While the Kansas City Chiefs are coming off their second Super Bowl victory in four years, there's a group of NFL teams looking to bounce back from a disappointing 2022 campaign.
Six teams finished with five or fewer wins last season: the Colts, Texans, Broncos, Bears, Rams and Cardinals. Nine other teams joined them in finishing with records below .500: the Patriots, Jets, Browns, Titans, Raiders, Packers, Panthers, Saints and Falcons.
With the start of the 2023 NFL season just around the corner, we ask the question:
Which NFL team will enjoy the biggest turnaround in 2023?
It has to be the Jets. They added Aaron Rodgers to a feeble offense and boast a defense that should be elite for the second straight year. Those two factors alone should take them from last place in the AFC East to legit Super Bowl contenders.
The three-win Bears from a year ago are a much different team entering 2023. They have added talent on both sides of the ball, including some potent offensive weapons for Justin Fields to utilize in the passing game, which should result in at least five more wins. Another element in Chicago's turnaround this season has to do with Aaron Rodgers’ departure from the division. Jordan Love doesn’t own the Bears.
There is no bigger wild-card team than the Browns this season. That’s mostly due to Deshaun Watson and which version of him we will see this year. The difference between Watson regaining his top-five form and last year’s bottom-five performance could determine whether the Browns are true Super Bowl contenders or stay a sub-.500 team. With one of the most talented rosters in the league, though, the Browns’ win total should increase from 2022 even with a mediocre Watson.
The AFC East will be one of the most competitive divisions in the NFL this season. And while the New England Patriots aren't a sexy pick -- in fact, they are likely the least sexy pick of the four teams -- they have a real shot to win the division. The offense is in much better shape than it was a year ago with offensive coordinator Bill O'Brien back in the fold and more weapons for Mac Jones to throw to, and the defense under Bill Belichick's tutelage will always do its part.
Derek Carr has his foibles, but the fit in New Orleans is ideal. His deep-ball prowess should bring explosive plays with young wideouts Chris Olave and Rashid Shaheed scampering downfield. The defense lost some pieces but remains a solid group. The Saints have clung to relevance for the past several seasons. After a disappointing finish in 2022, they finally break through to swipe a winnable NFC South in 2023.