The Lion, The Jets, and The Promise Of A New Season: Who Are The Teams To Watch In The 2023-2024 NFL Season?

Nikhil Dhruv ’26 in Sports | September 9, 2023

Thursday, September 7 marked the start of the 104th season of the National Football League (NFL). The NFL is a professional organization that brings together 32 teams from all around the United States to compete in an 18-week season, followed by a playoff in which teams aim to win the Superbowl and bring home the Lombardi Trophy. This article will cover predictions of some teams that might have a successful or painful season, starting off with last season's Lombardi Trophy winners, the Kansas City Chiefs. The Chiefs have shown that they didn’t need help from recently departed star wide receiver (WR), Tyreek Hill, to bring home the trophy. Numerous players such as Patrick Mahomes, Travis Kelce, Harrison Butker, and JuJu Smith-Schuster have and will continue to fill in the void left by Hill. They will once again be a force to be reckoned with under the authority of Head Coach Andy Reid and the leadership of superstar Quarterback (QB) and reigning league MVP, Patrick Mahomes. Moving on to last year’s Super Bowl runner-ups, The Philadelphia Eagles, led by former Alabama Crimson Tide quarterback Jalen Hurts. The Eagles soared through the NFL standings as they finished last season with a 14-3 record. With the addition of star running back D’Andre Swift to the already dominant offensive core of Jalen Hurts, A.J. Brown, and Devonta Smith, the Eagles will continue to be a top-tier team in the league. 
Now comes possibly one of the biggest questions in this upcoming NFL season: Will the New York Jets live up to their hype? The Jets had quite the eventful offseason, acquiring star players like Aaron Rodgers and Dalvin Cook while also getting assets like Allen Lazard. On paper, the Jets seem to be one of the favorites to win the Super Bowl. Breece Hall, Garret Wilson, and Sauce Gardener are all phenomenal players, and with the new additions the team has made, it seems like the Jets can only get better. So why are so many people still hesitant? There are numerous factors, such as chemistry and experience, that have to come into play in order for success, both of which the Jets seemingly lack. Aaron Rodgers is only familiar with one of the team’s wide receivers, Allen Lazard, which means there will be an adjustment period for the team as they get used to Rodger’s playstyle. On top of that, only Aaron Rodgers has any kind of playoff experience. It gets even worse for New York, as according to ESPN writer Mike Clay, The Jets have the second toughest schedule in the league in terms of opponent strength. It will be interesting to see how this team turns out, but I can’t imagine them making it anywhere past the first round of the playoffs.  
For the first time in nearly a decade, the Detroit Lions look like potential playoff contenders.  The Lions had a slow start to the 2022 season but finished strong, winning eight out of their 10 last games. According to Clay, the Lions have one of the easiest schedules in the NFL based on opponent strength, and with the star-studded offense of QB Jared Goff, WR Amon-Ra St. Brown, rookie running back Jahymyr Gibbs, and star Defensive End Aidan Hutchinson, the Lions could be a scary team.
Last but not least, The New York Giants are an underdog for this upcoming season. After barely making the playoffs last year, the Giants saw off the heavily favored  Minnesota Vikings in a decisive 31-24 win in the Wild Card round of the playoffs. During the offseason, the team added Tight End Darren Waller to their arsenal as they continue to develop. They also added some big players during the draft such as Deonte Banks and Jalin Hyatt. Although the Giants seem to have what it takes to take it to the next level, they are faced with the hardest schedule in the NFL. This leads me to believe that while they will have a stressful season, they should be in the Wild Card race. Overall, this NFL season is going to be filled with tons of action, up-and-coming teams, and exciting new rookies. It’s one you aren’t going to want to miss!