The Armchair Quarterback's Guide To The NFL: Week 4

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Sep 22, 2013; Cincinnati, OH, USA; Cincinnati Bengals defensive end Carlos Dunlap (96) celebrates after a fumble as Green Bay Packers quarterback Aaron Rodgers (12) walks off the field during the fourth quarter at Paul Brown Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Andrew Weber-USA TODAY Sports

The Armchair Quarterback Take Of The Week

Reports of the AFC’s Demise Were Greatly Exaggerated

What a difference a few weeks make.

Coming into this season the best of the NFL was supposed to be the Denver Broncos and a truck load of NFC teams. If you had asked every NFL expert to list their top 5 Super Bowl contenders for the 2013 season, its quite possible that Denver would have been the only AFC team on a lot of lists. The rest of the top 5 would have likely been filled by teams like Seattle, San Francisco, Green Bay, and Atlanta. Teams like New England and Houston may have appeared on a couple of lists, but for the most part the NFC was supposed to be the power conference.

However, the “powers” of the NFC have struggled a little out of the box (with the exception of Seattle). In fact, the 6 NFC playoff teams from last season (San Francisco, Seattle, Green Bay, Atlanta, Washington, and Minnesota) are a combined 6-12 through three weeks. If you take away Seattle’s 3-0 record, the remaining five teams are a staggering 3-12.

Meanwhile, AFC teams that weren’t getting a lot of national attention before the season started like the Jets, Titans, Chiefs, and Dolphins are a combined 10-2. Now, does that mean that the Jets, Chiefs, and Dolphins will end up being better this season than San Francisco, Green Bay, and Atlanta just because they have a better combined record right now?

Of course not, but we’ve been down this road before.

Every season the parity of the NFL rears it’s ugly head and teams that everyone thought would be good struggle and teams that no one gave a second thought about jump up to the rank of contender. So the fact that things aren’t sticking to the script thus far shouldn’t be surprising to anyone.

I know some may think that it’s too early to judge at all, that the sample size is too small. However, the numbers thus far can’t be ignored. Through the first three weeks the supposed “weaker” conference, the AFC, has owned the NFC in head to head match ups with a 11-3 win/loss advantage.

Two of the three NFC wins were by the Bears (vs the Bengals and Steelers). Outside of Chicago, the rest of the NFC is 1-11 against the AFC this year. This includes loses by some of the teams that were supposed to be among the NFC elite.

San Francisco lost to Indianapolis
Green Bay lost to Cincinnati
Atlanta lost to Miami
Dallas lost to Kansas City

But hey, Seattle did beat Jacksonville, so there’s that.

So is the balance of power shifting? Only time will tell, but when I read Peter King’s MMQB column this week I did notice that 7 of his top ten teams were from the AFC. That was unimaginable just a couple of weeks ago.

Perhaps those most upset about this development are the Denver Broncos and their fans since it appears that the AFC won’t be the cake walk that many thought it would be (although the Broncos do look REALLY good so far).

Perhaps what we’ll discover as time passes is that each conference has one true super power (Denver and Seattle) and the rest of both leagues are pretty evenly matched.

What do you think? Is there a “power conference” in the NFL? Let’s do an Armchair QB poll in the comments section.

Post “A” if you think the NFC is still the better conference.

Post “B” if you think the AFC is now the better conference.

Post “C” if you think the two are pretty evenly matched.

Now on to the Week 4 game predictions……..

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