The early frenzy of free-agency activity has come and gone during the 2013 offseason. Some teams have been left in shambles and others look to be building toward dominance in the coming season.
The first goal for each NFL team is beating their own divisional opponents. Winning a division is an automatic bid to the postseason and brings with it a chance to earn a Lombardi Trophy.
Each divisional ranking, however, can not be based solely upon one specific team that has performed very well recently. These rankings will reiterate that a division is only as strong as its weakest link.
To accurately rank all eight divisions, we will look at where each team within the division currently stands. Rankings will be based upon where teams left off in the 2012 season and how they have fared through the first two full weeks of free agency. Each team will be given a "power rating." These ratings will range from one to five—one being the lowest score, and a five the highest.
All four teams' scores will then be totaled together, and the highest cumulative score will earn the top spot in these divisional power rankings. The highest possible power rating for a division is 20, and the lowest is four.
So, which division figures to be the most powerful in 2013?
Criteria for the power ratings are listed below.
A power rating of "5" will be reserved for a team that had a fantastic campaign in 2012 and has built upon its success by retaining key players and adding others to figure to be even more competitive in the upcoming season.
A power rating of "4" will be given to a team that had a great run in 2012 and, although it may not have added key players this offseason, will certainly still be well in the mix in 2013.
A power rating of "3" is designated to a team that could have done one of two things. Either it had a great 2012 season but is significantly lacking this offseason due to personnel losses. Also, this could be a team that was average in 2012 but have made some nice gains in 2013 free agency and should be vastly improved from last season.
A power rating of "2" will be given to a team that did not have a spectacular season in 2012 and also has not made any noticeable improvements so far in the 2013 offseason. This rating is for a below-average team that figures to stay the same in the coming season.
A power rating of "1" will be handed to a team that was far below average in the 2012 season and may have actually gotten worse so far in the 2013 offseason. This will be given to a team that should not be expected to make any significant impact in the near future.