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NFL way too early predictions/recap
In Super bowl 57 there were close to 500 pass yards collectively and close to 300 combined rush yards. The game came down to the final possession. The Chiefs had the ball on the 15 yard line with about 1:40 seconds left in the game; it was a 3rd down and 7, and Patrick Mahomes threw it to Juju Smith-Schuster, but the ball was way overthrown and out of reach. My family, which included some die-hard Eagles fans, was really excited because Jalen Hurts would have enough time to drive down the field and tie or win the game. Then we saw the flag get thrown and we all were worried that the Chiefs would get the first down. SPOILER ALERT: they did, and then they were able to run the clock down to nothing and kick the game-winning field goal.
This is horrible for the fans of the Eagles because this would be only their 2nd Super Bowl win in their franchise's whole history. Also it is widely known that the Philadelphia fans are very passionate and crazy about sports, and to know that they were a bad call away from maybe another Lombardi trophy is devastating. Another thing to put into perspective is that all season they were doing really well until the final game where it all came down to one play. As an Eagles fan myself, I was really sad and even angry. I really wanted to break something, but I couldn’t because I was at someone else’s house. My whole family was just shocked at what had happened.
There are even more people than just the fans that were devastated. The players on the Eagles were probably all just as shocked and sad. Especially because they had had such a good season and were so close to bringing it all home. I am sure that the person who committed the hold probably also feels really guilty and might even get some of the Philly fans special. Batteries might be getting thrown at him sometime soon. Also all of the players on this team worked really hard to get to this point, and risked a lot playing the game of football. There is evidence that says that people who play tackle football live multiple years less than the normal person. So these people who are playing are risking a lot. Not to mention that people get hurt constantly playing in the NFL.
The outcome of Super Bowl 57 wasn’t good for the game of football because it might make people think that the game is rigged or that it isn’t fair. It’s bad for the sport that in a game between the “two best teams,” one bad call in the final minute by the refs, had the power to ruin a team’s whole season. It also puts a lot of pressure on the refs and may make them hesitant to make calls in important situations, which might further support the idea that the game is not as fair as it could be.
While the Super Bowl has left some bitterness in the minds of football fans, there is still all of the energy and excitement about the draft and off-season trades. The NY Jets have a bright future to their franchise. Tom Brady is retiring (finally). And last but not least, the Jacksonville Jaguars could be able to make a Super Bowl (or late playoff) run.
Now, things that happened in the past, happened in the past, so it’s time to think about future seasons. During the off-season there have been a lot of trades, and some of them were not very smart. Every year there is a lot of drama about who the number 1 overall player in the draft is going to be, or even who is going to have it. This year there was a trade between the 3-14 Bears and the 7-10 Panthers. The Panthers desperately needed a quarterback and they knew that by the time they got to their rightful pick, all of the good quarterbacks would already be gone. So, they decided to go big or go home. They traded with the Bears, getting the #1 overall pick for the 9th overall pick, a 2023 and a 2024 second-round pick, and, in addition to all of that (which would probably already have been worth it for the Bears), the Panthers traded away a massively underrated receiver in D.J. Moore. With all of these moves they probably won’t even make the playoffs. So, the Panthers pretty much got scammed. I think that they are going to stay at 7-10, or maybe get one more win and go 8-9.
One of the teams that have really climbed out of a big ditch is the Jacksonville Jaguars. In this past season they were not expected to make the playoffs, but they were still able to do it. They have a really good team overall. Their quarterback, Trevor Lawrence, is talented and still quite young. The difference between his first season and his second was notable. In his first season he threw 12 touchdowns and 17 interceptions, while in his second season he threw 25 touchdowns and only 8 picks. They have a very good wide receiver core, their o-line is mid to good, they have a good running back, and last but not least, they have a good defense. So, they pretty much just have a good team all around.
The Jets have a bright future. They have a strong defense, they have multiple good running backs, and they have a good wide receiver or 2 (also you can’t forget about Sauce Gardner). All they need now is a good quarterback and then they are good to go. The old but very experienced and talented quarterback Aaron Rodgers has now been traded to the New York Jets. So, if age doesn’t get to Rodgers then the Jets could have a very successful season. They aren’t only set up for the short term though; they also drafted a young quarterback with the 2nd overall pick in the 2020 draft who has yet to show his talent, so to have a veteran quarterback there to help train him will be very useful for future seasons.
One of the teams that has risen out of the dark is the Philadelphia Eagles. They have one of the best quarterbacks in the league in Jalen Hurts and they will only get better as he gets better. They have the second best defense in the league and one of the best offenses in the league. Barring injuries, they will likely only get better for a while. Hurts is still very young and just signed a contract for 5 years for $255 million dollars. Additionally, they drafted a huge defensive lineman in Jalen Carter and linebacker Nolan Smith to add to their super defense.
As an Eagles fan I really like the Eagles, but I don’t live in Philadelphia, so my home team is the San Francisco 49ers. I like them even more than the Eagles, so when they faced each other in the playoffs, I was rooting for the 49ers pretty intensely. Afterwards, I was surprised at how much I had wanted the 49ers to win, even though I am also an Eagles fan. Both teams have very promising futures as well, with quarterbacks that are young with lots of talent. First of all, the 49ers have a rookie quarterback Brock Purdy who was undefeated until he faced the Eagles where he hurt his elbow and wasn’t able to really play the rest of the playoff game. Second of all the Eagles have another young quarterback, Jalen Hurts, who has already brought his team to a Super Bowl, and he only lost 2 games the whole season (including playoffs), because the other 2 losses were when he was injured and wasn’t able to play at all in those games.
The Dallas Cowboys are seen by the NFL community as one of the best teams in the league, but when you look at what they have to work with, you see that they’ve spent a ton of money on players who are probably past their prime. Their quarterback is seen as a top 10 QB, but if you look at who he has around him, you will see that the only reason he is okay is because his wide receiver core is built around a fast receiver with good hands and routes named Ceedee Lamb, and his second best receiver is from the Texans, Brandin Cooks. In previous years their running back room has been filled with Ezekiel Elliot, but now he is a free agent and they are left with Tony Pollard -- while Pollard is a fantasy football superstar, in real games he is basically a receiver with a bad run game. This will make defense easy for a bunch of teams. On the defensive side of the ball they have a young outside linebacker named Michah Parsons who is good but I think that he is a bit overvalued, because in the Cowboys games that I have watched I haven’t really seen him apply pressure in the pass rush. They have other people on their defensive line that get to the QB faster, and while he might sometimes get a good jump off the line, he often gets his sack number as half sacks when he joins in on tackling the person. Another person that they have on the pass defense is Trevon Diggs, wide receiver Stephon Diggs’s brother; he can get you some interceptions, but there are many other cornerbacks that can lock down the other teams best receiver better than him. I am looking forward to seeing if this team can turn it around or not. (Hopefully not, for the sake of the Eagles.)
Also, unless something changes, it looks like Tom Brady will finally retire. I think that this year he is not going to just psyche us all out again because next season he will be 46 years old. Another reason why he will remain retired is because in this past season he barely made the playoffs, and he did it with a losing record. This would probably signal to him that his time has come, and it is time to retire, although he is getting hired by Fox Sports to be an announcer. Another reason why I think that he is going to stay retired is that he has one of the best receiving corps in the league, yet he still had a losing record. The only reason why he got to the playoffs is because everybody else in the division went 7-10.
There were a few clear winners in the 2023 NFL draft, one of these teams being the Philadelphia Eagles, my 2nd favorite team. They have arguably the best offense in the league and so they knew that they needed more defense, especially because their defense was not very strong against the Chiefs in the Super Bowl. Another reason that they would need defense is because they lost one of their defensive linemen to free agency. So the people that the Eagles selected were defensive tackle Jalen Carter and linebacker Nolan Smith. The Eagles filled their biggest hole, while at the same time getting an additional inside linebacker.
There were also a few teams that drafted in a way that doesn’t really make sense. One of those teams was the Jacksonville Jaguars. While they have a very strong offense, their defense is not their strong suit. They did make some okay decisions like drafting a tight end in the 2nd round, because their current tight end isn’t sure if he wants to sign another small contract with the Jags. However, other than that, they drafted a lot of offense in the early rounds. The first time they took a defensive player was in the 4th round, which is where they took linebacker Ventrell Miller. We all kind of know in the back of our minds that a player taken in the 4th round is not always easy, that you have to teach them a lot before they can actually become good, and sometimes they never even develop enough to make a real difference. This is evidence that the Jags had a bad draft class.
This season has brought a lot to the table—from teams like the Jags actually being good to the Texans staying trash. The 2023 NFL Draft also generated a lot of excitement. While Super Bowl 57 left a really bitter taste in Eagles fans’ mouths, it was still a really good game and it had a very exciting ending. With all the offseason trades and star players returning from injuries, next season has a lot of promise.