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Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Sidwell Friends School's Student Newspaper Since 1974


Horizon Previews Rookies, Teams to Watch in Upcoming NFL Season

AP Photo.
Bryce Young, the 2023 overall number one pick, hopes to lead the Panthers to their first playoff run since 2017.

The National Football League (NFL)  season began on Sept. 7, with the Detroit Lions beating the reigning Super Bowl champion Kansas City Chiefs. This year, there are a few teams in particular that have lofty Super Bowl hopes: the Chiefs, Eagles and the 49ers. Additionally, this year’s new rookie class looks to feature many players who could will an immediate impact on the field. 

 Although the Chiefs were defeated in the season opener, they are still the Super Bowl favorites. Led by reigning MVP, Patrick Mahomes, the Chiefs are primed to run it back again this year. 

However, there have been a few complications to the Chief’s lineup. Currently, three players remained out of practice on Sept. 21: linebacker Nick Bolton, who is out on an ankle injury, returner Richie James, who tore his MCL, and wide receiver Kadarius Toney, who injured his toe. 

The Eagles are coming off of a Super Bowl loss last year, but they may have the most well-rounded roster in the league. With Jalen Hurts at quarterback, and one of the best offensive lines in the NFL, their offense is formidable — but what stands out most about the Eagles is their defense. 

Despite some key losses, namely C.J. Gardner Johnson and Javon Hargrave, the Eagles still have one of the best defenses in the NFL. 

With the new additions of Nolan Smith and Jalen Carter, the Eagles added promising young players to an already impressive defensive line. The Eagles hope to repeat their success on both sides of the ball this year. 

The final team coming into the season with very high expectations is the 49ers. Last year they fell short in the playoffs, but multiple quarterbacks suffered injuries in the National Football Conference (NFC) championship game. Last season, the 49ers traded for superstar running back Christian McCaffery, who has elevated their rushing attack. 

The 49ers defense is commanded by veteran linebacker Fred Warner. They also have Javon Hargrave, defensive tackle, and reigning Defensive Player of the Year Nick Bosa, both of whom will make major impacts for the team. 

The new rookie class has players at all positions that could succeed early in the season. Bryce Young, the number one overall pick, hopes that he can lead the Panthers to their first playoff run since 2017. 

Young was an exciting playmaker at the University of Alabama, but he now joins a Panthers team that has struggled the past couple of years. With an average offensive line and a lack of notable wide receivers, especially with D.J. Chark Jr. injured, Young will have to exceed expectations to end the Panthers’ playoff drought. 

Another intriguing rookie is the Falcons new running back Bijan Robinson. Robinson was the eighth overall pick, which is rare for his position, but he was also the most highly-touted running back prospect since Saquon Barkley in 2018. Robinson is also put in a unique position to succeed, given that the Falcons offense runs the ball at a high rate and has one of the best offensive lines in the league. 

One challenge posed for Robinson is that he will be sharing the backfield with a 1,000-yard rusher from last year, Tyler Allegier, but there is still optimism that he can breakout.

Another team bringing in an exciting rookie class is Houston, who had picks two and three. They took the former Ohio State quarterback C.J. Stroud and Alabama linebacker, Will Anderson Jr. Although the Texans are not expected to perform well this year, they are re-building and have gained two potential franchise players for their young team.

Overall, the 2023-2024 NFL season looks to have lots of excitement and surprise in store for audiences. With many intriguing teams, every game will likely be filled with action as teams fight for the chance for greatness.

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