20. New England Patriots
The Patriots are going to have one of the league’s best defenses again in 2023, I’m sure. Now, what about the offense? The complete debacle that was the 2022 season for the Patriots’ offense doesn’t look as bad on paper as it actually was. Matt Patricia and Joe Judge, really?
The Patriots knew it was bad, and they went out and hired Bill O’Brien to run the offense moving forward. Although O’Brien is not the most beloved coach by NFL fans, I think it’s an obvious upgrade for New England and more specifically for Mac Jones. The young quarterback is in a critical year for his NFL career and possibly at a point where the Patriots could move on after this season if he isn’t up to standard.
19. Denver Broncos
I don’t know that any NFL team in the entire league made as substantial of an upgrade as the Denver Broncos did by going from Nathaniel Hackett to Sean Payton. The acquisition of Sean Payton in a trade from the Saints really can’t be overstated. Payton is a living legend among the NFL coaching community and simply gets the most out of his offensive units.
Russell Wilson signed a mega contract with the Denver Broncos last offseason before playing a down with the team, and now the pressure is squarely on him to make it right after looking like a total fraud last season. Although Wilson struggled with injuries, he wasn’t the same guy everyone knew for 10 years in Seattle.
The Broncos are healthy, and when healthy, this is actually a really good roster. The addition of Sean Payton gives them some legitimate playoff hopes in 2023.