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NFL top four divisions power rankings

NFL top four divisions power rankings

Since the National Football League has gone through conference realignment throughout its history, they have always had competitive divisions for that particular season. The 2021 campaign will be no different. Based on current projections among league analysts, the NFC West could have all four teams in the postseason.

Each division in the NFL is broken down into four teams. It is a guarantee that one team out of the four will automatically qualify for the playoffs. There have been years where a division has had two or more teams compete in the playoffs. In 2020, the AFC North featured three teams in the postseason.

Those three teams were the Baltimore Ravens, Pittsburgh Steelers, and the Cleveland Browns. Last year the AFC North showed us that when teams are effectively constructed, they can accomplish a lot in the future. Today, the NFL on Strike 7 Sports will rank the top four divisions that will be highly competitive for the 2021 regular season.

1. NFC West

The NFC West comes in as our number one ranked division in our power rankings. We project that if any division may be able to dethrone the Tampa Bay Buccaneers in 2021, the team will most likely come from the NFC West. Each team within the NFC West has the personnel on the defensive side of the football that can stifle the effectiveness of Tom Brady.

The Seattle Seahawks may be the only question mark when it comes to upper echelon defensive personnel. However, their quarterback Russell Wilson is known to elevate the team through difficult situations. The NFC West could be so competitive that teams outside of the division may not qualify for the playoffs despite having a winning record.

2. AFC North

As previously stated, the AFC North sent three teams to the playoffs last season. Out of the three that qualified, the Cleveland Browns were the most impressive. Cleveland almost dethroned the eventual AFC representative in Super Bowl LV, the Kansas City Chiefs, in the divisional round of the playoffs. During the offseason, each team upgraded or altered their roster to be more prepared to face one another. Cincinnati may not win the AFC North, but will be a tough challenge for any of the other teams within the division.

3. AFC West

Quarterbacks Patrick Mahomes, Derek Carr, Justin Herbert, and now Teddy Bridgewater are all situated within the AFC West. The division is also home to two of the best tight ends in the league right now in Travis Kelce and Darren Waller. The Chiefs are the favorites to win the West for the fifth-straight year. Their fellow members of the division could be in an intense battle to secure wild card spots. With the new playoff structure in place in 2020, there’s only room for seven playoff teams in each conference.

4. AFC East

For the first time and almost a decade, a team not named the New England Patriots was able to win the AFC East. The Buffalo Bills were able to win their first division title since 1995. Buffalo brings back the bulk of their nucleus that appeared in last year’s AFC championship game. While the Bills kept their core intact, other teams within the AFC East retooled their rosters. Cam Newton is expected to return at the helm as the Patriots’ starting quarterback.

Newton will also have upgrades at skill positions such as a tight end and wide receiver. The Miami Dolphins are expected to improve going into quarterback Tua Tagovailoa’s second season being involved with the offense. Miami was in the driver’s seat for a playoff berth last season until they lost momentum and fizzled down the stretch. Buffalo is the front-runners to win the AFC East, but Miami and New England will be improved significantly compared to 2020.

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Photo courtesy of CBS Sports.




Meet Derrick Branch, the founder and chief wordsmith at Strike 7 Sports. With a sharp focus on the NFL and the NBA, Derrick's expertise in sports is matched only by his passion for sharing it with others. He holds a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communications from the prestigious University of Arizona Global. Let his insightful and engaging writing take you to the heart of the action.

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