Parity exists in the NFL, just not in the AFC East

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The NFL takes great pride in the concept of parity, selling the idea that every team has a chance as a way to help every team sell tickets.

And in some places, it’s true.

As noted by NBC’s Peter King in Football Morning in America, the theory does not hold in the AFC, and the numbers show just how much of a mockery the Patriots have made it.

Comparing numbers from 2003-2017, the Patriots are 80 games better than their nearest rivals (?), the Jets.

New England is 189-51 over that span, winning 14 of the 15 division titles. The Jets are 109-131 over the same span, the Dolphins 106-134 (with the stray division title), and the Bills 102-138.

That means the Jets could tie the Patriots over the next five years, as long as they go 80-0 and the Patriots go 0-80.

Contrast that with the NFC South, where the concept is actually real and a single game

Over the same 15-year span, the Saints are 131-109, the Panthers are 130-109-1, and the Falcons are 130-110, with the Buccaneers bringing up the rear at 95-145.

But even the Bucs have won a pair of division titles during that span (the Panthers lead with five, and the Falcons and Saints have four each).

64 responses to “Parity exists in the NFL, just not in the AFC East

  1. it’s a joke. the Patsies go into every postseason rested, healthy and ready to go because the ineptitude of the rest of the division makes it possible. As for bandwagon nation who point out that the patsies do well against everyone else sure they do, you basically have two weeks to prepare when you are playing an afc east opponent. they would never do as consistently well if they played in numerous other divisions.

  2. None of this means a pinch of puppy poop. All other AFC East teams got better except the Patriots. I expect that a not so great start will doom the perennial champs.

  3. This wont sit well the Fanboys Florio. You know they use this argument when confronted with the softness of their annual schedule in their soft division. Nothing to see here that us knowledgeable fans have observed for years……i can hear the gnashing of teeth all the way down here in Va.

  4. The last time the AFC Least was worthy of the name AFC East was 2000. Coincidentally that’s before Brady got there.

    Would Brady be so successful if he played in an NFL division instead of the Lesst? Doubtful.

  5. The NFL uses “parity” as one of its justifications for the salary cap. But the salary cap is nothing more than an artificial mechanism to limit players’ compensation. Major League Baseball doesn’t have a salary cap; the NBA does have one, $101.9 million per team — but each NBA team has only 13 to 15 players, compared to 53 players on an active NFL roster. Then there’s the NFL scam about guaranteed money. MLB contacts are guaranteed; almost all NBA contracts are guaranteed. But NFL contracts are announced as though the numbers are meaningful — “Wow — he got $45M for 5 years!!!” — but they’re not meaningful; teams can simply cut players whenever they want. So the only thing that counts in NFL contracts is the guaranteed money. But that’s not all, folks! Even when an NFL contract says “guaranteed” it often means “guaranteed/paid only if the player gets injured”, it DOESN’T mean “guaranteed as the term is generally used and understood in every other context.” The whole thing is a big marketing stunt, and NFL fans seem to get duped, by the language and concepts, over and over and over and over.

  6. So hard to call the Pats a great dynasty since they play in the Least.

    I have no doubt that if you put the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Least and the Pats in the AFC North, the success each franchise has had in the 21st century would be completely reversed.

  7. Groan – you’re massaging salty fans who claim AFCE is soft when in fact the Brady-Pats record OUTSIDE their division is better than within it. Don’t believe me? – here are the numbers: AFCS 24-5, AFCN 25-5, NFCE 13-3, NFCN 14-2 are all MUCH HIGHER ratios than their AFCE 76-20. Then there’s the NFCS (12-4) and even their win ration against the 2 west divs runs around 2:1

  8. Before anyone claims that the Patriots’ success has been predicated on beating up their miserable AFCE foes, consider the following:

    The Patriots are 82-24 against the AFC East (77.4 winning percentage) since 2001, and 235-72 *overall* in that span (including playoffs), producing an almost-identical winning percentage (76.5).

    5 rings, stored comfortably in the heads of fans from 31 franchises.

  9. The Pats don’t benefit from the AFCE as much as the AFCE gets punished by the Pats. If you think New England’s AFCE .792 win pct has produced a dominant record imagine what it would look like if they were in another northern or eastern division:
    NFCE .818
    AFCN .832
    NFCN .845
    Yes, they really are that good. Pats fans would be more than happy to see them move to one of those divisions, fans of the teams in them probably not so much. And now back to the trollathon…

  10. Well when your coach and players are consistently finding new ways to cheat, and your owner is paying the refs salaries, it sure makes it a lot easier.

  11. Its called taking “one game at a time”and not overlooking anyone(steelers hello…hello)and not getting over excited when you beat the Patriots and then lose to the jets(miami hello…hello).Play as good on the road as well as you play at home,dont go to the SB one year and miss the playoffs the next…that sort of thing.11-5 one year, 5-11 the next is .500

  12. The Pats may not exactly be the Snow White of the AFC East … but they sure are surrounded by dwarfs.

  13. That Goodell hates both excellence and real football makes him an odd choice for league commissioner, no?

  14. He sort of skips a couple things, overall the AFC East is tied fir third out of the 8th divisions. So thats 5 that are overall weaker.

    The AFC North has the Ravens, Browns, and Bengals so I would have to say these past 3 years or so its been the Steelers with the cupcake ride. I cant speak to why they havent turned that into anything but I would certainly take those three for being easier opponents over the Jets, Bills, Dolphins who have among them delivered a wildcard each of the past two years. So really the true cupcake ride in the NFL belongs to the Steelers not the Patriots.

    The two divisions overall tougher than the AFC East and the one tied are all NFC divisions which of course argues that the NFC in general is overall tougher.

  15. The Pats have an even more dominant record against the teams in the cream-puff AFC North

    What , no Tomlin rant today? The mirror trick was true? Who would have guessed.

  16. TruthfulDolphinsFanNotWearingBlinders says:
    July 23, 2018 at 8:06 am
    Don’t tell this to Patriot fans who constantly claim the AFC East is the toughest division in football..lol
    —————————-
    Nope, third toughest (tied).

    Your Dolphins did a nice job making the playoffs in 2016. The Bills did a nice job making the playoffs lat year.

  17. This is why the Pats are cheated at the drop of a hat. No parity. There is a BAD parity right now which is partially why the ratings are dropping. So many team have fallen victim to the Joe Flacco Curse, while others arrogantly pat themselves on their backs after getting lucky, thinking they’re som kind of juggernaut, only to fall into a raging cap hell.

    The Pats don’t enter cap hells. That’s 75% as to why they go 12-4 every year or better and get the 1 or 2 seed, witch Goodel and the Cheating Six pondering ways to cheat them with secret meetings and conference calls.

    If NE is in a conf title game every year and in the SB every other year, and cheated out of wins left and right by Goodell fixing the games, how on earth can they expand to Europe or China?

    Their entire sales pitch is that anyone can win, which is clearly not true. Real, strong parity would mean no NFL team does what NE is doing. They’re making a mockery of the cap and parity.

    Von Miller has serious speeding ticket charges piling up, is a danger to society with those, and nothing happens. Derek WOlfe cold coks someone in a bar, where it’s on video, but nothing happens. He’s a 2 time PED offender, and has reckless speeding charges piling up and Goodell has done nothing.

    Donte Fowler, just last year knocked out a civilian in a parking lot, squashed the guy’s glsasse and threw his groceries into a lake and then all he gets is a 1 game suspension im time to return for Week 2 vs NE.

    It’s simply unbelievable. If Donte Hightower did what Fowler did, it would easily be a 6 game suspension, if not more.

    Note how anyone in the AFC, whether Vontze Burfict, or any repeat offender or criminal, is protected. Everyone acts all confused, but I’ve been onto this for years and years. No connected AFC team has ever been punished correctly or in line with how Goodell handles the Pats minor transgressions that are incidents that other teams also experience.

    But, they can’t Jax into London unless Jax builds momenntum. It’s why Goodell tried to fix the AFC Title game and why Dion Lewis’s clear non-fumble was mysteriously called a fumble. I howled when people claimed Goodell helped NE when it was clear it was not even a fumble, plain as day on the replay.

    Remember Sheldon Richardson, 148 MPH with a loaded gun, a child and drugs in the car? 1 game suspension after he had already been suspended before. LOL!

    $100 McCoy avoid suspension as well, since he plays for BUufalo.

    The pattern is very clear: If you play for any AFC team, especially if you are on NE’s schedule, you either get no punishment or the punishment is hilariously minor.

    But, anyone denying this at this point, either has a learning disability or is a child unaware of how the world work$.

    Goodell is the cheater.

  18. weepingjebus says:
    July 23, 2018 at 8:20 am
    That Goodell hates both excellence and real football makes him an odd choice for league commissioner, no?

    ———————-

    Note how the NBA, NHL and MLB don’t cheat one team to try to level the playing field. The reason why this is so strange, is because it is.

    Goodell was hired by the Jets Woody Johnson, and they have worked to cheat the Pats, affecting SB 46 and SB 52, with both 1st rd draft picks stolen from those teams. So, there has been some success with Goodell’s cheating.

  19. Nofoolnodrool says:
    July 23, 2018 at 8:52 am
    The Pats have an even more dominant record against the teams in the cream-puff AFC North

    What , no Tomlin rant today? The mirror trick was true? Who would have guessed.

    ——————
    The Pats have an even more dominant record against all the rest of the NFL than they do within their division. And in any event when teams finish with 12-14 wins thats not even close to being because of their division.

    Its silly to write Tomlin rants when one can just sit back and let Tomlin write his own.

  20. factman1000 says:
    July 23, 2018 at 7:17 am
    Pairity will return in a year or two because NE traded Garappolo for a bag of peanuts.

    ———————–

    Keep thinking that. Who declares something is a bag of peanuts when teams stupidly throw around 1st rd picks over and over for a franchise QB, yet don’t bid on JimmyG?

    Fair market value with nothing lost, while saving 3-4 mil per not paying for a veteran backup up against the cap, is nothing lost, other than knowing you may have a good option for a successor to Brady, except Brady is not going anywhere.

    So, you lose.

    BB can find another JimmyG again where he, too, can spend everyday with that prospect, getting him ready.

  21. Braz says:
    July 23, 2018 at 7:14 am
    So hard to call the Pats a great dynasty since they play in the Least.

    I have no doubt that if you put the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Least and the Pats in the AFC North, the success each franchise has had in the 21st century would be completely reversed.

    ——————-
    I think the Pats would trade Dolphins/Bills/Jets for Bengals/Ravens/Browns with no hesitation. Those results show Patriots can sweep the AFC North with greater ease than they do the AFC East. The Steelers cannot sweep the AFC East, not just the Patriots who they cant serm to beat at all but they also have lost to other teams from the AFC East each of the past two years. But to be fair they have lost to within their own division too and actually I think they were the closest the Browns came to winning a game all season. Lets face it, all those grand claims of the Steelers prowess to beat everyone can only be made if you dont count real on field results. I have never seen a fan base that can say “we are the better team even if we lost” as many times in a row as they can and still believe it.

  22. The Pats are a fixture in the AFC title game. The Jets went to the AFC title game two of the RARE times that Patriots didn’t make it to the AFC title game.

    The AFC South however…The Colts won that every year only to get blown out during the Wildcard or divisional round. The AFC South was like the minor leagues of the NFL. In fact the Colts had to run from the AFC East to join the AFC South. The South is made up of 2 relocated teams and two expansion teams. Turd division.

  23. The pattern is very clear: If you play for any AFC team, especially if you are on NE’s schedule, you either get no punishment or the punishment is hilariously minor.

    But, anyone denying this at this point, either has a learning disability or is a child unaware of how the world work$.

    Goodell is the cheater.

    For one claiming to have multiple degrees beyond a G.E.D. Your response is disappointing ……and delusional. Paranoid about Goodel? Only another child would believe this obtuse conclusion…..oh wait a refined gentleman from NH would believe this also so now there are two….it’s a movement now……yawn.

  24. The Patriots are enjoying an extremely large window, good for them. It makes up for the previous 40 years including their 4 division titles and all those hall of famers clogging up Canton

  25. .
    Other than the Patriots the teams of the AFC East have, for over a decade, made a plethora of imprudent personnel moves. Bills, Jets and Dolphins fans have no shortage of tales regarding failed drafts, bad trades and silly signings. However to somehow blame those moves on the Patriots is insanity. The Steelers didn’t construct those doormats in Baltimore, Cincinnati and Cleveland.
    .

  26. To all the people out there saying that the Patriots are only good because they play in the AFC East, ask yourself, would you like the Pats to play in the same division as your favorite team? Something tells me that outside of Bills, Dolphins and Jets fans you guys are pretty happy to not have to play New England twice a year. I wouldn’t want to have to go head to head with them year in and year out.

  27. AFC South championship counter:
    Indy: 9 (including 7 out of 8 from 03-10
    Hou: 4 (first one during the Suck for Luck season)
    Jax: 1 (this past season)
    Ten: 2 (last one in 08)
    then during this time hpuston was a mess of an expansion team until Schwabb and Foster, the titans had Jeff Fisher till 2010 so ’nuff said, and we all know the Jags were irrelevant outside of 2007 and 2017. why again do we not focus on the South being a joke outside of Peyton Manning? David Garrard, Leftwich, Matt Schwabb, David Carr, TJ Yates, vince young, Kerry collins, Jake Locker. wow what a murderers row of QB’s.

  28. Patriot haters can say all they want about the AFC East but the fact that the Pats have a higher winning percentage outside the division tells you that no matter which division they’re in they are still a great team. You can say whatever you want but the record speaks for itself. Is it really that hard to give your opponent a little credit every now and then.

  29. Braz says:
    July 23, 2018 at 7:14 am
    So hard to call the Pats a great dynasty since they play in the Least.

    I have no doubt that if you put the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Least and the Pats in the AFC North, the success each franchise has had in the 21st century would be completely reversed.
    ———————————–

    You should have plenty of doubt considering how often the truth has been pointed out to you. Game results don’t lie, trolls do.
    Belichick/Brady vs the AFCN: .832, vs AFCE .792. Pats are +40 points vs AFCN
    Tomlin/Roethlisberger vs the AFCN: .753 vs AFCE: .577. Steelers -176 points vs AFCE
    Tell us again who has the easy ride. Pats fans would swap divisions tomorrow and laugh all the way to the playoffs. You on the other hand would be crying even louder.

  30. The Pats dominate the NFL…..
    The reason the AFC EAST looks so bad is that they have to play the Pats twice every season……
    All you spoon fed fans should be THANKFUL the Pats aren’t in YOUR division or it would look much the same…..

  31. kissbillsrings

    I dont think the Patriots dominate the NFC East, pretty sure the Giants and Eagles may have something to say on that.

  32. Ron Jull says:
    July 23, 2018 at 11:18 am
    A cheater never wins and a winner never cheats….

    Unless you play in New England.
    —————————————

    Or SF or Pittsburgh or Denver or Philly or…

  33. Just like everyone has been saying for the last decade. They essentially have six bye weeks when they have to play a game in their division. Even if they went .500 against other teams they’d still bee 11-6 and win their division.

  34. Braz says:
    July 23, 2018 at 7:14 am
    So hard to call the Pats a great dynasty since they play in the Least.
    I have no doubt that if you put the Pittsburgh Steelers in the Least and the Pats in the AFC North, the success each franchise has had in the 21st century would be completely reversed.

    ————-

    You mean how the Patriots play the Steelers every year and almost always win?

  35. TruthfulDolphinsFanNotWearingBlinders says:
    July 23, 2018 at 8:06 am
    Don’t tell this to Patriot fans who constantly claim the AFC East is the toughest division in football..lol

    ————–

    I don’t think any Patriots fan is claiming that. We are just saying the Patriots beat up on the rest of the NFL (aside from Denver) at basically the same rate as they do the AFC East. That includes great teams like the Steelers.

    Also, given the Patriots take a win or two away from their division opponents, even when they have been good their records haven’t been that good. The two years in a row the Jets went to the AFC Championship the Patriots still won the division.

    However, we know that the Jets, Dolphins and Bills have not been very good in many seasons. Not saying it’s the strongest division by any means. Looking at how those teams perform outside of the division is probably the most telling.

  36. Parity exists in the NFL..

    .. If you look past the Patriots and 4-5 other teams that have generally been at the top the last 10-15 years.

  37. Ron Jull says:
    July 23, 2018 at 11:18 am
    A cheater never wins and a winner never cheats….

    Unless you play in New England.

    1 3 Rate This
    Ron Jull says:
    July 23, 2018 at 11:29 am
    Funny to hear a Patriots fan com0laining about cheating.

    Doesn’t suck to know the Patriots are better than whatever team it is you root for and the season hasn’t even started?

    And the only thing you can do about it is CRY on the internet!

  38. Other than my Dolphins I have only time for 3 teams. The Giants, the Broncos and Eagles. Stood up to the Patriots and beat them. Everybody else is just looking for excuses. Everyone complaining about our soft division maybe has a point, but maybe your soft also. Don’t see the Patriots losing too many wherever they show up. I know excuses make you feel better just before you say it, but once it’s out you look a bit silly.

  39. Not Just the AFC East but the AFC as a whole.
    Since Tommy Terrific first took the Pats to the SB only 2 AFC QBs not named Brady, Rothelesburg, or Manning have played in the SB…. Flacco & Rich Gannon.
    That is this whole Century for regular season starts. Unborn kids are going to college basically seeing the same 3 QBs out of the AFC every year.
    Rich Gannon is 52 now
    (side note – those 2 are both Philly locals, NE & South Jersey & both are U of Delaware alum)

  40. Weak schedule/division argument doesn’t add up.

    Brady’s winning pct vs. AFC East – .787
    Brady’s winning pct vs rest of NFL – .774

    That’s about as close to a wash as you can get.

    Top 5 team records vs. playoff teams since 2001
    1. PATS- (51-31, .622)
    2. PIT- (43-46-1, .483)
    3. GNB- (43-46, .483)
    4. IND- (43-52, .453)
    5. DEN- (39-54, .419)

  41. aarons444 says:

    July 23, 2018 at 11:52 am

    Parity exists in the NFL..

    .. If you look past the Patriots and 4-5 other teams that have generally been at the top the last 10-15 years.

    ========================

    Much, much greater parity than in the 80’s. More teams, more playoff spots, salary cap, more roster turnover etc.

  42. There is parity in the AFC East. The Jets, Dolphins, and Bills are equally as good as the teams in the rest of the league. That is parity.

    The anomaly is that the Patriots record against all of the league is lopsidedly in their favor. So the entire league has parity, playing against the Patriots.

    This is why so many people hate the Patriots so bitterly. They will not play down to their team’s level.

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