Last week, based on Super Bowl wins, Super Bowl appearances, Hall of Famers produced and all-time modern-era regular-season records, we put together comprehensive yet extremely disputable Power Rankings covering the first 49 years of the Super Bowl era.

This week, we're taking that formula and applying it to all eight divisions as they currently stand in an attempt to get a feel for which have teams that have been most dominant and which have teams that have the most work to do.

Again, Super Bowl era (1966-2014) only, and this is strictly based on the four teams currently residing in each of the eight divisions, with proration helping even the playing field for franchises that haven't been around since '66 (namely the Texans, Ravens, Panthers and Jaguars, and to a smaller extent the Seahawks, Buccaneers, Bengals and Saints).

The criteria (points) Super Bowl wins (10 each) Super Bowl losses (5 each) Hall of Famers (3 each) All-time winning percentage (points are the reserve of their Super Bowl-era ranking) The rankings...

1. NFC East (357 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 120
  • Super Bowl losses: 40
  • Hall of Famers: 111
  • All-time winning percentage: 86

The Dallas Cowboys, Washington, Redskins, New York Giants and Philadelphia Eagles blow the rest of the league away with an insane 12 Super Bowl victories and 20 appearances. In other words, an NFC East team has participated in 41 percent of all the Super Bowls ever held.

No other division has won more than eight or appeared in more than 18 Super Bowls. Only three other divisions have more than one team with multiple Super Bowl victories, while the NFC East has three teams that have won more than two.

At .530, the NFC East also has the highest all-time winning percentage among the eight divisions. The Super Bowl-less Eagles are clearly the dog of the division, but even they have an above-.500 all-time record and two Super Bowl appearances.

Throw in an average of nine modern-day Hall of Famers per team and this is a cakewalk.

The NFC East, with 12 Lombardi victories, is the class of the NFL.  (Getty Images)
The NFC East, with 12 Lombardi trophies, is the class of the NFL. (Getty Images)

2. AFC West (307 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 60
  • Super Bowl losses: 45
  • Hall of Famers: 114
  • All-time winning percentage: 88

The AFC West actually hangs in there in terms of all-time winning percentage (.527), just a fraction back of the NFC East (.530). And the division has actually produced one more modern-day Hall of Famer than the NFC East. The difference is that Super Bowl haul.

The Oakland Raiders and Denver Broncos are two of the eight winningest franchises in modern history and have been to a combined 12 Super Bowls, but the Kansas City Chiefs and San Diego Chargers aren't pulling their weight. The Chiefs have produced an impressive 11 Hall of Famers in the modern era, but they haven't been to a Super Bowl since the 1960s, while San Diego has been to just one Super Bowl (it lost) and has a losing record.

The Raiders and the Broncos carry the AFC West to No. 2.  (Getty Images)
The Raiders and the Broncos carry the AFC West to No. 2. (Getty Images)

3. AFC North (284 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 110
  • Super Bowl losses: 20
  • Hall of Famers: 72
  • All-time winning percentage: 72

When we prorate the Baltimore Ravens' Super Bowl title total, we get 11 championships between them and the Pittsburgh Steelers, who have a record six. The problem is that this division has far too long been split. The Steelers and Ravens are usually very good, while the Cleveland Browns and Cincinnati Bengals are usually bad.

Neither the Browns nor the Bengals have won a Super Bowl, with Cleveland failing to even reach the big game in 46 Super Bowl-era seasons. And both rank in the bottom eight when it comes to modern-era winning percentage.

The Browns chip in with six modern-day Hall of Famers, but the lowly Bengals have just three. This division only fares well here because Pittsburgh is arguably the most successful franchise of modern times while the Ravens have won two championships in only 19 years of existence.

The Steelers give the AFC North a huge boost.  (Getty Images)
The Steelers give the AFC North a huge boost. (Getty Images)

4. AFC East (282 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 70
  • Super Bowl losses: 55
  • Hall of Famers: 84
  • All-time winning percentage: 73

The New England Patriots give the AFC East a lot of momentum. They've won four championships this century, which is twice as many as anyone else, and they've got at least two Hall of Famers (Tom Brady, Bill Belichick) in the Canton queue. But there was a time when this division actually had a lot more street cred.

Ironically, that time was before New England won its first Super Bowl in 2001. Back up a couple decades to an era in which the Buffalo Bills were in the Super Bowl annually rather than mired in the league's longest playoff drought, and to when Dan Marino and the Miami Dolphins were always a contender. Even the Pats still made solo Super Bowl runs in the 1980s and 1990s. Sure, the New York Jets still stunk and have been largely irrelevant since the 1970s began, but in those days, an AFC East that included the Baltimore/Indianapolis Colts commanded a lot more respect than it does today.

Still, because Buffalo has been to four Super Bowls and New England, Miami and the Jets have won seven, the modern-day AFC East has a lot to brag about. In fact, this is the only division besides the NFC East that has participated in more than 15 Super Bowls.

The AFC East has become the Patriots' division.  (Getty Images)
The AFC East has become the Patriots' division. (Getty Images)

5. NFC North (271 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 50
  • Super Bowl losses: 30
  • Hall of Famers: 123
  • All-time winning percentage: 68

The Green Bay Packers have won four Super Bowls and the Minnesota Vikings have participated in four, but those two teams and the Chicago Bears are just 5-6 in 11 Super Bowl games, and the Detroit Lions are the only team that has been active for all 49 years of the Super Bowl era without reaching the big game once.

The Packers, Vikings and Bears have also produced an impressive combined total of 36 modern-day Hall of Famers, but nine teams surprisingly have a stronger modern-day winning percentage than Green Bay.

And when Detroit is weighing you down with only five modern-day Hall of Famers and the second-lowest winning percentage of the modern era, it's really hard to be better than mediocre.

The old Black and Blue Division is just 5-6 in Super Bowls.  (Getty Images)
The old Black and Blue Division is just 5-6 in Super Bowls. (Getty Images)

6. NFC West (258 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 70
  • Super Bowl losses: 35
  • Hall of Famers: 84
  • All-time winning percentage: 69

The AFC North and East and NFC North and West really are bunched together in the middle here, with basically a strong Super Bowl season separating this division from third place on the list.

It helps that the West has been hot of late, with the Seattle Seahawks making the last two Super Bowls and three in the last decade. Throw in that the San Francisco 49ers were in the game three years ago and the Arizona Cardinals made it in 2008 and the West has gained some points of late.

Of course, the 49ers and their five Super Bowls were always helping to lift this division up, especially back in the days in which it was a geographical mess that included the Atlanta Falcons, New Orleans Saints and Carolina Panthers.

The St. Louis Rams have also been to three Super Bowls (one while in Los Angeles) and have produced a solid 10 modern-day Hall of Famers, but the rest of the division has just 17 Super Bowl-era guys in Canton. Arizona and Seattle have struggled too often and San Francisco hasn't been quite as dominant as it sometimes seems.

The 49ers have carried the NFC West. (Getty Images)
The 49ers have carried the NFC West. (Getty Images)

7. AFC South (134 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 20
  • Super Bowl losses: 15
  • Hall of Famers: 51
  • All-time winning percentage: 48

This is a new division but it gets credit for what the Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts and Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers did before joining up in 2002. The problem is neither franchise did a lot. Sure, the Colts have been to four Super Bowls, winning two, but the Titans have been to just one and those two franchises have just 17 combined modern-day Hall of Famers.

The Titans also have a losing Super Bowl-era regular-season record, while the Colts rank close to the middle of the pack in that category.

The young Jacksonville Jaguars and younger Houston Texans both rank in the bottom 10 in that category, have had no chance to accumulate Hall of Famers and have been to zero Super Bowls, winning seven playoff games in a combined 33 seasons.

8. NFC South (86 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 20
  • Super Bowl losses: 15
  • Hall of Famers: 27
  • All-time winning percentage: 24

It's kind of shocking that the NFC South -- which at least has three franchises that have been around for several decades -- is this far back of even the younger AFC South. But the Tampa Bay Buccaneers have just one Super Bowl appearance and are the losingest franchise of the modern era, the New Orleans Saints also have one Super Bowl and rank sixth-last on the Super Bowl era winning percentage list and the Atlanta Falcons are in a similar boat with one Super Bowl loss and the fifth-lowest regular-season win rate.

In fact, if we prorate their one Super Bowl appearance and consider that their all-time winning percentage is actually stronger than everyone else in the division, the 20-year-old Carolina Panthers probably have the strongest all-time track record among this rather pathetic quartet.

Takeaways

The NFC East truly is jacked beyond every other division. They have a 50-point lead on the AFC West, while just 49 points separate that division from the sixth-place NFC West.

Even with proration, being young really hurts the South divisions. You can't prorate zero Hall of Famers, and teams like the Panthers, Jaguars and Texans haven't had a chance to build toward accumulating Hall of Famers just yet.

Again, we looked at the strength of the current divisions based on how the four teams in each one have fared on their own, regardless of what division they used to play in and what teams used to play in the division in question. If you want to look solely at the eight divisions as we currently know them, here's how they compare dating back to realignment/expansion in 2002:

Realignment standings (2002-2014)

Scoring tweaks

  • We've replaced Hall of Famers with first-team All-Pros, lowering the weighting from three per to one per.
  • The winning percentage ranking is now an average of the four teams in the division, with the point total working as the reverse of that ranking.

1. AFC North (112)

  • Super Bowl wins: 30
  • Super Bowl losses: 5
  • All-Pros: 58
  • Reg. season winning percentage: 19

The winning percentage would be so much stronger if not for Cleveland. Baltimore and Pittsburgh have produced a combined 43 first-team All-Pros, while Cincy and the Browns have just 15 combined.

2. AFC East (109)

  • Super Bowl wins: 40
  • Super Bowl losses: 10
  • All-Pros: 43
  • Reg. season winning percentage: 16

New England has produced 22 of those 43 All-Pros, all 50 Super Bowl points and without the Pats they'd have only 10 points in the winning percentage category.

3. NFC West (89 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 10
  • Super Bowl losses: 20
  • All-Pros: 46
  • Reg. season winning percentage: 13

Again, saving themselves lately, and those five Super Bowl appearances are huge. But they take a hit with only one Super Bowl win and a poor overall record.

4. AFC West (82 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 0
  • Super Bowl losses: 10
  • All-Pros: 55
  • Reg. season winning percentage: 17

Only the AFC North has produced more All-Pros but the AFC West takes a hit with an 0-2 Super Bowl record the last 14 years. And the Chiefs and Raiders hardly contribute here (thank goodness for Shane Lechler's five All-Pro nods).

5. NFC South (79 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 20
  • Super Bowl losses: 5
  • All-Pros: 36
  • Reg. season winning percentage: 18

The lowly South actually fares OK when it comes to winning percentage thanks to some decent seasons from New Orleans, Atlanta and Carolina, and the Bucs, Saints and Panthers all have Super Bowl appearances (with two of them winning). So they overcome a weak All-Pro total.

6. NFC East (78 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 20
  • Super Bowl losses: 5
  • All-Pros: 34
  • Reg. season winning percentage: 19

The Giants have two Super Bowl victories, Philadelphia has a loss and Dallas and Philly have a combined 27 first-team All-Pros. But the Redskins have the fourth-worst record and -- unbelievably -- zero All-Pros.

7. NFC North (73 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 10
  • Super Bowl losses: 5
  • All-Pros: 42
  • Reg. season winning percentage: 16

The Packers have won a Super Bowl and the Bears have made one, but the division hasn't produced many All-Pros (just seven for Green Bay, which is tied with Detroit) and the Lions, Vikings and Bears all have records around or much lower than .500.

8. AFC South (70 points)

  • Super Bowl wins: 10
  • Super Bowl losses: 5
  • All-Pros: 39
  • Reg. season winning percentage: 16

And about 45 of those points come from the Colts, who have usually been the division's only decent franchise.


Brad Gagnon has covered the NFL since 2007. You can also read his work at Bleacher Report, Awful Announcing and This Given Sunday. In order to sound more professional, he wrote this blurb in the third person. Follow him on Twitter. Or don’t. It’s entirely your choice.