To help pass the time between now and the start of training camp, I thought it would be fun to do a regular season and playoff simulation of the 2023-2024 NFL Season until a Super Bowl winner is crowned. I divided the teams into their respective divisions and I will be posting a new article each day for each division, plus each round of the playoffs. That amounts to 12 articles that I can milk out of one idea in the dead of the offseason, which makes my job so much easier. So without further ado, here are my predictions for every division starting with...
The AFC East
The AFC East was one of the most competitive divisions last season, and it’s likely to be even tougher in 2023. The Buffalo Bills were Super Bowl contenders last season, even if they fell short of making it to the AFC Championship Game in a 27-10 loss to the Cincinnati Bengals. It appears the Bills want to run it back another year and see if they can win the Super Bowl with their existing core. They have the talent to do it, but will they get the job done?
The in-state rival New York Jets (who technically play in New Jersey) did the NFC North a favor by trading for Aaron Rodgers. The Jets are a team that was a quarterback away from being perennial playoff contenders at the bare minimum. Rodgers will pair nicely with a loaded Jets defense, Garrett Wilson, and a few familiar faces at wide receiver such as Allen Lazard and Randall Cobb.
Meanwhile in Miami, the Dolphins made a splash in free agency when they acquired All-Pro cornerback Jalen Ramsey in a trade with the Los Angeles Rams for only a third round pick and tight end Hunter Long. Ramsey will play with another great corner in Xavien Howard, and the hope in Miami is to have an elite secondary that is capable of shutting down star receivers like Garrett Wilson or Stefon Diggs. Let’s not forget the offense which is probably the fastest in the NFL with weapons like Tyreek Hill, Jaylen Waddle, Mike Gesicki, Raheem Mostert, and potentially Dalvin Cook if he gets his wish.
Then there’s the New England Patriots, who couldn’t be more old and stale. I know Bill Belichick is a legendary coach who consistently has solid teams, but I personally don’t see them winning the AFC East this year. There’s a severe lack of top-end talent at key skill positions and I don’t think Mac Jones is this generational talent who can carry a middling roster to the playoffs. That being said, I do think the offense will improve a little bit under offensive coordinator Bill O’Brien.
The Projected Standings
1. (12-5) Buffalo Bills
2. (12-5) New York Jets
3. (11-6) Miami Dolphins
4. (4-13) New England Patriots
Next up: The NFC East!