AFC South is best division
Posted Mar. 25 at 04:51 AM
I'm working on the Washington story today. One of the factors that works against this team, in my opinion, is the toughness of the division they play in. The NFC East tends to be the best division in football, with high-spending Jerry Jones and three teams in huge markets - Washington, Philadelphia and New York.
There are no soft, perennial punching bags in this division, so all of these teams miss out on those two easy wins each year against that poorly-run franchise that just can't seem to get things going. Instead, these teams can tend to beat up on each other. The NFC East has won a combined 11 Super Bowls, the most of any division. And it put three teams in the playoffs last year.
So I figured I check to make sure that this division truly is No. 1. I calculated combined win-loss records for each of the eight divisions. I started with 2002 - the year the Texans joined the league and the divisions were re-aligned. And to make the numbers more meaningful, I left out the 12-12 record each division compiles each year in games played against itself.
The composite records appear below. And a surprise at the top. The AFC South, with a bunch of small-market teams and the league's youngest franchise, came out on top. If you'd asked me, back in 2002, how the divisions would play out over the next six years, that's the division I would have penciled in for last place - with Houston starting off as an expansion team. But they're No. 1. Their record last year - 30-10 outside the division - is the best by any division since the change to the eight-division format.
But the NFC East does come in at No. 2 on this list.
DIVISION RECORDS SINCE 2002:
W L T Pct.
134 106 0 .558 AFC South
132 108 0 .550 NFC East
127 113 0 .529 AFC East
125 115 0 .521 AFC West
120 119 1 .502 AFC North
116 123 1 .485 NFC South
107 133 0 .446 NFC North
98 142 0 .408 NFC West
During the last six years, by the way, the AFC holds a 218-165-1 edge in games played between the two conferences.
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