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NFC east is NOT better then the South ..


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The NFC East was crowned, by many, as the dominant division in the NFL. With the likes of the Dallas Cowboys, Washington Redskins, Philadelphia Eagles, and the World Champion New York Giants, the NFC East was the obvious pick to control the league in 2008.

And why not? As said, the NFC East was home to the Super Bowl champion Giants, along with two other team (Dallas Cowboys and Washington Redskins) appearing in the playoffs. The Eagles, who finished in last place and were the only team to miss the playoffs in the division, finished with a .500 record at 8-8.

Fast-forward to 2008.

The New York Giants are 10-1, tied with the Tennessee Titans for the best record in the NFL.

The Washington Redskins, with a rookie head coach in former Seattle superstar quarterback Jim Zorn, are sitting in second at 7-4.

The Dallas Cowboys, after struggling without starting quarterback Tony Romo, are back on a streak at 7-4.

The Philadelphia Eagles, admittedly struggling and staring controversy down the barrel, are at .500 with a 5-5-1 record. The odd record comes after a disappointing tie against the Cincinnati Bengals, the first in six years.

Those numbers would appear to validate the argument that the NFC East is the dominant division in the NFL. Especially with the fantastic games that are played when these teams square off.

But, hold the phone, don't be so quick to anoint the East.

They may not even be the best division in the NFC.

Move to where the weather is hotter, and perhaps a little more tumultuous.

The NFC South must be heard.

Sitting atop the NFC South are the Tampa Bay Buccaneers at 8-3, with Jeff Garcia pulling them out of a scary first half against the winless Detroit Lions.

The Carolina Panthers are also at 8-3, after having their season's fuse lit by a last-second win over the San Diego Chargers in the first week of the season. They're a surprise this season.

But not nearly as much as the Atlanta Falcons.

The Atlanta Falcons are the most surprising team in perhaps the last decade, let alone 2008. With a rookie head coach AND rookie quarterback, they have accumulated a 7-4 record after putting together a sad 4-12 record only a year ago.

Then, sitting in last place, are the New Orleans Saints. After a high-scoring Monday Night Football affair with the Green Bay Packers, in which they scored a franchise-record-tying 51 points, they improve to 6-5.

An interesting stat about the New Orleans Saints: they are only the third team since 1935 to have a winning record, and own last place in their division over halfway through the season.

Who were the other two teams to accomplish such a disappointing feat? The Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles...of the 2008 season.

So, all that does is complicate this discussion. Three teams this year (with the Dallas Cowboys first achieving this less-than-sought-after stat) have held sole possession of last place in their division with a winning record. The first time in 73 years. Most teams have not even been around that long.

The East is home to four of the top media markets in the NFL today, and get a lot of media exposure. Much more than any team in the South. Does that explain all of the hype around the NFC East and explain why the South has gone virtually unnoticed outside of football circles?

Why is it that a man like Michael Turner is not the household name that Clinton Portis has become?

Is the East simply, better?

The stats of these eight teams break down like this, in the order of the current ranking within their respective division:

NFC South

1. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (8-3):

Offense: 23.4 PPG (16th) 342.8 TYPG (12th) 227.4 RYPG (11th) 115.5 RYPG (12th)

Defense: 16.4 PPG (3rd) 274.7 TYPG (4th) 174.6 PYPG (2nd) 100.1 RYPG (12th)

2. Carolina Panthers (8-3):

Offense: 22.7 PPG (20th) 328.4 TYPG (16th) 194.6 PYPG (22nd) 133.7 RYPG (6th)

Defense: 18.2 PPG (7th) 302 TYPG (11th) 192.1 PYPG (9th) 109.9 RYPG (17th)

3. Atlanta Falcons (7-4):

Offense: 25.1 PPG (6th) 364.1 TYPG (6th) 212.5 PYPG (14th) 151.5 RYPG (2nd)

Defense: 20.5 PPG (9th) 351.6 TYPG (24th) 230.7 PYPG (23rd) 120.9 RYPG (21st)

4. New Orleans Saints (6-5):

Offense: 28.8 PPG (4th) 411.9 TYPG (1st) 319.5 PYPG (1st) 92.4 RYPG (27th)

Defense: 25.3 (26th) 345.9 TYPG (22nd) 235.1 PYPG (24th) 110.8 RYPG (18th)

Combined: 23-15

NFC East

1. New York Giants (10-1):

Offense: 29.9 PPG (1st) 367.8 TYPG (5th) 202.9 PYPG (19th) 164.9 RYPG (1st)

Defense: 18.1 PPG (6th) 275.4 TYPG (5th) 190.5 PYPG (8th) 84.8 RYPG (6th)

2. Washington Redskins (7-4):

Offense: 18.3 PPG (27th) 340.8 TYPG (14th) 197.1 PYPG (21st) 143.7 RYPG (3rd)

Defense: 18.1 PPG (5th) 272.0 TYPG (3rd) 182.7 PYPG (4th) 89.3 RYPG (7th)

3. Dallas Cowboys (7-4):

Offense: 24.1 PPG (12th) 348.2 TYPG (10th) 236.1 PYPG (9th) 112.1 RYPG (16th)

Defense: 22.8 PPG (20th) 294.5 TYPG (8th) 196.2 PYPG (11th) 98.4 RYPG (10th)

4. Philadelphia Eagles (5-5-1):

Offense: 24.6 PPG (9th) 349.5 TYPG (9th) 255.0 PYPG (5th) 94.5 RYPG (26th)

Defense: 20.8 PPG (10th) 288.6 TYPG (6th) 188.9 PYPG (5th) 99.7 RYPG (11th)

Combined: 29-14-1

Cross-divison Record: NFC East 3-0; NFC South 0-3

Eagles defeated Falcons, Redskins defeated Saints, Cowboys defeated Buccaneers

Note: PPG = Points Per Game TYPG = Total Yards Per Game PYPG = Passing Yards Per Game RYPG = Rushing Yards Per Game (#) indicates league rank

The NFC South has not been around long, and does not have the rivalries that the NFC East has, so overall there is no contest between the two.

However, looking only at 2008, there are comparisons to be made. The NFC South does not have one dominant team at the top, but then again, they also do not have the defending Super Bowl champions.

The NFC South, on the other hand, does not appear to have a weak link like the NFC East does in the Philadelphia Eagles. Or are the Eagles a weak link? Are they simply a team in a funk? That's a different discussion for a different day. But I digress.

So, Week 12 is over, the stats are in, the records are in the book.

But which division should boast NFL supremacy?

Does the south rise up and overtake the media-market friendly NFC East? Or, does the East still overshadow their lesser-known peers below them?

This is a debate that will continue until the season is over and the Lombardi is hoisted. Will it be held by one of these teams?

The Philadelphia Eagles, Carolina Panthers, Atlanta Falcons, and New Orleans Saints have never won a Super Bowl and have only four appearances between the four teams (two by Philadelphia, one by Carolina, and one by Atlanta, with New Orleans only getting as far as the NFC Championship game).

I'm not sure which division is better. At this point in the season, as a whole, I would have to say the NFC South is playing more consistent football. However, in the end, it may be the NFC East depending on whether or not the Philadelphia Eagles get their act together.

All I can say with a relative certainty is that I would expect one of these eight teams to, if not hoist the Lombardi, have a shot in the Big Dance.

Let the debate begin.

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The skins are slipping a bit. Philly is slipping a lot. If SF would have jammed T.O. like everyone else this season, that might have been their 5th loss. But, anyone who plays Dallas might as well feel they are spotting the Boys 10 points for all the love they will get from the refs. It happens every week, but I still think they can't push them into the playoffs. The Giants are better than anyone most of the time, but the South is neck and neck with the rest.

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The NFC South has more Rushing Teams

Bucs have Caddy and Dunn

Panthers have Williams

Falcons have Turner,Norwood ,Snelling and Mug

Saints have Bush and etc

The NFC East has more of a passing attack

If you shut down rushing on the South it makes them more to pass

The East if you cover the WRs they have to run more

In my opinion the South has stronger teams then the East B)

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