Fairly uncontroversial statement in today's game: NFC East reigns supreme over all other conferences. Indeed it is repeated so often I only feel the need to state it over and over again so that I'm on the record. Does anyone disagree with the thrust of this fanpost? It is the winningest division in football with the most net points by a mile. We're 14-5 and, incredibly, four of our five losses came from inside the division. Compare that to other competent divisions like the AFC East (11-6, with three losses coming in division) or the NFC South (!!!) (12-8, with 3 of those losses coming in division) and we're way out ahead in the division arms race. We're the only division still undefeated in our non-conference schedule. NFC East is good, for serious, I'm not joking.
And it remains that way in the future. For those of you getting hair cuts this week or those of you who just subscribe to Sports Illustrated the magazine (cnnsi website here), tomorrow -- I can see into the future -- you may read an article by Damon Hack discussing precisely the hegemony of the NFC East and the effect that will have on the participants.
In his article that hegemony is very much assumed. As an example:
"that era" being the late 80s and early 90s when the division was so damned dominant. Although there's a decent amount of history in the article, which is very entertaining, the part that struck me the most was the discussion (had here soon, below, I hope) of whether it was a good or bad thing to be stuck in such a dominant division. Competing theories would be, at least per the article:
Or, alternatively, just remember that only three of us can go to the playoffs and wild card chances are decreased by the apparently stout competition we'll face by having to beat up on one another. But perhaps it is all character building?
So... question to reader(s) is, would you trade yourself to the NFC West with its increased likelihood of a better record and thus an easier road to the division title or a wild card? Many would say yes, I wouldn't, but for other reasons (I wouldn't sacrifice rivalry games or all the promises of postseason certainty in the world). Or, instead, is there any logic to the argument that 'tis best to stay in the East since whatever team escapes this year into the playoffs will be in a better position for having done so, since it will be battle tested enough to go all the way?
Food for thought. I think existing (and in our case excelling) in the East is a badge of honor to be flaunted, not lamented. As I stated above I wouldn't trade these rivalry games lightly, either. And given the NFC East Super Bowl success of the late 80s, early 90s, and last year's Giants, isn't there some compelling anecdotal evidence that bloodied champions of this division also make for great NFL Champions?
If the playoffs were tomorrow, the Redskins and the Cowboys would be the NFC wild card teams and I have a hard time believing anyone outside our division would get favorable odds against us, Dallas, or the Giants.