NFL

Week 2 Power Rankings Bonanza- Which Division Is Best?

on

As part of our “Power Rankings Bonanza,” we’re going to rank the eight divisions in order from best to worst.

1. AFC West

It helps when you have three teams win on the opening weekend, and you’re only loss is within the division (San Diego to Kansas City).  From top to bottom the AFC West boasts the reigning Super Bowl champion Denver Broncos, as well as a team that probably would have defeated them last year in the playoffs in Kansas City.  Oakland had a huge road win in New Orleans and if the worst team in the division has Philip Rivers at quarterback, that’s pretty darn strong.

2. NFC North

The NFC’s “Black and Blue” division is back with a pair of legitimate contenders with the Green Bay Packers and Minnesota Vikings.  Green Bay has the best quarterback in the world in Aaron Rodgers and the Vikings have what could be the best defense in the entire NFC.  The Detroit Lions have what could be one of the most explosive offenses in the NFL and it appears as if Matt Stafford has taken his game and his leadership role to new heights.  The Bears won’t contend for much outside of a Top Ten draft pick this year, but they could surprise some teams and will likely win a few games that they’re not supposed to.

3. AFC North

The AFC North has a perennial Super Bowl contender in the Pittsburgh Steelers, whose offense looks nothing short of unstoppable, even without Le’Veon Bell.  As good as Pittsburgh is, they might not even be the best team in their division as the Cincinnati Bengals have as good of a roster as any team in the league.  The Baltimore Ravens have quarterback Joe Flacco back and they look to be improved over last year’s nightmarish season.  The Browns are the Browns.

4. NFC West

The NFC West has two very legitimate Super Bowl contenders in the Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals.  They are obviously the class of the division and those two should battle to the end for the NFC West crown.  Both have been picked by many to represent the NFC in the Super Bowl and at least one of them will make a deep run in the playoffs.  The 49ers are trying to rebuild with Chip Kelly and have a roster that’s at least a couple years away from contending, and the Rams have a very good defense, without much on offense.

5. AFC East

The New England Patriots are the default Super Bowl favorite and have been for the last decade and a half.  On Sunday night they proved that they could win against a legitimate NFC contender on the road without their two best players.  It may go down as being the most impressive victory of any team this season.  As for the rest of the division, Miami has talent on both sides of the ball around a talented, yet inconsistent quarterback in Ryan Tannehill; The Jets have quite possibly the best defensive line in the NFL with some real weapons on offense.  Their biggest question mark will be quarterback Ryan Fitzpatrick.  The Bills looked atrocious offensively in their opening Sunday loss to Baltimore, and the ship needs to be righted quickly if Rex Ryan is going to coach the team in 2017.

6. NFC South

Boasting the NFC representative in last year’s Super Bowl in Carolina, one would assume that the division would be higher on the rankings.  The Panthers still have Cam Newton and should be a contender, and the Bucs looked fantastic in their road win at Atlanta.  Dragging down the division are the pathetic defenses of the New Orleans Saints and Atlanta Falcons, who couldn’t seemingly stop a really good CFL team.

7. AFC South

The Houston Texans could have their best team in franchise history as Brock Osweiler certainly looked the part of an $18 million quarterback on Sunday.  Add in a legitimate complement to DeAndre Hopkins in Will Fuller as well as running back Lamar Miller and the Texans should have plenty of balance.  The Jacksonville Jaguars are a much improved team that stood toe to toe with the Packers before their final drive fell 14 yards short.  The Colts will always be somewhat of a contender with Andrew Luck at quarterback even if the defense is hot garbage.  The Titans will be fun to watch at times this year but are probably another draft or two away.

8. NFC East

Bringing up the rear is the “NFC Least” division.  The Giants are probably the best team in the East, but there are plenty of holes on the offensive line and at linebacker.  Dallas is certainly an interesting team with Dak Prescott at quarterback and Dez Bryant at receiver, but their defense is pedestrian at the very best.  Philadelphia is probably a year or two away with rookie quarterback Carson Wentz, and last year’s division champion Redskins looked pitiful at home on Monday night.  It would be a surprise if the NFC East won a single playoff game this season or had a champion with 10 or more wins.


About Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein

Charlie Bernstein is the managing football editor for Football Insiders and has covered the NFL for over a decade.  Charlie has hosted drive time radio for NBC and ESPN affiliates in different markets around the country, along with being an NFL correspondent for ESPN Radio and WFAN.  He has been featured on the NFL Network as well as Sirius/XM NFL Radio and has been published on Fox Sports, Sports Illustrated, ESPN as well as numerous other publications.