It's looking like the NFC west is shaping up to be a very tough division this year. I was curious how it would stack up against the toughest divisions in recent NFL history. So I did a little research, and came up with a table for how many out-of-division wins each division has had since 2002.
- My methodology was to sum all the wins for every team in the division and subtract by 12 (or less if I have to account for a tie). This gives the total number of wins that division had against non-division opponents. (out of 40 possible) Each entry in the table lists the number of wins against non-division opponents, followed by the winning percentage. I had it color coded, but it didn't transfer with the copy/paste.
- Unsurprisingly, the years with the winningest divisions also tended to contain some really bad divisions.
- The 3 best divisions: 1st place is the 2007 AFC South with a 75% winning percentage outside their division. Tied for 2nd are the 2007 NFC East and the 2008 NFC South, with a 70% winning percentage.
- The 3 worst divisions: The 2008 NFC West with a 25% win percentage, the 2008 AFC West with a 27.5% win percentage, and the 2009 NFC West with a 30% win percentage.
- Before making this chart, I didn't realize how consistently bad the NFC West has been. Hopefully the years to come will erase that trend.