McFadden: Eagles win Super Bowl, Hurts MVP
(This is part of a series by media and others looking at the 2023 NFL Season, which begins Thursday. This power rating if NFL teams is by Ryan McFadden of the Denver Post, who forecasts the Philadelphia Eagles as Super Bowl Champs. Agree? Disagree? Make your case in comments)
The NFL season is upon us. The Philadelphia Eagles and Kansas City Chiefs look like they might face each other in the Super Bowl for a second straight season. The Ravens could end their postseason struggles after revamping their passing game. Meanwhile, the Detroit Lions and New York Jets can potentially make a major jump.
Here’s one writer’s opinion on where the rest of the league stands ahead of Week 1:
1. Philadelphia Eagles
The reigning NFC champions are out for vengeance after losing in the Super Bowl. Quarterback Jalen Hurts will win his first MVP award.
2. Kansas City Chiefs
The Chiefs have Patrick Mahomes and Travis Kelce. But wide receiver Justyn Ross could have a big role on offense this season.
3. San Francisco 49ers
After elbow surgery, Quarterback Brock Purdy looked sharp in San Francisco’s preseason win over the Broncos. With Purdy healthy, a strong run game and an elite defense, the 49ers will be a problem.
4. Cincinnati Bengals
The Bengals improved the protection around Joe Burrow by signing offensive tackle Orlando Brown Jr. This team will continue to be a threat in the AFC.
5. Buffalo Bills
The Bills are strong offensively. But their Super Bowl chances will come down to the health of outside linebacker Von Miller.
6. Dallas Cowboys
There’s a chance Micah Parsons has another level to reach. If that’s the case, the Cowboys will be elite on defense.
7. New York Jets
Jets fans have every reason to shoot for the stars. New York acquired quarterback Aaron Rodgers and paired him with wide receiver Garrett Wilson and running back Dalvin Cook. And don’t forget their talented defense. The pressure is on head coach Robert Saleh to make it work.
8. Miami Dolphins
Wide receivers Tyreek Hill and Jaylen Waddle receive most of the attention, and rightfully so. But Miami’s rushing attack could be special this season.
9. Baltimore Ravens
The argument can be made that quarterback Lamar Jackson has more weapons than he’s ever had in Baltimore. In the offseason, the Ravens upgraded the wide receivers room by signing Odell Beckham Jr. and drafting Zay Flowers in the first round. Baltimore has depth issues at cornerback, but signing three-time Pro Bowl selection Jadeveon Clowney improved the pass rush.
10. Los Angeles Chargers
On paper, the Chargers are good. But Los Angeles’ success will come down to the health of wide receivers Mike Williams and Kenan Allen and cornerback J.C. Jackson.
11. Jacksonville Jaguars
Watch out for rookie running back Tank Bigsby. He and Travis Etienne could form a formidable one-two punch.
12. Seattle Seahawks
The Seahawks improved their secondary, drafting cornerback Devon Witherspoon and signing safety Julian Love. Wide receivers DK Metcalf, Tyler Lockett and Jaxon Smith-Njigba are a lethal trio.
13. Detroit Lions
Detroit’s expectations are higher than ever. Let’s see if the Lions can live up to it.
14. Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota’s defense will be a lot better this season. The Vikings hired defensive coordinator Brian Flores, which could end up being their best move of the offseason.
15. Cleveland Browns
Browns quarterback Deshaun Watson playing an entire season will do wonders for the team. The AFC North is going to be a battlefield.
16. New York Giants
The Giants upgraded their receiving corps by adding tight end Darren Waller and wideouts Parris Campbell, Jalin Hyatt and Jamison Crowder.
17. Pittsburgh Steelers
Defensively, the Steelers are solid. Their season will be determined by quarterback Kenny Pickett’s development and the offensive line.
18. Denver Broncos
Head coach Sean Payton’s presence alone should provide optimism that Denver will not stink again. Quarterback Russell Wilson will get back on track, while the Broncos’ defense will rank among the best in the league. Denver is not guaranteed to make the postseason, but it will fight tooth and nail to get in.
19. New England Patriots
Still not sold on quarterback Mac Jones or the wide receivers around him. But as long as the Patriots’ defense is strong, they will be competitive.
20. New Orleans Saints
Running back Jamaal Williams should be enough to keep the run game afloat while Alvin Kamara is suspended for the first three games. Quarterback Derek Carr is a significant upgrade over Andy Dalton and Jameis Winston.
21. Washington Commanders
Defensive end Chase Young is fully healthy. Meanwhile, new offensive coordinator Eric Bieniemy could make some noise with quarterback Sam Howell, receivers Terry McLaurin and Jahan Dotson and running back Brian Robinson Jr. Don’t sleep on the Commanders.
22. Chicago Bears
With more talent on offense, quarterback Justin Fields has the potential to have a big season in Year 3.
23. Atlanta Falcons
The Falcons’ run game could be dangerous with Bijan Robinson and Tyler Allgeier in the backfield.
24. Green Bay Packers
The Packers are in rebuild mode, but Jordan Love will prove he’s capable of being their quarterback for the foreseeable future.
25. Tennessee Titans
With an improved offensive line and veterans Ryan Tannehill, Derrick Henry and DeAndre Hopkins, the Titans will try their best to compete this season.
26. Las Vegas Raiders
The Raiders badly need cornerback Marcus Peters to revert to his All-Pro ways because the depth at the position is not great.
27. Indianapolis Colts
Running back Jonathan Taylor’s health and standoff with the team are concerning. Do they have enough to overcome it?
28. Tampa Bay Buccaneers
Whether it’s Baker Mayfield or Kyle Trask starting under center, Tampa Bay will be one of the worst teams in the league.
29. Los Angeles Rams
The Rams will not be good, but hopefully, they could be in a position to select Caleb Williams or Drake Maye in the 2024 NFL draft.
30. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers landed their franchise quarterback when they drafted Bryce Young in the spring. Still, that won’t be enough in head coach Frank Reich’s first season in Carolina.
31. Houston Texans
The Texans have future building blocks with rookie quarterback CJ Stroud, edge rusher Will Anderson Jr. and second-year cornerback Derek Stingley Jr. But first-year head coach DeMeco Ryans still has a ways to go in turning the franchise around.
32. Arizona Cardinals
The Cardinals have a chance to land the top two picks. At least their fans have that to root for
Ryan McFadden is a Denver Broncos reporter for The Post. Before joining the Post, Ryan was a Ravens and Maryland Terrapins writer for the Baltimore Sun, where he earned Associated Press Sports Editors top 10 honors in event coverage. He was also a high school sports reporter for the Washington Post and covered Super Bowl 54 for Capital News Service. McFadden received a master’s degree in journalism from the University of Maryland in College Park after graduating from Iona University in 2019. He is a PFWA member, Sports Journalism Institute alum and a native of Prince George’s County, Maryland. See story here