As we embark on the latter half of the 2016 regular season, we thought it’d be interesting to examine the strength of each division and conference. By doing so, we feel we might gain a sense of which divisions will yield the representative of their respective conference in the Super Bowl.
Last year, we gathered our data after Week 6 and found the AFC East and NFC South leading their conferences in divisional strength with the NFC South being the strongest of all. The Panthers went 15-1 and became the eventual NFC Champions. Meanwhile, the Patriots went 12-4 but suffered an AFC Championship loss to the Broncos who went on to win Super Bowl 50.
This season, we find the AFC West and NFC East with commanding leads in their conferences. In our Week 8 BES Rankings, we found the Broncos (6-2), Raiders (6-2) and Chiefs (5-2) ranked fifth, sixth and seventh respectively. Elsewhere, we saw all four NFC East teams land in the top-20 with the Cowboys (6-1) at No. 2.
Could this mean the AFC West and NFC East Champions will collide in Super 51? It is still too early to tell at this point. That’s why we will check in after Week 12 and again after Week 16 to gain a more defined perspective on which divisions are the strongest heading into the postseason. For now, here’s how they stack up at the midway point:
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