AFC or NFC: Which Conference is Stronger?

Which Conference is Stronger This Year: AFC or NFC?

9/4/12 in NFL   |   Andrew_Ericksen   |   230 respect

Blog Photo - AFC or NFC: Which Conference is Stronger?In the first decade of the 21st century, the AFC consistently had a leg up on the NFC.  The Rams, Buccaneers, and Giants were the only three NFC teams to win a Super Bowl from 1998 to 2009, while the league saw most of the stronger teams in the NFL built in the AFC, namely the Patriots, Steelers and Colts.  But the last three Super Bowls have gone to the NFC, and with the Peyton era over in Indy and the Hines Ward era over in Pittsburgh, is it now officially time to declare the NFC stronger?
 
Our decision making process will be based on overall depth of the conference, not just who is more top-heavy.  And that will demand a comparison of three categories that are: Top Dogs, Middle of the Pack, and Bottom Dwellers.  Whoever has the strongest collection of all three will be declared the stronger conference.  So let’s get started:
 
Blog Photo - AFC or NFC: Which Conference is Stronger?BOTTOM DWELLERS:
 
So we’ll start by calling the pair of two-win teams from last year about even.  I don’t think the Rams were nearly as bad as they’re breakdown last season showed, just a year after going 7-9, and I think the Colts are a sure thing to be better.  Beyond that, I really don’t think either conference has too many awful teams overall, a good thing for the league as a whole! 
 
NFC: Outside Minnesota and maybe Arizona, I could see everyone being pretty competitive.  The Skins and Buccaneers should be better than their poor records from last year show.
 
AFC: The Jags and Browns are a bit concerning to me.  I could also see the Dolphins dropping under 6 wins and honestly, maybe the Jets as well.  Overall not too many teams in dire circumstances though.
 
ADVANTAGE: NFC
 
MIDDLE-OF-THE-PACK
 
Blog Photo - AFC or NFC: Which Conference is Stronger?These here are the teams that aren’t your top-of-the-bill contenders, but the teams that are likely to be competing for playoff spots.
 
NFC: The East was as exciting as it could have possibly been last year, with the division title coming down to the last week of the season.  Expect similar drama this year if the Cowboys and Eagles play to their full potentials.  The North and South should also have some intriguing battles with the Bears, Lions, and Falcons all being serious playoff contenders (I’ve got the Packers and Saints on the next level).
 
AFC: Will both wildcard teams come out of the North again this year?  There’s a very good possibility.  Everyone in the West should be a little better, but will they put together playoff-worthy seasons?  Then there are the Titans and Bills who I think are still another year away from really being dangerous, but should still be pretty good.  Houston’s the easy favorite in the South, but I don’t find them too intimidating, especially if someone else in the division puts things together.
 
ADVANTAGE: NFC
 
TOP DOGS
 
Blog Photo - AFC or NFC: Which Conference is Stronger?Here we’ve got the main threats for this year’s Super Bowl trophy in this section.
 
NFC: The Packers are clearly the favorites in the NFC.  They lost two games all last season and should return with a similar roster this year.  Then you have the defending champions in New York, the top passing offense in the history of the NFL in New Orleans, and the league’s toughest defense last season in San Francisco.  That’s a pretty solid foursome right there.
 
AFC: The Patriots are the cream of the crop over here.  After that, you could go a couple different ways.  The Steelers, Ravens, and Texans are probably the next three top Super Bowl contenders, but they don’t scare me as much as the 2,3,4 in the NFC do. 
 
ADVANTAGE: NFC
 
Well there you have it, a landslide victory for the NFC.  As mentioned earlier, there are very few weak teams out there this year so week-to-week there should be a hefty amount of entertainment.  But if for whatever reason you only have time to focus on one conference, my money’s on the NFC being the more fascinating race.
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