Last year with Stink’s help we successfully predicted the 2022 Super Bowl champs. So let’s go B2B just like the Chiefs could (but won’t)!
We also correctly picked the Jets to eclipse their over/under win total and BOLDLY declared them as the NFL sleeper team of the year.
How can we make more successful NFL predictions for 2023? The same way we did last year – by consulting FOX NFL expert commentator Mark “Stink” Schlereth.
Mark also predicted what we need for last year’s ultimate homegate or tailgate – and he nailed that as well.
As a man who won Super Bowls as a player for teams in both the AFC and NFC, there is no bias here. But, Stink thinks the AFC is clearly superior again in 2023.
Let’s cut right to it, Mark; what final four teams will emerge from the slog of a full season to make the conference championships and ultimately the Super Bowl?
“Well, you get an injury and it changes everything – it is a season of ebbs and flows. I still think you have to say Kansas City is the class of the AFC. Patrick Mahomes is the GOAT.
Cincinnati, everybody loves Joe Burrow and I think he’s a phenomenal quarterback. But there is one team I love even more. I love Aaron Rodgers and the Jets. I’ll tell you what; I’d probably bounce Cincinnati from the AFC Championship and put the Jets in there versus KC.
Because that’s a top five defense last year without great quarterback play. Now you throw great quarterback play in there and the complimentary nature of football, that Jets defense could be the best defense in the NFL. And that Jets offense has so much potential.
For the NFC, I’ll go with the two best rosters in my mind – the Philadelphia Eagles and the San Francisco 49ers. A repeat of last year’s NFC Championship game.
No discussion of 2023 NFL predictions is complete without talking sleeper teams. I think Seattle is a huge possible sleeper team. I did their last preseason game (as an announcer) and I hung around practice. They are talented. They are physical. Their backend on defense is long, lean, fast.
I think New Orleans with Derek Carr are a sleeper team. I think they win the NFC South going away. There’s not as much challenge there for them. Those are my two favorite sleeper teams that I got for you.”
What do you think about the NFC North in 2023/2024?
“That division is just interesting because as good as Minnesota was last year they lost in the Wild Card round. No one really believes in them. I think everyone has high expectations for Detroit, but let’s not forget that they are DETROIT.
Can they overcome the sad sack losing that has gone on there? I love Dan Campbell, I think he is a great coach. I am picking Detroit to win that division.
I love Jordan Love. Last year I was talking to Aaron Rodgers about Love’s progression and Aaron said was challenging him to go out in practice and take that challenge on his own shoulders. He got a chance to play last year and played well. I think Love is going to be one of those guys that is sneaky good this year.”
Is Bill Belichick on the hot seat? If he doesn’t turn it around this season, is he looking at a potential new future?
“I think he will have at least one more year. But if you look at the rest of that division – the Bills should be good again, Tua Tagovailoa and all the weapons in Miami if he can stay healthy, the Jets who I love – I think the Patriots are clearly the 4th best team.
The big thing from last year was the regression of Mac Jones. We all saw it coming. How do you hire a special teams coach and a defensive coordinator to be “co-offensive coordinators?”
They’ve rectified that and get Bill O’Brien back in the building. Having that guy to mentor your QB, a guy that mentored Tom Brady, I think Mac Jones is a lot better than people give him credit for and I expect a huge bounce back season. But I don’t think Bill B will get fired even if they don’t compete for a playoff spot in 2023.
What’s the best offensive line in football?
I would give it to the Philadelphia Eagles. A big physical group that can absolutely snot-clobber you and run it right down your gullet but also athletic enough to get guys outside.
“Remember that movie with “Globogym?” The whole “we are better than you and we know it.” That’s the Eagles when it comes to their offensive line.”
Who will be hoisting the Lombardi in February?
“I’ll go with the Jets and Aaron Rodgers. I have less hatred for the Jets than I do for the Chiefs, as a Denver guy. So I’ll take the Jets.”
NFL Predictions 2023 – Regular Season and Playoff Results
Random Notes: Remember when the 2022 NFL season began, every expert with a microphone and an internet connection was screaming how unstoppable the Bills were going to be? I’ve noticed that same sentiment beginning to emerge as we enter the 2023 NFL season. But I don’t buy it. Here’s why:
No way Josh Allen doesn’t get hurt. Every year they say they are going to “run the ball more” then they don’t support this via play calls or personnel. 2023 is no different. James Cook, Damien Harris, Latavius Murray? Not a believer.
Plus, who is their #2 WR? Only a matter of time before Ken Dorsey panics and Allen is attempting 40+ per game. Also, the defense is not better, while the entire division has improved. I also think getting their teeth kicked in at home in the snow to end the 2022 season still lingers. As far as NFL predictions 2023, we are predicting the Bills do not make the playoffs.
Dolphins are ready to roll with what can be the best offense in football, thanks to Tua’s ju-jitsu training. Oh and ya, Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle. I don’t think it matters who totes the rock or if they brought Sammie Smith or Bernie Parmalee out of the rest home.
I love The Hoodie aka Billy Snapface, but they are finishing in last place. If they were in the AFC South or NFC South, they’d win 3 more games and be in prime playoff position.
The Jets are the best team in this division. Believe the hype.
Random Notes: Chiefs have won this division 8 years in a row and this will be the 9th.
I know the Chargers are a sexy pick, again, but a Charger is gonna Charger. Just look at the way they blew the game against JAX last year. Still a playoff team and maybe this year they win a playoff game.
The Raiders are screwed up internally. Jimmy Handsome will get hurt. Sold offense, bad defense. 7 win ceiling and how long until Davante Adams demands a trade?
My sentiment on the 2023 Broncos remains exactly the same as it did in 2022:
“I have zero confidence in the Broncos. I am firmly entrenched in the “Russell Wilson gets too much credit for his success” camp. What has he won without the Legion of Boom? Well I’ll tell ya, one playoff win in 3 tries. And, I’m tired of seeing him and Ciara everywhere like the new Power Couple. She isn’t a generational singer and he isn’t a generational QB.”
Random Notes: Would anyone care if there was an earthquake and this division fell all the way to the center of the earth and melted in its molten core (allegedly). We will keep this brief: Jaguars win these division.
The Titans, Colts, and Texans combined to win 7 games last year. And none of them got any better heading into 2023.
Random Notes: In hindsight this division was better than anyone expected a year ago, with 3 teams finishing above .500.
The AFC North plays against the AFC South and NFC West this season. Both will vie for worst division in the NFL in 2023-24. So you should see a Wild Card team out of this division, maybe two.
The Bengals are the cream of the division. After a Super Bowl appearance and an AFC Championship game appearance in the last two seasons, is this the year?
The Ravens are the Ravens and will sleepwalk into 10 wins like always.
Now that the QB saga between Kenny Pickett and Mitch Trubisky has been settled and KP has had a full offseason as unquestioned starter, they will at least equal 9 wins from a year ago.
The Browns are worse than they were a year ago. Unless Mr. Massage plays like Mr. Watson of 2021.
Random Notes: Surprisingly in 2022, each team in this division finished over .500. Neither the Giants or the Eagles can sneak up on anyone this year, though. As much as I want to say the Giants can slay the dragon of the Cowboys, they just can’t seem to do it when it matters.
Speaking of Jerr-ah, who is Dak going to throw to aside from CDC Lamb (#COVID)? There is no clear second weapon in the passing game. Jake Ferguson? And, Tony Pollard‘s leg injury was gnarly and less than a year ago.
No matter where Ron Rivera goes, save for one season with Cam Newton, QB unsteadiness follows.
Random Notes: The 49ers are looking extra sexy this year.
The big question here is which team will have a worse record – the Cardinals or the Rams? Both smell like 4-win ceilings.
Random Notes: Packers are still the creem of this division until proven otherwise. I just have this terrible feeling they will make the playoffs. And if you look at the last 25+ years, why wouldn’t they?
For as much love the Lions and Bears are getting, the best team in this division is the Vikings.
This division could be the best one in football, but it is partly because all teams are so evenly matched they will just beat each other up to the point there may not be a Wild Card team.
Random Notes: Derek Carr is the missing link. If there is one thing I remember about his time in Oakland…err Vegas its all of the drops from his wide receivers. Every year, no matter who it was. That beats a man down. He’s primed to prove the Raiders wrong. And he actually has talent on offense and a solid D.
The Falcons get me all tingly because of Arthur Smith. He doesn’t take any crap. Great young core on offense – Bijan Robinson, Kyle Pitts, Drake London. It all boils down to Desmon Ridder and I think he is up for the challenge. I’m predicting 10 wins. @ me in February.
Bucs are dying slowly, Panthers not ascending fast enough to keep pace.
2023 NFL Playoffs Predictions:
In case you forgot the playoff format has changed. There are a total of 14 teams–seven from each conference. The top seed from each conference has a bye to the divisional round. It used to be top two seeds, now just one in each conference.
AFC Top 7
Jags – division champ
Jets- division champ
Bengals – division champ
Chiefs – division champ
Chargers – wild card
Ravens – wild card
Dolphins – wild card
NFC Top 7
Vikings – division champ
Eagles – division champ
49ers – division champ
Saints– division champ
Falcons – wild card
Cowboys – wild card
Lions – wild card
2024 AFC Championship = Chiefs vs Jets
2024 NFC Championship = 49ers vs Eagles
Super Bowl = Jets vs 49ers
Super Bowl Champion = JETS