2023 NFL Power Rankings: Bears up near the rival Packers
Jamie Sabau - USA Today Sports

2023 NFL Power Rankings: Bears up near the rival Packers

by - Staff Writer -

*We decided to explain the top 16 and the Bears.*

1. Kansas City Chiefs 6-1 (up 4)

Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs turned a rocky start into a dominating end of the season a year ago. Despite losing Tyreek Hill before last season, the Chiefs still dominated the AFC West and won their second Super Bowl in four seasons. Mahomes led the NFL in passing yards and touchdowns and won his second MVP. The defense stepped up, Travis Kelce was phenomenal, and the Chiefs have cemented themselves as the NFL’s next dynasty. Chris Jones was a big reason why the Chiefs succeeded, and he just recently signed a new deal.

A week one hiccup against Detroit will not deter me from the Chiefs’ bandwagon — plus, now Taylor Swift is a regular at Chiefs games. Chiefs have won six in a row.

2. Philadelphia Eagles 6-1 (up 2)

Philadelphia was one of the league’s best teams from start to finish a year ago and looks poised to repeat that title. A dominating pass rush, a veteran offensive line, All-Pros all over the field, and a duo of AJ Brown and Jalen Hurts. The Eagles lost the Super Bowl to the Chiefs but are still loaded with talent and should be considered favorites to return to the pinnacle next season. The roster, indeed, does not have many holes. The NFC East champs look to control that division for now. They lost Miles Sanders but added De’Andre Swift to the bunch, and he is a big reason they are 5-1 in the early going. It hasn’t been as flashy or smooth as last season, and Jalen Hurts looks a little careless with the ball, but they are still 6-1 — and they looked like themself Sunday night over Miami.

3. Baltimore Ravens 5-2 (up 5)

Baltimore has one of the league’s strongest rosters, but they spent most of 2021 and 2022 as the most injured team in the sport. But this team has speed all over the field, on both sides of the ball, and they know their identity. Led by an MVP in Lamar Jackson, the Ravens have the recipe for success — they must stay healthy. The Ravens paid Lamar Jackson, signed OBJ in free agency, and added a WR in the draft in Zay Flowers. This will be the strongest team Lamar Jackson has quarterbacked, so look out for Baltimore.

It’s been topsy-turvy for Baltimore—strong wins over Cincinnati, Cleveland, and Tennessee but disappointing losses to Pittsburgh and the Colts. However, a week seven drubbing of Detroit makes Baltimore a team to fear.

4. Miami Dolphins 5-2 (down 3)

The question surrounding the Miami Dolphins is how good Tua can be because the offense that features Tyreek Hill, Jalen Waddle, and Raheem Mostert is loaded with speed. Tua looked great early on, but a few scary head injuries not only jeopardized his career but also the Dolphins' 2022-2023 season. They are one of the most exciting teams in football — and a healthy, capable Tua can undoubtedly make them contenders. The Dolphins added Jalen Ramsey to the cornerback room as well, so the defense should be better when he returns. Miami turned heads in their thrilling season-opening victory over the Chargers and primetime dub over New England. But the Dolphins clicked on all cylinders in a way I have never seen before a 70-point showing. Even with the losses to the Bills and Eagles, they’re one of the league’s best teams.

5. San Francisco 49ers 5-2 (down 3)

San Francisco has one of the most talented rosters in the sport and rode their best players to another NFC Championship appearance last year. The 49ers had had a topsy-turvy season, losing newly named starting QB Trey Lance in week 1 — and Jimmy Garropolo later on in the season. But that never stopped the 49ers from winning. Garropolo is now a Raider; Trey Lance is now a Cowboy, and Brock Purdy is the starter on a team with one of the best rosters in the NFL; he has never lost in the regular season, including five dominant wins to open the 2023-2024 campaign, until now.

A recent drubbing of Dallas made the 49ers look unbeatable, but then the Browns and Vikings beat them in back-to-back weeks.

6. Buffalo Bills 4-3 (down 1)

The Bills are one of the league’s best teams and had a heartbreaking end to the postseason three years in a row. The defense took a step back in 2022, but Josh Allen is still one of the league’s best QBs and leads one of the league’s best offenses. The Bills heard all of that Dolphins talk and dismantled them; the AFC East still runs through Buffalo.

They faltered a bit against the Jags and Pats but are easily a top-10 team in the NFL. They are scary but beatable.

7. Detroit Lions 5-2 (down 1)

The Lions were one of the best stories in the NFL last season. Despite faltering to 1-6 out of the gate, the Lions finished 9-8. They are loaded with young talent and might need a QB change before they are TRUE contenders, but the Lions should be expected to be a playoff contender shortly. They have a confident coach and young playmakers on both sides of the field.

Keep an eye on the Lions moving forward, especially after the week one win over the Chiefs and their most recent four-game winning streak, despite the loss to Baltimore.

8. Dallas Cowboys 4-2 (BYE)

Dallas has one of the best defenses in the league but can not seem to get over the offensive hump to put them into the elite category. Nonetheless, the team is loaded with talent on both sides of the ball. The fact of the matter is, though, that as long as the Eagles look the way they do, Dallas will be playing for the Wild Card for the foreseeable future. Prescott is getting paid QB1 money; it’s time for him to play like it as well this season. Ezekiel Elliot is no longer in the picture, so it is Tony Pollard’s backfield, and the Cowboys added Brandin Cooks to a loaded WR room. Dallas has either blown teams out or been blown out thus far, and the latest dismantling at the hands of the 49ers leaves many questioning what to make of a Dallas team with loads of talent.

The Cowboys got back on track nicely against the Chargers, but there are still some question marks in Dallas.

9. Jacksonville Jaguars 5-2 (no change)

Trevor Lawrence is showing everybody in the NFL why he was selected with the number one overall pick in 2021. The talented QB led the Jaguars to a division championship and a playoff win — and look primed to only get better as a team. The defense needs some help to take the next step, but the AFC South seems to be Jacksonville’s division to lose for the first time. Young QBs in Indianapolis and Houston and the Titans’ playoff pedigree have made this division much tighter than anticipated. Still, if Jacksonville can beat Buffalo and New Orleans on the road, they can beat anyone.

10. Cincinnati Bengals 3-3 (BYE)

The Bengals were the AFC’s representative in the Super Bowl two years ago and made it to the AFC Championship again last year, led by Joe Burrow. It’s not always pretty, but the Bengals win games — and the way their roster is constructed, expect them to continue to do just that. They have won the AFC North two years in a row, and it is Burrow’s division, not Lamar’s. The Bengals added more to the offensive line, paid Burrow, and proved a threat in the AFC even after their disappointing 1-3 start. Keep an eye on Burrow’s injury, though; even though he looked good enough to power Cincy to their first win of the year over the Rams on MNF — he hasn’t been that great. However, he has looked healthy against Arizona and Seattle and delivered his first 300-yard performance of the season; they may be back.

11. Seattle Seahawks 4-2 (no change)

Seattle turned heads last year by making the playoffs in Geno Smith’s first season with the Seahawks. The offense appears to have taken another step. The defense, which is Pete Carrol’s specialty, has struggled — but wins over the Lions, Panthers, and Giants (where the defense had 11 sacks) and Cardinals have been enough to make the Seahawks a top-11 team.

12. Pittsburgh Steelers 4–2 (BYE)

This may come as a surprise, but the Steelers are in the top half of the league. It is no secret they boast one of the league’s best defenses, but they certainly need a boost on the offensive side of the ball. They may need some help on the offensive line and to open up the run game for Najee Harris — but the Steelers should not be a team that teams are looking forward to playing in 2023. That Pickett-to-Pickens combo is nasty, and a TJ Watt-led defense is as formidable as they come.

13. Cleveland Browns 4-2 (up 2)

It’s a division loaded with talent, but the Browns look primed to contend. The pass rush is elite, the offensive line is top-notch, Nick Chubb is one of the league’s best at his position, and they just dismantled the Bengals in week 1. Chubb is hurt for the year, but the Browns still took care of Tennessee in week 3. It’s a cramped division within a loaded AFC, but don’t count out the Browns, especially if they can beat the 49ers with their second-stringers.

14. New York Jets 3-3 (BYE)

The Jets were wildly anticipated by many to be one of the best teams in the league, with the addition of Aaron Rodgers to an up-and-coming offense and one of the best defenses in the NFL. However, four plays into Rodgers’ Jets career, he suffered a season-ending Achilles injury, and Zach Wilson has since taken control of the Jets. They’ve looked bad against the Patriots and Cowboys, but Wilson played well against the Chiefs in a loss, and the Jets have since rattled off back-to-back wins, including knocking off the unbeaten Eagles. Don’t sleep on the Jets.

15. Houston Texans 3-3 (BYE)

The Texans blew their chance at the No. 1 pick with a week 18 win last season. Then, they elected not to trade up to the No. 1 spot to secure their QB. However, it all fell into place for Houston as they were able to draft CJ Stroud — who has been phenomenal early on. Stroud is on pace to set rookie records as a QB, and the Texans have already matched their win total from a season ago. The offense has been solid, and they are stacking wins.

16. Los Angeles Chargers 2-4 (down 4)

The Chargers may have been one of the NFL’s most disappointing teams last year. They added Khalil Mack and JC Jackson to a defense that got a healthy Derwin James and Joey Bosa back in 2022 but struggled. On offense, Keenan Allen and Mike Williams battled injuries, as did Justin Herbert, so the offense became Austin Ekeler-dependent. But as the new season rolls on, LA should still be one of the league’s most talented teams shortly — however, it’s been a lot of the same with disappointing losses. The division they are in still runs through the Chiefs, but the Chargers are contenders for sure, even after their losses to Miami, Tennessee, and Dallas in games that they should’ve won.

17. Minnesota Vikings 3-4 (up 6)

18. Atlanta Falcons 4-3 (up 3)

19. Tampa Bay Buccaneers 3-3 (down 2)

20. New Orleans Saints 3-4 (down 2)

21. Los Angeles Rams 3-4 (down 3)

22. Indianapolis Colts 3-4 (down 3)

23. Tennessee Titans 2-4 (BYE)

24. Washington Commanders 3-4 (up 1)

25. Green Bay Packers 2-4 (down 4)

26. Chicago Bears 2-5 (up 1)

The Bears went into the season last year with a new coach, a new general manager, a new staff, and a quarterback who many expected to take the next step. Justin Fields did that in a lot of people’s eyes, and the Bears spent the offense improving the defense, adding to the offensive line, and acquiring a WR1 for Justin Fields in DJ Moore. The Bears have battled some injuries in the early going but have improved enough for the Bears to expect to start showing it in the win/loss column. However, they have failed to unleash Fields or show any promise in their disastrous start to the season. However, the offense and Fields have shown significant strides over the last two weeks. Eight TDs through the air, and the Bears have grabbed their first win.

It appeared time to stack the wins, but Fields suffered an injury, but Tyson Bagent was still able to help the Bears to their second win of the season.

27. Las Vegas Raiders 3-4 (down 2)

28. New England Patriots 2-5 (up 1)

29. New York Giants 2-5 (up 1)

30. Denver Broncos 2-5 (down 2)

31. Arizona Cardinals 1-6 (no change)

32. Carolina Panthers 0-6 (BYE)

Stay tuned as we update these rankings every week.

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