Picking a winner in every NFL division, plus ranking teams most likely to go from worst to first in 2023 – CBSSports.com

Welcome to the Thursday edition of the Pick Six newsletter!

I’m not sure if you’ve looked at a calendar today, but if you haven’t, I have some absolutely unbelievable news: The NFL regular season starts in exactly ONE WEEK. That’s right, tonight is your last Thursday night without NFL football until January. Please tell your family and plan accordingly. 

To mark the occasion, we’re going to celebrate here at the newsletter by previewing the 2023 season from a different angle every day between now and next Thursday when the Lions and Chiefs kick off in Kansas City. 

We rounded up 12 of our NFL writers and had them pick their division winners. Also, we’re going to rank the last-place teams from 2022 that have the best chance of finishing in first this year. We have a lot to cover, so let’s get to the rundown. 

As always, here’s your daily reminder to tell all your friends to sign up for the newsletter. It’s the perfect gift to get for your favorite football-loving friend. To get them signed up, all you have to do is click here. 

1. Picking a winner in every NFL division


With the NFL season kicking off in just one week, we thought now would be the perfect time to round up all of our NFL writers and ask them to make their picks for the winner of each division. 

Of the NFL’s eight divisions, our 12 writers didn’t unanimously agree on the winner of a single one. The Chiefs came the closest, but in the end, they only got 10 of 12 votes to win the AFC West (The Chargers got the other two). 

Here’s a look at our voting results for each division, along with how many first-place votes each team in the division received. If a team isn’t listed, it’s because they received zero votes. (Next to each team’s name, you can see their odds at Caesars Sportsbook for winning the division and how many first-place votes they received from each writer.)

Bills (+125): Seven votes to win the division
Jets (+250): Four votes
Dolphins (+300): One vote (The lone Dolphins vote came from Bryan DeArdo)

Bengals (+160): Five votes
Steelers (+475): Four votes
Ravens (+220): Two votes

Jaguars (-175): Nine votes
Titans (+340): Three votes

Chiefs (-175): 10 votes
Chargers (+280): Two votes

Eagles (-125): Seven votes
Cowboys (+165): Four votes
Giants (+850): One vote (The lone Giants vote came from Ryan Wilson)

Packers (+360): Four votes
Vikings (+260): Four votes
Lions (+120): Four votes

Saints (+105): 10 votes
Falcons (+190): Two votes

49ers (-200): Six votes
Seahawks (+220): Five votes

If you want to read our explanation for each of our votes, then you’re definitely going to want to click here.

2. Ranking the teams most likely to go from worst to first in 2023

One thing that makes the NFL so entertaining every year is the fact that it’s one of the most unpredictable sports on the planet, and nothing proves that more than the league’s ability to produce at least one team every season that goes from worst to first.  

Last year, that team was the Jacksonville Jaguars. After finishing with an ugly record of 3-14 in 2021, the Jags bounced back in a big way in 2022 by winning the AFC South, which should give some hope to every team that finished at the bottom of its division last season. 

So which team has the best chance to be this year’s Jaguars? 

Here are the rankings I came up with (If you feel like yelling at me on Twitter about how bad the rankings are, feel free to do so here). 

Teams with the best chance to go from worst to first:

1. Falcons
2. Jets
3. Browns
4. Bears
5. Broncos
6. Texans
7. Commanders
8. Cardinals

If you’re wondering how I came up with these rankings, then you’re going to have to read my full story, which you can do by clicking here

3. Nick Bosa update: 49ers won’t trade their star as holdout continues, but he could miss games


The 49ers star held out of training camp in hopes of getting a new contract, but that new contract still hasn’t come, and with just 10 days to go until the 49ers’ season opener against the Steelers, there’s no guarantee that a deal is going to get done before then. 

Earlier this offseason, the 49ers seemed confident that Bosa situation would be resolved by Week 1, but now, Kyle Shanahan doesn’t sound so sure. Here are a few things that Shanahan and general manager John Lynch had to say about the Bosa situation on Wednesday. 

Bosa is headed into the final year of a rookie deal that’s scheduled to pay him $17.86 million in 2023. It’s not clear what Bosa’s asking price is, but as the reigning Defensive Player of the Year who led the NFL in sacks last season, it wouldn’t be surprising if he’s looking to land a deal that would make him the highest-paid defensive player in the NFL. That honor currently belongs to Aaron Donald, who’s making $31.67 million per year. The next closest defensive player is T.J. Watt, who’s making $28 million per year. If the 49ers are willing to give Bosa a Watt-level of money, but not Donald, that could be the gap that’s causing issues. Whatever the problem is, the 49ers need to figure it out soon if they want to have Bosa on the field for Week 1. 

In other 49ers news, the team has finally added another kicker. With Jake Moody set to possibly miss the opener due to a quad injury, the 49ers have signed Matthew Wright to their practice squad, according to ESPN.com. 

4. Jonathan Taylor trade talks got crazy

Colts running back Jonathan Taylor didn’t end up getting traded this week, but it seems that things did get a little crazy on Tuesday between the Colts and other teams looking to add Taylor. 

Here’s a brief look at some of the things that went down:

Although Taylor is on the roster right now, that doesn’t mean he will be when the season ends. If the Colts are open to dealing him, they’ll have roughly eight weeks to find a trade partner before the Oct. 31 trade deadline. Teams can try to make a trade for Taylor even though he’ll be out for at least the first four games of the season after being placed on the Physically Unable to Perform (PUP) list this week. 

5. 2023 All-AFC North team: Ravens dominate with nine players


The Cincinnati Bengals have won back-to-back division titles in the AFC North, but that didn’t help them when Jared Dubin went through and made his all-division team for the AFC North this year. 

Dubin went through all four rosters in the division to create one Super Team that consisted of 27 players (12 on offense, 12 on defense plus three special teams). Of the 27 players on the All-AFC North team, nine of them came from Baltimore, which ended up being two more than the Bengals produced.  

With that in mind, let’s take a look at the offense for the AFC North’s all-division team: 

QB: Joe Burrow, Bengals
RB: Nick Chubb, Browns
WR: Ja’Marr Chase, Bengals
WR: Tee Higgins, Bengals
WR: Amari Cooper, Browns
TE: Mark Andrews, Ravens
FLEX: George Pickens, Steelers
OT: Ronnie Stanley, Ravens
OT: Jack Conklin, Browns
OG: Joel Bitonio, Browns
OG: Kevin Zeitler, Ravens
C: Tyler Linderbaum, Ravens

If you want to see the defensive side of the AFC North’s All-Division team, plus the special teams representatives, then be sure to click here

6. Extra points: T.J. Hockenson lands huge extension from Vikings

It’s been a busy 24 hours in the NFL, and since it’s nearly impossible to keep track of everything that happened, I went ahead and put together a roundup for you. 

This content was originally published here.

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