NFL: Power ranking the divisions

8 - AFC South

Other than Andrew Luck and the Indianapolis Colts, the AFC South is a footballing graveyard. The Tennessee Titans and Jacksonville Jaguars are an afterthought and it will take multiple seasons to change this even if they both knock this year's draft out of the park.  

The Texans meanwhile are at least a quarterback a way from mounting a successful playoff challenge. Admittedly, they came close last year but an easy schedule really stacked the deck in their favor.

The Colts will once again win this division without getting out of second gear.

7 - AFC West

The Broncos are a good team but the 2013 season and the ensuing Superbowl defeat was  almost certainly the high point for the Peyton Manning. Denver should still have enough to win what is a generally poor division.

Any hopes for the Raiders doing anything this season have been extinguished by the signing of Trent Richardson in free agency. The Chargers meanwhile are not only the definition of average but also increasingly reliant on stars like Antonio Gates and Phillip Rivers plus now there speculation of a move to LA is hanging over the team. As for the Chiefs well Jamaal Charles can carry a team only so far.

6 - NFC South

The NFC South was by far and away the worse division in the NFL last season. Unlike most divisions in the NFL though three out of the four teams have franchise quarterbacks and the other team has the first pick in the draft which they will almost certainly draft a quarterback with.

Simply put there is no way that a division containing Cam Newton, Drew Brees, Matt Ryan and Marcus Mariota/Jameis Winston is going to a weak division.

5 - NFC East

The NFC East is a house of cards. The Redskins are a terrible team. The Giants have one or two good players but little depth. The Eagles have made so many trades that no one knows how good they are anymore. The Cowboys meanwhile have got rid of DeMarco Murray, the player who made them the team they were last season and replaced him with Darren McFadden

4 - NFC North

The NFC North has some similarities to the NFC West in that there is one team that is much better than the rest of the division. With Aaron Rodgers, Eddie Lacey, Jordy Nelson and Randall Cobb all lacing up in Green Bay the rest of the division would have to be something special to compete. The problem for the NFC North though is that whilst no team is terrible on paper they all have big issues to deal with. 

The Lions are a good side but they have clearly gotten weaker this off season with the departure of Suh and some other veterans. The Vikings are having to deal with the Adrian Peterson and the issues surrounding his seeming desire to play elsewhere. The Bears meanwhile are stuck in the awful position of having a starting QB, Jay Cutler, who they would like to get rid of but they cannot because, the money he is on makes him both uncuttable and untradeable.

3 - AFC East

The AFC East is home to the Super Bowl champions but the reason why it makes it into the top three here is no really due to the Patriots. The AFC East comes ahead of the likes of the NFC North because, the three teams chasing the Patriots have all improved in free agency.

The Dolphins have landed Suh to create a fearsome defensive line. The Jets have brought back Revis and rebuilt the secondary into a state that should make them a top five defense. The Bills meanwhile already have a good defensive have brought in Rex Ryan to make that defense great and have inject some serious talent into the offense by signing LeSean McCoy.

The Patriots will undoubtedly win the division but at least this year it should be interesting.

2 - AFC North 

There are no bad teams in the AFC North. Even the Browns are just about an average team. The Ravens, Steelers and Bengals meanwhile are all teams for the playoffs.

The AFC North comes in second in the rankings not because it has a single great team, but because it is the most open league in the NFL. You could make a case for all four teams having winning seasons and you could make a case for the Ravens, Bengals and Steelers making deep playoff runs.

The division doesn't have a great team like the Patriots, Seahawks or Packers, or a dominant team like the Colts. What it has is three very good teams and one team that isn't a push over.

1 - NFC West

Coming in top in out post-free agency divisional rankings is the NFC West, and no one should be surprised about this.

There are no awful teams in the NFC West. The Rams and the 49ers are the two weakest outfits but both franchises are competitive within the division with the weakest team, the Rams, managing to get six wins in 2014. 

As for the remaining two teams. The Cardinals showed that when they have a quarterback they can beat anyone. The Seahawks meanwhile came within a whisker of winning consecutive Super Bowls, and with the addition of tight end Jimmy Graham, they have got even stronger.

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