PRESS BOX: CT Sports staff presents, NFL season picks

Illustration by Viv Rathfon

CT Sports Staff

Another NFL season is set to start on Sept. 8, beginning another year on the gridiron. The defending Super Bowl champions, the Los Angeles Rams, will face the Buffalo Bills, according to the NFL.

The Vince Lombardi trophy is up for grabs this season. After a wild free agency and offseason, read along for NFL season predictions from The Commonwealth Times sports staff. 

Arrick Wilson’s Prediction

The Buffalo Bills will be the last team standing, winning the 2023 NFL Super Bowl. The Bills have a long history of unfortunate events in the past, losing four consecutive NFL Super Bowls in the ‘90s, according to Pro Football Reference. This year will break the curse of Buffalo.

As a Dallas Cowboys fan, it kills me to say another team will win the Super Bowl. Unlike many other Cowboys fans, I have common sense — sense enough to understand how well-rounded the Bills are this season.

The offense is set with MVP caliber quarterback Josh Allen and All-Pro wide receiver Stefon Diggs. The defense should be a force, along with the 2022 NFL Champion and newly acquired free agent signee, Von Miller. Miller signed with the Bills on a six-year, $120 million deal, according to the team’s website

The team may have hiccups at the beginning of the season without All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White. ESPN stated that White was physically unable to perform, or PUP list. Without White, the Bills may lack, but I believe they will hold the trophy at the end of the season.

Olivia Dileo’s Prediction

The Steelers will win the 2023 NFL championship, because I have a good feeling about their off-season moves.

The Pittsburgh Steelers gained a new quarterback, Kenny Pickett, who was a first-round draft pick. Pickett will try to fill the shoes of previous talent of Steeler great quarterback Ben Roethlisberger, who retired at the end of the 2022 season. Pickett is familiar with the city of Pittsburgh, due to his time at the University of Pittsburgh as their quarterback during his collegiate career.

Alongside this new quarterback, the Steelers have defensive linebacker, T.J. Watt. Watt was recently voted the sixth-best player by the NFL. Watt accumulated 22.5 sacks last season while winning the AP NFL Defensive Player of the Year, according to the NFL.

With these talents, the Steelers are already looking in prime shape to take on any opponent and go a long distance this year.

Thailon Wilson’s Prediction

The Buffalo Bills are the biggest contenders to hold the Vince Lombardi trophy after this season. The Bills are coming into this season with top talent on offense that includes NFL quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs. 

Along with this explosive duo on offense, the offensive line was bolstered with the signings of free agent veteran linemen Mitch Morse and Rodger Saffold, according to the NFL. The Bills always had an explosive passing offense, but have had a weak running attack. They fixed this issue in the NFL Draft, picking up the University of Georgia running back James Cook, according to the Buffalo Bills

Alongside this explosive and slightly revamped offense, the Bills defense is elite as well. Their secondary contains the best safety duo in the league in Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer. Alongside the duo, they have a — hopefully healthy by week four — Tre’Davious White, slot corner Taron Johnson and University of Florida standout first-round pick Kaiir Elam. 

The defensive line has also gotten a boost with offseason signees Von Miller and Shaq Lawson, according to the NFL. This team, with all the talent inside of it, is an instant lock for the playoffs and will be a dangerous opponent for any team come playoff time.

Sairis Gonzalez’s Prediction

My pick for this upcoming NFL season is the Green Bay Packers. Being a person that’s not super well known to football, I picked the team that looked consistent throughout their years. The Packers are that team, having the chance to be poised for a championship season.

The Green Bay Packers, with their tenured quarterback Aaron Rodgers, gives potential and hope for the team to win. Ranked No. 3 in the charts for the top No. 100 players by ESPN, reporters agree that Rodgers has defied age by staying consistently skillful. The Green Bay Packers have expanded in their offense and defense since the 2022 season, signing and drafting qualified players.

The Packers are ranked the No. 4 team to potentially win the Super Bowl. More specifically the odds for them to win are +1140, according to the Vegas Insider. I believe the Packers will have the chance to win it all this year.

Luke Reeder’s Prediction

The Buffalo Bills will break their long Super Bowl drought and claim the title this season. The Bills are oozing with talent on both sides of the ball, most notably their offense, captained by superstars, quarterback Josh Allen and wide receiver Stefon Diggs, both of which are top 10 players at their respective positions, according to the NFL

The Bills defense should not be overlooked; however, they are trotting out one of the most formidable secondaries in the league. Safeties Micah Hyde and Jordan Poyer are one of the league’s best pairings and established All-Pro cornerback Tre’Davious White.

Bills quarterback Josh Allen is coming off of a spectacular season, where he threw for 4,407 yards and 36 touchdowns which was No. 8 in the league, according to Pro Football Reference

Allen has the tools at his disposal to help him exceed expectations this year. In addition to Stefon Diggs, Gabriel Davis looks to be a budding star wide receiver. The addition of rookie running back James Cook, could help push Buffalo over the edge, ultimately winning them their first Super Bowl title.

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