Every offseason, a few teams improve enough to break into the playoffs. Often, though, teams that improve enough to make it to the playoffs are borderline NFL postseason teams. Not this season. This season, the five teams that improved enough to make the playoffs should make the playoffs. See below for those five teams.
Sleeper Teams Poised to Break into the 2023 NFL Playoffs
READ MORE: 2022 NFL Season Early Betting Predictions
New Orleans Saints
Let’s start with the Saints who for some reasons continue to be undervalued in NFL futures. The Saints were on their way to challenging the Tampa Bay Buccaneers for the NFC South title last season.
But starting quarterback Jameis Winston got hurt and the season fell apart. In 2022, Winston should be one-hundred percent. More importantly, Jameis has more targets this season. New Orleans drafted Ohio State wide receiver Chris Olave and signed Jarvis Landry. Michael Thomas should return from the injury that led to him missing all of last season.
On defense, New Orleans improved by signing Tyrann Mathieu. The changes more than offset losing head coach Sean Payton to retirement. The Saints figure to march past the Buccaneers by winning the NFC South and into the playoffs.
Denver made one of the gutsiest trades in NFL history when they gave up two-first round picks, two-second round picks, starting tight-end Noah Fant, quarterback Drew Lock, and defensive lineman Shelby Harris for Russell Wilson.
But although it seems like a lot, it’s worth it to give up as much as possible in a trade for quarterbacks like Wilson. Russell ensures the Broncos make it to the playoffs. Wilson lands on a team with a terrific offensive line and plenty of talented skill players. For years, the defense in Denver has carried the team. Now the Broncos have an offense on par with their defense.
Jacksonville not only ditched their overrated, former simpleton head coach in Urban Meyer, but they went ahead and made vast changes on offense and defense. Travon Walker joins a defense that already included Josh Allen, a double-team must. In addition to Walker, the Jags drafted Utah linebacker Devin Lloyd, one of the most talented defenders in this past April’s draft.
The most important addition is at head coach where former Super Bowl winning HC Doug Pederson has taken the call. Pederson will turn quarterback Trevor Lawrence into one of the best in the league.
New York Giants
Here’s another surprise playoff contender. The Giants drafted two players and hired a head coach that makes them a playoff-caliber squad. The head coach, Brian Daboll, is one of the most creative play-callers in the NFL. Running back Saquon Barkley returns from an injury. If Saquon is one-hundred percent, Daboll will find a way to get him the ball.
Quarterback Daniel Jones should improve big time under Daboll’s tutelage. The fact the Giants new HC didn’t draft a quarterback means he’s happy with Jones. The offensive line should develop into one of the best in the NFL. Evan Neal joins a line that includes Andrew Thomas. The defense got a huge boost when Daboll drafted Kayvon Thibodeaux. For sure, the Giants can make the playoffs.
It starts with the coaching hire. Mike McDaniel, like Brian Daboll in New York, is a creative play-caller. He will ensure quarterback Tua Tagovailoa has success. Almost as important? McDaniel will get the most out of running backs Chase Edmonds, Raheem Mostert, and Sony Michel. Mostert played for McDaniel at San Francisco.
So keep an eye on Raheem early in the season. Edmonds, Michel, and Mostert have starter’s experience. The defense is tight. Miami plays in a tough division, the AFC East, but the Fins have enough talent, and McDaniel is a good enough coach, to make the playoffs.
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