The NFL has always seemed to show a sense of……favoritism, if you will, for teams on the East Coast. Known as the “East Coast Bias“. Maybe I feel that way being a west coast kid and a die hard Raider fan most of my life, I may just be used to conspiracies and everyone hating me (Raiders).
Against all odds the western divisions are dominant, plain and simple. Many may have already drawn this conclusion, but let me break down just HOW dominant the west was last season. If you grouped every NFC and AFC division together, i.e. NFC West + AFC West, NFC North + AFC North, etc…and simply called these divisions the NFL East, NFL North, NFL South, and NFL West. It’s almost laughable how dominant the NFL West was in 2013.
2013 Regular Season Combined Standings
NFL West (Broncos, Chiefs, Raiders, Chargers, Cardinals, Niners, Seahawks, Rams)
W-L: 79 – 49
NFL East (Bills, Dolphins, Patriots, Jets, Cowboys, Giants, Eagles, Redskins)
W-L: 62 – 66
NFL North (Ravens, Bengals, Browns, Steelers, Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings)
W-L-T: 59 – 67 – 2
NFL South (Texans, Colts, Jaguars, Titans, Falcons, Panthers, Saints, Buccaneers)
With a combined regular season record of 79 (wins) – 49 (losses), the NFL West were 30 GAMES OVER THE .500 MARK and 17 games ahead of the next division… Let’s fast forward….
Out of the 12 total teams who made it into the postseason, five of those teams were from the NFL West. Though posting the worst overall regular season record, the NFL South had the second most with three teams in the playoffs, and the NFL’s East & North contributing two teams each. Obviously, the regular season brought huge success to the NFL West but the postseason should bring a different story and the other divisions would surely bring something to the table right?
2013 Posteason Standings
NFL West (Seahawks, Niners, Broncos, Chiefs, Chargers)
NFL South (Panthers, Saints, Colts)
NFL East (Eagles, Patriots)
NFL North (Packers, Bengals)
Once again posting the only winning record the west was once again, dominant. Here is a twist though. Out of the 5 losses the west had, 4 of them came from another west team. The one loss from a non-west team was a come from behind, miracle comeback, 1 point loss that the Colts handed to the Chiefs in quite possibly the most entertaining game of the entire playoffs. Never mind the fact that half of the Chiefs roster, including their best player in Jamaal Charles, was injured by halftime. Before the west were forced to start playing each other, they had a 2-1 postseason record. For the readers who are not familiar with how the NFL Playoffs work, the first round is called the Wild-Card Round, or better known as “Wild-Card Weekend”. Then we move on to the Divisional Round, then Conference Champions, then the Super Bowl. Four total rounds of postseason play.
What might be most interesting statistical feature of all is once we get passed the Wild-Card Round, the New England Patriots recorded the only victory that did not belong to an NFL West team for the rest of the playoffs. A victory that came in the Divisional Round. The west won 3 out of the 4 Divisional games, both Conference Championships, and the Super Bowl. If you related college basketball to the NFL the Conference Championships are essentially the “Final Four”, 3 of those 4 teams (75%) were from the west. We all know how the Super Bowl ended so let’s not bring that up and go into detail, but let us not forget that both of those teams were from where? The West.
When putting the numbers on paper, making it all black & white, looking at the smallest of details, we found even more dominance than simply met the eye. Which is staggering. However, the big question here is, will the west continue their dominance? or will a contender emerge.