Harv currently writes for Abstract Sports, the Sports History Network, and the magazine Gridiron Greats. Harv wrote the published book "Pro Football's Most Passionate Fans" and as a professional writer has had articles published in an array of sports publications.
Final Standings Prediction for 2023-2024 NFL Season
It’s that time again. The NFL season is about to kick off a new season and as I’ve done for many years, I sat down with the entire NFL schedule for this forthcoming season and looked at every game from week one to the last game of the season. With each and every game I picked a winner for the game. When I got to the final game, I tallied up the wins and losses and ahead you will see what I have for the final standings and who wins each division.
Keep in mind, these predictions were solely from my gut. These standings are not based on any stats because obviously we don’t have any yet with not a single regular season game played. Also, we have no idea who is going to, unfortunately, get injured, what players might underperform, and any in-game mistakes that take place which could change the outcome of a game.
I expect there will be fans that scoff at some of these predictions, and perhaps some of these final standings will be the actual results. I’m already prepared for New York Jets fans who will laugh at the projection of their team only winning five games. Yes, Aaron Rodgers has come to the Big Apple bringing a history of greatness with him, but Rodgers is absolutely past his prime in my opinion, and in my vision of the Jets, they just seem to have this aura around them that keeps them from being great. After all, they’ve only been to one Super Bowl and won that with Joe Namath at the helm, this back in 1969.
As you can see in my final predictions, it looks like the AFC North will be the NFL’s best division, a three-way race between defending division champions the Cincinnati Bengals, the Baltimore Ravens, and what should be a much-improved Pittsburgh Steelers squad.
Can the Steelers actually win 12 games? I believe they can with a bolstered offensive line, some key defensive players added, and a more experienced George Pickens who has everyone talking about him and his potential. The NFC South will probably be the worst division and I just can’t see any teams winning more than seven games. In the AFC, I believe the Kansas City Chiefs are the clear-cut favorites again and they don’t seem to have any real challengers that will test them and keep them from yet another Super Bowl. While I have Buffalo winning 12 games, I think their window of opportunity is closing fast. One of the surprising teams from last year was the Jacksonville Jaguars who I believe will continue to rise and there are murmurs of Trevor Lawrence competing for a league M.V.P. award.
The Indianapolis Colts have struggled in finding a replacement for Andrew Luck since he retired so they are throwing first-round draft pick Anthony Richardson into the fire as the opening-day QB. Since Tom Brady switched teams a few years back and went to Tampa, Bill Belichick’s teams have struggled. This might end up being one of his worst seasons ever as I have them finishing 5-12. The L.A. Chargers will be solid again but as indicated they are no match for Kansas City.
There is tons of pressure on the Dallas Cowboys and while they will be a winning team, I don’t think they are Super Bowl material just yet. The Giants were a surprise last season, but Daniel Jones just landed a huge contract, is he a Super Bowl-capable quarterback? I think not. It won’t surprise me if the Philadelphia Eagles and the Chiefs run it back in the Super Bowl this season, and I see the NFC as more competitive than the AFC.
I have the Arizona Cardinals being the worst team in the NFL winning just two games, so they can start the season looking ahead to the 2024 draft and the first overall pick. The Rams fell down last season and I don’t see them rising up again this year. Brock Purdy was a pleasant surprise in 2022 as the “Mr. Irrelevant” led San Francisco to the postseason so in 2023 we will find out if he truly is the real deal.
Out in Green Bay, Aaron Rodgers is gone so the Jordan Love era begins and it won’t be pretty as I have the Pack winning just six games. The Buccaneers will be the second-worst team in the league as I see them winning just four games. Some of the best Monday Night Football games to look forward to are:
- September 11, opening night for the Buffalo Bills who will travel downstate to New Jersey and take on Aaron Rodgers and the Jets. Jets fans are holding their breath for this one in the hopes that in his first game, Rodgers does not play poorly.
- October 16, Dallas at the L.A. Chargers. This could easily be a shootout between Dak Prescott and Justin Herbert.
- November 6, the Chargers visit the Jets. By this time Aaron Rodgers should be comfortable in his new environment with his new team and the Jets are not winning games by now, their season may be shot.
- November 20, Philadelphia at Kansas City. Super Bowl rematch and in Kansas City not on a neutral field, I can’t see the Chiefs losing.
- December 4, Bengals at Jacksonville. This should be a barnburner between two excellent teams.
- Christmas Day, Baltimore in San Francisco. A Christmas Day special that some could possibly see as a potential Super Bowl matchup.
Then there are the normal Thursday night matchups, and some key ones will be:
- September 14, Minnesota at Philadelphia. The first Thursday nighter of the season and we will see if the Eagles can pick up where they left off from in 2022.
- September 21, Giants at 49ers. San Francisco will be challenging the Eagles for the NFC crown and this poses a real test for the Giants to see where they are as one of the conference’s elite teams early in the season.
- November 16, Cincinnati at Baltimore. As I said earlier the AFC North might be the NFL’s best division so any matchup in the North is a good one. This one is no exception.
- November 24, Dolphins at Jets. This Thursday game is actually being played on Friday. They are calling it “Black Friday Football.” There is much hype for the Miami Dolphins this season and when this game arrives, we will know how far along each team is in their success for the 2023 campaign. What we should see is a very competitive game.
- December 28, New York Jets at Cleveland. The final Thursday night game pits Deshaun Watson vs. Aaron Rodgers and what we might see is a Jets team preparing for the playoffs against a team whose season has gone down the tubes, or a New York team that once again was a major disappointment. This remains to be seen.
This season's coverage of games will include games on YouTube TV, ABC, ESPN, and of course CBS and NBC for Sunday Night Football in America. How this season pans out remains to be seen but this might be one of the more highly anticipated seasons in years given some interesting draft picks from 2023, key players switching teams (ala Aaron Rodgers), and finding out how far above the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs are from every other team. Green Bay fans look forward to a different quarterback behind center after years with Aaron Rodgers and Brett Favre before him.
So, without further ado, go ahead and scoff at the following division predictions, scratch your heads at some of the final records, or perhaps by chance say, yes, that is how I see some teams finishing. I am saving my playoff and Super Bowl predictions until the end of the season when we know who is in the big dance in the big dance.
|New York Jets||5||12|
|New England Patriots||5||12|
|Kansas City Chiefs||14||3|
|Los Angeles Chargers||11||6|
|Las Vegas Raiders||9||8|
|New York Giants||9||8|
|Green Bay Packers||6||11|
|New Orleans Saints||6||11|
|Tampa Bay Buccaneers||4||13|
|San Francisco 49ers||10||7|
|Los Angeles Rams||5||12|