Written By: Kyle Newton (@KNewt22)
This debate rages on every year, which division is king of the NFL? Several divisions have a legitimate case every year to be crowned the best, but which one really is better than the rest. You can go through and eliminate several that are just simply at the bottom of the pack, the AFC South and AFC West are easily at the bottom of the AFC and the NFC West are in the basement of the NFC by a wide margin. So there are the bottom dwellers, now let’s get into the middle of the pack.
So many fans feel just like these Dolphin fans
(NY Daily News)
The AFC East, AFC North, and NFC North are on that second tier of divisions. The AFC East has the always contending Patriots but after that it is filled with mediocre to bad teams. You never know what you are going to get with the Jets, I mean come on no team is winning a Superbowl running a two quarterback system. The Bills are improving but they are still not quite contenders. As for the Dolphins, lets just say they will be getting a lot of high draft picks for many years to come. Now the NFC and AFC North does make cases for the best division in all of football, but they are just off of the top of my list.
The NFC North has the best team in the Green Bay Packers, nobody can deny that Aaron Rodgers and that offense is an incredible force to be reckoned with. The Bears and Lions both have tons of potential as well, but I need to see one more year of success out of both teams to label them as contenders to do some damage in the playoffs. The AFC North has two of the top 4 teams in the AFC in the Steelers and Ravens as well as the best rivalry and defenses. The Bengals are up and coming, but just like the Lions and Bears I want to see one more year to prove they are real. But what really brings this division down is the Cleveland Browns. The Browns are absolutely TERRIBLE. They are 2 wins for each team in the division easily.
Cam Newton has turned around the fortunes of the Panthers (Courtesy jacksonadvocateonline.com)
Now let’s get to the contenders. The NFC South and NFC East. Neither of these divisions have a terrible team. The Buccaneers have made drastic improvements in the off-season by adding Carl Nicks (the best guard in the NFL) as well as Vincent Jackson and a very good 2012 draft class. The Bucs are not going to contend for a Super Bowl and I don’t even think they are a playoff team, but if they are the worst team in your division that is scary. Everyone knows how dangerous the Panthers and Cam Newton can be, and then you have two double digits win teams year in and year out. The Falcons and Saints are two of the best home teams in the NFL and can match up with every team in the league. Despite all of that, the NFC South is not the best division in football. DING DING DING…that’s right the NFC East reigns king.
Let’s break it down. First and foremost you have the defending Super Bowl champion New York Giants. Eli Manning keeps defying the odds in the fourth quarter and sneaking in the playoffs. That Giants defense is always a monster and makes big plays to give their quarterback a chance to make magic happen, however the Giants are only the third best team in the division. Before we get to the two best teams let’s get to the bottom. The Washington Redskins have been searching for a quarterback for a LONG time, but now they finally may have found one. Robert Griffin III is going to excite the fans, the defense, and I believe spark the Redskins to get them back to at least an average team if not better.
Finally at the top of the division you have America’s Team and the self-proclaimed “dynasty.” You can make fun of Mike Vick all you want and say you have to win something before you can be a dynasty, but they have the potential of winning plenty of games for years and years to come. They are the most talented team in the NFL and they have one of the best coaches in football in Andy Reid.
Demarcus Ware strikes fear into every quarterback in the NFL (Courtesy Dallas Observer)
Then there are the Dallas Cowboys. Dysfunctional? Check. Over involved owner? Check. Most scrutinized and analysed quarterback? Check. Extreme potential? Check. This team has the potential to go 13-3, but they could just as easily go 6-10 and implode. The NFC East is stacked with good teams, but that isn’t the entire reason this division is so great. The rivalries in this division are the most intense in the league. Every divisional game is played like it is the Super Bowl, the fans all hate the other teams and it is far and away the most talented and exciting division in football. Sorry everybody else, but you must bow before the NFC East.
Here is my rankings of the divisions:
8) NFC West
7) AFC South
6) AFC West
5) AFC East
4) NFC North
3) AFC North
2) NFC South
1) NFC East
Written By: Kyle Newton
Producer at ESPN Tampa Bay and a senior at the University of South Florida. Huge NBA and NFL follower. Catch me on facebook.com/kcnewton or on twitter @KNewt22