Studio 46 - Non-TPiR Discussion > Out In Left Field

2023 NFL Season

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I'm going to start the NFL thread for the upcoming season.  It's a little early than I originally planned for the most part, but not by much.  Instead of bumping up the off-topic thread, I figured that with training camp next week, coupled with the fact that no one's posted in the off-season thread in over a month, I would get this going.  After all, giving how summer flies by, the 2023 NFL Season will be here in no time!

The 104th season, better known as the 2023 NFL Season, is slated to begin on Thursday, September 7th, 2023, at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri.  The preseason gets going real soon; as of this post, itís actually 2 weeks away.  The Hall of Fame Game featuring the New York Jets & the Cleveland Browns, takes place in 14 days & features several members of the HOF class of 2023 that will be inducted two days later on that Saturday in Canton, OH.

For the 18th time since 2004, the season will begin with the defending champions hosting another opponent.  The math says itís the 20th time since they started doing this 19 years ago, but thatís not the case.  Baltimore was featured in the NFL kickoff a decade ago, but that was on the road against Denver due to an MLB conflict with the team from the same city.  New England did open their 2019 season at home, but it was pushed back 3 days to make room for Green Bay/Chicago as part of the celebration of the 100th season of the NFL.

The home team/champs winning percentage still decent despite LAís loss against Buffalo a year ago.  That winning percentage is expected to increase after the game between Detroit & Kansas City comes to an end.  Other games scheduled in Week 1 include 13 Sunday games on Fox & CBS including a CBS/Fox game of the week at 4:25 PM Eastern.  Week One will wrap up with two primetime games: one on NBC with Sunday Night Football (18th season) and on Monday on ESPN with MNF (18th season and 54th overall).  Currently, it is scheduled to conclude on Sunday, February 11, 2024 in Las Vegas, Nevada (Paradise, LV for official accuracy, I guess).  The regular season is done on January 7, with the playoffs starting the following Saturday, January 13.

Returning this year is the Thursday Night Package.  After 8 seasons of Network coverage for TNF, itís exclusive to Amazon Prime.  Whatís new this year is a Black Friday game.  Amazon Prime will get a game during Thanksgiving week, while NBC airs the 3rd part of the Turkey Day triple header for the 11th time since 2012 and 3rd consecutive.  While there are changes to the studio teams for the NFL networks, the announcers remain the same.  To be more specific, the top announcers remain the same as I imagine there are some departures and arrivals of other people with a typical network.

There are still 285 games on tap this year, as weíre in the third year of a 17-game schedule.  The extra game is still AFC vs NFC.  As was the case in 2021, the NFC travels to the AFC.  Basically, the structure this season is the same as last year.  Three seasons ago, they avoided a Super Bowl / Valentines Day conflict as they still had 16 games per team.  However, itíll be a possibility in 2027, but theyíll likely work stuff out by then (though TBH, whatever happens, life and business will continue for the most part)

It's very possible we could see a Kansas City-Philadelphia Super Bowl rematch, as each, at this early phase, still look like the best in each conference if they can stay healthy.  There'll be additional subliminal pressure, perhaps, for Philadelphia to win their matchup with the Jets, given they haven't lost the to the latter yet. 

In the AFC, the usual suspects of late, Cincinnati and Buffalo, look like alternate contenders.  Miami could be a dark horse if they can pull it all together, as too may be the Chargers.  San Francisco would probably be considered the second option in the NFC, with Dallas somewhat behind, and Detroit and Seattle possible outside candidates.  We'll of course have to wait and see how the ensuing months unfold. 

Falcons seem content to hitch their wagon to QB Desmond Ridder's star. In the five games he played last year, Ridder threw no picks and never got sacked. How he'll do playing a full 17 remains to be seen and the draft yielded mixed results for the team, so the tea leaves are telling me the Falcons will go 8-9 this season. Their schedule is presumably easier but that doesn't mean squat after the coin toss.

Kansas City and Philadelphia again, while people might be unhappy for that repeat, would be okay for me.  I think it depends on if San Francisco can get that Top NFC Spot

Falcons finish preseason with a 1-1-1 record (losing last night to Pittsburgh 24-0) so now comes the pruning. Ridder and Bijan  Robinson (both of whom did not play last night) are definitely in; Taylor Heinecke may not survive after the night at QB he had last night.


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