What is the best division in the NFL? Glad you asked. We ran 10,000 simulations on a neutral field of an average NFL team against each division in football. Based on the average number of wins by a mediocre team we ranked each division from worst to first.
8. NFC West (2.18 wins)
The Seahawks could be the best team in the NFC this year but the rest of the division stinks. The Cardinals, Rams and Niners all had losing records last season and would be lucky to play .500 ball in 2017. In our simulations, an average team would win the most games against the NFC West.
7. AFC South (2.07 wins)
The AFC South is wide open. It was the only division in football not to have at least one 10-win team in 2016. With a healthy Marcus Mariota, the Titans are projected to finish on top but another 9-7 division winner looks likely.
6. NFC North (2.03 wins)
The Packers have questions about their offensive line and running game. Detroit made the playoffs last year but had a negative point differential. The Vikings have Sam Bradford starting for them and the Bears gave Mike Glennon $16 million to be the starter in 2017. A division with this many questions marks can’t be the best.
5. AFC East (2.02 wins)
It is the Patriots and then everyone else in the AFC East. New England wins the division 96.1% of the time. The Dolphins, Bills and Jets are all projected to win seven or fewer games.
4. AFC North (1.98 wins)
Pittsburgh will try to win the AFC North for a second straight year but the Ravens and Bengals will have something to say about that when the season kicks off. It will be hard for the division to move up the rankings until the Browns consistently start winning games.
3. NFC East (1.87 wins)
The Cowboys, Giants, Eagles and Redskins could all make the playoffs in 2017. Dallas is the class of the division, New York is considered a fringe Super Bowl team by many analysts and Philly and Washington are average NFL teams, if things break right for them they could win 10 games.
2. NFC South (1.85 wins)
They say the NFL is a quarterback-driven league. Well the last two MVPs reside in the NFC South. In addition to Matt Ryan and Cam Newton, Drew Brees is a perennial top five passer and Jameis Winston took a step forward for the Buccaneers in his second season. This division features the best collection of quarterbacks in the NFL.
1. AFC West (1.84 wins)
The Raiders and Chiefs each won 12 games last year, this is the first division to produce two 12-win teams since 2013. The AFC West has sent multiple squads to the playoffs in each of the last two years and figures to be in the Super Bowl conversation all year with Oakland, Kansas City and Denver having top 12 odds to win the championship. An average NFL team would win the fewest games against the tough AFC West.
Not all divisions are created equal. According to our simulations the AFC West is the best division in football. Do you agree?
What is the best division in the NFL?
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