Monday, September 17, 2012

An early look at the divisions - Is the NFC West for real?

Teams have only played two games and Denver and Atlanta are still to play tonight, but that doesn't stop us from looking at numbers and trying to see what trends there are.  We'll stop short of leaping to conclusions, but readers of this blog may choose to :)

To start, the NFC West is presently the only division with two 2-0 teams (San Francisco and Atlanta, but the AFC West could join them if Denver wins tonight), but even if Denver wins tonight the NFC West would be the only division with two undefeated teams and no teams with losing records.  After several years of being in the doldrums, has the NFC West really recovered and are they actually among the tougher divisions in the league?

Since there are only two games played, this could be an aberration and normalcy may resume shortly, but the division does have wins over Green Bay (on the road), New England (on the road), Dallas (by 20), Washington, and Detroit, so not exactly the easiest road.  And one of the losses was within the division so there has been only one unavoidable loss which was actually a close one to Detroit.  The result is what will likely be the #1, #6, and #9 teams in the week 2 rankings (posted after game tonight).

Record-wise, the NFC East is closest with a combined 5-3 record but they have two losses to the NFC West already.  They should have the #11, #13, #14, and #19 teams or thereabouts.

The NFC North?  All 1-1 with Green Bay at #8 the highest ranked.  And the NFC South doesn't have anyone in the top-10 (could change tonight).

The AFC South has Houston ranked high (#2), but has some of the worst teams too.  The AFC North has Baltimore at #3, but then #12, #21, and #26.  The AFC East has New England at #4 despite their loss, but then #15, #18, and #25.  The AFC West has Denver (#5) and San Diego (#7), but also has Oakland (#30) and Kansas City (#32).

So, is the NFC West for real?  Vote in the poll to the right on how many teams will make the playoffs from the NFC West.