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AFC dominates post-Super Bowl list



The NFL season is over, but the NFL Power Rankings never sleep, even in the absence of football. It’s essential to get a feel for the outlook of all 32 franchises before free agency and the NFL Draft. Which teams are in a good or bad position before we head into the meat of the NFL offseason?

Way Too Early NFL Power Rankings: Tier 5 | Rebuilding or floundering

The Tier 5 teams are either rebuilding or trying to convince themselves they don’t have to.

32) Jacksonville Jaguars

The Jacksonville Jaguars are a raging dumpster fire. Shad Khan’s unwillingness to part ways with general manager Trent Baalke sparked a full-out fan revolt against the team’s owner. They even went as far as to dress like clowns for Jacksonville’s final home game. 

Doug Pederson should help with Trevor Lawrence’s progression as an NFL QB. However, there are several questions about the organization, and the roster needs a rebuild to be competitive again. They have over $55 million in salary cap space to spend, should they choose to.

31) Houston Texans

The Texans might be even more dysfunctional than the Jaguars. David Culley miraculously won four games with a roster that we thought might struggle to win one. But after just one season with a subpar roster, the organization cut Culley. We won’t get into the ridiculousness of their head coaching search. 

Despite being generally terrible, the Texans still don’t have a ton of room to operate with in terms of cap space. They rank just 15th in the league with slightly less than $20 million available. They have questions at nearly every spot on the roster, and we’ve yet to see any specific direction from this team since Bill O’Brien left.  

30) New York Jets

The Jets are one of the youngest teams in the NFL. It wouldn’t hurt for the front office to go outside of the organization in free agency to fill a few leadership roles. They have $44 million to work with and a lot of holes to fill on the roster, particularly on the defensive side of the ball. 

The problem is they must also do everything in their power to protect their second-year quarterback. That means not only adding help on the offensive line but also revamping their weapons. They’ll find themselves low in the NFL Power Rankings until they can do that. 

29) Detroit Lions

The Lions appear to be one of the basement-dwelling teams from 2021 that could be on the upswing moving forward. Dan Campbell somehow propelled a hilariously underwhelming group of offensive weapons to a three-win season. But the victories themselves weren’t the most impressive part.

Detroit played in a ton of close games throughout the season. Six of the Lions’ 13 losses were one-score contests. Detroit also won three of its last seven games. Although they only have about $21 million in salary cap space, they have five picks in the top 100 and 10 total selections.

28) New Orleans Saints

The Saints are a complete unknown heading into the 2022 campaign. They’re currently $60 million in salary cap debt, and their head coach of 15 years just up and walked away from the game. They don’t have a quarterback at the moment, and they’ll probably lose multiple vital contributors on defense.

Their offensive line is struggling to stay healthy, and there doesn’t seem to be money in the budget to retain Terron Armstead. Michael Thomas is a complete wild card moving forward, and the rest of the receiving corps is underwhelming at best.

27) Carolina Panthers

Matt Rhule and the Panthers’ front office have made their fair share of mistakes thus far in his tenure. Trading assets for Sam Darnold was a big mistake, especially given the 2021 QB draft class. The second mistake was making ex-offensive coordinator Joe Brady the fall guy, especially when one of the biggest reasons for his firing was that the Panthers weren’t running the ball enough. Third, Rhule admitted they didn’t draft Rashawn Slater because of his arm length.

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Drafting Jaycee Horn wasn’t a mistake, but admitting to an antiquated arm length threshold was a bad look. No quarterback or running back will prosper behind the current iteration of the Panthers’ OL. And with only $18 million in spending money this March, I struggle to see how they’ll improve there or in the NFL Power Rankings. 

26) New York Giants

As of mid-February, nobody has had a better offseason than the New York Football Giants. If there wasn’t an incredible retirement party thrown for former general manager Dave Gettleman, there should have been. They also did the right thing by relieving Joe Judge of his duties.

Why? Well, forcing a general manager into a head coach that ownership wants is a bad start to a professional relationship. After defensive coordinator Patrick Graham decided to move on, New York hired Joe Schoen, Brian Daboll, Mike Kafka, and Wink Martindale. That’s an incredible staff, and it came together incredibly fast. For the first time in a long time, the Giants look to be headed in the right direction.

25) Atlanta Falcons

The Falcons were an outlier in 2021. They were legitimately terrible on both sides of the ball, yet somehow snuck their way into a seven-win season. For reference, they had a worse point differential than the three-win Detroit Lions. They finished with the 30th-ranked DVOA (Football Outsiders’ efficiency metric).

Kyle Pitts appears headed for superstardom, but the rest of the roster needs work. Aside from A.J. Terrell and Grady Jarrett, the defense struggles. Losing Calvin Ridley was a blow to the offense, and the offensive line is below-average in spite of the significant draft resources Atlanta’s front office has expended on the unit.

The organization needs to be patient with Arthur Smith and Terry Fontenot because there is still a lot of work to do on this roster. 

24) Chicago Bears

Matt Eberflus is an excellent defensive coordinator, but it was a bit surprising to see the Bears hire him as their next head coach. Ryan Poles takes over as general manager, and he has his work cut out for him. The Bears’ offensive line struggled in 2021, and the defense has lost some talent over the past few years.

Justin Fields flashed some special traits as a passer and runner. However, the offense is set to lose Allen Robinson, leaving only Darnell Mooney as a legitimate receiving threat. With no first-round pick in the 2022 NFL Draft, it’ll be difficult to address the line and receiver positions in the offseason.

23) Pittsburgh Steelers

The Steelers’ 2021 season doesn’t make sense. They somehow made the playoffs despite posting inefficient numbers in all three phases. Their weighted DVOA ranked 26th in the NFL. Yet, Mike Tomlin somehow led this team to its 16th straight season of .500 or better.

Their immediate future looks bleak. They don’t have a viable option at quarterback. Their offensive line is a trainwreck, and the defense is held together only by their incredible pass rush. Even Minkah Fitzpatrick had his struggles in 2021.

If the Steelers attack the offensive line in free agency and hit on a QB in the draft, they’ll pick up right where they left off. But for now, 2022 looks like it could be the one to break Tomlin’s streak.

Way Too Early NFL Power Rankings: Tier 4 | Not far away

The three teams in Tier 4 aren’t that far away. With a few adjustments, they could all be playoff teams in 2022.

22) Washington Commanders

We were all guilty of overestimating the Washington defense in 2021. With names like Chase Young, Montez Sweat, and Jonathan Allen, it should have been a dominant unit. They even improved at cornerback on paper with the addition of William Jackson III. Kamren Curl was a great hit in the draft.

But things turned sour for Washington, leading to a physical altercation between Allen and Da’Ron Payne, who were college teammates at Alabama. They finished 29th in expected points added (EPA) per play allowed on defense. The Washington defense couldn’t get to the passer, and they couldn’t defend the ball in the air.

21) Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings are in a precarious position heading into 2022. The Lions and Bears aren’t competitors yet, and the Packers’ future is on hold awaiting a decision from Aaron Rodgers.

Meanwhile, the Vikings are under new management. They hired Kwesi Adofo-Mensah as general manager and Kevin O’Connell as their next head coach. The team isn’t talented enough to truly compete for a championship, but if Rodgers walks, there isn’t much keeping Minnesota from the playoffs.

They’re also dangerously over the cap, which could be managed through a Kirk Cousins restructure. But the staff would need to want him around past 2022 for that to make sense. Until there’s more clarity, it’s difficult to have Minnesota any higher in the NFL Power Rankings. 

20) Miami Dolphins

It’s been a tumultuous 20+ years for the Miami Dolphins. But the past few months have been a real doozy. They fired a successful head coach in Brian Flores, who then decided to sue the NFL. He accused them of trying to pay him to tank in 2019. They’ve watched Joe Burrow and Justin Herbert run laps on Tua Tagovailoa.

But they also made a head coaching hire that was almost universally loved in Mike McDaniel. The hope is for McDaniel to cultivate an offensive environment that suits Tua and the talent around him. I’d expect Jaylen Waddle to become an even bigger focal point in the offense, which is a great thing.

Way Too Early NFL Power Rankings: Tier 3 | No man’s land

These teams have good rosters that could compete for the playoffs. However, there are some unknowns with a few clubs in this group, and a lot hinges on the quarterbacks of each franchise.

19) Denver Broncos

The Broncos are so close. They have control of four solid playmakers at receiver, another two at tight end, and one great running back. They have a star in Patrick Surtain II and one of the best free safeties in the NFL. Denver simply can’t figure out the quarterback position. They gave up on Drew Lock and rolled with Teddy Bridgewater for most of the season.

Now, if they make a move and somehow acquire Rodgers, we’re looking at a Super Bowl-caliber roster, even in a tough AFC West. Denver doesn’t deserve to see a great roster foiled by subpar quarterback play. If they can figure that out, they pose a serious threat in the AFC.

18) Las Vegas Raiders

The Raiders overachieved in the face of turmoil for the entire 2021 NFL season. Derek Carr is good enough to keep the Raiders competitive, and Josh McDaniels could be the right fit to find some offensive consistency. 

But their defensive makeup needs reimagining. Maxx Crosby and Trevon Moehrig are foundational pieces, and Nate Hobbs looks good in the slot. Aside from those three, there aren’t any building blocks. Las Vegas also needs to replace Henry Ruggs’ speed on the outside. They sorely missed that vertical threat. 

17) Seattle Seahawks

The Seahawks will most likely rise as the season creeps closer. However, it’s difficult to properly place Seattle until we know for sure the fate of franchise QB Russell Wilson. Reports indicate that he’s staying, but until the rumor dies completely, there will be at least some mystery. 

The Seahawks need a difference-making pass rusher. There are a few in the free agency market they could look at. They also have nearly $35 million in salary cap space to work with.

16) Philadelphia Eagles

The Eagles need another outside receiving threat. I’d expect prospects like Treylon Burks and Drake London to be in consideration midway through Round 1, where the Eagles have three draft picks. The Eagles don’t have a mass of salary cap space to work with, but they have a golden opportunity to acquire multiple building blocks in the draft. That also gives them an excellent chance to rise in the NFL Power Rankings. 

What anybody outside of the organization thinks of Jalen Hurts is irrelevant. He’s inexpensive and he can find ways to win football games. His rushing ability is an added layer, and a second good receiver will only help in his development. Philadelphia’s offensive line is great, and they have some solid veterans on the defensive front. If they can find better linebacker play, this defense could surprise people in 2022. 

15) Tampa Bay Buccaneers

The Buccaneers should probably be lower at this point, but I’m curious to see what they’re able to do at quarterback. The roster is still rock solid, even if they’re unable to retain Chris Godwin. The absence of a quarterback is significant, but Tampa Bay has great players up and down their roster. 

Tom Brady retired still playing at an incredible level, so this won’t be as “easy” as trying to replace a heavily washed Peyton Manning. Heck, many believed that Brady deserved the MVP over Rodgers. However, because of their team success, the Bucs don’t have great draft capital, and they’re just barely in the black in terms of the cap. So it’ll be nearly impossible to improve in 2021. 

14) Green Bay Packers

If Rodgers returns, the Packers are a top-seven team. If he retires or is traded, they’re a bottom-tier team in the worst division in football. That’s how much Rodgers means to Green Bay. Being $50 million over the cap isn’t ideal, either. 

There are many questions to be answered by the Packers this offseason. Until they are, it’s easier to keep them toward the middle of the pack. It won’t be easy to become cap compliant, but they can do it with a few anticipated moves. Retaining Davante Adams will be key. 

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Chiefs vs. 49ers, Bengals vs. Eagles, and More




We’ve nearly made it. After three weeks of preseason play, 18 weeks of regular-season action, and two weeks of playoffs, Sunday’s Championship Games will determine which teams play in Super Bowl 57.

The Kansas City Chiefs, Cincinnati Bengals, Philadelphia Eagles, and San Francisco 49ers are all still alive. Which of the four potential Super Bowl matchups would be the most intriguing?

Potential Super Bowl Matchups Ranked

4) Chiefs vs. 49ers

This would be a rematch of the Super Bowl we saw just three years ago. Down 20-10 well into the fourth quarter, Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs to three touchdown drives in the final six minutes and change as Kansas City emerged with the victory.

A Chiefs-49ers redux would give Kyle Shanahan a chance to get revenge and earn his first Lombardi Trophy. Perhaps more importantly, Kansas City vs. San Francisco would pit the NFL’s best offense against the league’s top defense. How would Andy Reid game plan to face DeMeco Ryans’ unit this time around? Could Fred Warner help slow down Travis Kelce?

Mahomes and the Chiefs have hosted five consecutive AFC title games, but adding another Super Bowl to the mix would truly move this Kansas City iteration into a place among the all-time great dynasties.

3) 49ers vs. Bengals

Speaking of revenge, a 49ers-Bengals Super Bowl would allow Cincinnati the opportunity to avenge two losses from more than 30 years ago. Joe Montana and the 49ers beat Ken Anderson’s Bengals in Super Bowl XVI, then took down a Boomer Esiason-led Cincinnati squad in Super Bowl XXIII.

MORE: How the Cincinnati Bengals Hold Clear Advantages Over Kansas City Chiefs

Brock Purdy will likely be the main storyline if he’s involved in this year’s Super Bowl. The final pick of the 2022 NFL Draft, Purdy has already set new high-water marks for future “Mr. Irrelevants.” But winning a Super Bowl as a rookie seventh-rounder would eclipse what nearly anyone thought was possible when Purdy took over for Jimmy Garoppolo in December.

The Bengals nearly made it to the mountaintop last season. After a surprising playoff run that saw them take down the Las Vegas Raiders, Tennessee Titans, and Chiefs, Cincinnati narrowly lost to the Los Angeles Rams in the Super Bowl. Joe Burrow is now viewed as a top-three NFL quarterback, and winning a ring in just his third pro campaign would put him on a Hall of Fame track.

2) Bengals vs. Eagles

Burrow faced the Eagles during his rookie campaign when Carson Wentz was still Philadelphia’s starting quarterback. He’s never played against Jalen Hurts in the NFL, but the two did square off in the 2019 College Football Semifinals. Burrow tossed seven touchdowns and ran for another as LSU dominated Oklahoma 63-28.

Burrow and Hurts are now two of the NFL’s best signal-callers. While a Bengals-Eagles Super Bowl likely wouldn’t result in 91 total points, it could be a high-scoring affair. Cincinnati and Philadelphia rank top five in offensive efficiency, and these clubs boast two of the more dynamic wide receiver duos in the league.

However, the Bengals and Eagles also have near-elite defenses. This Super Bowl would likely be a battle of adjustments as coordinators on both sides tweak their schemes. Between Shane Steichen, Jonathan Gannon, Brian Callahan, and Lou Anarumo, Cincinnati and Philadelphia have three coordinators in the running for head coaching jobs and another — Anarumo — who should be.

1) Eagles vs. Chiefs

We’ve gotten lucky enough to see the four best NFL teams advance to their respective conference title games. Eagles-Chiefs, a matchup of the NFC and AFC’s top seeds, would represent a contest between the clubs that have been atop their respective conferences for most of the season.

Since becoming Kansas City’s head coach, Andy Reid is 3-0 against Philadelphia, but a Super Bowl victory over his old team would mean more than any regular-season victory. Only one of those games included Mahomes or Hurts, a Week 4 matchup in 2021 that involved 72 combined points.

MORE: 3 Kansas City Chiefs Keys to Victory vs. the Cincinnati Bengals

While the core of these teams has stayed relatively intact since that contest, there are two notable changes: the Chiefs traded Tyreek Hill, and the Eagles acquired A.J. Brown. Kansas City hasn’t missed a beat with Hill gone, while Brown has only made Philadelphia’s offense all the more explosive.

Any of the four potential Super Bowl matchups will be excellent, and there isn’t a team among the four remaining that doesn’t deserve to have made it this far. But Eagles vs. Chiefs would present the most explosive storylines and, hopefully, the most explosive game.

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NFL Conference Championship Predictions and Picks Against the Spread




We’ve reached the Conference Championship games. Four teams enter. Two teams leave. Here’s a final look at our predictions and picks for both games. The following betting odds are for picks against the spread as well as moneylines based on DraftKings Sportsbook.

NFL Conference Championship Predictions and Picks

Just like during the NFL regular season, the playoffs feature the expected, the moderately unexpected, and the completely unexpected. When betting on point spreads and moneylines, we need to focus on the first two outcomes.

What are the highest-probability game scripts? Which interesting subplots could emerge? For example, we cannot anticipate when a little-used fullback will fall into the end zone twice in one half. But we can assess the likelihood that one team’s backfield will earn more scoring opportunities.

With that in mind, here are our preliminary assessments of how each game might proceed.

Philadelphia Eagles (-2.5) vs. San Francisco 49ers

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 29
  • Start time: 3 p.m. ET

To a casual bettor, the point-spread shift since Monday (from -3 to -2.5) might seem negligible. But in the history of the NFL, 12.7% of games have been decided by exactly three points.

So that shift from -3 to -2.5 is significant. A three-point Philly win was a push on Monday. Now it’s a win if you pick the Eagles and a loss if you take the 49ers.

The market knows why it did this. The Eagles are at home against a 49ers backfield that, as of Friday morning, still hadn’t been healthy enough to practice this week. Meanwhile, Jake Elliott has hit 16 of his last 17 field-goal attempts. Philly’s elite pass defense should be able to contain Brock Purdy, Deebo Samuel, Brandon Aiyuk, and George Kittle.

And yet, I’m not deterred. I went with San Francisco at +3 a few days ago. Unless Christian McCaffrey is somehow inactive or officially limited, I’m sticking with San Francisco at +2.5. (And frankly, if McCaffrey sits, the Eagles probably will jump to nine- or even 10-point favorites, so this could all be moot.)

No team has yielded fewer passing yards than Philadelphia, and no team has racked up more sacks. But passing isn’t the most direct path to a mini-Niners upset. Instead, McCaffrey and Elijah Mitchell (assuming they’ll be good to go) could combine for 30+ touches, with Purdy dumping off to his backfield 8-10 times. We might also see more Samuel runs against a defense yielding 4.6 yards per carry.

MORE: Thursday 49ers vs. Eagles Injury Report

The rest will be up to San Francisco’s vaunted defense, which has stepped up in the last six quarters, yielding only 18 points while forcing four turnovers.

How will the Eagles adjust to the 49ers’ elite defense, which is yielding a league-best 3.4 yards per carry? The challenge for Philly is that they make their living on the ground. They’re third in rushing attempts and No. 1 in rushing scores with 32. For context, the No. 2 team has only 24 rushing touchdowns.

I expect San Francisco to force the Eagles to win through the air, while Philadelphia firmly sticks with a run-friendly game plan for as long as possible. To me, there are no obvious answers. But the major questions are (a) whether Philly’s pass rush can rattle Purdy, and (b) whether the 49ers’ run defense will force Jalen Hurts to play like a near-elite pocket passer — something he isn’t — at least not yet.

Against-the-spread prediction: 49ers
Moneyline winner: 49ers

Kansas City Chiefs (-1) vs. Cincinnati Bengals

  • Date: Sunday, Jan. 29
  • Start time: 6:30 p.m. ET

Tom Brady and Peyton Manning faced off four times in the AFC Championship Game. Manning won the final three meetings — once with the Colts and twice with the Broncos.

Brady was 8-1 in AFC title games versus other quarterbacks. But with Super Bowl appearances on the line, he met his match three times against another all-time great.

MORE: PFN Betting Guide

Sunday will mark the fifth straight AFC title game for Patrick Mahomes and the Chiefs. All five have been at home. In a strange coincidence — connecting one generation to the next — KC lost its first Conference Championship during this run to Brady’s Patriots. Two years later, the budding franchise lost in the Super Bowl to Brady’s Buccaneers.

And last year brought more disappointment, with a shocking loss to the upstart Bengals, which barely eked into the postseason at 10-7 (thanks in large part to an incredible comeback and last-second field goal versus these same Chiefs in Week 17).

Cincy was a seven-point underdog in last year’s AFC title game. The Chiefs’ final three home wins during the regular season — two versus eventual playoff teams — were by a combined score of 106-28. So yeah, they were ready.

A year later, questions (doubts?) are growing. KC’s favored by a point because they’re at home. If this were in Cincinnati, assuredly, the Bengals would be favored by more. After all, the Bengals have beaten them three times in less than 13 months. Their defense has improved in the interim, while the Chiefs’ D — particularly with respect to points surrendered — is deeply subpar.

Mahomes vs. Joe Burrow might be an early version of last generation’s Brady vs. Manning. The Chiefs have dominated, but one ring doesn’t make them a dynasty. And the Bengals have only one Super Bowl appearance. There’s still time for both teams — both stellar QBs — to grow into perennial powerhouses.

For now, we’re left with two teams that can rack up yards on the ground and through the air. The Bengals’ defense arguably is better, but the counterweight is that their offensive line is far worse. Only Brady has had less time to throw than Burrow this season.

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When these teams last met in Week 13, Joe Mixon was sidelined. But that didn’t stop the Bengals from employing a run-heavy offense, with Samaje Perine (21 carries) and Burrow (11 carries) controlling the time of possession on 4.8 ypc, limiting Burrow to only one sack. If Cincinnati can replicate that strategy on Sunday, they could be tough to beat.

Of course, I expect the Chiefs to make adjustments. They often do. That’s why they’re playing in their fifth straight AFC Championship.

Against-the-spread prediction: Chiefs
Moneyline winner: Chiefs

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What Is the Shrine Bowl?




The 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl is rapidly approaching, but what is the history behind the college football all-star showcase?

What Is the Shrine Bowl?

The East-West Shrine Bowl is the longest-running college football all-star game on the NFL draft circuit. Running since 1925, the game has featured 78 players who went on to have a Pro Football Hall of Fame career.

Furthermore, over 200 former players have entered the College Football Hall of Fame in the nearly 100 years that the Shrine Bowl has been a prominent and important element of the NFL draft cycle.

Famous Shrine Bowl alumni include some of the greatest to ever play the game, including Tom Brady and John Elway. On average, over 300 East-West Shrine Bowl players make it onto an NFL roster each year.

MORE: 2023 Shrine Bowl Coaching Staffs Announced — Falcons, Patriots To Coach Teams

In short, the Shrine Bowl is an excellent opportunity for players to elevate their NFL draft stock in front of NFL decision-makers, enhancing their chances of continuing their football journey beyond the CFB level.

Yet, it’s more than that. While the 2023 Shrine Bowl will be a glamorous affair that features a “Shrine Bowl Live” event in addition to pre-game tailgating and, of course, the 98th edition of the East-West Shrine Bowl, the game is so much more than football.

Since its inception in 1925, the East-West Shrine Bowl has lived by the mission of being “more than just a game.” The game itself raises funds and awareness for the Shriners Children’s Hospital, where specialty care is provided for children with certain severe ailments regardless of the families ability to pay.

When Is the Shrine Bowl?

The 2023 East-West Shrine Bowl will take place on Feb. 2, 2023. Kickoff is set for 8:30 p.m. ET. The longest-running college football all-star game has been held on or after Jan. 10 since 1986.

This year’s event forms part of the NFL’s Pro Bowl Week events. You can watch the 2023 Shrine Bowl game on NFL Network, while we will have comprehensive coverage from the home of the Shrine Bowl at Pro Football Network.

Where Is the Shrine Bowl Game Played?

For the second consecutive season, the Shrine Bowl will be played at Allegiant Stadium in Las Vegas, Nevada. The home of the Las Vegas Raiders and UNLV Rebels college football program — a custom-built domed stadium that holds up to 71,835 — first hosted the Shrine Bowl game in 2022.

MORE: Top Cornerbacks at the 2023 Shrine Bowl

Prior to moving to Las Vegas for the 2021 event, the Shrine Bowl had long been associated with St. Petersburg, Florida, having been held there from 2012-2020. However, the Shrine Bowl has a longstanding relationship with the west coast, with events held in San Francisco, Stanford, and Oakland making up a substantial part of the East-West Shrine Bowl Game history.

How Are Shrine Bowl Players Selected?

According to the East-West Shrine Bowl website, “players are selected based on their potential to make NFL rosters. A consensus of the 32 NFL teams is taken into consideration during player selection.”

Players selected for the East-West Shrine Bowl are divided into two teams, the East team and the West team. For the 2023 Shrine Bowl, the East team will be coached by the Atlanta Falcons, and the West team will be coached by the New England Patriots. But how are the players separated into these two teams?

“The general divide used to assign players to the East or West team is the Mississippi River,” the Shrine Bowl website continues. “However, exceptions are made to ensure that the best players are selected for the game, regardless of the location of their school.”

Additionally, “players must be college seniors and currently eligible to play for their school.” Unlike any other college football all-star game, the Shrine Bowl accepts players from programs both in the US and Canada.

Thanks to an exclusive media partnership with the Shrine Bowl, Pro Football Network has been able to dive behind the scenes of the player selection process from the formulation of initial watchlists all the way up to the invitation and acceptance stage.

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