Seven of the eight National Football League divisions have two or fewer teams with a winning record. The AFC North is the outlier, with four teams with over .500 records. If the season ended after NFL Week 9, all teams within the AFC North would qualify for the playoffs. Thus, bookie influencers call it the toughest NFL division.
The division-leading Baltimore Ravens (7-2) would face the second-place Cincinnati Bengals (5-3). This would be a replay of last year’s wild-card game. The Steelers (6-3) and Browns (6-3) would have to travel to play the division champions.
According to NFL news reports, a third wild card club was introduced to each conference in 2020. Since then, no division has sent all its members to the playoffs. However, there is still a half-season to play. The odds of the present rankings continuing over the next two months are doubtful. However, the possibility of three clubs qualifying for the playoffs is not out of the question.
Toughest NFL Division
It has been outstanding in Baltimore. The offense is still finding its footing under first-year coach Todd Monken. However, it is first in the league in rushing and sixth in scoring (26.6). Lamar Jackson, the team’s quarterback, has been outstanding. And in nine games, the defense has only given up nine touchdowns, which is on par with the historic 2000 Ravens.
The Steelers are the only undefeated club in the division at this point, having won both of their games thus far. T.J. Watt is still a top player in the league, as he is tied for second with 912 sacks and has been an All-Pro twice. The team’s plus-8 turnover differential is good for second in the league.
The Browns’ defense is near the league’s top in several statistical categories. These include yards allowed per game, sack rate, and first downs surrendered per game.
When quarterback Joe Burrow went down with a calf injury in training camp, the Bengals went 1-3, but they managed to avoid the “sky is falling” storyline. Cincinnati has won four in a row, and three of those victories have come against clubs with legitimate postseason hopes (Seattle, San Francisco, Buffalo). Cam Taylor-Britt, a cornerback, has been outstanding recently, picking off the ball three times in the previous four games.
There is still half a season left in the NFL. Aside from watching the AFC North, you can also look at the top NFL cheerleaders of 2023. You can enjoy football action and attractive ladies each week until the Super Bowl.