The 2023 NFL season is starting to take shape, as teams around the league are beginning to show whether they are contenders or pretenders for Super Bowl LVIII.
We are already approaching the midway point of the regular season, and with the trade deadline having been met, teams will have finalized the rosters they have as they look to make that final push to the season spectacular.
This year’s football season has been one that has provided fans with plenty already on the field – and away from it – which has led to some rather interesting possibilities when it comes to which teams could be competing for the Vince Lombardi Trophy. Both the NFC and AFC Conferences have teams that are showing they could be good value to compete for the biggest prize.
Who are the main contenders for the NFC Conference?
The NFC has been exceptionally strong this season across its four divisions, with organizations showing their metal and proving a number of points in the process.
The Philadelphia Eagles have managed to dust themselves down from last year’s Super Bowl disappointment and carry on in the same vain as last season. In terms of record, they are the best team in the league, as they are 7-1 through Week 8 and show no signs of slowing down. Nick Sirianni’s franchise are the favorites to be the main NFC contender, but they could have to overcome a familiar foe.
The San Francisco 49ers were beaten by the Eagles in the NFC Championship Game last season (31-7) and will have been left reeling by that defeat. It perhaps showed in the early stages of the 2023 NFL regular season as they went 5-0 to open the campaign. However, their last three matches have since resulted in three successive defeats, reducing them to 5-3. While the Seattle Seahawks have a better record (5-2), the 49ers are expected to take the NFC West. The odds, according to Unibet’s Canadian sports betting site, suggest that the Californian outfit will recover and likely compete with the Eagles for a spot at the Super Bowl.
Elsewhere, the Dallas Cowboys and the Detroit Lions are expected to be in contention to be the NFC’s candidate, with both teams being impressive. The Cowboys are 5-2, while the Lions are 6-2.
Who are the AFC’s main contenders for the Championship Game?
Unsurprisingly, the Kansas City Chiefs continue to remain among the favorites to return to the AFC Championship game. The franchise – which are the defending Super Bowl champions – have a monopoly in terms of reaching the penultimate game of the season, as they have appeared in the last five to have taken place. They have a 3-3 record when getting to it, but they are usually a sure-fire bet to be there. Of course, this year would suggest a recurrence will happen, as Patrick Mahomes and co are 6-2 on the season, despite the shock defeat to the Denver Broncos in Week 8.
The Miami Dolphins have arguably been the biggest surprise in the whole of football across the 2023 NFL season, with Mike McDaniel’s team making everyone take notice of what they are achieving on the field. They have broken and set numerous records already, and are 6-2 on the year as they lead the notoriously difficult AFC East. If the organization can continue to play in the same way they are for the rest of the season, there is every chance they could be the AFC’s candidate in Super Bowl LVIII in Las Vegas.
The Baltimore Ravens, though, are one to watch in the AFC Championship race, as the AFC North outfit continues to dominate when they take to the gridiron. They are also 6-2 on the year, with Lamar Jackson looking the quarterback that everyone knows and recognizes. They are on a three-win streak as we head into Week 9 – a fixture in which they will host the Seahawks.
Plenty of NFL football to be played still
There is still a lot of football to be played, meaning there is a lot that can still happen. While trades are no longer permitted, injuries can still happen that can cause team rosters to look depleted and weakened.
It is also worth remembering that some teams may up the level of their performances should they get to the postseason, as they know it is an all-or-nothing scenario. This could mean that we could see a few surprises throughout the course of the season.