NFL: Deadlocked Divisional Duels

In the NFL, 8 teams combine for an alliteration-lover’s dream, see blog-title. Fancy naming schemes aside, football consistently boasts the least parity of any of the four major sports, and gives fans competitive treats year in and year out. This is year is no different, as 4 different divisions feature a pair of teams, with equal records, fighting for the division crown, and more importantly… an automatic playoff spot. So which teams should we expect to be playing in January of 2011? Let’s take a closer look:

AFC East: While most people thought the Jets and Patriots would battle things out for supremacy in this division, few could have predicted how things have played out. With the departure of Randy Moss, to the Brady/Beiber haircut controversy, to the Jets being shutout, and Darrell Revis’ lack of dominance, it’s already been an interesting year. Can the Dolphins end their home woes and catch these two? Whitsport Pick: Patriots (2 words: Bill Belichick)

AFC North: While some expected Cincinnati to challenge for this division’s crown, it’s now clear that the Steelers and Ravens are the two best teams in the division. Many are also slotting them for Super Bowl runs. With each squad displaying a mix of solid defense and play-makers on offense, their December 5th showdown in Baltimore could decide the division. Whitsport Pick: Ravens (Better Offense right now)

AFC South: Looks like this division is the best in football. With each team .500 or better, it’ll be a dog-fight to the end for the division championship. Good thing Michael Vick doesn’t play here… too soon? The Colts are always here, and the Titan’s defense has been scary for a few years now. Just one game back lie the Texans, who are the enigmatic team of the year so far, and the Jags, who are a close second. Odds are Manning will do his norm and take home the crown, but with Indy’s injuries, maybe this is the year another team trumps them. Whitsport Pick: Colts (1 word: Peyton)

NFC West: Yet again, it looks like nobody wants to win the division. Will we see a 7-9 team in the post-season?! The Seahawks and Rams currently share the top spot, but something tells me we’re in store for a few more twists and turns over the remaining 8 weeks. Although his notion seemed insane at the time, owner Jed York’s prediction of still winning the division could happen… the Niners are just two games off the pace. Whitsport Pick: Rams (underdog story of the year)

Despite not being completely square, all other divisions in the NFL are separated by just one game or less. The Saints trail the Falcons by just a half game in the NFC South, and two surprise teams, the Chiefs and Raiders, are battling things out in in the AFC West. Throw in the NY-Philly battle, and the Vikings making run after the Packers.

The end of the season is sure to be another memorable one. With no team running away with their division, this could be the closest NFL season we’ve seen in years. Not to mention that pre-season favorites Dallas, Cincinnati, and San Francisco are a combined 5-19. Will we see another 0-16? or will Buffalo finally earn a victory? Either way it looks to be a crowded party for the #1 Draft pick, throwing the Panthers and Broncos into the mix.

Even Dub-ya doesn't know what to make of the Cowboys this year

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