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The 33rd Team's Lasting Memories from 2022-23 NFL Season

Jan 21, 2023; Kansas City, Missouri, USA; Kansas City Chiefs quarterback Patrick Mahomes (15) runs the ball as Jacksonville Jaguars safety Andre Cisco (5) moves in during the first half in the AFC divisional round game at GEHA Field at Arrowhead Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Denny Medley-USA TODAY Sports

The 2022-23 NFL season, which concluded with the Kansas City Chiefs Super Bowl win on Sunday, was filled with many memorable moments.  There was everything from a changing of the guard at the league's most important position to dramatic franchise turnarounds and even the rise of an unexpected star in the Bay Area.

The 33rd Team's experts — who have more than 100 years of total NFL experience — share their favorite and lasting memories from the 2022-23 NFL season.

The 33rd Team's Lasting Memories

Robert Smith: Hamlin's 'Who Won?' Moment

Memory: My favorite moment from the season was hearing the story of Buffalo Bills safety Damar Hamlin writing “who won!?" to doctors at the Cincinnati hospital who were caring for him when he first awoke following his cardiac arrest. NFL Players are a brotherhood and many of us had spent the previous days wondering about Hamlin’s health and waiting and hoping for the update that he was OK. When I first heard this story on my car's radio about Hamlin’s first message to doctors it almost brought tears of joy to my eyes.

>> READ: Damar Hamlin Celebrated at NFL Honors

Mike Giddings: Jaguars' Transformation

Memory: Coach Doug Pederson and general manager Trent Baalke building a young playoff team, and the great transformation of QB Trevor Lawrence from the first half of the season to the second half. Lawrence saw things quicker and delivered the ball accurately, helping the Jaguars eventually win the AFC South title. Everything from Pederson's coaching to Baalke acquiring players like WRs Christian Kirk and Zay Jones and TE Evan Engram helped Jacksonville's turnaround from worst to first in just one season. 

Joe Thomas: Emergence of Young Guns

Memory: The defining memory of the season for me was the changing of the guard from the older quarterbacks I played with to the next generation of superstars. Tom Brady, Aaron Rodgers and Russell Wilson — three guys who didn’t have the seasons they would have liked while young guys like Patrick Mahomes and Jalen Hurts led their teams to the Super Bowl.

Mike Martz: Lions' Second-Half Surge

Memory: The ascension of the Detroit Lions during the second half of the season. They started the season 1-6 before finishing an impressive 9-8. Coach Dan Campbell is building a winning culture, as everyone saw during the final game of the regular season against the Green Bay Packers

Mitchell Schwartz: Mahomes' Return vs. Jaguars

Memory: The Kansas City-Jacksonville playoff game where Mahomes got hurt. He looks as good as he ever has at the beginning of the game and then gets seriously injured. Everyone is speculating he’s broken his ankle. He refuses to leave the game until coach Andy Reid and Rick Burkholder (head trainer) basically drag him to get an X-Ray. He comes back, plays incredibly well on the injury and even runs for a pivotal first down at the end of the game. It showed his skill and ability, but more importantly, his mental toughness and resilience. He’s now cemented the greatest five-year start to a career ever, and what could be argued as the greatest five-year stretch of quarterback play ever. The Super Bowl was just the culmination of Mahomes proving again he’s an all-time great, this early in his career. 

Mike Tannenbaum: Purdy's Rapid Development

Memory: For me, it was watching the development of San Francisco 49ers quarterback Brock Purdy, which stands out for two reasons. One, Purdy must've worked so hard behind the scenes while being the third-string quarterback. Two was watching a rookie position coach, Brian Griese, doing an unbelievable job. It was truly impressive for both of them.

Samari Rolle: Secret Sauce

Memory: I predicted Sauce Gardner would win Defensive Rookie of the Year before the season, and watching him play the cornerback position all year long is it for me.

Geno Smith

Marty Mornhinweg: Geno's Comeback

Memory: Geno Smith winning Comeback Player of the Year. He proved he can lead a team to the playoffs, and he finished the season completing 399 of 572 passes, and led the NFL with a 69.8% completion percentage. He passed for 4,282 yards, 30 touchdowns, 11 interceptions, and a 100.9 passer rating in 17 games. His “they wrote me off but I ain’t write back” sound bite was pretty legendary.

Charles Davis: Brady vs. Purdy

Memory: With full appreciation for my favorite moment being the first responders and Hamlin's recognition at the Super Bowl, how about a favorite on-the-field moment of mine? Purdy’s first start at quarterback for San Francisco versus Brady and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers. Yes, it had all the normal narratives, the veteran versus the rookie, experience versus youth, etc. What it showed us all once again is that the game is always moving forward even when we want to freeze it during a time frame of excellence (and the TB12 era will forever be exalted).