Which division is the best in football?
It is a question that has been and will continue to be debated with each passing season and by every fan base across the country. And while there may never be a way to come up with a definitive, unbiased answer, Forbes presents its own argument as to which division is the best and it might surprise you.
Forbes recently released their list ranking the values of all 32 NFL teams from a monetary standpoint. Now, this doesn’t take into account stats or playoff appearances or what each team does on the field, but it does look at each team’s revenue from 2012 and their operating incomes from that year.
And if this is to be believed as to which division is the best in football, the answer is the NFC East.
Of all of the divisions, the NFC East has the highest overall ranking, placing teams in first (Dallas Cowboys), third (Washington Redskins), fourth (New York Giants) and seventh (Philadelphia Eagles). It is the only division on the list that has each of its teams ranked in the top 10 and is also impressively at the top with its four teams occupying the top-seven spots. With two, the AFC East is the only other division to have multiple teams in the top 10 on the list.
So, what does this mean really?
In a way, it is unfair to look at these rankings without considering the markets. Philadelphia, New York, Dallas and Washington, D.C. are all huge markets and their football teams have benefited from that. The NFC East also has a history of championships and winning traditions, and has always been considered one of the strongest divisions in football.
But lately, it has fallen on some hard times in the record department. Just a few years ago, it wasn’t unlikely to see three NFC East teams vie for playoff spots, but now, the division seems to be the only thing these four teams can contest for as the rest of the NFC is getting stronger and harder to beat.
According to CBS Sports’ annual team rankings, these being based on the statistical side of things, the NFC East ranks as just the fifth-best division entering the 2013 season. Last year, the four teams went 8-8 against the NFC South and 8-8 against the AFC South, and were a very average division over all.
But the teams still made money, sold tickets and filled their stadiums to near capacity. The NFC East may not be the best division on the field, but when it comes to the checkbooks, they are by far the most highly valued in the league.