The 2021-22 NFL season went down as one of the most exciting in recent memory. Many teams exceeded fans' expectations with their performances during the campaign. For example, most fans expected the Cincinnati Bengals to finish last in the AFC North, but not only did they win their division, but they also went all the way to the Super Bowl.
Teams who had poor showings in 2021 will be hoping for a fairytale season like Cincinnati’s this year. While every team has a chance of improving from the previous year, not every team will actually do so.
With that said, here are five NFL teams who could overperform in 2022-23:
#1 New York Jets
Most fans across the NFL expect the New York Jets to be much better in 2022 than they were in 2021. Last year, with rookie Zach Wilson at quarterback, they could only muster four wins, finishing last in the AFC East.
However, Wilson, along with head coach Robert Saleh, are going into their second year and will have used 2021 as a steep learning curve. They also had one of the best drafts, picking up Sauce Gardner, Garrett Wilson and Jermaine Johnson in the first round. They will all likely be Day 1 starters. Additionally, they'll be able to rely on tight end C.J. Uzomah as well as edge rusher Carl Lawson.
#2 Denver Broncos
The Denver Broncos are also tipped to improve in 2022, and that is mostly due to the trade that saw them acquire Seattle Seahawks quarterback Russell Wilson during the offseason.
Wilson is an obvious upgrade from former Broncos starters Teddy Bridgewater and Drew Lock. He'll be aided by a stacked roster that includes wide receiver talent such as Courtland Sutton, Jerry Jeudy and Tim Patrick.
They also have dual-threat running backs in Javonte Williams and Melvin Gordon, as well as a solid defensive core. The roster might just be able to compete in a loaded AFC West, now that they have Wilson at quarterback.
#3 Minnesota Vikings
The Minnesota Vikings haven’t tasted much success since making it all the way to the NFC championship game in 2018 with Case Keenum at quarterback. Since that season, they have acquired Kirk Cousins and have only made the playoffs once.
However, this coming season could be the one in which Cousins and the Vikings put it all together. The Green Bay Packers might take some time adjusting to the Davante Adams loss, while no one can be sure the Chicago Bears or Detroit Lions can mount any sort of threat.
The Vikings can easily improve on their 8-9 season with stars such as Dalvin Cook, Harrison Smith and Justin Jefferson being potential game-winners. Minnesota also picked up Za’Darius Smith from division rivals Green Bay, further strengthening their roster.
#4 Los Angeles Chargers
Many fans across the NFL believe that the Los Angeles Chargers have the most stacked roster in football. The team is comprised of stars such as Justin Herbert, Austin Ekeler, J.C. Jackson and Joey Bosa.
Despite the talent, the Chargers missed out on the 2021 playoffs altogether after a Week 18 loss to the Las Vegas Raiders.
The Chargers finished 9-8, but their roster is so stacked that it’s hard to imagine that they won’t improve on that record during the 2022-23 NFL season. Herbert has another year of experience under his belt, and with his qualities and the talent surrounding him, there’s no reason the Chargers can’t win it all.
#5 Baltimore Ravens
The Baltimore Ravens suffered one of the biggest collapses in recent memory in 2021-22. They lost their last six games to finish the season 8-9 and bottom of the AFC North. This was, of course, mostly due to the injury crisis that hit Baltimore, with Lamar Jackson, Marcus Peters and Ronnie Stanley all missing time.
The Ravens know they’re better than their record last year showed. They had a great draft this year, picking up Kyle Hamilton and Tyler Linderbaum in the first round, and they might just finish at the top of the AFC during the 2022-23 season.