In the latest CBS power rankings Pete Prisco takes a shot at the NFC. And I’ve heard the talking heads taking a shot at the NFC as of late too. And it seems to stem from the fact that the Bears “embarassed” the Giants this past week. According to Prisco, because the Bears-Giants matchup wasn’t very close, and the matchups between the cream of the crop in the AFC (Patriots, Colts, Chargers, Ravens, and Broncos) were relatively closer games, it means that the NFC is marginal.
I wouldn’t argue against that necessarily. If you picked the 4 or 5 or so best teams in the league, more than half of them would come from the AFC. But I also find it interesting that if you look at Prisco’s rankings, and looking at the 12 highest-rated teams (essentially all the playoff teams), 7 of them are from the NFC. Take it to the Top 15, it’s 8 vs. 7 in the NFC’s favor. And it’s all even at 10 when looking at the Top 20. So maybe, the NFC does lack the elite firepower that the AFC has, but I think the NFC is a much deeper conference, and Prisco’s ratings seem to reflect that.
I still refuse to jump on the Colts bandwagon. Why does anybody think the team that is 18th in NFL scoring defense is really going to win a Super Bowl? If you go back all the way to the merger looking at Super Bowl winners, you will find only 2 teams ever won the Super Bowl without having a Top 10 scoring defense: ’76 Raiders (12th) and ’83 Raiders (13th). A few teams have gone to the Super Bowl with defenses as poor as the Colts, but they have not won it.
The Colts will have a hell of a time going through New England, Denver, San Diego, and Baltimore in January. They will have to play at least 2 of those teams before they get there. I can guarantee they won’t win both unless their defense really steps it up the rest of the way this year. If Freeney gets hot they will have a chance, but up until now he is probably having the worst season for a Pro Bowler in his contract year in the history of the league.