Historically Bad 2019 NFC East

The 2019 NFC East looks quite bad. With three weeks to go in the season, the Division is lead by Dallas at 6-7 and includes an inconsistent Philadelphia team at 5-7 in second place.

A true mark of how poor the division is that, at 3-10, the Washington team can still win the division and make the playoffs.

Is it the worst NFL division ever?

That is tough to say, as the current alignment of 8 divisions of 4 teams each has only been around since 2002, somewhat limiting us to that stretch of time for comparison.

This is also the time period in which a team with a losing record has won the division, a readily understood mark of poor performance.

Twice that has happened: in 2010, Seattle won the NFC West with a 7-9 record, and in 2014, Carolina won the NFC South with a 7-8-1 mark.

That is an easy mark for Division weakness, but another measure is wins outside the division.

Again, the balanced schedules make this easy since 2002. Every team plays 6 games in division, 10 games outside the division. So we can throw out the wins earned in the division, and ask which division was truly the worst outside their own circle. See the table.

Fewest Wins Outside Division by NFL Division (Since 2002)
Division Total Outside Wins Aggregate Point Differential Division Winner
2019 NFC East 10* -176* Dallas 6-7*
2014 NFC South 10 -227† Carolina 7-8-1
2008 AFC West 11 -260 San Diego 8-8
2015 AFC South 12 -240 Houston 9-7
2009 NFC West 12 -272 Arizona 10-6
2010 NFC West 13 -322† Seattle 7-9
2004 NFC West 13 -306† Seattle 9-7
2015 NFC East 14 -165 Washington 9-7
* – still active
– all four teams with negative point differential

As expected, the 2019 NFC East and 2014 NFC South are right there, but surprisingly the 2010 NFC West is not even in the worst 5 by measure of wins outside division. Yes it is the only other time that a division winner was sub .500, but outside the division they made their case better than 5 other times.

At least in terms of wins. By point differential, that 2010 NFC West division was putrid, and makes the 2019 NFC East look much better.

Now, the 2019 regular season is not over, but time is running out on the NFC East quickly.

After tonight’s Philly-New York match-up, there are only two games remaining outside the division. They both take play next weekend in week #15, and the NFC East may be underdogs in both of them. Dallas is home against a Los Angeles Rams team and New York hosts a surprisingly resilient Miami team that has already beaten Philadelphia.

There could easily be a third losing team winning a division, and by outside-division wins, the NFC East is likely going to go down as one of the poorest showings in the last 18 years.

Ed. – follow up after week 15 games

Photo by AzKodiak

Author: Sleepy

Eyes droop and he peers from meer slits
Long gone the usual insight and wit
then a raise unexpected
the pot is collected
How long will he keep up this shit?

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