Early 2023 NFL predictions: 17 teams that will not make the playoffs
17 and Out
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What teams won’t make it to the postseason in the 2023 NFL season? The season is a long road, so anything can happen, but our Crystal Football has predicted these teams have already created too much of an uphill climb heading into 2023…
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The Dolphins are what they are: a mediocre team that is streaky and never quite good enough to make a deep playoff run or even make the postseason. They entertain with speedy receivers and the charismatic Tua Tagovailoa. However, this team is looking at 17 games and the end of the run.
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The Patriots just don’t seem to get better anymore. They are in the headlines because of the reasons they avoided for decades with Bill Belichick and Tom Brady as the NFL’s most feared tag team. This will be another roller-coaster around the equator with limited success. Imagine the Patriots chasing the Jets. Wonders never cease.
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All the hopes fans in Cleveland were given a couple of years ago have evaporated. This team has to be cursed. Of course, it could be because of questionable decisions by higher-ups—after all, the football Gods are unforgiving.
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Have no fear—Tom Brady is here. Oh, that would be as a limited owner. Jimmy Garoppolo doesn’t have to worry about beating out the GOAT with the Raiders. Still, there is no reason to think this team is going to defy its history and gain the postseason.
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Russell Wilson must find a way to have a better season than his debut run in Denver. But even then, it’s doubtful his performance can help Sean Payton turn things around in a blink in Denver. They are battling Las Vegas for third or fourth … again.
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The Chargers will likely wind up second-best in the AFC West. However, they will find a way to make enough bad decisions to cost themselves a playoff spot. They are a talented team, but it can’t overcome letting analytics rule.
A huge tumble by the team expected to roll in the AFC South in 2022 continues. Quarterback is a huge problem — a gaping hole. As smart as Mike Vrabrel is, the head coach can’t overcome the signal-caller challenges.
Shane Steichen will learn quickly how much easier life was when he had the talent the Eagles boast. Anthony Richardson isn’t going to remind anyone of the current version of Jalen Hurts. Growing pains.
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There will be gains under DeMeco Ryans. However, there is no way this team comes close to the postseason. The Texans won’t flirt with the top pick in the draft but they will also be third or fourth in the AFC South.
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Washington needs to pray Sam Howell delivers at quarterback. The division is tough — not rugged — and the Commanders are the weakest link. I can’t see Ron Rivera working enough magic to get Washington into the postseason.
Year One under Brian Daboll saw a massive leap. Continuing to grow will be the goal, but it won’t be easy. No one should be surprised if the Giants take a step back. Darren Waller was a nice get. If they don’t figure out how to make Saquon Barkley happy, Daniel Jones will be, um, miserable.
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Goodbye, Aaron Rodgers. Hello, Jordan Love. Don’t expect this team to see a .500 season. They didn’t have one with the multi-time-winning MVP and won’t see the same results as when Rodgers followed Brett Favre. The NFC North is sinking … fast.
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There will be improvement for Justin Fields and the Bears. They won’t wind up with the first pick in the NFL draft in 2024; however, going from 3-14 to the playoffs is, um, well, a pipe dream.
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Does anyone think a team that couldn’t reach .500 with Tom Brady at quarterback is going to have a better record without the GOAT? End of discussion.
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Feels like the Falcons — Red Stallions? — are going nowhere fast. This team needs a massive rebuild, and it could well start with a head coach during the season.
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The Rams were considered the elite coming into last season. Then, they crumbled—absolutely fell apart. And don’t expect them to menace the 49ers in 2023. Heck, they should be thrilled to vie with Seattle in the division. There is no guarantee of that.
Jonathan Gannon is going to feel a lot like Shane Steichen by the time the 2023 season ends.