More Sports:

September 07, 2023

2023 NFL season predictions: Playoffs, Super Bowl, draft order, and individual awards

Will the Eagles make it back to the Super Bowl? Who will win NFL MVP? Jimmy Kempski shares his 2023 predictions.

Eagles NFL
090723PlayoffBracketCover2 Jimmy/for PhillyVoice

Yep, we're going there.

The 2023 NFL season begins tonight, so it's time to lay out our predictions on who will be good, who will be bad, who will win the Super Bowl, and which individual players will shine. Oh, and check out our 10 Eagles-specific predictions here.

Let's start with playoff seeding.

NFC playoff seeds


1) Eagles: The Eagles have the best quarterback, offensive line, and pass rush in an otherwise weak NFC.

2) 49ers: The Niners play in a division with two horrendous teams in the Cardinals and Rams, and their defense should carry them to a good regular season record, as usual.

3) Lions: I certainly don't love the Lions and have been hesitant to buy them as up-and-comers, but they have as good a chance of winning a bad NFC North as anyone else.

4) Saints: The NFC South might produce a division winner with a losing record for the second straight season.

5) Cowboys: In my opinion, the Cowboys are the second-best team in the conference, but they have the misfortune of playing in the NFC East with the Eagles. Whoever finishes second in the NFC East will have to be road warriors throughout the playoffs.

6) Seahawks: If the Seahawks played in the NFC North or NFC South (they don't), I'd pick them to win the division.

7) Packers: I'm buying Jordan Love for now, but may regret it.

AFC playoff seeds


1) Bills: The Bills were the consensus Super Bowl favorites heading into 2022, and are getting a lot of players back from injury.

2) Chiefs: The Chiefs have some roster holes, but Andy Reid and Patrick Mahomes are all they need to continue to rack up 12-plus win seasons.

3) Bengals: Joe Burrow should be good to go for Week 1, and the Bengals will ideally get out to a better start than they did in 2022.

4) Jaguars: Doug Pederson and the Jags are still growing as a team, but they are not yet on the level of the big 3 in the AFC.

5) Steelers: The Steelers are my AFC sleeper, mainly because of their pass rush, their coaching staff, and a belief that Kenny Pickett will make a big jump from Year 1 to Year 2.

6) Dolphins: Miami's speed will win them games, but I'm no so sure about their playoff hopes with a fragile quarterback.

7) Chargers: Eternal disappointments.

NFL Playoffs


In my 10 previous seasons as a full-time NFL beat writer I have never picked the Eagles to win the Super Bowl. But... in my opinion they have the best roster in the NFL with elite players at the most important positions, and an easier path to get there than the AFC teams. 🤷‍♂️

2024 draft order


*The Bears pick is from the Panthers.

The individual awards

MVP: Josh Allen, QB, Bills: Allen is going to be good for around 4500 passing yards, 35-40 passing TDs, and 600-700 yards on the ground with at least a half dozen rushing touchdowns. His downfall the last couple of years has been high INT totals (29 in 2021 and 2022 combined). If he can get that under control a bit, he has a good chance of landing his first MVP season, and he'll definitely have a highlight reel of "wow" plays, as always.

Offensive Player of the Year: Christian McCaffrey, RB, 49ers: There have been years in which the MVP was also the Offensive Player of the Year, making this sort of a dumb category. The NFL should do "Best Quarterback," "Best Offensive Non-Quarterback," and Defensive Player of the Year," and then vote on the MVP between those three guys. Give me McCaffrey, who the Niners are going to have to lean on since they still don't really have a quarterback they can realistically feel good about. And yes, I'm aware of McCaffrey's injury history.

Defensive Player of the Year: T.J. Watt, Steelers: Watt had a ridiculous 22.5 sacks in 2021, but he only had 5.5 during an injury-plagued 2022. He's healthy again and should be a dominant force in 2023.

Offensive Rookie of the Year: Bijan Robinson, RB, Falcons: The Falcons are going to be an extremely run-heavy offense, and Bijan is a lock to put up big numbers as long as he is able to stay healthy.

Defensive Rookie of the Year: Emmanuel Forbes, CB, Commanders: Forbes is going to start for Washington, and while there are concerns about how his wiry frame will hold up in the NFL, he's a ballhawk who could put up INT numbers as a rookie.

Comeback Player of the Year: Damar Hamlin, Bills: The bar for Hamlin to win this award is just to play in a game, at all.

Breakout Player of the Year: Kenny Pickett, QB, Steelers:  Last year, Geno Smith won "Comeback Player of the Year" even though he didn't come back from anything. If a "Breakout Player of the Year" award existed, then sure, give that to Geno. Anyway, we'll add it here even if it's not a real NFL award. I'll go with Pickett, who threw 7 TDs vs. 9 INTs as a rookie, but showed promise as the season progressed and has a chance to make a leap in Year 2.

Coach of the Year: Jonathan Gannon, Cardinals: Psych, lol. 


I'll say DeMeco Ryans, Texans. Houston's roster isn't that bad, and in my opinion San Francisco's success in recent years has been a result of the defense's stellar play than anything Kyle Shanahan has done on offense.

Follow Jimmy & PhillyVoice on Twitter: @JimmyKempski | thePhillyVoice

Like us on Facebook: PhillyVoice Sports

Add Jimmy's RSS feed to your feed reader