NFL Division Breakdown

November 12th, 2013 by WLOY Staff

NFL-Season-Opening-ScheduleThis NFL season is shaping up to be one of those “down-to-the-wire” style seasons. Basically, if you were to ask any expert as to who will win each division they would answer with something to the tune of “who knows!”

With the hope of putting some things into perspective for the second half of the NFL season, I figured I’d give you my division-by-division breakdown. Keep in mind these are all just opinions and speculation. Take none of it to heart!

NFC East: At this point with the Cowboys and Eagles at 5-5 a piece and the Giants and Redskins just two games back of them at 3-6 a piece, you’d like to think it’s anyone’s race to win. Honestly, this year it looks like this division is going to be won with an 8-8 or 9-7 record, and since the Giants and Redskins have no wiggle room already, it comes down to the disgraceful duo that is the Cowboys and Eagles. Neither team can get out of it’s own way, but based on strength of schedule for the second half of the season, the Cowboys seem like the best option.

NFC North: For starters, the Vikings are done. But, with the Bears, Lions, and Packers jumbled at the top, the rest of the season will be very interesting. The Packers are without Aaron Rodgers for three more weeks, but luckily for them those three games consist of the hopeless Giants and Vikings, so they have a chance to hang on until Rodgers returns. All three teams have basically the same schedule for the rest of the season, so health is key. At the moment, you have to go with the Lions based on the one game lead and their better overall health.

NFC South: The NFC South has become a very interesting two-horse race between the Saints and the Panthers. The two play each other twice in the second half of the season, so it’s safe to say those games will be incredibly important. With the addition of a genuinely good defense, though, you can’t go against the Saints to win, but look out for the Panthers for a wild card spot.

NFC West: This was the division to watch out for all year. With Seattle being unbeatable at home and San Francisco finally getting their legs under them, winning the division is crucial because they’ll be fighting for the #1 seed in the NFC. Both teams will make the playoffs, but home field is so much more important for the Seahawks than the 49ers. The Seahawks are the best example of a home field advantage team in the NFL today. Going with the Seahawks to hang on thanks to a 3-game cushion they currently have.

AFC East: As it seems to be the case every year now, injuries and inexperience for the Jets, Dolphins, and Bills have allowed the Patriots to win by default again. The Jets are the only team that could possibly contend with the Pats for the division, however they have been the most sporadic team in the NFL, trading wins and losses week-in, week-out. The division still belongs to Tom Brady and the Patriots for now, but look out for the Bills and Jets when Geno Smith and E.J. Manuel gain more experience and continue to learn.

AFC North: A couple of weeks ago, it looked like the Bengals had been handed the division on a silver platter, but the Bengals refused the offer saying “nah, we’re gonna give everyone else a chance too!” The Ravens and Browns (yes…Browns!) are both two games back of the Bengals, who don’t exactly have the easiest remaining schedule. Lucky for the Bengals, the Browns have it even worse in the second half of the season, and the Ravens can’t seem to establish any form of offense, even with that franchise quarterback that is Joe Flacco (if you read that as sarcasm, you’re right). Sticking with the Bengals.

AFC South: This division might be the simplest of all, seeing as the Titans and Texans have been decimated by injuries, the Colts got off to a hot start, and the Jaguars are, well, the Jaguars. Case Keenum looks like a good find for the future for the Texans and Jake Locker is improving but needs to stay healthy. To quote Andrew Luck, “You can’t go broke taking a profit.” Going with the Colts.

AFC West: Well, the Raiders have been destroyed by injuries and the Chargers are fulfilling the typical Chargers season by collapsing in the second half of the season. That being said, the Broncos and Chiefs are looking like two of the best teams football has to offer for two totally different reasons. The Broncos have a prolific offense lead by Peyton Manning and the Peyton Manning friends, averaging well over 30 points per game. The Chiefs on the other hand, have a stifling defense, giving up under 17 points per game. These two play each other twice in the next three weeks, which may very well determine the winner of the division. Either way, these two could very well be in the AFC Championship. Going with the Chiefs in this one because defense wins championships and they’re a much healthier team.

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