NFL Playoffs Preview 2023

Image via CBS Sports

Image via CBS Sports

Owen Hugel, Writer

Image via NFL

The National Football League is scheduled to begin playoff games this Saturday (1/14/23). After a long 18-week season, teams will put it all on the line for a chance at the coveted Lombardi Trophy. The best seven teams from each conference will be competing, all eyes will be on the players and coaches.

The favorites from the NFC are the Philadelphia Eagles, and the AFC favorites are the Kansas City Chiefs, these teams have put up the best respective records in the regular season and have earned the highest seeding in their conferences. While seeding isn’t a surefire way of predicting who will win, many experts believe that the Chiefs will be champs.

Image via NFL

So, what’s on the line? Ever since 1967, the NFL has hosted the Super Bowl. The biggest event in American sports, the Super Bowl brings in millions of watchers from all around America and even the rest of the world. The incentives of winning a Super Bowl aren’t all about pride, the bonus for winning is $150,000.

This year’s playoffs are filled with young stars. Players like Patrick Mahomes (27), Joe Burrow (26), and Josh Allen (26) are all under 30 and showcasing insane talent. But let’s not forget about the veterans, guys like Tom Brady (45), and Kirk Cousins (34) are showing that they can still hang with the next wave of players.

Personally, I don’t have a team to root for this year, so instead I’ll just give you my predictions. From the NFC, I believe that that the two best teams are the 49ers and the Vikings, these teams have shown all year that they can battle through all aspects of the game- bad calls, injuries, etc. The Vikings have been doubted by many this year, but I think they can make a run. The 49ers are probably the most complete team in the NFL. While they are without their starting quarterback, backup Brock Purdy has shown promise in his time at the helm. 

From the AFC, I think the Chiefs and Bengals are the teams to beat. Everyone knows the Chiefs are loaded, and they have earned the highest seeding in the conference. They’ve shown they can beat any opponent, and I think they’ll continue to win throughout their playoff games. The Bengals led by Joe Burrow are bound for success. Last year they lost in the Super Bowl, but they’ve done nothing but improve since then, I’m really looking forward to seeing them compete this year.

Image via Cincinnati Bengals

My winner: Bengals – They are going into the playoffs hot. With weapons like Jamaar Chase, Joe Mixon, and an elite quarterback with Joe Burrow I think the Bengals ARE the team to beat. 

Image via San Francisco 49ers

Runner-up: 49ers – The niners are great in all aspects and that will show throughout the early rounds of the playoffs. I think they’ll get to the Super Bowl, but I don’t think they have what it takes to beat the Bengals.

Finally, it’s important to note that these are my predictions, and they are very bold. I didn’t want to take safe picks… you have experts picking teams like the Eagles and Bills, but where’s the fun in that? Who knows, maybe I’ll be right and my risks will pay off.