Predicting each division winner for the 2023 NFL season
NFC North: Detroit Lions
This is my first frisky pick for the 2023 division champions. The Minnesota Vikings won the NFC North in 2022 but finished with a negative point differential and won nearly every one of their close games.
That isn’t going to happen this year, and the Lions, who have a high-powered offense and won nine games last year, will win the NFC North with that same offense and a much improved defense, featuring a nearly completely new secondary.
NFC South: Carolina Panthers
I love this pick, man. I think the Panthers have done nearly everything perfectly right in the 2023 offseason and field what I believe to be a quite good roster and excellent coaching.
They also get the benefit of playing in what appears to be a weaker division. I think Bryce Young is going to hit the ground running in 2023 along with what’ll be an incredibly disciplined and well-coached team.
NFC East: Philadelphia Eagles
The NFC East has not seen a repeat champion since 1753, and I think this is the year that we see a repeat winner. The Philadelphia Eagles exploded in 2022 and made a run all the way to the Super Bowl.
They also did play well enough to win the SB in my opinion, but did lose both of their coordinators to head coaching jobs. However, their free agency period was great and they seemed to ace the 2023 NFL Draft. I think the Dallas Cowboys can make it interesting, and I don’t think the Eagles will win the division by more than a game, but I don’t see how they don’t repeat.
NFC West: San Francisco 49ers
This could be an interesting division as well. The 49ers went through a total roller coaster of a 2022 season. On their third QB of the season, rookie Mr. Irrelevant pick Brock Purdy helped lead the 49ers to an NFC Championship game in one of the most unexpected events I’ve ever seen in the NFL.
Other NFC West teams in the Cardinals and Rams truly bottomed out, and I don’t think either will be relevant for another couple of years.
The Seattle Seahawks could give the Niners a run for their money, especially if their defense takes a step forward, but I do think that the Niners are the ones to beat, even if Brock Purdy isn’t ready for week one.