Believe it or not, the NFL Preseason begins in just 23 days! The Browns and Jets will play in the Hall of Fame Game on August 3rd. The NFL season always seems to come fast and out of nowhere!
Of course, with the NFL returning, this means teams that had disappointing years last year will be looking to rebound in 2023. There’s always teams that have heightened expectations that fail to perform. The Rams were coming off a Super Bowl win, the Broncos traded for Russell Wilson, and the Packers had the back-to-back regular season in Aaron Rodgers. However, not only did none of these teams make the playoffs, but they all were under .500 during the regular season! Clearly, those teams failed to deliver on their preseason hype. So, which teams are going to bounce back? Let’s dive in!
Of all the teams to fail most spectacularly in 2022, the Broncos certainly took the cake. Not only did they trade a fortune of draft picks and players for Russell Wilson, they hired Packers OC Nathaniel Hackett as their new head coach. To say it didn’t work out would be a dramatic understatement. The Broncos went 5-12, Wilson had the worst season of his career, and Hackett got fired before the season ended! The biggest move they made in the offseason was acquiring former Saints head coach Sean Payton. If there’s anyone who can lead a Russell Wilson resurgence, it’s Payton. They have an elite defense and some playmakers on the outside. However, the division they are in is just brutal.
The Packers traded Aaron Rodgers in the offseason, so it’s hard to envision them being much better than they were last year when he was still their QB. However, they received significant draft capital from the Jets for Rodgers, and historically, they are a franchise that figures things out. In the weaker NFC and in an iffy division, they certainly can be in the mix for a wildcard spot.
The team that has the biggest chance to put 2022 in the rearview mirror just might be the LA Rams. They were decimated by injuries last year. Matthew Stafford, Aaron Donald, and Cooper Kupp all missed multiple games due to injury. If the Rams do nothing but keep those three players healthy, they’ll be much further ahead in 2023. The division they are in got weaker as well. The Cardinals are a mess and Kyler Murray is dealing with a torn ACL from last year. The Seahawks are improving, but still have Geno Smith as their starter. And while the 49ers have arguably the best roster in the league, we have no idea who their QB will be when the season starts. The Rams also have the veteran and championship pedigree to put a bad season behind them and bounce back from that adversity.
At this point, all fans just want hope. The last thing you want as a fan is to watch your team have a bad year the year before, and have no hope coming into the next season. Fortunately for each of the teams discussed above, their fans all have a reason to be optimistic. Coming into the season, that’s all you can really ask for.