This morning I released my first Rant Sports NFL Power Rankings for Week 2, so I decided it would be cool to see how the divisions stacked up against each other. I simply took the position of each team in every division in my power rankings and calculated the average ranking. You may be surprised by the results.
8. AFC South
The AFC South is easily the worst division in football. I’m not sure how any of the three teams below the Texans compete with them for the division, though I expect the Titans to fight for a wild card spot. The Colts and Jags are in complete rebuilding mode and will be bottom feeders for the entire season.
7. NFC West
The 49ers completely manhandled the Packers on Sunday; the improvements they made in the off-season were on display as they knocked off the NFC regular season champs from a season ago. After that it gets cloudy. I’m not sure what to make of the Rams and their effort against the Lions, and the Cardinals and Seahawks played each other so we don’t really know what they have to offer.
6. AFC East
The Patriots should run away with this division, but the Jets caught everyone’s eyes when they trounced the Bills 48-28. The score was not that close for most of the game. The Patriots dominated the Titans on the road, and Steven Ridley could add a running dimension they haven’t had since Corey Dillon. The Bills were a complete disappointment, especially considering the “improvements” they made on defense in the off-season. The Jets’ first team offense did not score a touchdown in the preseason, yet ran wild on the Bills.
4 (tie). NFC South
I actually feel like this is a division that could start to get worse as the season goes along. The Saints are going to struggle, and the Bucs made me re-think my whole Panthers pick to win the division. I still think they can contend, but they didn’t look good at all against the Bucs. The Falcons look like the favorites to win the South, but this division is difficult to predict.
4 (tie). AFC North
This division got three teams in the playoffs last season, so you may disagree with their ranking here, but I am down on all the teams this year. I feel like the Ravens played very well yesterday but were riding emotion playing for owner Art Modell. The Steelers will still be good but not great, and I feel like the Bengals overachieved in 2011. I’m taking a wait and see approach with this division.
3. AFC West
I bet it is surprising to see the AFC West in the top three considering they have been one of the worst divisions in the NFL for quite some time. While they really have only one top team in the Denver, there are no easy games in this division. I expect the Broncos to win the West, but would not be at all surprised to see either the Chiefs or Chargers compete for a wild card spot.
2. NFC North
Though the North has two teams in the top five, they are brought down below the final division on our list due to the Vikings being so terrible. If the Lions start to play the way they are capable, and not struggling against the lowly Rams, they could creep into the top 10 and make this the toughest division in football. Many would probably already say it is.
1. NFC East
The NFC East comes out as our top division in terms of competitiveness despite only having one team in the top 10. This should come as no surprise as really only the Redskins were not picked to win the division, but looked great in their opening game against the Saints. There is not an easy out when playing the East.