NFC East: Will This Division Dominate The League in '09? (NFC Edition)

Lindsay MooreCorrespondent IApril 17, 2009

The NFC Championship Trophy prior to the NFC Championship game between the Carolina Panthers and Seattle Seahawks at Qwest Field in Seattle, Washington on January 22, 2006.  (Photo by Al Messerschmidt/Getty Images)

As it stands, in which divisions in the NFL do you see at least two playoff teams?  How about three? What if the Giants get Braylon Edward and the Eagles get Anquan Boldin?
I'd say that would make for a fascinating season.
But I guess I am getting ahead of myself there.  In my first of two articles, let's discuss why the NFC East may easily overtake its NFC counterparts.
Last year, the NFC South was right at the line with the East in terms of dominance.  There was also a lot of talk that the South may have, in reality, been the better division. 
The NFC South went 40-24, while the NFC East totaled 38-26-1.  Both had a bottom team (Saints and Redskins) who went 8-8, and a division leader (Panthers and Giants) with 12 wins each.  Each division sent two representatives each to the playoffs.
But that is certainly not the end of it.  Strength of schedule plays a large role in this one.  The South had regular season games against the AFC West and the NFC North.  The NFC East played the AFC North and the NFC West.
Sounds pretty neck and neck, right?  Well, this upcoming season is going to be much, much harder on the NFC South.  The division is scheduled to combat the NFC East and the AFC East. The AFC East had three teams finish 9-7 last year.
In comparison, the NFC East will face the NFC South and the AFC West.  The division winner in the AFC West (Chargers) finished the season with an 8-8 record. Kansas City ended at 2-14.
Statistics are not necessarily everything, as 2009 is going to be a new year, and previous records won't mean anything come September.  I just don't see the NFC South becoming as powerful as they were last year.
It will definitely be a treat to see these two divisions go head-to-head over the course of the season, but it will likely be the other divisions on their schedule to determine NFC dominance. You heard it here first:  The NFC East is going to send three teams to the playoffs this year.
Next, I will compare the NFC East to the AFC.  Is it possible for this division to overtake the conference known by many as superior? Stranger things have happened.


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