NFL 2022/23 Preview

by AAA Sports

Winning back-to-back Super Bowls is incredibly difficult, and hasn’t been accomplished since the 2003 and 2004 Patriots were laying the foundation for their dynasty. Even getting to the SB two straight times requires lots of talent and lots of breaks. This year the defending-champion Rams at least have the talent part locked down, and they have made a down payment on the luck portion as they compete in a weakened NFC and NFC West. Arizona may cause some trouble, but San Francisco hasn’t quite got its act together and for the first time in more than a decade Seattle will sit down at the table without Russell Wilson calling signals. Life would have been simpler for the Rams if Aaron Rodgers had followed through on threats to walk away and Tom Brady had extended his departure from two weeks to six months, but the Rams are – on paper – at least as strong as they were last year. Oddsmakers have listed the Rams at +1100 to win the SB for the second straight time, with an O/U win total of 10.5.
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The Bills aren’t likely to win 11 straight division titles like the Patriots did between 2009 and 2019, but they have two in a row in their back pockets, and they’re heavy (-225) favorites to make it a hat trick. Buffalo just doesn’t have any obvious weaknesses on a deep roster. The O/U win total is set at 12, which will no doubt scare away some bettors. But if they cover that at 13-4, it likely will result in a home-field edge throughout the playoffs and give them a huge advantage on the road to the Super Bowl (the Bills are favored there, at +600). Such is the strength of the roster that the only concern is the loss of Offensive Coordinator Brian Daboll, who is now the HC of the Giants. Strong-armed Josh Allen, an MVP candidate, will continue to lead the offense, while the defense with start five former first-round picks and again be among the best in the league.
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Could there possibly be a more enticing opening day game than Bills vs. Rams in Los Angeles? Buffalo opened as a 1-point favorite, but early wagering has pushed the Bills to -2.5.
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Futures bettors may be getting cold feet after watching the Packers flame out of the playoffs for two straight seasons, but come on. The Packers are still loaded, they still have Rodgers and they are among the Super Bowl favorites (+1140). Rodgers should have little trouble finding open receivers even after the trade of Pro Bowler Davante Adams, but with AR the issue always seems to be what’s happening off the field. Signing a three-year contract – even at age 37 -- may ease concerns somewhat, but with Rodgers you never know. Oddsmakers give him more than a puncher’s chance to win his third MVP, at +850 and behind Allen (+650), Patrick Mahomes (+750) and Brady (+800).
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There’s a concern in New England that Year 3 of the post-Tom Brady Era won’t go any better than Years 1 or 2 – and could even be worse. The reconstructed offense has been a penalty-filled mess in the pre-season, second-year QB Mac Jones has been mediocre and no one even knows what coach is calling the plays. Patriot starters got pushed around by Raider reserve in the final exhibition, raising red flags from Maine to Connecticut. Oddsmakers have adjusted accordingly, dropping NE to +4200 to win the Super Bowl after being listed at +3500 prior to the start of training camp. The Patriots are even a slight (+160) dog to make the playoffs, with the Over/Under win total at 8.5. The Pats face the headwinds of a loaded AFC and an improved AFC East. Bill Belichick has pulled rabbits out of his hat in the past, but the fact remains that his SU coaching without Brady under center is 51-66.

All photographic images used for editorial content have been licensed from the Associated Press.

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