NFL Regular Season Preview

Ryan D’Amico
Staff Writer

As the NFL 2022-2023 season comes to a start, there are many players on new teams and many teams who believe they are in contention to win the Super Bowl in Arizona this coming February.

There are many teams this season that over the offseason that appear to have upgraded their rosters in their desire to compete for Super Bowl. Some of the teams that made the most significant changes are the Pittsburgh Steelers, San Francisco 49ers, Denver Broncos, Miami Dolphins and many more. Pittsburgh drafted quarterback Kenny Pickett in the draft creating an interesting dynamic in their QB room as Pickett starts the season on the bench behind recently acquired Mitchell Trubisky. The 49ers also made a quarterback change by giving the reigns to youngster Trey Lance even though Jimmy Garoppolo led the team to within a game of the Super Bowl last season. San Francisco also gave their star wide receiver Deebo Samuel an extension this offseason.

New Denver Broncos quarterback Russell Wilson (Photo courtesy of Ron Chenoy/USA Today Sports)

Several teams in the AFC West also made significant additions. The Denver Broncos acquired star quarterback Russell Wilson to pair with running back Javonte Williams and wideouts Courtland Sutton and Jerry Jeudy, with the hope that Wilson will turn this rebuilding team into a team contending for a Super Bowl. The Las Vegas Raiders added superstar wide receiver Davante Adams to a team that made the playoffs just last season and separated him from his longtime quarterback and back to back MVP in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers. In addition to those AFC west teams, the Miami Dolphins added a star receiver of their own in Patrick Mahomes’ former target Tyreek Hill who will pair with young uprising receiver Jaylen Waddle to attempt to help Tua Tagovoiloa find his way in the NFL.

Miami Dolphins quarterback Tua Tagovailoa (Photo courtesy of Terrance Williams/Associated Press)

Wilson was not the only star quarterback to switch teams as the Cleveland Browns added Deshaun Watson, although he will serve a suspension for sexual misconduct for the first 11 games of the season. With Watson and wide receiver Amari Cooper now in the fold, and former quarterback Baker Mayfield now the starter for the Carolina Panthers, the Browns look to return to the playoffs for the first time since 2020. The Philadelphia Eagles also added wide receiver AJ Brown to team with Jalen Hurts who is coming off his first career playoff appearance last season. The Indianapolis Colts added veteran quarterback Matt Ryan to a team that barely missed the postseason last year, hoping that the upgrade from Carson Wentz to Ryan will push the Colts to the top of the AFC South.

Teams that are still going to be dominant and maybe even better than last year are teams like the Kansas City Chiefs, Buffalo Bills, Los Angeles Chargers, Los Angeles Rams, and Cincinnati Bengals among others. Kansas City even with the loss of Tyreek Hill, is going to not miss a beat with Mahomes and Travis Kelce returning to an elite offense while JuJu Smith-Schuster and Marquez Valdes-Scantling step in to help take on the role that Hill had. Buffalo is coming off of a tough loss in the playoffs last year to Kansas City but Josh Allen is only getting better with help from his number 1 wideout Stefon Diggs and the addition of Von Miller on defense, Buffalo should be a Super Bowl contender. Tampa Bay still has Tom Brady after a brief period where Brady retired in the offseason. With Brady pairing with wideouts Mike Evans, Chris Godwin, and Julio Jones along with an elite defense, Tampa Bay should be able to weather the losses of Antonio Brown and Rob Gronkowski well. The Chargers added Malik Mack on defense which already had Joey Bosa to pair with a terrific offense led by the always improving Justin Herbert throwing to Keenan Allen and Austin Ekeler rushing the ball. The Rams are hoping to avoid the so-called “Super Bowl hangover” after winning the whole thing last year and replace title contributors Miller and Odell Beckham Jr. with free agent additions Bobby Wagner and Allen Robinson. The team they beat in the Super Bowl, Cincinnati, seemed to address their biggest weakness this offseason at offensive line with the additions of Alex Cappa, Ted Karras, and La’el Collins with the hope of protecting their young quarterback Joe Burrow and avoiding him from potential big injuries.

The rookie class this year will be something to watch. At quarterback, Pickett and Malik Willis will be starting the season on this bench, but expect them to eventually steal the show in Pittsburgh and Tennessee from Trubisky and Ryan Tannehill. Cornerback Sauce Gardner of the New York Jets is one of the most anticipated cornerbacks to come out after the draft in years, while Romeo Doubs will have big shoes to fill in Green Bay as he tries to help Green Bay weather the trade of Davante.

There are many top players to watch out for this season. Either players coming back from a prior year of injury or just players continuing to improve exponentially. Players like like Justin Herbert, Lamar Jackson, Saquon Barkley, Micah Parsons, Trevor Lawrence, and Tua Tagovailoa are some examples of players who will have massive implications on this NFL season and will determine who makes the playoffs and who will still be mired at the bottom of the standings.


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