Wednesday, September 6, 2023

32 Teams, 32 Haiku: My 2023 NFL Preview


After a remarkably wild summer here in Chicago --at least, as the weather as concerned-- football season sort of crept up on us. The Cubs are watchable but not contending, and the other city sports offerings have been a letdown, so why not get in on the Bears at entry level? As for the NFL as a whole, the AFC has a surplus of elite QBs, balanced out by an NFC that has quality wideouts to spare, and a good set of linebackers are a commodity no matter where you are. With world champion Kansas City hosting Detroit --two interesting teams, but hardly a rivalry-- to start the year, where does everyone really stand? 

Yes, I'm starting my annual pigskin delve with my boldest prediction. 

*notes wild card


  1. Lions (10-7). Music in Motown/again; in Great Lakes dogfight/kitties claw to top.

  2. Vikings (9-8). Close wins, lucky breaks/won’t sustain; can Flores fix/the secondary?

  3. Bears (8-9). Fields is fun to watch/but wins are scant; porous D/curbs any progress.

  4. Packers (7-10). No summer of Love/in Wisconsin tundra; soft/D evokes Swiss cheese.


  1. Eagles (13-4). Iffy holding calls/aside, vengeance is likely/so elite, it Hurts.

  2. Cowboys (10-7)*. Dak says he won't throw/15 interceptions... he'll/throw 16 instead.

  3. Giants (8-9). This year’s boom or bust/squad; Daboll and Jones will thrive/or fail, simply put.

  4. Commanders (5-12). New owners, who dis?/Crafty D, patchwork O means/more Beltway boredom.


  1. Saints (10-7). Oil of Olave/keeps the Carr running; deep D/won’t just pump the brakes.

  2. Falcons (8-9). Boo-birds’ high-flying/…ground game? Lack of wideouts eye/of the rebuild storm.

  3. Buccaneers (7-10). Brady to Baker/saves some doubloons; younger squad/barely stays afloat.

  4. Panthers (6-11). Young Bryce scurries as/O-line falters; low-key D/is Cats’ saving grace.


  1. 49ers (13-4). Purdy persuasion/regardless of who's QB/loaded O will feast.

  2. Seahawks (10-7)*. I was wrong about/Geno; offbeat Gulls win with/excess receivers.

  3. Rams (7-10). Absurd dead cap space/aging Stafford and Donald/not bad… but a mess.

  4. Cardinals (3-14). Marquise attraction/wideout carries O while/Kyler recovers. 


  1. Bengals (12-5). No average Joes/here; win-now mindset gives Chase/but windows can close.

  2. Ravens (11-6)*. Receiver upgrade/(finally) lets Lamar throw/outside the numbers.

  3. Steelers (9-8). Rarely bad, that’s not/news; how wicked will Pickett/be in season two?

  4. Browns (7-10). D upgrades help, but/Watson rubs us the wrong way/even with a Chubb.


  1. Bills (14-3). If Hyde, Poyer, and/Von can stay healthy, they’ll break/records (and tables).

  2. Dolphins (12-5)*. Tua is ready/assuming he’s healthy, or/he’ll die on his Hill.

  3. Jets (10-7)*. Does Rodgers play out/of pocket… or a cave? There’s/something in the Sauce.

  4. Patriots (7-10). How the tables turn/Mac must attack, or Kraft will/Jones for a rebuild.


  1. Jaguars (10-7). Lawrence won’t welk; new/targets burnish his Pro Bowl/case. Cue the bubbles!

  2. Titans (8-9). Levis better learn/quick; solid D can’t cover/atrocious O-line.

  3. Colts (6-11). It’s Tony Dimes’ time/run-happy O obscures young/buck under center.

  4. Texans (5-12). Young with upside, yet/briskly cowed by injuries/new O-line might stun. 


  1. Chiefs (14-3). Youthful D is boom/or bust; with Mahomes, they’ll romp/the West anyway.

  2. Chargers (11-6)*. Color me shocked if/they win a playoff game for/once; Horse Knob Herbert?

  3. Broncos (8-9). Forget the diva/treatment, Peyton will force Russ/to earn his paycheck.

  4. Raiders (5-12). Too many Pats’ hand/me downs (Jimmy G, Hoyer)/hold back Josh Jacobs.

NFL MVP: Patrick Mahomes, Chiefs

Offensive POY: Christian McCaffrey, Niners

Defensive POY: Ahmad “Sauce” Gardner, Jets

Offensive ROY: Bijan Robinson, Falcons

Defensive ROY: Jalen Carter, Eagles

First Head Coach Fired: Josh McDaniels, Raiders

Super Bowl LVIII: Niners 30, Bills 26


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