For years the American Football Conference was the premier conference- the Colts, Patriots, and Steelers were always strong Super Bowl contenders in the 2000s. A new decade has started, and the focus has now shifted to the NFC. This conference is stronger from top to bottom and is looking for its fourth Super Bowl victory in the last five years. Here are three reasons that the NFC is head and shoulders above the AFC.
1. There are stronger teams at the top.
The Denver Broncos came into Super Bowl XLVIII thinking that they were going to demolish the Seattle Seahawks. After all, they did have the best offense in league history in an offense-oriented league. That didn't happen- Seattle won its first title 43-8 in one of the most lopsided games in Super Bowl history. Denver has a chance to get redemption and could have an easy path due to a conference that lacks Super Bowl teams. Only the Patriots will challenge the Broncos in the playoffs, making only TWO teams in the entire conference that are serious title contenders. The gap between the Seahawks and the other teams is very close and a lot of teams are ready for runs to the Super Bowl. The Seahawks, 49ers, Saints, Packers and Cardinals could represent the NFC in the Super Bowl and few would be surprised.
2. There are stronger teams at the bottom.
Look at the bottom of the AFC and you will see that there are many teams that haven't been playoff teams in a while. The Dolphins, Raiders, Titans, Jaguars, Bills and Browns combine for one playoff appearance and no victories. Buffalo hasn't even been to the playoffs in the 21st century! In the NFC, all of the teams are competing for a playoff spot. Only the Vikings seem to be headed for a top 10 draft pick and they made the playoffs two years ago. Every team would be a borderline playoff team in the AFC but can't make the postseason because of the other stellar teams in their conference. Plus, the NFC North, NFC South, and NFC West are the three strongest divisions in football.
3. The depth between the title contenders to cellar dwellers in the NFC is amazing.
As stated before, any NFC team could make the playoffs. With the exception of the Vikings and possibly Rams, there are 14 teams in the NFC that could get a 10-6 record. In contrast, the AFC wild card this year could be at or slightly above .500. Almost all of the teams have prolific quarterbacks and stingy defenses, and the majority of great NFL coaches are in the National Football Conference.