Ranked NFL teams head for rough ride in 2023: Patriots, Titans, Buccaneers could struggle this year
Good luck finding NFL fans on their favorite team right now. when I predicted records for each NFL teamAny franchise other than 17-0 He was met with no shortage of scorn and derision. The Brinson Model ™️ aims to please!
A three-legged sloth can count the number of winning seasons the Browns have had since returning to Cleveland in 1999 … however, if you suggest that 7-10 might be on the table, Browns fans are apoplectic.
At this time last year, My good friend Jason La Canfora identified five teams he believes in 2022 was in very bad shape and was in for a very rough ride He slapped it: Chicago and Houston got the top two picks in the draft, while Carolina and Atlanta were “involved” in an ugly NFC South race with top-10 picks (Carolina would go No. 1) and Washington, well, they steered their way to another impressive Snyder-esque season.
Now it’s my turn to find five teams set for a tough ride in 2023. This year was tough: I’m personally high on what the Falcons are doing and three of the JLC’s five teams last year — Carolina , Houston and Indy — ended up drafting a quarterback with the top five picks. Unless you really hate a prospect, um, chances are, you should feel confident about decent rosters adding young quarterback talent at the top of the draft.
Ultimately this roster will end up being a mix of teams that will struggle in 2023 and teams that have long-term questions about the direction of the franchise as a whole. If Dan Snyder still owns the team in Week 1, the Washington Commanders are automatically included on this list, but I can’t point them out if he actually sells. wrong direction.
1. Arizona Cardinals
Not going to lie, I suggest I start alphabetically here: Cardinals Profile So far The worst team in football for 2023 and it’s not particularly close. Arizona has a first-year GM and a first-year head coach, both of whom have had some interesting mistakes early on. Monty Osenford, along with Jonathan Cannon, self-reported allegations of plagiarism that led to the hiring process. Cannon declined to meet with the media following Arizona’s first draft day and told Arizona reporters Everyone wanted him fired The Eagles weren’t explosive enough. It could have been a lie. Not a great way to start things off with the press and fans for a team that is struggling to compete this year.
The quarterback could be a mitigating factor here, but Kyler Murray is recovering from a torn ACL late in the season. It would be a big surprise if he was ready to roll by Week 1. And there is the additional question of whether cardinals. want He must be ready. Arizona has its own first-round pick and gets Houston in 2024 — factor in a new regime and Caleb Williams/Drake Maye are absolutely playing for the Desert Birds.
Oh and there’s the whole pesky matter of the former VP of Personnel Terry McDonough blamed owner Michael Bidwell “Gross misconduct, which includes deception, discrimination and harassment.
Arizona now holds its own tier in this ranking.
2. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
The Bucs’ place here isn’t an indictment of the long-term health of the organization, but a snapshot of where Tampa is right now. The Bucs won a Super Bowl in 2020 after the bold acquisition of Tom Brady — not to mention the rest of the roster by GM Jason Licht — and made the playoffs despite a coaching change the past two years. From Bruce Arians to Todd Bowles.
But with Brady retiring this season, the bill came up for Tampa’s immediate and long-term future. Baker Mayfield is in town on a one-year deal, and the warmth of the Bowles seat isn’t talked about enough. Arians won the Super Bowl; A disastrous season for a long-time defensive coordinator almost certainly leads to a change of head coach next season (or sooner).
There’s still a lot to like about this roster, especially on the defensive side, and you won’t hear anyone complaining about Tampa’s pass catchers. But the offense isn’t the same without Arians, and now Brady can’t help but worry about how 2023 will play out for this team without pulling the trigger.
3. Tennessee Titans
Mike Vrabel is fully prepared to look like an IDIOT when he wins his division and is ranked No. 1 in the AFC in a few months. But 2023 profiles as a potentially tough ride for the Titans, as they move from Ryan Tannehill — in the final year of his contract — to Will Lewis, who was a second-round pick this offseason. Lewis’ stature doesn’t guarantee him future franchise material (see: Malik Willis for Tennessee last year) but it feels like someone Vrabel is heading toward his future against now-ousted GM John Robinson.
The problem for Tennessee fans is that the team is “terrible” or one of the few worst teams in the league, but there is a weakness in how the Titans are constructed. The offensive line didn’t fare well when Derrick Henry ripped off back-to-back 2,000-yard seasons. Tannehill could play 17 games and play them well, but it’s very possible he ends up riding the pine at some point in the season so Tennessee can see their rookie. Expect rough connections then.
Offensively it’s hard to see the Titans scoring a ton of points on a weekly basis. Defensively, they are better than people give them credit for. It’s hard to win a ton of 16-13 games — that’s the weakness of football when the lines change so well.
Henry is in the final year of his contract. Maybe he and Danny will make a big push to break the bank, but the Titans — as we’ve known for the past few years — are changing their identity in the 2023 season, which could make things a little bumpy along the way.
4. New England Patriots
What could go wrong?? The greatest dynasty in professional sports history has been kind of/probably up against the wall behind Bill Belichick for the past 25 years, so why don’t I expect to get burned here? By the greatest coach in football history, professional or otherwise???
The Pats traded Matt Patricia and Joe Judge for Bill O’Brien, a very meaningful and obvious upgrade in terms of running the offense. Although I’m not sold yet, the offense is above average. JuJu Smith-Schuster, Devante Parker and Tyquan Thornton were not the Yankees of the 1927 receiving corps. Rhamondre Stevenson could be an elite running back, but things are thin after him on the depth chart. Mack Jones still has a lot to prove to a lot of people!
Defensively no one doubted Belichick, especially when he stole Christian Gonzalez in the first round. No wonder the Pats look like Titans. But it comes back to the weakness of things in the NFL in 2023 when you want to run the ball and play defense. And it’s magnified for a team like the Pats in a division like the AFC East, where Buffalo is on a three-year streak. In dominance, the Dolphins would be a dangerous contender if their QB was on the field and the Jets added Aaron Rodgers. I’m excited for New England this year, but 2023 is a long season for Pats fans.
5. Las Vegas Raiders
Let’s take out everyone associated with the Patriots dynasty why don’t we?!? It felt like the riders took a step forward and a step back. Adding Jimmy Garoppolo to replace Derek Carr was the perfect metaphor for this team: even if Jimmy’s fit in Josh McDaniels’ system has benefited the team long term, they’ve made the ultimate lateral move.
I’m a big fan of both Jacoby Meyers (basically a one-year deal) and Josh Jacobs (rights tag), but expect the latter to produce like he did last year, especially with another disappointing single-year contract extension. Even if the offense explodes, the Raiders will easily be the fourth-best offense in their home division.
Tyree Wilson is a very attractive addition as a pass rusher, but will Chandler Jones see meaningful play action this season playing in the (probably) final year of a questionable contract? It’s hard to find a way where this Raiders defense is significantly better than last season.
The section is just flat-out stacked. The Broncos should be nearly as good, the Chargers offensive coordinator upgrade should produce immediate benefits and the Chiefs should be the leaders. Last year people called McDaniels in the middle of his first season, what will happen this year when the division is loaded and the Raiders struggle? Tom Brady probably shouldn’t fire McDaniels The Raiders are in their first year as a minority owner, but the idea is too distasteful to contemplate.