16. New Orleans Saints
Speaking of lukewarm teams, may I present to you the 2023 New Orleans Saints. The Saints have undoubtedly improved the QB position by adding Derek Carr in free agency. Not having to trade for Carr allowed the Saints to invest their NFL Draft assets elsewhere as well as plan the entire rest of the offseason around knowing exactly who the quarterback is, not having to mess around with waiting for the NFL Draft.
I think like many of the teams in the 21-14 range of these NFL power rankings, the Saints are really another “wait and see” kind of team. They showed last year they were good enough to compete in a lot of games with Andy Dalton but then fell painfully short at the end of the season.
I still think this team is good enough to compete for the NFC South in 2023. They have a lot of really nice pieces and proven veterans at key positions. I’m not confident enough to go out on a limb about the Saints but I’m confident they’ll be a playoff contender.
15. Seattle Seahawks
The Seattle Seahawks were one of the NFL’s biggest surprises in 2022. Obviously, this is a team that took on a major change at the QB position last year when they traded Russell Wilson to the Denver Broncos, replacing him with Geno Smith. Smith ended up going from competing with Drew Lock for the starting gig to winning the NFL Comeback Player of the Year award in a season that was nothing short of miraculous.
The Seahawks have a lot going for them. This team has really loaded up in the NFL Draft the last two years, and they already had some good pieces to begin with. The biggest question with this team is — can Geno Smith do it again, and do it better? This team floundered in the second half of the season to the point that the San Francisco 49ers just really had no problem with them in the playoffs. They beat the hapless Jets and Rams in the second half of the year after starting 6-2, but that was it.
I’m lukewarm on the Seahawks, but with a repeat performance from Geno Smith, they might once again be tough in the NFC West.