NFL season 2023 begins: Chiefs hunt for back-to-back Super Bowls, Aaron Rodgers joins Jets and more to know

The start of the NFL regular season is only a few hours away, and from the time the Kansas City Chiefs won Super Bowl LVII over the Philadelphia Eagles to their matchup against the Detroit Lions, a lot has happened.

The Chiefs have seemed to always be on the upswing since Patrick Mahomes took the reins as the starting quarterback. The Lions nearly made the playoffs for the first time since 2016 and rookie running back Jahmyr Gibbs appears to be ready to carry the load for the offense.

But there’s a lot more that’s happened over the course of the offseason.


Chiefs on quest for back-to-back titles

A flag flies celebrating the Chiefs’ Super Bowl LVII victory before a preseason game against the Cleveland Browns on Aug 26, 2023, at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium in Kansas City, Missouri. (Scott Winters/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images)

The Chiefs will embark on a quest for something that hasn’t been done in the NFL since the 2003 and 2004 seasons: win back-to-back Super Bowl titles.

Patrick Mahomes has been dominant since he took over as the team’s starting quarterback. He’s led the Chiefs to five consecutive AFC Championship Games, three Super Bowls in the last four years and two victories, including last year over the Philadelphia Eagles.

Tom Brady last led the New England Patriots to back-to-back tiles. But the task is incredibly difficult and getting tougher by the year.

The Chiefs start their season Thursday night against the Detroit Lions.

Aaron Rodgers changes shades of green

Aaron Rodgers vs Giants

Aaron Rodgers of the New York Jets looks on from the sideline during the preseason game against the New York Giants at MetLife Stadium on August 26, 2023, in East Rutherford, New Jersey. (Mike Stobe/Getty Images)

In the biggest move of the offseason, the New York Jets acquired Aaron Rodgers from the Green Bay Packers. The four-time MVP and Super Bowl winner brings loads of experience and his incredible quarterbacking abilities to a team in desperate need of it.

Rodgers will have plenty of targets to reinvigorate the offense. Dalvin Cook joined the backfield and Allen Lazard, Randall Cobb and Mecole Hardman were added as wide receiver targets. Add those guys to Garrett Wilson and the Jets’ offense is primed to take flight and soar.

The defense took a giant leap forward last season while the offense hasn’t been ranked above 25th in either points scored or yards gained since 2018 when Sam Darnold was slinging the pill.

The Jets start their season Monday against the Buffalo Bills.


No Tom Brady

For the first time since the 1999 season, Tom Brady will not be gracing the sidelines of an NFL game. He announced his retirement from the NFL “for good” back in February after the Tampa Bay Buccaneers were eliminated from the playoffs.

Brady retired as arguably the greatest quarterback to ever play in the NFL. He’s the all-time leader in passing yards (89,214) and touchdown passes (649). He is a seven-time Super Bowl winner, 15-time Pro Bowler and three-time MVP.

He’s also rebuffed several calls to come back and play and appears to be focusing on several ventures off the field.

Brady will be honored by the Patriots during their Week 1 game against the Eagles.


NFL’s gambling crackdown

NFL teams have sponsorships with several sports betting companies ever since the Supreme Court effectively allowed states to pass legalized sports gambling laws. But with that, the league has had to navigate some murky waters when it comes to players betting on games.

Players Jameson Williams, Quintez Cephus, C.J. Moore, Shaka Toney, Stanley Berryhill Eyioma Uwazurike, Isaiah Rodgers, Rashod Berry, Demetrius Taylor and Nicholas Petit-Frere were among those suspended before the start of the 2023 season.

Hope springs for some

Last year, there were seven teams that made the postseason that weren’t there in the year prior. It means that the 18 teams that missed the playoffs last season have a chance to play in January and even February.

The New England Patriots, New York Jets, Pittsburgh Steelers, Cleveland Browns, Tennessee Titans, Indianapolis Colts, Houston Texans, Las Vegas Raiders, Denver Broncos, Washington Commanders, Detroit Lions, Green Bay Packers, Chicago Bears, Carolina Panthers, New Orleans Saints, Atlanta Falcons, Los Angeles Rams and Arizona Cardinals are all in line for a potential to make the jump.

On the final day of the 2022 season, 19 teams were still in contention for the Super Bowl.

Jaguars look to pounce

Trevor Lawrence comes out of the tunnel

Trevor Lawrence of the Jacksonville Jaguars runs out of the tunnel against the Miami Dolphins before the game at EverBank Stadium on August 26, 2023, in Jacksonville, Florida. (Perry Knotts/Getty Images)

The Jacksonville Jaguars ended the 2021 season as the worst team in the league. In 2022, Trevor Lawrence led Jacksonville to an AFC South Division title. In 18 of the last 20 years, at least one team has won its division the year after finishing dead last.

Looking at you: Jets, Browns, Texans, Broncos, Commanders, Bears, Falcons and Cardinals.


Coaching carousel

DeMeco Ryans coaches

Houston Texans head coach DeMeco Ryans is shown on the sidelines during the preseason game against the Saints in New Orleans on August 27, 2023. (Wesley Hitt/Getty Images)

Several head coaching changes were made before the start of the season.

Jonathan Gannon took over for the Arizona Cardinals, Frank Reich became the head coach of the Carolina Panthers, Sean Payton returned to the league to take the Denver Broncos job, DeMeco Ryans will lead the Houston Texans and Shane Steichen will coach the Indianapolis Colts.

Stadium rebrands

The Cleveland Browns and Jacksonville Jaguars were the two teams to make stadium name changes in the offseason.

The Browns’ home field will be called Cleveland Browns Stadium. The Jaguars will play at EverBank Stadium.

The more things change …

Jimmy Garoppolo vs Cowboys

Jimmy Garoppolo of the Las Vegas Raiders warms up before a preseason game against the Dallas Cowboys at AT&T Stadium on August 26, 2023, in Arlington, Texas. (Richard Rodriguez/Getty Images)

Aaron Rodgers wasn’t the only big-name player on the move over the course of the offseason. Derek Carr, Jimmy Garoppolo, D.J. Moore, Dalvin Cook, DeAndre Hopkins, Javon Hargrave and Orlando Brown were among those who changed sides.

Read more about the offseason moves here.

The more things stay the same …

Lamar Jackson throws

Lamar Jackson of the Baltimore Ravens warms up prior to a preseason game against the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at Raymond James Stadium on August 26, 2023, in Tampa, Florida. (Kevin Sabitus/Getty Images)

While there were some movers and shakers in the offseason, others stayed put.

Lamar Jackson, Daniel Jones, Justin Herbert, Jalen Hurts, Daniel Jones, Geno Smith, Laremy Tunsil, Andrew Thomas, Jeffery Simmons, Daron Payne, Dexter Lawrence and Trey Hendrickson were just some of the players who signed lucrative extensions.

There was some controversy over the running backs market during the offseason. But Saquon Barkley and Josh Jacobs eventually elected to sign their franchise tenders and report to training camp.


Super Bowl LVIII

Allegiant Stadium in January 2023

A general view during the national anthem prior to a game between the Kansas City Chiefs and Las Vegas Raiders at Allegiant Stadium on January 7, 2023, in Las Vegas. (Jeff Bottari/Getty Images)

The 2023 regular season will come to an end on Jan. 7, 2024. The NFL playoffs will begin on Jan. 13.

Super Bowl LVIII will be placed at Allegiant Stadium – the home of the Las Vegas Raiders – on Feb. 11.

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