NFL Momentum 2012: Why the AFC Is Looking Down on the NFC

Alex Peterman@Alex_PetermanCorrespondent IIIDecember 1, 2012

DETROIT, MI - NOVEMBER 22:  Danieal Manning #38 of the Houston Texans reacts after causing a fumble in overtime while playing the Detroit Lions at Ford Field on November 22, 2012 in Detroit, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)
Gregory Shamus/Getty Images

At the beginning of the NFL season, it certainly didn’t look that way.  Even normal AFC powerhouses like the New England Patriots and Baltimore Ravens got off to average starts.  The Pittsburgh Steelers looked terrible.  The Denver Broncos had a slow start. 

By week seven, the only AFC team repeatedly in the top-five power rankings via ESPN were the Houston Texans.

Very strange.  But oh, how quickly things can change in the NFL.

The AFC now boasts a season-high three teams in the top-five ESPN power rankings, as the Baltimore Ravens and New England Patriots have joined the Houston Texans at the front of the pack.

I would also argue that the AFC teams in the top 10 of those rankings hold most of the momentum.  The Atlanta Falcons at No. 1 haven’t had many dominating performances since their game against the Philadelphia Eagles.  The Green Bay Packers are coming off an embarrassing loss against the New York Giants.

Speaking of which, we never know which Giants team we’re actually going to see each week.  Maybe they don’t either.

Meanwhile, the AFC teams appear to be getting along quite well.  The Indianapolis Colts have entered the top 10 for the first time this season, seizing the final spot.  The Broncos have won six straight and might be able to beat any team in the league right now with Peyton Manning at the helm.

As mentioned, the Ravens and Patriots are getting hotter each week, moving up one and three spots, respectively.

Even the Bengals at No. 11 are threatening to climb the rankings on a hot three-game winning streak.

As Week 13 action unfolds, look for some more impressive play from the AFC top-10 teams, as the momentum will continue to shift their way.  The AFC is the better conference right now, and it’s happening at the right time in the season.