NFL Playoffs: Is the NFC West really the worst conference?


There has been a lot of talk in recent weeks that the NFC West may be the first conference to send a team with a losing record to the playoffs.  The big debate now is should the NFC West ‘give-up’ its playoff spot to another team with a better record.  The ‘experts’ are saying that if an NFC West team was in another conference then they would never stand a chance of ever getting close to the playoffs.

Well I have decided to do what no ‘expert’ has done yet, and I looked at how each conference has actually faired in the playoffs.  Sure it’s great if you can get to the playoffs, but if you don’t do anything once you are there does it really matter? Cough… Chargers…Cough

I went back and starting at the 2002 – 03 season I noted all postseason wins per conference.  I started there because that is when the current 4 conference divisions started.  Here are some quick findings: the AFC has more wins than the NFC (Pats and Steelers super bowl wins), the AFC East has the most postseason wins with 15, and 1 AFC team and 1 NFC team have the worst postseason record with 6 wins.  Can you guess who they are?

Join me after the jump for the full breakdown.


Strap on your thinking cap for some math.  Every postseason there is a possibility of 11 wins; 5 AFC, 5 NFC and the Super Bowl.  There have been 8 postseasons since the realignment which means 88 total postseason wins.  88 wins divided by the 8 conferences means 11 wins per conference is average.  Still with me?  Okay here is the full breakdown by wins:


Total Wins Wild Card Division Confrence SB Win
AFC East 15 5 5 3 2
AFC North 12 4 4 2 2
AFC South 12 5 4 2 1
AFC West 6 2 3 1  
NFC East 13 5 5 2 1
NFC North 6 2 3 1
NFC South 14 3 6 3 2
NFC West 10 6 2 2  

As you can see the NFC West is just one game below average; just one less Holmes catch away from being tied with the AFC North.

I am not at all surprised with the AFC East, but the NFC South really jumped out at me.  But then I remembered that the Bucs won the Superbowl of the 02 – 03 season, and also that was Vick’s time in Atlanta. 

It’s funny how no one talks about the NFC North being a weak conference.  Sure they have good teams but that has amounted to nothing in the postseason.  Also the ‘experts’ talk about the Chargers late season runs and how there is no better team in December, but that doesn’t matter when the playoffs are in January.

In terms of actually going to the Superbowl the NFC West is right up there with everyone else with 2 teams making it.

My point in all this, don’t dis the NFC West.  When the playoffs start every team has an 0-0 record.  No team in the history of the NFL has always been dominating every year, and the NFC West is just having an off couple of years.

Although I won’t lie, I would like the 49ers to stop playing so bad… oh well.

This is a FanPost and does not necessarily reflect the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors. It does reflect the views of this particular fan though, which is as important as the views of Niners Nation's writers or editors.

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