What's the best division in the NFL?
The Around the League gang -- Gregg Rosenthal, Dan Hanzus, Marc Sessler and Brian McIntyre -- each took a swipe at ranking the NFL's eight divisions from best (1 point) to worst (8 points). Our votes were cast, the numbers were tallied and here's what we came up with:
A few notes:
» The NFC South grabbed our top-overall ranking because of voting consistency. McIntyre pegged them at No. 1, and nobody had the division ranked lower than No. 3.
» Hanzus, who clearly watches a lot of Sunday Night Football, named the NFC East No. 1. Rosenthal and Sessler had the NFC North on top.
» Very little love was shown to the AFC South, which received three last-place votes and McIntyre's sixth-place ballot (netting a 30 ranking, just two away from a worst-possible 32). There was a lot of agreement at the bottom of the list. Three divisions -- the AFC South, NFC West and AFC West -- didn't receive higher than a sixth-place ranking from any of the ATL writers.
» Despite its consistently low ranking, the NFC West has made strides. The gap between, say, the NFC East and NFC West has closed dramatically. The NFC West would have been dead last, often by a wide margin, for much of the past decade. It's a division on the rise with the San Francisco 49ers, Seattle Seahawks and Arizona Cardinals all possessing good defenses.
» Back to the NFC East for a minute. It drew a varied response. Hanzus, of course, believes it's football's best. Sessler and McIntyre said No. 4, and Rosenthal placed it at No. 5. If an NFC East team fails to represent the conference in the Super Bowl, Hanzus has agreed to mow Jerry Jones' epic Dallas lawn until 2016.
Feel free to tell us where you disagree below.