June 17, 2024

2023 NFL season: 50 things to know with 50 days until Week 1 kickoff, including ominous QB stat for Eagles

The NFL season can’t come soon enough! Only 50 more days until the season kicks off with the defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs hosting the Lions on September 7. 

Our research collective here at CBS Sports, including Ryan Satsky and myself, churned out 50 nuggets to hype the start of the season. Bring your appetite, from historic trends, betting info and fantasy, you’ll get your fill.

1. The Chiefs are the Super Bowl favorites and are trying to become the first repeat Super Bowl champions since the 2003-04 Patriots. The last time the preseason Super Bowl favorite actually won the Super Bowl was in 2018 (Patriots).

2. Kansas City is looking to become the third team ever to reach four Super Bowls in a five-year span, along with the 1990-93 Bills & 2014-18 Patriots.

3. The Chiefs have company in the AFC as the Chiefs and Bengals have met in the past two AFC Championship games. They could be the third matchup to meet in three straight Conference Championship games (1974-76 Steelers/Raiders, 1992-94 Cowboys/49ers).

4. Any championship talk has to include Buffalo. Over the past three seasons, the Bills lead the NFL outright in scoring offense and scoring defense, without a title to show for it though. They are the fifth team since 1950 to lead the NFL in scoring offense and scoring defense in a  three-year span, and the other four teams all won a title during their spans (1953-55 Browns, 1960-62 Packers, 1962-64 Packers, 1972-74 Dolphins).

5. The AFC got even more loaded with the Aaron Rodgers trade. The Jets allowed the fourth-fewest PPG in the NFL last season. The last time Aaron Rodgers had a top-eight scoring defense was 2010, his only Super Bowl victory.

6. Speaking of titles, the last 17 QBs to lose their Super Bowl debut have not made it back to the Super Bowl. That’s bad news if you’re Jalen Hurts (among others).

7. One player who won’t be winning a title this year is Tom Brady, who retired with seven Super Bowl rings, as many as all active QBs combined (as starters). Patrick Mahomes (2), Aaron Rodgers (1), Russell Wilson (1), Matthew Stafford (1), Nick Foles (1) and Joe Flacco (1) have seven combined (Foles and Flacco are currently free agents).

8. The Buccaneers aren’t the only team that misses Tom Brady. The Patriots are 25-26 in the past three seasons since Brady left, including a 47-17 playoff loss to the Bills in 2021. They went 249-75 with Brady as their starting QB.

9. Brady’s retirement kicked off a busy QB carousel that included Aaron Rodgers’ trade to the Jets and Derek Carr’s signing with the Saints. When the dust settled, Dak Prescott was left as the longest tenured QB with his current team, despite being drafted in 2016. This QB landscape is unprecedented. It is the first time in the Super Bowl era (since 1966) no QB has an active stretch of nine-plus seasons with his current team. 

10. The new QB guard includes Bryce Young, C.J. Stroud and Anthony Richardson, who were all drafted in the top four in 2023. Temper your early expectations because the last first-round pick QB to win a playoff game as a rookie was Mark Sanchez in 2009. 

11. The Cardinals may already have their eyes on the top prize of the 2024 NFL Draft, which is expected to be USC QB Caleb Williams. Arizona is an underdog in every game this season and they also have the 2024 Texans’ first-round pick. Only one team in the Common Draft Era (since 1967) picked one-two in the same draft. The 1992 Colts (Steve Emtman & Quentin Coryatt). 

Dak Prescott
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12. Dak Prescott threw 15 interceptions in just 12 games last season. He became the first QB in NFL history to lead the NFL in interceptions despite missing five+ games.

13. Patrick Mahomes is one of five QBs in NFL history with multiple MVPs & Super Bowl titles (Johnny Unitas, Joe Montana, Peyton Manning, Tom Brady). He is the youngest to accomplish the feat by four years.

14. Only one of Mahomes’ 48 Pass TD last season (including playoffs) traveled 20-plus yards downfield, the same number of deep ball TDs as Christian McCaffrey, Taysom Hill and David Blough. It was a different formula for Mahomes after the Tyreek Hill trade as the Chiefs became the 1st team since the 1981 Chargers to lead the regular season in scoring offense after losing a Pro Bowl WR.

15. Within his first three seasons, Joe Burrow has started half of the Bengals playoff wins in franchise history (five out of ten). He is one of three QBs in NFL history with five-plus playoff wins in his first three NFL seasons (Ben Roethlisberger, Russell Wilson).

16. The Chargers have scored more points and have allowed more points in Justin Herbert’s starts than any other QB through three NFL seasons since the 1970 merger

Herbert has the most passing yards (14,089) through three seasons in NFL history. He has the second-most pass TD (94) through three seasons trailing Dan Marino (98).

17. In 2022, the loaded 2020 QB class became the first group to have four QBs with 20 Pass TD in a season since the 2004 class in 2009. Hurts has already gotten a massive payday this offseason and Burrow and Herbert await theirs. 

18. Last season, Josh Allen finished second in the NFL in total yards and TDs behind Patrick Mahomes. He became the first player to lead the NFL in turnovers & make the playoffs since eventual SB-winner Eli Manning in 2007.

19. Kirk Cousins/Justin Jefferson and Josh Allen/Stefon Diggs have each combined for 4,000+ yards as passer-receiver duos in the past three seasons. Since 1991, the only other passer-receiver duos with 4,000+ yards in their first three seasons as teammates are Peyton Manning/Demaryius Thomas and Eli Manning/Odell Beckham Jr.

20. Justin Jefferson has 24 career 100-yard receiving games through three seasons. That’s already the most by any player through FOUR seasons in NFL history (Randy Moss has 23). 

21. Ja’Marr Chase has 3,089 career receiving yards (regular season and postseason), the second-most through two career seasons in NFL history (Randy Moss). The record through three seasons is held by Justin Jefferson (4,872)

22. Mike Evans has nine straight seasons with 1,000 receiving yards, the longest streak to begin a career in NFL history. Only Jerry Rice (11 straight) has a longer streak at any point in a career.

23. Contrary to popular opinion, running backs exist too. However, the average kicker makes more per season ($2.2M) than the average running back ($1.8M). 

24. Last season, Josh Jacobs & Davante Adams became the first duo with 1,500+ rushing/receiving yards since Hall of Famers Edgerrin James and Marvin Harrison did it in 1999.

Derrick Henry
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25. Derrick Henry has rushed for 6,042 yards in the past four seasons, the most in a four-year span since LaDainian Tomlinson from 2004-07 (6,086). Henry has rushed for 109.9 yards per game in the past four seasons, the most by any player in any four-year span since Eric Dickerson from 1984-87 (111.2)

26. Nick Chubb is the first player with at least 6,000 rush yards and at least five yards per rush in his first five NFL seasons since Jim Brown from 1957-61.

27. Falcons rookie RB Bijan Robinson, the eighth overall pick in 2023, is getting top pick hype in fantasy drafts. The last rookie to lead all RBs in fantasy points (PPR) was Eric Dickerson in 1983.

28. Austin Ekeler is the 7th player since the 1970 merger to lead the NFL in touchdowns scored in consecutive seasons, and 1st since Todd Gurley. He can become the 1st player to lead the NFL in scrimmage touchdowns in 3 straight seasons since Jim Brown from 1957-59.

29. The 49ers last 1,000-yard rusher was Frank Gore in 2014. That’s the longest active drought in the league without a 1,000-yard rusher (eight seasons). Christian McCaffrey looks poised to snap that streak in 2023. 

30. The Bears offense finished first in rushing (3,014) and last in passing (2,219 yards) last season. They had 795 more rush yards than pass yards, the largest margin by any team since the 1978 Chiefs.

31. NFL owners decided against voting to modify the QB sneak push this offseason, music to Jalen Hurts’ ears. Between the regular season and the playoffs, Hurts was 36-39 converting QB sneaks into 1st downs last season (92.3%), including 6-6 in the Super Bowl. 

He was more likely to convert a QB sneak last year than … 

  • Stephen Curry is to make a free throw in his career (90.9%)
  • Tiger Woods is to make a cut in his career (90.6%)
  • Mariano Rivera was to convert a save opportunity in his career (89.1%)

32. The Lions are the NFC North favorites but don’t forget they haven’t won a playoff game since January 5, 1992. It’s the longest active playoff win drought in the NFL. How long ago was that? Brett Favre was still on the Falcons. 

33. The Dolphins have not won a playoff game since 2000. The only MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL teams with a longer active drought without winning a playoff round are the Detroit Lions and Cincinnati Reds.

34. The Jets have missed 12 straight postseasons, tied with the Buffalo Sabres for longest active drought in MLB/NBA/NHL/NFL. All 13 Jets starting QBs during their 12-year playoff drought have a losing record in that span.

35. The Jets have not had a 4,000-yard passer since Joe Namath in 1967, the second-longest active drought in the NFL, trailing the Bears, who have never had a 4,000-yard passer in their 103-year franchise history.

Jordan Love
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36. Jordan Love will be the first Packers QB not named Aaron Rodgers or Brett Favre to start in Week 1 since Don Majkowski in 1992. Green Bay’s two different Week 1 starting QB since 1993 are the fewest in the NFL.

37. The Colts & Commanders will each start a different Week 1 QB for the seventh straight season, both tying the record for the longest streak in NFL history (last accomplished by the 2013-19 Browns)

38. Every NFC South team will have a different starting QB to begin this season compared with Week 1 of 2022. It’ll be the 2nd division in NFL history where every team had a different season-opening starting QB from the previous season (1973 AFC West).

39. The NFC East has gone 18 straight seasons without a repeat champion, the longest streak by a division in NFL history. The Eagles were the last NFC East team to repeat (2001-04). The 2022 NFC East finished with the fourth-highest win percentage (.647) by any division in NFL history (2013 NFC West, 2007 AFC South, 1936 NFL Western). 

40. All four AFC North teams currently have a preseason win total of nine-plus games. There has never been a division in NFL history to have every team finish with a winning record.

41. The Vikings are due for regression after winning 13 games despite a negative point differential last season. The 2022 Vikings were also the 13th team in NFL history with nine-plus one-score wins in a season. Only four of the previous 12 teams returned to the playoffs the following season. 

42. The 2022 Jaguars became the first team in NFL history to win a playoff game after having the worst record in the NFL the previous season. This season, they could tie the NFL record for the quickest turnaround from worst record to Super Bowl appearance, along with the 1979-81 49ers, 2001-03 Panthers & 2019-21 Bengals. 

43. The 2022 Titans were the first team since the 2005 49ers to finish bottom-3 in passing offense and passing defense. Perhaps DeAndre Hopkins can help change part of that trend.

44. The Broncos have the recipe for a turnaround. They had the worst scoring offense in the NFL last season (16.9 PPG). Sean Payton’s teams average the most PPG among any head coach in NFL history (27.6) with a minimum of 50 games.

45. Russell Wilson & Sean Payton will be the first QB-head coach duo to each have won a Super Bowl with a previous team. No head coach has won a Super Bowl with multiple teams. Peyton Manning and Tom Brady are the only QBs to win a Super Bowl with multiple teams.

46. Mike Tomlin holds the NFL record for most consecutive seasons (16) without a losing record to begin a head coaching career. He is tied with former Orioles manager Earl Weaver for the sixth-longest streak in MLB/NBA/NFL/NHL history (eight seasons behind record-holder Joe McCarthy)

47. 2017 NFL Draft class & AFC North division mates T.J. Watt & Myles Garrett rank third and seventh respectively among players with the most sacks through six NFL seasons. The other five players in the top seven are Reggie White, DeMarcus Ware, Derrick Thomas and J.J. Watt!

48. The 49ers led the NFL in scoring defense and total defense last season for the first time in franchise history. One thing that helped was tackling. They had the fewest missed tackles (93) in the NFL per PFF. They made 91.3% of potential tackles, so they were more likely to successfully make a tackle than Justin Tucker is to make a field goal in his career (90.5%). 

49. The defending Super Bowl champion Chiefs host the Lions to kickoff the 2023 NFL season in 50 days. Detroit will have its hands full because Patrick Mahomes is a perfect 5-0 in Week 1 games with 19 total TD and zero turnovers.

50. The Chiefs have gone 33 straight games without losing by five-plus points, tied for the fourth-longest streak in NFL history. They are one game shy of tying the 1940-42 Bears & 1965-67 Packers for second on the list.

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