffs.


AFC East

1. *New York Jets - Aaron Rodgers seems motivated to shove it up Green Bay's ass, the defensive line looks stacked and this team looks poised to challenge Kansas City for the AFC title. Full disclosure: this prediction may be somewhat influenced by strong desire to see Aaron Rodgers to win the Super Bowl and Packers fans suffer.

2. *Buffalo Bills - I would not be shocked if the Bills win the Super Bowl (in fact, I hope they do) but something feels a bit off about this team and has since Josh Allen hurt his elbow half-way through last year. The roster is still loaded to contend, but the defense is filled with aging vets and their Championship window seems to be closing quicker than I would've anticipated. Sean McDermott either finds a way to get this team to the Super Bowl or he might end up looking for a new job.


3. *Miami Dolphins - Mike McDaniel is one of the best offensive coaches in the league and he just hired one of the best defensive coaches in the league (Vic Fangio). The Dolphins' fate rests on whether or not Tua can stay healthy, if he does - they could make a deep playoff run, if not - they will miss the playoffs entirely. Bonus points to McDaniel for repping VapeBro Nation on the sidelines:

4. New England Patriots - Picking the Patriots to finish last in this division feels insane to me, since they still have Bill Belichick running a defense that finished last season at the top of most defensive stat rankings; the AFC East is the best division in football, though and the Patriots have the worst QB in the division.


AFC North

1. *Cincinnati Bengals - I am not willing to pick against Joe Burrow, Jamar Chase and Tee Higgins.


2. Baltimore Ravens - The Ravens have become a trendy pick to win the Super Bowl and I think they will struggle to make the playoffs; the Ravens D is only pretty good and while I think Lamar Jackson is among the best QBs in the league - I have serious doubts on how well he will adapt to the Ravens' Air-Raid, pass from the pocket offense. The final AFC playoff spot will come down to the Dolphins and the Ravens and it's a toss-up to me.


3. Pittsburgh Steelers - I am buying the George Pickens hype, but not buying the Kenny Pickett hype. I feel like I might regret this prediction.

4. Cleveland Browns - The Deshaun Watson trade/contract will go down as the worst personnel decision in NFL history - Watson looked like he lost the magic during his massage induced sabbatical; there will be no happy ending for Deshaun in Cleveland (that's a hand job joke).


AFC South

1. *Jacksonville Jaguars - Trevor Lawrence looks awesome, the offense looks loaded (added Calvin Ridley in the offseason) and the Jags should easily win the second worst division in football.


2. Tennessee Titans - Mike Vrabel is an underrated coach who has made chicken salad out of chicken shit for the majority of his time in Nashville. Vrabel will find a way to make this iteration of shitty Titans' personnel competitive again this season (though they will miss the playoffs).


3. Indianapolis Colts - I think Anthony Richardson might be good, but is going to look bad most weeks this season. I am confident that this team sucks.


4. Houston Texans - I think C.J. Stroud might be bad and will look really, really, bad most weeks this season. I am confident that this team sucks.

AFC West

1. *Kansas City Chiefs - I am not willing to bet against Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce and Andy Reid; though if they don't figure out a way to make Chris Jones happy (and soon) they will not repeat as AFC Champions. (Naturally, as I was prepared to publish this blog, Travis Kelce hyper-extended his knee in practice and is questionable for tomorrow's opener. If Travis is not 100% this year, the Chiefs will not return to the Super Bowl).

This is an especially intriguing new form of Twitter NFL analysis / engagement farming for Elon bucks. Gotta respect the grift.


2. *Los Angeles Chargers - I think Brandon Staley is a bad coach, Justin Herbert is awesome and that the Chargers will battle the Bills, Dolphins and Ravens for the final three playoff spots (with the Ravens losing out). The Chargers will lose again in the first round of the playoffs and Staley will be fired.


3. Denver Broncos - Sean Payton is a great coach that is inheriting a shitty roster and a broken Russell Wilson. Denver will look significantly better this year (8 wins?) but Payton will have seen enough from Russ to move on from him in the offseason.

4. Oakland Raiders - Signing Jimmy G was a weird move, Josh Jacobs held out of training camp and Chandler Jones is locked out of the team facility / posting weird shit on Instagram. The Raiders look aimless right now and feels destined to lose 10+ games. I am confident that this team sucks.


NFC East

1. *Dallas Cowboys - Mike McCarthy, who's giant Irish ass is firmly on the hot seat, has become the Kirk Cousins of coaches in that the hate for him is so fervent that he's (somehow) underrated despite being overrated in many ways. The Cowboys will have the best defense football, Micah Parsons may notch 20+ sacks, Dak might throw for 35 TDs. This 2023 Cowboys team has "look incredibly dominant in the regular season only to flame out in the first or second round and get McCarthy fired" written all over it:

2. *Philadelphia Eagles - Jalen Hurts looks like a guy who will be a top 10 to top 5 QB for the next 7 years, A.J. Brown is awesome, the defense is stacked (and somehow added Jalen Carter in the draft), Howie Roseman is the best GM in football and they should've won the Super Bowl last year.


The Eagles also had tremendous injury luck last year (among the fewest games lost to injury in the league) and lost both their offensive AND defensive coordinators to head coaching opportunities elsewhere. The Eagles probably won't be that lucky again and it will take some time to adjust to new play callers - just enough to let the Cowboys take the NFC East away from them (plus, no team has won the NFC East in back-to-back years since 2004).


3. New York Giants - In what was supposed to be a year one of a rebuild, Brian Daboll somehow turned a really shitty roster with Daniel Jones at QB into a team that won a playoff game. The Giants will likely regress a little bit (8 Wins?) and miss the playoffs, but anything close to resembling last year will still feel like success.


4. Washington Commanders - Ron Rivera is the new Jeff Fisher - a mediocre head coach (12 seasons, only 3 with a winning record) who made a Super Bowl, lost a super bowl and kept his job for way too long; the defense looks good, the offense looks mediocre, the Commanders will sniff .500 and replace Rivera with Eric Bieniemy next year. The new owners should change the team's name back to the Redskins.


NFC North

1. *Minnesota Vikings - The sexy pick this year is that the Lions will run away with the NFC North and challenge for the NFC Title, yet - the Vikings have a better QB and Justin Jefferson (the best non-QB in the league); people are underrating the Vikings, who will have a worse record and still win the division (before losing in the first round).


2. *Detroit Lions - The Lions go into 2023 with something unfamiliar to the franchise - expectations that they will be good; I don't think the Lions are going to laughably bad and disappointing, but the gooey feelings of optimism have caused too many to forget how bad their defense was last year (28th Overall) and that this THE LIONS, a LOSER franchise that even Bears fans look down upon with pity! The Lions Defense will improve, the Lions' record will improve, the Lions are going to make the playoffs, but the Lions will not be as good as everyone wants them to be.


3. Green Bay Packers - Listen, if Jordan Love is anywhere near as good as Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre, it's all over for me (seppuku); he's looked better than I thought he would in the preseason, but I think he still sucks - the Packers are in a transition year and the best outcome is that they learn Jordan Love is THE GUY. Despite losing Rodgers, the Packers roster is still pretty damn good in some spots (OLB Rashan Gary and CB Jaire Alexander are two of the best at their positions and WR Christian Watson looks like he could be a star) - if Jordan Love does not suck, the Packers could very well win this division:

I do think that week one vs the Bears might be a rare occasion where the future of two franchises might be determined. If the Bears win, Fields is electric and Love stinks, that might cause the fandom to ratchet up the pressure on their new signal caller and things could cascade into chaos. If the Packers win, Love looks amazing and Fields can't hit the broad side of a barn (this is the most likely outcome, btw), then. . . well . . . fuck, I think I might just need to give up (seppuku).


4. Chicago Bears - In theory, I like what the Bears have done this offseason (acquire talent to properly determine whether or not Fields is THE GUY moving forward), but I think Justin Fields lacks the ability to make throws with anticipation and the offense will continue to rely on his legs. The Bears offense should be better even if Fields can't consistently run the offense from the pocket (D.J. Moore is a DAWG and will have a Pro Bowl caliber season based on YAC alone).

The Bears defense will be better in Year 2 under Matt Eberflus (they can't be worse after trading away all of their competent players last year). The problem is that "better" for a 3-win team is a very low bar!


The best-case scenario for the Bears this year is that Fields proves me hilariously wrong, shows development throwing from the pocket, throws for 3,500 yards, runs for 800 more and has the team playing meaningful games in December. If Fields plays this well, he will be an MVP candidate and the Bears will make the playoffs.


The worst-case scenario for the Bears is that Fields gets injured and plays OK, but not good or great and the Bears don't have enough data to determine whether or not Justin Fields is THE GUY moving forward. The Bears need an answer on Justin Fields heading into Year 3 of this rebuild so they can determine whether or not to use their assets (they have the Panthers' 2024 First Round Pick) to trade up for Drake Maye or Caleb Williams in next year's draft.


NFC South

1. *Atlanta Falcons - The best team in the worst division in football; promising team that feels on the precipice of being good, but could implode if unproven QB Desmond Ridder REALLY sucks (he might):


2. New Orleans Saints - Bad team with mediocre new QB (Derek Carr, who is somehow the best QB in this terrible division?) and above average defense that could win the worst division in football, but probably won't; Saints have somehow evaded a tear down/rebuild, but their defense (which has been the strength of this team) is now filled with dudes in their mid to late 30s and it feels like time the bottom falls out and they're forced to suffer through some lean years.


3. Tampa Bay Buccaneers - Bad team with bad new QB (but still has many good players from its Super Bowl team) that could win the worst division in football if things break their way, but probably won't; Bucs looks like they're about to blow this whole thing up, trade Mike Evans and others, then suffer through some lean years.


4. Carolina Panthers - Bad team with new midget-rookie QB that does not seem capable of winning the worst division in football; Panthers defense looks really talented, but their best player (Brian Burns) is holding out. The Panthers will likely lose a lot in Year 1 under Frank Reich. Full disclosure: this prediction may be influenced by my desire for the Panthers to be bad because the Bears own the Panthers first round pick in 2024.


NFC West

1. *San Francisco 49ers - Kyle Shanahan is the best coach in the NFC; Brock Purdy ran Shanahan's offense to perfection (8-0 as a starter), offense looks loaded again, defense looks loaded again. The Niners have to find a way to get Nick Bosa (contract dispute) and Brock Purdy (recovering from elbow surgery) back on the field and keep them healthy. If they do, the Niners will win the NFC.


2. *Seattle Seahawks - Fun team with fun players, fun coach and an enjoyable comeback story at quarterback; Seahawks had a good offseason and might end up surprising a lot of people with how deep they go into the playoffs if Geno Smith can prove last year was not a fluke.


3. Los Angeles Rams - Very depressing team, with aging and injured veterans (Stafford, Kupp, Donald) that might get traded by Halloween; after trading away draft picks for several years, this team is feels like it is in the early stages of the years of suffering that have finally caught up with them. I would not be shocked if Sean McVay retires midway through a second consecutive terrible season.


4. Arizona Cardinals - The Cardinals traded for Joshua Dobbs and are making them their starting Quarterback. . . they're doing this voluntarily and enthusiastically (they're also likely not going to play Kyler Murray this year); I have never seen an NFL team trying to tank as hard as this Cardinals team is trying to tank. This team fucking sucks, but they did fix their ugly uniforms:

PLAYOFF PREDICTIONS

AFC Winner: Chiefs


NFC Winner: 49ers


Super Bowl Winner: 49ers


Yes, you can mock me when all of these predictions turn out to be hilariously wrong.

4件のコメント


ゲスト
2023年9月11日

Sepukku time arrives....

いいね!

ゲスト
2023年9月06日

Come for the political commentary, stay for the football analysis. It's why I like this site. Hopefully you publish NFL commentary all season long.

いいね!
bartleby
bartleby
2023年9月06日
返信先

Going to try and do more NFL coverage, but it's hard to find time for this silly blog and adding more to my weekly routine seems daunting.

いいね!
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