Announcement FanSided's Game of Thrones recap show streams live at noon eastern. ×

Seattle Seahawks led NFC West vs AFC West for top division – sports debate Part one

Credit: Steven Bisig-USA TODAY Sports

 

The Seattle Seahawks hold the best record in the NFL, but the Broncos and Chiefs have been the leagues’ most dominant so far. Where does this put the crown for the NFL’s most dominant conference? It’s the AFC vs NFC for top dog as Dan Salem and Todd Salem tackle this week’s sports debate head on. Two brothers from New York yell, scream and debate sports.

 

TODD:

For years and years, the best division in football was the NFC East. This is obviously no longer the case. So where does that distinction now fall? I think there are a number of solid options.

NFC South
Contains two of the top four teams in the conference both in terms of record and point differential. The Tampa Bay Buccaneers have also taken some huge strides here in recent weeks, proving they aren’t the pushover they were earlier in the year. However, the collapse of the Atlanta Falcons really hurts this division’s cause.

AFC North
They don’t really qualify but, at certain points, all four teams have looked pretty damn good. They just can’t get on the same page at the same time of year. It ends up making the division appear mediocre rather than good. No bad teams here though, we can admit.

AFC West
Has the two best teams in the conference as far as record and point differential. There are no pushovers either with Oakland bringing up the rear. The strength here is that the division goes three deep with potential playoff teams. This is clearly the best division in the AFC. But, San Diego’s point differential barely cracks zero and they have a horrid defense. The cream of the AFC West might be the best, but the depth does not quite measure up to…

And the winner is:

NFC West
Has the best team in football in the Seattle Seahawks. It also has the best third place team (Arizona Cardinals) and the best fourth place team (St. Louis Rams) in both record and point differential. The only knock on this division could be that the San Francisco 49ers aren’t as good as people expected them to be. But the numbers say otherwise. They are the fourth best team in the conference, and their four losses all came against the three NFC teams ahead of them, as well as the AFC South leading Indianapolis Colts. This team is even better than their record currently indicates. And to top it all off, all four NFC West teams are still in the playoff picture, with three having a legitimate shot at making it.

 

DAN:

Remind me again when the last time the NFC East was the best division in football? The Dallas Cowboys haven’t been good in nearly a decade. The Washington Redskins had one good season, last year, but the five years before hand? I’ll give you the New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles, but in all seriousness, that division is way past its prime.

Last year found the NFC West as the top division, but this season? No, no, no. I’m on board with the Seahawks bandwagon and San Fran is formidable, but I’ll take the AFC West please and ride my money straight to the rich man’s vacation home.

What makes for a top division? Its having the league’s top teams. At least two of them, with a formidable lineup of other teams at its bottom. The Denver Broncos and Kansas City Chiefs are the top teams in the NFL. Sorry Seahawks, you may hold the best record, but you’re not better than Denver or Kansas City. And the San Diego Chargers? Watch out. If they don’t make the playoffs they’ll be playing spoiler down the stretch.

I’ll take Denver and Peyton Manning over Pete Carroll’s squad any day. And the Chiefs would crush the 49ers. That pits the Cardinals against the Chargers, which based upon both teams’ showing this past weekend, they are even Steven. I’ll give you St. Louis over the Oakland Raiders, but who cares about a division’s worst team. AFC West all the way.

I’m also leaning heavily AFC now as the best conference, with easily three of the top teams in the NFL after thirteen weeks. I love predictions. Which conference will end the season as most dominant?

 

TODD:

Saying the AFC is better than the NFC is ludicrous. Even if I grant you that the two West divisions are a wash (which they are NOT, but even if I grant you that), the rest of the National is way better than what remains in the American.

Here are the next four big boys in each conference:

NFC has

Carolina Panthers (+128 point differential)
New Orleans Saints (+82)
Detroit Lions (+39)
Dallas Cowboys or Philadelphia Eagles (I personally prefer Philly +19 at the moment)

AFC has

Cincinnati Bengals (+76)
New England Patriots (+61)
Indianapolis Colts (+11)
Baltimore Ravens (Probably the second wild card favorite at the moment at +14 point differential)

 

[Part two -  Top conference debate]

Topics: AFC West, Denver Broncos, Kansas City Chiefs, NFC West, Seattle Seahawks

Want more from NFL Spin Zone?  
Subscribe to FanSided Daily for your morning fix. Enter your email and stay in the know.
  • DXW

    Denver has a way of picking apart the best defenses in the league, just ask KC. If Denver can get healthy and if both teams manage to make it to the SB, Seattle won’t be any different. If the game was played in Seattle the Hawks might be able to pull off the win, but it’s not and they won’t.

    • anon76returns

      Seattle’s D is way better than KC’s right now, as are their receivers. I don’t think Seattle is as good at generating QB pressure as KC was at the beginning of the season, but they’re still pretty good at it, and their linebackers and secondary are much better.
      Denver can beat them, but they’ll likely need a better defensive effort than they had against the Chiefs, and they can’t give up a KOR TD or throw easy picks either.
      The Panthers, Texans, Colts, Rams & Bucs all came close to pulling off wins against Seattle (or actually did win, in the Colts’ case), and Denver certainly has a far more talented roster than any of those teams, but Seattle is also playing better now than they were earlier in the season. Hopefully we’ll get to see who plays better in NJ in February.

  • anon76returns

    I’m a Bronco fan, but there’s no way the AFC West is better than the NFC West this year- I think Denver might be as good as Seattle (that’s a good debate), but right now Kansas City is not as good as the 49ers (who would have the same record as KC if not for a bad call at the end of the Saints game). The Chargers are way better than AZ on offense, but lack any form of defense (AZ is actually really good on D) and don’t seem to have the ability to win close games- their four losses to Houston, Tennessee, Miami, and Washington are perfect examples of games that “good” teams win. Nobody’s even trying to say Oakland is better than St. Louis, so I won’t even argue it.

    As for the better conference, the AFC is now 24-30 vs. the NFC, after having a winning record for most of the season. However, the 5 best teams in the AFC (Denver, New England, KC, Indy, Cincy) have a combined 14-4 record against the NFC, while the 5 best teams in the NFC (Seattle, Carolina, San Fran, New Orleans, and AZ) have a combined record of 13-5 against the AFC (substitute Philly, Dallas, or Detroit for AZ, and the numbers get worse for the NFC). In head-to-head, the top 5 AFC teams are 3-2 against the top 5 NFC teams (this one gets much better if you swap out Dallas/Philly/Detroit for AZ). So I’d say at the top the AFC is slightly better, though the middle of the NFC (including eventual #6 playoff seed) is way better in the NFC, and probably the conference as a whole is better.

  • Michael Wheeler

    Dan, you are delusional. The Seahawks have beat a number of teams with winning records and what have the Broncos done? Lost to the the only two teams they faced that had a winning record. I don’t even count KC because they have been exposed as the weaklings they are. They haven’t beat anyone with a winning record yet. I HATE the other NFC West teams but choosing a divion other than that is ludicrous.

  • http://cogito.blogs.com/ TLM

    The discussion just goes to show that growing up Dan was the cute brother, but Todd the smart one. One guy uses facts and statistics to sort through the possibilities in a systematic way, the other makes sweeping assertions with no supporting evidence and then flashes a (verbal) smile and thinks he’s pulled a William Jennings Bryan. Or maybe the column requires a point-counterpoint format and Dan lost the coin flip?

    As a Seattle native who’s lived in KC for ten years, I’ve followed both teams closely and consider myself a fan of both equally, and I’d be hard pressed to construct a scenario where KC “crushes” the 49ers or beats the Seahawks. The facts are pretty clear: Seattle is #2 in points scored, #2 in points allowed. No other team in the NFL comes close. The 49ers lost to the Seahawks (in Seattle), the Colts, and the Panthers and Saints by a combined four points. Any argument about which is the better conference, or which the best division, will always have a subjective aspect, but in this case the supporting facts for the AFC in general and AFC West in particular are thin to non-existent.

  • JessieAnderson

    Give me a team with better stats than the Seahawks and I’ll listen. Otherwise, on paper, as you are writing this article, it’s subjective. And yes, I am a Hawks fan. #GoHawks !