Yardbarker Horiz

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

NFC South Tops NFC East For A Decade

NFC East fans, it starts here with two small victories then goes downhill -- prepare yourselves.  And believe me, only the NFC North and NFC West should be ashamed of how their division came through the 2000-2009 decade in the NFL playoffs.  NFC East fans, hold your heads up!  That's your first small victory.

Round 1
With 13 appearances in the first (or wildcard) round of the playoffs and a 7-6 record in those games, the NFC East tops the 8 appearance of the NFC South and their 4-4 record.  In the NFC East the Philadelphia Eagles have 5 first round game appearances.  In the NFC South the Buccaneers lead with four first round appearances.  And while it's an impressive count for the NFC East, this is not the round where champions are crowned.

Round 2
Every team in each division played in a 2nd round playoff game during the '00s.  And while the NFC East had a winning 7-5 record in their games, the NFC South was deadly with a 6-1 record in the same round. 

In the NFC East, Washington and Dallas combined for a pathetic 0-3 record in the second round for the decade.  The abysmal performance by those teams could not be offset by the Giants' 2-0 record in the second round.  In the NFC South each team had a 2nd round playoff game victory at least once (twice each for the Panthers and Saints).  Fortunately for the NFC East the Eagles had 7 appearances in this round with a 5-2 record providing the NFC East with more games in this round.  And the NFC East generated two teams in this round in the same year (2007, Giants and Cowboys) but, again, this is not where champions are crowned.

NFC Championship
In the NFC Championship Game, both the NFC East and NFC South captured three NFC Titles.  The NFC East had seven appearances by two teams:  Philadelphia had a 1-4 record and the Giants a 2-0 record.  The Washington Redskins and the Dallas Cowboys did not get to the NFC title game during the past decade.  For the NFC South, each team had at least one appearance in the NFC title game during the first decade of the 21st century:  Tampa Bay 1-0 (after 2002 season), Panthers 1-1 (2003 and 2005 respectively), Saints 1-1 (2009 and 2006), and the Falcons 0-1 (after 2004 season).  Clearly, top to bottom, the NFC South performed at a higher level than the NFC East.

NFL Champions
Of the 10 NFC appearances in the Superbowl during the 2000-2009 decade, six of the ten teams were from either the NFC South or NFC East.  In fact, the appearances are equally divided with each division having three appearances each.  The NFC West also had three appearances.  The NFC North had just one.  No clear leader here.

As far as being World Champions, only two NFC divisions gathered a SuperBowl trophy for the NFC during the seasons from 2000-2009.  The other two divisions, the NFC North and NFC West, did not win a championship during the '00s.  The NFC East got one with the New York Giants taking out the 15-0 New England Patriots.  The NFC South, however, landed twice as many Lombardis - the Buccaneers after the 2002 season and the New Orleans Saints after the just-completed 2009 season.

When it comes to Champions, the NFC South was the Division of the Decade.

Overall, the NFC South had a 15-9 record in playoff games, a healthy 0.625 wining percentage.  The NFC East barely finished above .500 with an 18-17 record.

So, if your team makes the playoffs in 2010, you should hope they avoid NFC South teams for an opponent.  In fact, an NFC East team will at least get you about a 50-50 shot at winning -- better to hope for that instead.