Best Division in NFL? Making the Case for AFC North

John Grieshop

Many of us would consider the NFC West, with juggernauts San Francisco and Seattle, the best division in modern football.

And that may very well be true.

However, people sometimes forget that it is the AFC North that repeatedly puts a team, and indeed sometimes more than one per year, deep into the playoffs.

The Pittsburgh Steelers and Baltimore Ravens have been known for much of the last decade to be the elite AFC teams to face in any given week.

However, in the past few years, the Cincinnati Bengals have become quite relevant, and especially recently, as the team has captured two straight Wild Card playoff berths.

Even the Browns are beginning to turn their franchise around, as no team can look at their schedule and count a game against Cleveland as a win before it happens any more.

All four teams rely on strong defensive numbers, and tough all-around play every week to grab wins each season.

And then there’s the divisional games, where two AFC North teams line up on opposite sides of the ball, and go nose-to-nose every play. It doesn’t matter the record for either team that year. They are going to give it their all every down, and the fans come expecting, relishing the bad blood. Call it a legal street fight at times. With helmets and uniforms.

As far as the fans, never have I seen such hardcore, determined, and true fans to any one team. Whether it’s the Browns or the Steelers, the Bengals or the Ravens, both trash talk and team support is always at an all-time high, in good times or bad.

So the last decade may have brought about some good play from the NFC West. However, the AFC North will always be one of the grittiest divisions in football. And with that comes some of the best games, and some of the best fans in the NFL.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Cincy Jungle

You must be a member of Cincy Jungle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cincy Jungle. You should read them.

Join Cincy Jungle

You must be a member of Cincy Jungle to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Cincy Jungle. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9341_tracker