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Old 05-10-2013, 08:41 AM   #1
Bacchus
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Default AFC West still the weakest division in football

Division Power Rankings: NFC West rises to the top

By Gregg Rosenthal

San Francisco 49ers owner Jed York said on Thursday's "NFL AM" that the NFC West was "hands down" the best division in "professional sports." The only crazy part of this statement: It's not that crazy.

It was only a year ago that the NFC West was viewed as a lower-rung division. We created some Division Power Rankings via poll at Around The League last summer, not one of our four voters ranked the division above sixth. They finished seventh overall, which was one spot ahead of where NFL.com's Michael Lombardi ranked the division in 2011.

Now the division has the two favorites in the NFC along with a rising force that are the St. Louis Rams. We decided to take the same poll again Thursday following York's comments to see how the results would fare this year. Here goes:

1. NFC West
2. NFC North
3. AFC North
4. NFC South
5. NFC East
6. AFC South
7. AFC East
8. AFC West

» The voting was unanimous at the top and bottom. We all voted the NFC West as the best division in football, with the AFC West as everyone's pick for the bottom division. Even if the Kansas City Chiefs rise, the division lacks a strong No. 2.

» The NFC West finished first, mostly based on its strength at the top. Unlike the next four divisions on the list, the NFC West has an expected also-ran with the Arizona Cardinals. Then again, they have more talent -- especially on defense -- than people think.

» You can see the conference imbalance above. There simply are more bad teams (on paper) in the AFC. Last year, three of the bottom four divisions were in the AFC. Now, the AFC has the bottom three. Of the four of us, Dan Hanzus showed the most love to the bottom three divisions, ranking the AFC South fourth.

» Last year, Hanzus had the NFC East ranked first. This time, Marc Sessler fell victim to East Coast bias. He ranked the weekly "Sunday Night Football" division second, while no one else had them higher than fifth. You can argue that the NFC East is deep, but is there a complete roster in the division?

» I had the most AFC North love, ranking it second. The Pittsburgh Steelers are a Super Bowl contending team under Ben Roethlisberger until proven otherwise. The division also boasts the defending champs, a trendy team in the Cincinnati Bengals and the absence of Pat Shurmur.

» I also had the NFC South higher than anyone else. The South dropped three spots from last year's poll, but I still see two legitimate Super Bowl contenders in the Atlanta Falcons and New Orleans Saints, and two dangerous teams in the Tampa Bay Buccaneers and Carolina Panthers. It's a tougher division than the North top to bottom.

» Chris Wesseling's order of divisions wound up being the consensus. The NFC North love probably comes from a feeling that the Detroit Lions should bounce back some this year.

» Conventional wisdom usually doesn't wind up being very wise. Our unanimous pick of the NFC West is a clear sign either the Seahawks or the 49ers will somehow tank this year.

Article: http://www.nfl.com/news/story/0ap100...ses-to-the-top
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:33 AM   #2
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meaningless garbage. Sorta like "strength of schedule", nothing more than offseason stuff for people to argue about.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:07 AM   #3
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I would rank:

NFC South (Atlanta is very good and lost no talent from the top regular season team, New Orleans will bounce back in a big way with Payton back, Tampa Bay is a solid roster that has been improving a lot over the last 2 seasons. Carolina is not a good team but they have sufficient firepower to get close to 8-8)

NFC North (Green Bay had a down year last season, and I fully expect them to be a popular pick for the super bowl. Detroit and Chicago have both been hampered by injuries but have a lot of talent on their respective rosters. Minnesota was a surprise team last season in the playoffs and 8-8 is definitely within reach again)

AFC North (Pittsburgh seem to suck every other year, so they should be good this season. Baltimore is the defending champs, while they lost some talent they should still be good. Cincinatti is a good young team with talent on all positions, however Cleveland looks like a hot mess)

NFC West (I don't like sophomore QBs - the rookies last year did very well (Luck, Russell, Griffin) but at least one of them will fail to live up to that this year. The 49ers and Seahawks have good rosters, but they also both have unproven 1 year starters at QB and both rosters were shamelessly healthy last season - at least one of those teams will underperform. Arizona is one of the worst teams in the league and St Louis has been going nowhere pretty quickly the last few years)

AFC South (I don't like sophomore QBs. The Texans are good, but as we saw last season they aren't great. I doubt Indy can sneak into the playoffs again, they won't have the chuckstrong blessing going this season. Tennessee is a real wild card, they could be good or they could be really bad, but I am leaning towards something decent. Jacksonville will be bad, but not atrocious)

NFC East (I don't like sophomore QBs. Eli will be good, Vick will be okay and Romo will pass for 4500 yards but won't earn his huge contract)

AFC West (Player for player the Broncos are better than the Patriots, the Chargers are better than the Dolphins, the Raiders are maybe not better than the Bills but it is pretty hard being worse than the Bills and even the Chiefs are better than the Jets)

AFC East
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:20 AM   #4
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The Chiefs are going to surprise some people this season. 9 - 7
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:27 AM   #5
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funny the afc east/west are bottom two but have arguably the best 2 QB's in the game.

I like our chances
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:34 AM   #6
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If trends continue Id be worried. Cause it wasn't that long ago the NFC west was ranked at the bottom.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:40 AM   #7
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The Raiders are awful and they lost some good players other teams...and stupidity (McClain).

I hope they don't get the 1st pick. Would suck facing Clowney and Von every year.
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Old 05-10-2013, 10:47 AM   #8
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Quote:
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The Raiders are awful and they lost some good players other teams...and stupidity (McClain).

I hope they don't get the 1st pick. Would suck facing Clowney and Von every year.
You forgot to add how kFc didn't manage to get any better, all they did was draft a RT, resign a bunch of guys who were part of the 2-14 season then swap 2009 Cassell with 2013 version of Cassell. They are better at 2nd and 3 team WR though!
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Old 05-10-2013, 11:56 AM   #9
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You forgot to add how kFc didn't manage to get any better, all they did was draft a RT, resign a bunch of guys who were part of the 2-14 season then swap 2009 Cassell with 2013 version of Cassell. They are better at 2nd and 3 team WR though!
I'm not sure if you're trolling me or actually being serious?
Hopefully it's trolling bc only an uneducated NFL fan would not see that KC has some talent on the team and coaching and QB play were the biggest problems.

You"re also a moron if you think Cassel is the same as Smith after watching them the last 2 years. Cassel was bottom of the barrel. I'd take backups over him.
Smith is an average QB at least.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:04 PM   #10
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I'm not sure if you're trolling me or actually being serious?
Hopefully it's trolling bc only an uneducated NFL fan would not see that KC has some talent on the team and coaching and QB play were the biggest problems.

You"re also a moron if you think Cassel is the same as Smith after watching them the last 2 years. Cassel was bottom of the barrel. I'd take backups over him.
Smith is an average QB at least.
I Agree, the Queefs dont have the recent success to claim that they are good BUT bringing in a new coach and regime can be the big difference. Look at many teams over the years that have changed coaches, either that season or soon there after is a boom or bust in winning. Josh McDaniels after Shannahan(Bust) John Fox after McDaniels(Boom).... Jim Harbaugh after Singletary(Boom), Bill Belicheat after Pete Carrol (Boom)


Given the fact that they have upgraded the QB spot, Jamal Charles, Dwayne Bowe and now have an offensive coach that has a proven track record they could easily suprise some people...and they might not but I would def. argue that they are a team on the rise
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:12 PM   #11
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I'm not sure if you're trolling me or actually being serious?
Hopefully it's trolling bc only an uneducated NFL fan would not see that KC has some talent on the team and coaching and QB play were the biggest problems.

You"re also a moron if you think Cassel is the same as Smith after watching them the last 2 years. Cassel was bottom of the barrel. I'd take backups over him.
Smith is an average QB at least.
Weren't you the guy pimping Geno Smith as the Number 1 pick when we were all telling you he is way overrated? Yeah, that was you.

So I think your QB knowledge is limited.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:20 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KCStud View Post
I'm not sure if you're trolling me or actually being serious?
Hopefully it's trolling bc only an uneducated NFL fan would not see that KC has some talent on the team and coaching and QB play were the biggest problems.

You"re also a moron if you think Cassel is the same as Smith after watching them the last 2 years. Cassel was bottom of the barrel. I'd take backups over him.
Smith is an average QB at least.
Both Smith and Cassell have proven to be turnover machines in their careers, both are weak armed game managers though I think Cassell has more arm strength.

I will say that Romeo Crenell should not be allowed to ever be a head coach again. Reid might be crafty enough to help them win a couple close games or gameplan to play to their strengths. Can they jump from the 6 win team they look like on paper to a playoff team this year? I don't think so.
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:47 PM   #13
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KC got better just by subracting Crennel and adding Reid. The chargers didnt do much and I'm not sure how McCoy will be at HC. Raiders are in full blown overhaul mode.


Smiths accuracy drops considerably off after 5-10 yards. Drops like its falling from a cliff.
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Old 05-10-2013, 09:16 PM   #14
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KC got better just by subracting Crennel and adding Reid. The chargers didnt do much and I'm not sure how McCoy will be at HC. Raiders are in full blown overhaul mode.


Smiths accuracy drops considerably off after 5-10 yards. Drops like its falling from a cliff.
Add to that: "With the glide angle of a crowbar!"
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Old 05-10-2013, 12:50 PM   #15
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Haven't watched Smith much, but from it sounds like is Kyle Orton with better mobility.
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Old 05-10-2013, 06:31 PM   #16
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AFC West ranks lower because all our division opponents are starting the season 0-2 while we're 6-0......it's not our fault we dominate our division
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:38 PM   #17
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[SIZE="7"]
By Gregg Rosenthal
pronounced 'Greg' or 'Greg-g'?
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:40 PM   #18
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Well of course the AFC West is last.
They had two teams pick in the top 5, another pick at 11 and then the Broncos.
The Raiders have loads of problems, to me they are the worst team.
Chiefs have some unknowns, but actually some decent players, but still crappy.
Chargers have the turnover machine in Rivers.

AFC is pretty garbage minus a handful of teams. Patriots, Broncos and Texans are the top 3 to me, followed by the Ravens, Steelers and Bengals. Colts way overachieved last year, and now will fall back down a notch IMO. But the rest of the AFC, my god. Look at them, just awful. NFC you got like 3 teams almost in each division who could be playoff threats. Only division like that in the AFC is the North, and the rest of the divisions have nothing but really 1 good team to be a playoff threat.
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Old 05-10-2013, 08:54 PM   #19
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Remember back in the 1980s when the team of the decade was in the same division as the Saints, the Falcons & the LA Rams? The Rams were ok for a while with Dickerson and Jim Everett but the ain'ts and the falcons were perennial losers. Yah, good times.
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Old 05-11-2013, 11:39 AM   #20
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Here's how I see it this year (I think both K.C. and S.D. are going to be much improved):

NFC East
NFC West
AFC West
AFC North
AFC South
NFC North
AFC East
NFC South
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:34 PM   #21
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This all seems rather funny now......
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Old 10-11-2013, 04:53 PM   #22
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This all seems rather funny now......
excellent bump for bye week #1
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Old 10-11-2013, 05:02 PM   #23
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This all seems rather funny now......
The difference between preseason predictions and reality has largely been QB play:

Manning - expected to be great, but somehow has topped expectations by playing QB at a level we have never seen before.

Smith - very smooth transition into a new offense, almost no mistakes allowing a very good defensive team to come out on top every week through a streak of close games.

Rivers - if not his former pro-bowl level self, once again a dangerous, productive player who put up 30 any week.

Pryor - the biggest surprise of all, a team that many thought would be lucky to win 2 all year has been competitive every week (sans @ Denver) thanks largely to Pryor looking like a smart QB along with his dangerous running ability.

But, also, AFC West has been playing a lot of NFC East.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:51 PM   #24
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Originally Posted by Kid A View Post
The difference between preseason predictions and reality has largely been QB play:

Manning - expected to be great, but somehow has topped expectations by playing QB at a level we have never seen before.

Smith - very smooth transition into a new offense, almost no mistakes allowing a very good defensive team to come out on top every week through a streak of close games.

Rivers - if not his former pro-bowl level self, once again a dangerous, productive player who put up 30 any week.

Pryor - the biggest surprise of all, a team that many thought would be lucky to win 2 all year has been competitive every week (sans @ Denver) thanks largely to Pryor looking like a smart QB along with his dangerous running ability.

But, also, AFC West has been playing a lot of NFC East.
I don't give Smith much credit at all other than not turning the ball over(which he's starting to do last 2 weeks). His 3rd down conversion rate is hideous, like 3/19 in a game hideous. He cannot make any throws outside and down the field. Bowe has been reduced to practice squad type production. KC is winning in spite of that offense. Their defense deserves all the credit.
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Old 10-11-2013, 07:57 PM   #25
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I don't give Smith much credit at all other than not turning the ball over(which he's starting to do last 2 weeks). His 3rd down conversion rate is hideous, like 3/19 in a game hideous. He cannot make any throws outside and down the field. Bowe has been reduced to practice squad type production. KC is winning in spite of that offense. Their defense deserves all the credit.
I love it because it could cement Alex Smith as their QB for the next few years, and also giving up another 2nd round pick to the Niners.

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