Power Ranking The 8 NFL Divisions

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Power Ranking The 8 NFL Divisions

Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

Now that Thanksgiving is over, the NFL season is finally beginning its approach to the playoffs. When the commercials during those all too frequent timeouts start being for overpriced Christmas presents, you know things in the pro football world are beginning to take shape. It might take three months to start figuring out who is good and who was just pretending to be good, but that time has finally come.

Because so much of success and failure in the NFL comes down to who you play, the strength of your division is very important. We need to look at which divisions are better than others so that we can know where the potential playoff teams reside and where the teams are that are going to be bounced out in the first round. Yes, that’s right, I’m looking at you whoever ends up winning the NFC East.

Most divisions have at least one good team. Some even have two, but just a select few can go deeper than that. The ones that have quality teams all around usually end up just beating up on each other and someone eventually can’t hold on. In fact, only one division, the one at the top of this list, can boast to having four teams that can beat anyone on any given Sunday.

The NFL playoff picture is starting to take shape, and so are the divisions. The good teams are starting to rise to the top, and that means so are the better divisions. Check out how they stack up in this power ranking of the eight NFL divisions.

Ben Sullivan is an NFL writer for Follow him on Twitter @bensullivan52, "Like" him on Facebook and add him to your network on Google.

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8. AFC South

AFC South
Mark J. Rebilas-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC South boasts only one winning team, and the Indianapolis Colts have been in a tailspin since Reggie Wayne got injured. And they have the Jacksonville Jaguars, so they've got that going against them, too.

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7. NFC East

NFC East
John Geliebter-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC East, once perennially one of the best divisions in football, has been in decline for years now. The Washington Redskins won the division with only 10 wins last year, and it might not even take double digits to win it this season.

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6. NFC North

NFC North
Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC North got bit by the quarterback injury bug this season. Typically a very competitive group, once Jay Cutler and Aaron Rodgers went down it has become a one-horse race.

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5. AFC North

AFC North
Ron Schwane-USA TODAY Sports

The division that would have won the award for highest jump if I had, in fact, done a previous version of these rankings, the AFC North has been on the rise since limping out of the gate this year. The resurgence of traditional powers in the Pittsburgh Steelers and the Baltimore Ravens has fueled the comeback.

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4. AFC East

AFC East
David Butler II-USA TODAY Sports

And the award for biggest surprise division of the year goes to the AFC East. Every team in the division has exceeded expectations, and for some like the New York Jets and the Buffalo Bills, it would have been hard not to. The Miami Dolphins are a contender for a playoff spot, and the New England Patriots might end up with the top seed in the conference.

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3. NFC South

NFC South
Rob Foldy-USA TODAY Sports

The NFC South is top-heavy, but the New Orleans Saints are a legitimate title contender and the Carolina Panthers are the hottest team in the NFL right now.

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2. AFC West

AFC West
Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

The AFC West might end up sending three teams to the playoffs and have two of the best teams in the NFL in the Denver Broncos and the Kansas City Chiefs. The only thing holding them back from the top spot are the Oakland Raiders.

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1. NFC West

NFC West
Brad Mills-USA TODAY Sports

From top to bottom the NFC West is the best division in football. The Seattle Seahawks are the best team in the NFC, the San Francisco 49ers will likely get a Wild Card spot and the Arizona Cardinals might even get the other. Even the St. Louis Rams aren't an easy team to beat. In fact, nothing comes easy against the NFC West.