The NFL returns for the 2023 season as Kickoff Weekend signals the start of a 272-game journey, one that promises hope for each of the
league’s 32 teams as they set their sights on Super Bowl LVIII, which will be played on Sunday, February 11, 2024, at Allegiant Stadium in Las
2022 was one of the most competitive seasons ever as the average final score margin of 9.70 points was the lowest for a full season since
1932 (9.13). The 2023 season will be filled with memorable moments, as young players emerge, familiar faces continue their climb up the record
books and teams vie to make their mark in the postseason. Every team enters the season with hope and a trip to Las Vegas for Super Bowl
LVIII in mind. Below are a few reasons why:
• Nineteen teams remained in Super Bowl contention on the final day of the 2023 regular season, the most such teams since 2006 (20).
• Four teams clinched a division title after not winning their division last year (Jacksonville, Minnesota, Philadelphia and San Francisco) and
at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 19 of the past 20 years.
• Jacksonville clinched the AFC South after finishing in last place in the division in 2021 and in 18 of the past 20 seasons, at least one team
finished in first place in their division the season after finishing in last or tied for last.
• Seven teams clinched playoff berths after missing the postseason in 2021 (Baltimore, Jacksonville, the Los Angeles Chargers, Miami,
Minnesota, the New York Giants and Seattle) and since 1990 – a streak of 33 consecutive seasons – at least four teams have qualified for
the playoffs in every season that were not in the postseason the year before.
• The Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVII and for an 18th consecutive season, the NFL had a new Super Bowl champion, extending the
longest streak without a repeat winner in league history. Only eight teams have repeated as champions since the first Super Bowl in 1967,
with the 2004 Patriots (Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX) being the last team to accomplish the feat.
Among the many notable accomplishments players and coaches can achieve during the 2022 season:
• Kansas City quarterback PATRICK MAHOMES (24,241 passing yards and 192 touchdown passes) can surpass Peyton Manning (29,442
passing yards) and Dan Marino (220 touchdown passes) for the most in each category by a quarterback in his first seven seasons in NFL
• New York Jets quarterback AARON RODGERS, who enters 2023 with 59,055 passing yards and 475 touchdown passes, can continue to
climb the all-time passer ranks. He can surpass Philip Rivers (63,440) for the sixth-most passing yards in NFL history and Brett Favre (508)
for the fourth-most touchdown passes all-time.
• Tennessee running back DERRICK HENRY needs 10 rushing touchdowns to become the third running back all-time with at least 10 rushing
touchdowns in six-or-more consecutive seasons.
• San Francisco running back CHRISTIAN MCCAFFREY can become the fourth running back in NFL history with at least four career seasons
with at least 1,000 rushing yards and 500 receiving yards.
• Minnesota wide receiver JUSTIN JEFFERSON (324 receptions and 4,825 receiving yards) can become the third player with at least 400
receptions in his first four career seasons and can surpass Michael Thomas (5,512) for the most receiving yards by a player in his first
four career seasons in NFL history.
• Las Vegas wide receiver DAVANTE ADAMS can join Marvin Harrison as the only players in NFL history with 100 receptions, 1,000 receiving
yards and 10 touchdown receptions in four consecutive seasons.
• Tampa Bay wide receiver MIKE EVANS needs 1,000 receiving yards to join Jerry Rice (11 consecutive seasons from 1986-96) as the only
players ever with at least 1,000 receiving yards in 10 consecutive seasons.
• Kansas City tight end TRAVIS KELCE (814 receptions and 10,334 receiving yards) can become the fourth tight end all-time with 900
receptions and fourth tight end ever with 11,000 receiving yards.
San Francisco defensive lineman NICK BOSA can become the third player since 1982 with at least 15 sacks in three of his first five career
seasons, joining J.J. Watt and Reggie White.
• Dallas linebacker MICAH PARSONS needs 13 sacks to become the second player since 1982 with at least 13 sacks in each of his first three
seasons, joining Reggie White.
• New England head coach BILL BELICHICK ranks second all-time with 329 total victories (298 regular-season wins and a league-record 31
playoff victories) and needs two regular-season wins to join Don Shula (328 regular-season wins) and George Halas (318) as the only head
coaches in NFL history with 300 career regular-season victories.
• Kansas City head coach ANDY REID ranks fifth all-time in both total wins (269) and regular-season wins (247) and can surpass Tom Landry
(270 total wins, 250 regular-season wins) for fourth place on both lists, while becoming the fifth coach in league history to reach the 250-
win milestone in the regular season.
• Pittsburgh head coach MIKE TOMLIN is the first head coach in NFL history to lead his team to a .500-or-better record in each of his first 16
career seasons and can surpass George Halas (16 consecutive seasons from 1933-51) for the third-longest such streak for a coach at any
point in his career in NFL history.
2023 KICKOFF WEEKEND SCHEDULE
DATE GAME TIME (ET) TV
Thursday, September 7 Detroit Lions at Kansas City Chiefs 8:20p NBC
Sunday, September 10 Carolina Panthers at Atlanta Falcons 1:00p FOX
Houston Texans at Baltimore Ravens 1:00p CBS
Cincinnati Bengals at Cleveland Browns 1:00p CBS
Jacksonville Jaguars at Indianapolis Colts 1:00p FOX
Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Minnesota Vikings 1:00p CBS
Tennessee Titans at New Orleans Saints 1:00p CBS
San Francisco 49ers at Pittsburgh Steelers 1:00p FOX
Arizona Cardinals at Washington Commanders 1:00p FOX
Green Bay Packers at Chicago Bears 4:25p FOX
Las Vegas Raiders at Denver Broncos 4:25p CBS
Miami Dolphins at Los Angeles Chargers 4:25p CBS
Philadelphia Eagles at New England Patriots 4:25p CBS
Los Angeles Rams at Seattle Seahawks 4:25p FOX
Dallas Cowboys at New York Giants 8:20p NBC
Monday, September 11 Buffalo Bills at New York Jets 8:15p ESPN/ABC
Kickoff Weekend begins on Thursday, September 7 in primetime on NBC as the defending Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs welcome the Detroit Lions to Arrowhead Stadium.
Below is a sampling of notable active NFL Kickoff streaks:
• The KANSAS CITY CHIEFS have won their past eight Kickoff
Weekend games, the longest active streak in the NFL.
Kansas City can become the sixth team in NFL history to win
nine consecutive season-opening games, joining the Dallas
Cowboys (17 consecutive seasons from 1965-1981), Miami
Dallas (11 from 1992-2002), New England Patriots (10 from
2004-2013), Portsmouth Spartans (10 from 1930-39) and
Chicago Bears (nine from 1984 to 1992).
• The NEW ORLEANS SAINTS, who host Tennessee in Week 1,
and the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS, who welcome the Los Angeles
Rams to Lumen Field, have each won their past four Week
1 contests, tied for the longest active streak in the NFC.
The LOS ANGELES CHARGERS, who host Miami on Kickoff
Weekend, have also won each of their past four Kickoff
• The PITTSBURGH STEELERS have won their past three
Kickoff Weekend contests while MIAMI, PHILADELPHIA and
TAMPA BAY have won their past two season-opening games.
• The GREEN BAY PACKERS open their season on the road
against the CHICAGO BEARS. The Packers have won 58
games on Kickoff Weekend, the most in the NFL, while the
Bears are second with 56 wins in season-opening games.
• New England’s BILL BELICHICK is 18-10 (.643) on Kickoff Weekend and his 18 wins are the most among active head coaches.
• Belichick, Seattle’s PETE CARROLL (11-6; .647), Baltimore’s JOHN HARBAUGH (11-4; .733), Kansas City’s ANDY REID (16-8; .667) and
Pittsburgh’s MIKE TOMLIN (10-5-1; .656) are the only active head coaches who have won at least 10 Kickoff Weekend games.
• Reid has won eight consecutive games on Kickoff Weekend, the longest current streak among active head coaches.
• Philadelphia’s NICK SIRIANNI (2-0), the Los Angeles Chargers’ BRANDON STALEY (2-0), the New York Giants BRIAN DABOLL (1-0),
Chicago’s MATT EBERFLUS (1-0), Miami’s MIKE MCDANIEL (1-0) and Minnesota’s KEVIN O’CONNELL (1-0) are the only active head
coaches with perfect records on Kickoff Weekend.
• Arizona’s JONATHAN GANNON, Houston’s DEMECO RYANS and Indianapolis’ SHANE STEICHEN make their NFL head coaching debuts
on Kickoff Weekend.
• Two head coaches – Denver’s SEAN PAYTON (8-7) and Carolina’s FRANK REICH (0-4-1) – will be coaching the first game with their
new club in Week 1.
2023 KICKOFF GUIDE HOPE SPRINGS ETERNAL
New teams making the playoffs and winning divisions, consistent teams excelling once again, records falling and young players making
their mark all combined to help shape the story of the 2022 season.
The final week of the season once again came right down to the wire as three playoff spots were decided on the last day of the
season. There were 19 teams still in Super Bowl contention with one week to play last season, the most teams still in Super Bowl
contention with one week to play since there were 20 in 2006. The season-ending excitement was due in part to having 16 divisional
games played on the season’s final weekend, a tradition instituted in 2010.
Every team enters the 2023 season with a trip to Las Vegas and Super Bowl LVIII in mind, and below are a few reasons why.
• The JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS (AFC South) and MINNESOTA VIKINGS (NFC North) won their division after missing the postseason
in 2021 and at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 19 of the past 20 years.
Jacksonville clinched the AFC South after finishing in last place in the division in 2021. In 18 of the past 20 seasons, at least one
team finished in first place the season after finishing in last or tied for last.
Since 1990 – a streak of 33 consecutive seasons – at least four teams every season have qualified for the playoffs after failing to
make the postseason the year before. Seven teams that missed the postseason in 2021 – BALTIMORE, JACKSONVILLE, the LOS
ANGELES CHARGERS, MIAMI, MINNESOTA, the NEW YORK GIANTS and SEATTLE – accomplished the feat in 2022.
The KANSAS CITY CHIEFS won their third Super Bowl title in 2022 and begin their quest to repeat as champions as the race to Las Vegas’ Allegiant Stadium for Super Bowl LVIII kicks off. Only eight teams have repeated as champions since the first Super Bowl in 1967, with the 2004 Patriots (Super Bowls XXXVIII and XXXIX) being the last team to accomplish the feat. • Five teams enter the 2022 season with a new head coach – JONATHAN GANNON in Arizona, SEAN PAYTON in Denver, FRANK REICH in Carolina, DEMECO RYANS in Houston and SHANE STEICHEN in Indianapolis. • Thirteen head coaches in their first year with a new club have led their teams to the playoffs over the last six seasons (2017-22): TODD BOWLES (Tampa Bay), BRIAN DABOLL (New York Giants), MIKE MCDANIEL (Miami), KEVIN O’CONNELL (Minnesota) and DOUG PEDERSON (Jacksonville) in 2022, NICK SIRIANNI (Philadelphia) in 2021, RON RIVERA (Washington) and KEVIN STEFANSKI (Cleveland) in 2020, MATT LAFLEUR (Green Bay) in 2019, MATT NAGY (Chicago) and FRANK REICH (Indianapolis) in 2018, and SEAN MCVAY (L.A. Rams) and SEAN MCDERMOTT (Buffalo) in 2017. • Three quarterbacks – Alabama’s BRYCE YOUNG (No. 1 overall, Carolina), Ohio State’s C.J. STROUD (No. 2, Houston) and Florida’s ANTHONY RICHARDSON (No. 4, Indianapolis) – were selected in the first round of the 2023 NFL Draft. At least one rookie quarterback has started in Week 1 in 14 of the past 15 seasons.
FROM WORST TO FIRST
Competitive balance, one of the hallmarks of the NFL, gives fans hope entering each season. In 18 of the past 20 seasons, at least one team finished in first place in its division the season after finishing in last or tied for last place. In fact, of the 51 teams in league history to go from “worst-to-first,” 28 of them have done so in the past 20 years (2003-22), including an NFL-record three such teams in 2005 and 2006. Two teams during that span, the 2009 New Orleans Saints and the 2017 Philadelphia Eagles, won the Super Bowl after finishing in last place in their division the season before. Last year, the JACKSONVILLE JAGUARS advanced to the AFC Divisional playoffs after finishing in last place in the AFC South in 2021. They became the third team ever to earn a postseason berth after winning no more than two of their first eight games of a season, joining the 1970 Cincinnati Bengals and 2020 Washington Football Team.
Since 2003, the NFL’s 28 teams to go from “worst-to-first” in their division are the most among the four major professional sports leagues in the United States.
In the NBA, only five teams since the 2003-04 season have finished first in their division after placing in last or tied for last the previous season. There have been seven such teams to accomplish the feat in the past 20 years in both the MLB and the NHL.
DIVISION TITLES UP FOR GRABS
In the 21 seasons since realignment in 2002, 30 different teams have won division titles. In 2022, four divisions – AFC South (Jacksonville), NFC East (Philadelphia), NFC North (Minnesota) and NFC West (San Francisco) – saw a new team finish in first place. Both the Jacksonville Jaguars (AFC South) and Minnesota Vikings (NFC North) won their division after missing the postseason in 2021 and at least two teams have won their divisions the season after missing the playoffs in 19 of the past 20 years. Jacksonville completed the “worst-to-first” turnaround, winning the AFC South the season after finishing in last place in the division. At least one team has won its division the season after finishing in or tied for last place in 18 of the past 20 seasons. Kansas City has won seven consecutive AFC West division titles, tied with the 1973-79 Los Angeles Rams for the second-longest streak of division titles in NFL history. Only the 2009-19 New England Patriots (11 consecutive seasons) have a longer streak.
THE TEAMS WITH THE BEST OPENIN MONTH RECORDS OVER THE PAST 10 YEARS (2013-22):
Getting off to a strong start is important. Over the past 10 years, eight teams – KANSAS CITY, NEW ENGLAND, GREEN BAY, DENVER, the LOS ANGELES RAMS, BALTIMORE, DALLAS, and SEATTLE – have a winning percentage of at least .600 through the season’s first month. Those eight clubs have combined for 49 playoff berths and 13 Super Bowl appearances – including eight Super Bowl championships – during that span. In 2022, the four teams to appear on Championship Weekend – CINCINNATI, KANSAS CITY, PHILADELPHIA and SAN FRANCISCO – began with a combined 8-5 record during the first month of the season.
Over the past 10 years (2013-22), five NFL teams have a winning percentage of .600-or-higher – KANSAS CITY (117-45, .722), NEW ENGLAND (111-51, .685), SEATTLE (103-58-1, .639), GREEN BAY (100-60-2, .623) and PITTSBURGH (100-60-2, .623). Those five clubs have combined for 38 playoff berths, nine Super Bowl appearances and six Super Bowl championships in that span. The Kansas City Chiefs, under the guidance of head coach ANDY REID, have the best regular season record over the past 10 years, qualifying for the postseason nine times and winning Super Bowls LIV and LVII. Kansas City has won seven consecutive AFC West division titles, tied with the 1973-79 Los Angeles Rams for the second-longest streak of division titles in NFL history. Only the 2009-19 New England Patriots (11 consecutive seasons) have a longer streak. The Chiefs have won at least 12 games in five consecutive seasons (2018-22), joining the 2010-17 New England Patriots (eight consecutive seasons) and 2003-09 Indianapolis Colts (seven) as the only teams ever to accomplish the feat in five-or-more consecutive seasons.
The total distance traveled by all teams during the regular season will be 623,189 miles. The teams from the NFC West (113,016) have the highest combined mileage total of all divisions. The remaining division totals ranking from highest to lowest are the AFC West (91,734), AFC East (83,719), NFC East (80,281), NFC South (68,839), AFC North (68,701), AFC South (65,663) and NFC North (51,358). Seven teams – the SEATTLE SEAHAWKS (31,600), SAN FRANCISCO 49ERS (29,958), MIAMI DOLPHINS (27,110), LOS ANGELES RAMS (26,332), LOS ANGELES CHARGERS (26,102), BALTIMORE RAVENS (25,442) and ARIZONA CARDINALS (25,126) – will “travel around the world” at least once. A trip around the globe is 25,000 miles. Five teams will have a three-game road trip at some point during the 2023 season: BALTIMORE (Weeks 4-6), CAROLINA (Weeks 12-14), DENVER (Weeks 13-15), NEW YORK GIANTS (Weeks 9-11) and TENNESSEE (Weeks 9-11). Eleven teams will have a three-game home stand at some point during the 2023 season: BALTIMORE (Weeks 9-11), CLEVELAND (Weeks 3-6), DALLAS (Weeks 12-14), HOUSTON (Weeks 11-13), LAS VEGAS (Weeks 12-15), the LOS ANGELES RAMS (Weeks 5-7), MIAMI (Weeks 14-16), NEW ORLEANS (Weeks 13-15), the NEW YORK JETS (Weeks 12-14), PITTSBURGH (Weeks 8-10) and SAN FRANCISCO (Weeks 3-5). Four teams start the season with back-to-back home games: ATLANTA, DENVER, NEW ENGLAND and PITTSBURGH. Four teams start the season with back-to-back road games: GREEN BAY, LAS VEGAS, MIAMI and SAN FRANCISCO. Four teams finish the season with back-to-back home games: BALTIMORE, INDIANAPOLIS, the NEW YORK GIANTS and WASHINGTON. Four teams finish the season with back-to-back road games: ATLANTA, the LOS ANGELES RAMS, the NEW YORK JETS and PITTSBURGH.
LAS VEGAS TO HOST SUPER BOWL LVIII
Allegiant Stadium, which opened in 2020 and is home to the Las Vegas Raiders, will host the first-ever Las Vegas Super Bowl when Super Bowl LVIII is played on February 11, 2024. This will also be the first time that the Raiders will host the Super Bowl in franchise history. “The Silver and Black has had a long history of fight in our blood, of passion and putting our hearts on the field for our incredible fans,” said SANDRA DOUGLASS MORGAN, president of the Las Vegas Raiders. “I know that Las Vegas will do the same as a first-time host city for Super Bowl LVIII.”
“Being named a Super Bowl host city is a defining moment in the history of Las Vegas,” said STEVE HILL, CEO and president of the Las Vegas Convention and Visitors Authority. “An event of this magnitude combined with the energy of Las Vegas is going to be unmatched. Our entire city is committed to making Super Bowl LVIII the most electrifying sports spectacle ever. The NFL has been an incredible partner, and we look forward to working with their team, the Host Committee and our partners across our destination to showcase Las Vegas as ‘The Greatest Arena on Earth’.” Allegiant Stadium is one of the most technologically advanced stadiums in the NFL. The stadium is fully enclosed with a translucent roof, climate-controlled and contains retractable natural and artificial turf fields, allowing the stadium to host different events at any given time. Large operable walls give fans the opportunity to experience the unique views of the Las Vegas Strip. The stadium has received multiple recognitions since its completion in 2020, including Engineering News-Record’s 2021 Best of the Best in Sports/Entertainment, Best Fan Experience at the Stadium Business Awards and Most Innovative Venue by Tiqets in 2021. It has also established itself as a multi-purpose facility, serving as the home of UNLV’s football team and hosting events like the annual Las Vegas Bowl, Pac-12 Football Championship, Vegas Kickoff Classic and international soccer matches.