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NFL Division and Playoff Seeding Predictions for 2023

It's time for my predictions for the upcoming NFL season. Here is how I see the divisions followed by playoff seeding predictions.


AFC East

1 Buffalo

2 New York Jets

3 Miami

4 New England

People are sleeping on Buffalo this year. It's almost like everyone is thinking that Buffalo has nothing left after watching Cincinnati beat them in the playoffs in Buffalo. I just don't believe that's the case. The Bills still have a very talented roster and will be hard to beat over the course of a 17 game season. I think the Jets will get better over the course of the season. Even Tom Brady started out 7-5 and lost his division to the Saints before Tampa Bay went on to win the Super Bowl in the 2020 season. I expect something similar for Aaron Rodgers, although I don't think the Jets will win it all. If you told me that Tua would stay healthy for all 17 games, I'd pick Miami to be very close to Buffalo. I just don't think it will happen. Miami has more weapons than the Starship Enterprise, but they have to have Tua healthy to get the ball to them. This might be the only division in football where I would pick the Patriots to be last, but that's where I think they will land. They will have a good defense, but they don't have enough weapons to hang with the other three teams.


AFC North

1 Cincinnati

2 Baltimore

3 Pittsburgh

4 Cleveland

This division is the best in all of football. I was very tempted to pick the Ravens to win the division, and if Lamar Jackson stays healthy, it could easily happen. I just think Joe Burrow is too good of a quarterback to finish second. The Ravens have weapons galore, but I need to see if their defense can still dominate. The Steelers will be much improved. Look for Kenny Pickett to find George Pickens many times this year, but their offensive line is suspect. The Browns will be very respectable. I expect them to make a jump... next year. I think this will be a growing year for Deshaun Watson, but the Browns will knock off a couple of big boys along the way.


AFC South

1 Jacksonville

2 Tennessee

3 Houston

4 Indianapolis

I can't get too excited about this division with the exception of Jacksonville. I just can't decide how good the Jaguars will be. They could be REALLY good, especially if Trevor Lawrence takes another big step forward. The Titans have an excellent head coach and signed DeAndre Hopkins, so you can't count them out. I think the Texans and the Colts will battle it out for third place. May the better rookie quarterback win!


AFC West

1 Kansas City

2 Los Angeles Chargers

3 Denver

4 Las Vegas

A time will come when the Chiefs don't win their division, but I don't think that time is quite yet. I expect Chris Jones to be back at some point this season, and Patrick Mahomes is the near unanimous choice as the best quarterback in the NFL. The Chargers have the talent to win big, and I think they will this year. We will see how much better Sean Payton makes Russell Wilson and the Broncos. I think Payton will make the Broncos much better with or without Wilson, so Russ better get on board with what Payton is trying to teach him. The Raiders have some very talented players, just not enough of them to win consistently. Similarly to the Browns, I think the Raiders can upset about anyone on a given week, but will Jimmy Garoppolo stay healthy? Betting on that to happen has been a bad bet in the past.


NFC East

1 Philadelphia

2 Dallas

3 New York Giants

4 Washington

Will the Eagles take a step back? They lost a lot of players and coaches. How will the Cowboys offense fare after getting rid of their offensive coordinator and letting Mike McCarthy call the plays? Personally, I don't like that decision, but the Cowboys defense can be extremely good, I have the toughest time trying to decide how good the Giants will be this year. I'm not a big Daniel Jones fan. I'm not even a little Daniel Jones fan, but Brian Daboll is such a good coach! I suppose the Giants will teeter on the edge of playoff contention. The Commanders will be as good as Sam Howell will allow them to be. I think that will be better than expected, but it will be hard to move up in this division.


NFC North

1 Detroit

2 Minnesota

3 Green Bay

4 Chicago

Take a deck of cards. Let the spades be Detroit, the hearts be Minnesota, the diamonds be Green Bay, and the clubs be Chicago. Throw the deck just as high in the air as you can, and catch one card as they fall. The odds of that card being the division winner are about the same as me or anyone else trying to pick a winner! The Lions ended last season with a lot of momentum, so I'll take them to win it. The Vikings will have great offense but very little defense. The Packers have a new quarterback for the first time in about 15 years, and you can't tell me that you know if he will be any good. The overall roster isn't great, but they have a good offensive line and at least two good running backs. The Bears should be improved, but I don't have enough faith in Justin Fields' ability as a passer to move them too far up. However, if things fall into place, they could challenge for second place.


NFC South

1 New Orleans

2 Atlanta

3 Carolina

4 Tampa Bay

The Saints have the most established quarterback, so I like them to win it. I'm a lot higher than most on the Falcons. I like their ability to run the ball, and I like Desmond Ridder more than most. The defense should be better, too. The Panthers will go through growing pains with their rookie quarterback. The Bucs were the champs of this division, but this year they will be the chumps. I don't see too many wins in Tampa.


NFC West

1 San Francisco

2 Seattle

3 Los Angeles Rams

4 Arizona

The 49ers roster should win out over the Seahawks good, young roster. The Rams have fallen a long way just one year after winning the Super Bowl. They can make some noise if Matthew Stafford can stay healthy. The Cardinals will be awful, period. Kyler Murray isn't expected to play any time soon, and by the time he does, they could be out of it. I have heard rumblings of them tanking so they can pick Caleb Williams in the draft. I wouldn't be shocked if that's the case.


Playoff Seeding Projections

AFC

1 Buffalo

2 Kansas City

3 Cincinnati

4 Jacksonville

5 Baltimore

6 Los Angeles Chargers

7 New York Jets

The Dolphins will be in here somewhere if Tua can stay healthy.


NFC

1 San Francisco

2 Philadelphia

3 Detroit

4 New Orleans

5 Dallas

6 Seattle

7 Minnesota

Watch out for the Giants and the Falcons.


For comparison sake, here are Colin Cowherd's division predictions...

AFC East - Buffalo, Miami, New York Jets, New England

AFC North - Cincinnati, Pittsburgh, Baltimore, Cleveland

AFC South - Jacksonville, Tennessee, Houston, Indianapolis

AFC West - Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Las Vegas

NFC East - Philadelphia, Dallas, New York Giants, Washington

NFC North - Detroit, Minnesota, Green Bay, Chicago

NFC South - New Orleans, Atlanta, Carolina, Tampa Bay

NFC West - Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles Rams, Arizona

Colin likes these teams to make the playoffs... Buffalo, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Miami, Pittsburgh, Philadelphia, Detroit, New Orleans, Seattle, San Francisco, Dallas, Atlanta.


Here are Associated Press NFL expert Bob Maaddi's division predictions...

AFC East - New York Jets, Buffalo, Miami, New England

AFC North - Cincinnati, Baltimore, Pittsburgh, Cleveland

AFC South - Jacksonville, Tennessee, Houston, Indianapolis

AFC West - Kansas City, Los Angeles Chargers, Denver, Las Vegas

NFC East - Dallas, Philadelphia, New York Giants, Washington

NFC North - Detroit, Minnesota, Chicago, Green Bay

NFC South - New Orleans, Tampa Bay, Carolina, Atlanta

NFC West - San Francisco, Seattle, Los Angeles Rams, Arizona

Bob likes these teams to make the playoffs... New York Jets, Cincinnati, Jacksonville, Kansas City, Buffalo, Baltimore, Los Angeles Chargers, Dallas, Detroit, New Orleans, San Francisco, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Seattle.


May God always be your number 1 draft pick!

Draftman Rick


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