AFC and NFC playoff races are comically discrepant

If there was ever a time for the NFL to experiment with the thought of reshuffling the conferences or a promotion and relegation system, now could be the time. The AFC and the NFC look like enjoying two totally different sports activities this season, with the AFC dwelling to a strong assortment of playoff-caliber groups with a handful of franchise quarterbacks vying for the postseason, whereas the NFC … doesn’t have something near that.

Though the standard of the conferences vastly differs, the foundations nonetheless state that seven groups from every will make the postseason. Maybe the author of this text will determine to start out a petition for one of the best 14 groups to make the playoffs yearly, however for now, the NFC as an entity nonetheless has sway — and even worse, the NFC South.

Because the playoffs inch nearer and nearer, keep conscious of this reality: The NFC South nonetheless has an opportunity to place a number of groups into the playoff. The division chief is at the moment the 5-5 New Orleans Saints, who misplaced to Josh Dobbs and the Minnesota Vikings on Sunday and must have a heart-to-heart with themselves on their quarterback scenario. Derek Carr has not been getting the job accomplished this season and backup Jameis Winston not less than offers the Saints an opportunity to make some performs down the sphere. That group is slated to host a playoff sport proper now! The Falcons, in the meantime, are on a three-game dropping streak after dropping video games to the Titans (in Will Levis’ first profession begin), Vikings (in Dobbs’ first begin with the group) and Cardinals (Kyler Murray’s first begin after an ACL harm). The Buccaneers are additionally in play for the NFC South and the seventh seed with a firmly mediocre group. If Dobbs and the present Vikings setup is only a flash within the pan, then there’s an actual chance that two of the Saints, Falcons and Buccaneers make the playoffs. That’s blasphemous in idea, not to mention in follow.

The NFC is chock-full of groups vying to make the playoffs that … do not match as much as the QB expertise and total high quality of their AFC counterparts. (AP Picture/Maria Lysaker) (ASSOCIATED PRESS)

Outdoors of the NFC South and Dobbs rollercoaster, the NFC playoff groups look like set barring any catastrophic accidents to shut the season. The Eagles, Lions, 49ers, Seahawks and Cowboys should not have any downside making the playoffs. The highest-end groups on the NFC are nonetheless sturdy, however in totality, the convention is way weaker than the place the AFC is.

Simply take a look at the quarterback expertise on the perimeter groups within the NFC. Carr and Winston, Sam Howell, Baker Mayfield, Desmond Ridder and Taylor Heinicke. The AFC fringe groups are quarterbacked by C.J. Stroud, Joe Burrow and Josh Allen. It’s OK to be trustworthy and say the latter three are the quarterback and participant skills you need within the playoffs. And that’s simply the groups on the fringe of the AFC postseason. Lamar Jackson, Patrick Mahomes, Trevor Lawrence and Tua Tagovailoa are at the moment entrenched within the AFC race, with the Steelers and Browns able to receiving scrappy play from their quarterbacks in massive moments.

One other manner to take a look at the discrepancy between the AFC and NFC is the projected draft order. In accordance with Tankathon, seven of the groups that reside within the present prime 10 of the 2024 draft order are within the NFC. Up to now, solely the Titans, Patriots and Broncos have been on par with the worst that the NFC has to supply, and the stark distinction in high quality of the conferences is exhibiting up with the present playoff order. The powerful half in regards to the AFC being so loaded {that a} handful of one of the best younger quarterbacks within the league are going to be on the skin wanting in of the postseason. Even Justin Herbert is on the skin because the twelfth seed because the Chargers attempt to discover some semblance of a defensive identification.

Guidelines are guidelines, however it’s arduous to not get a superb chuckle out of what the NFC has occurring on the backside of their playoff image and the underside of their convention normally. Possibly Roger Goodell can step in and disrupt the playoff construction this 12 months to ensure the highest quarterbacks get into the playoffs, or not less than bar the NFC South from internet hosting a playoff sport this season. It’s the truthful factor to do.

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