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The NFC West Won 75% of Non-Division Games

Kaep can't afford Beats by Dre

Kaep before he could afford Beats by Dre.

It was a very good year for the NFC West. Seattle is heading to Super Bowl XLVIII, as king of the best division in football. To get to MetLife Stadium, the Seahawks had to defeat the 49ers in the NFC Championship Game, which is only fitting after the scorched-earth run by the division during the regular season. Seattle went 9-1 outside of the division in 2013, losing only in Indianapolis (and 10-1 including the playoffs). The Arizona Cardinals went 8-2 when not facing NFC West opponents, with the only losses coming in Philadelphia and New Orleans. The 49ers went 7-3 (8-3 including playoffs), losing in New Orleans and at home to Carolina and Indianapolis. That means the top 3 teams in the NFC West went 24-6 outside of the division in the regular season, with all losses coming to 10+ win playoff teams.

Unlike the rest of the division, the Rams actually beat both New Orleans and Indianapolis. But St. Louis lost to Dallas, Carolina, Tennessee and Atlanta (in week 2), giving the Rams a 6-4 record outside the NFC West. All told, the division finished a remarkable 30-10 in non-division games this year. That’s tied for the 2nd best mark since 1970, and tied for the best performance since realignment in 2002. Wait until Richard Sherman hears this news.

The 1984 AFC West holds the record for the best performance by a division since 1970. That year, the defending champion Raiders went 6-2 outside the division, losing only to the playoff bound Steelers and Bears. And that was the second-worst performance by any AFC West team! The Broncos, in John Elway’s second year, went 7-1, with the only loss coming to Chicago. Those Bears, while not as good as their older brothers, were just as outstanding defensively, and still hold the record for sacks in a season. By 1984, the Don Coryell’s Chargers were on their last legs: Dan Fouts was 33, Charlie Joiner was 37, Kellen Winslow played in just 7 games, and Chuck Muncie’s career was essentially over. Still, San Diego went 7-1 outside the division, with the only loss coming to Pittsburgh in the 13th game of the year. And against Pittsburgh, Fouts suffered groin and back injuries in the first half, and those injuries caused him to miss the rest of the year.1 Seattle finished the year 12-4 and 3rd in the NFL in points differential, behind only Joe Montana’s 49ers and Dan Marino’s Dolphins. The Seahawks lost at New England early in the year, but wound up 7-1 in games against non-NFC West teams. Bringing up the rear was the Chiefs, who were 4-4 in games both inside and outside the division. In 1984, AFC West teams went a sparkling 31-9 in games outside the division. That gives them the best record of any division since 1970, even if it doesn’t automatically make them the best division.

Since realignment, only one other division has won 30 games outside its division: the 2007 AFC South. The Colts were the defending champions and went 8-2 outside the division: the only losses were to the undefeated Patriots and against the Chargers when Peyton Manning threw 6 interceptions, Darren Sproles had two return touchdowns, and and Adam Vinatieri missed field goals from 29 and 42 yards…. and the Colts lost by two. That year, David Garrard threw 18 touchdowns and just 3 interceptions for the Jaguars, who went 9-1 in games outside the AFC South. The one loss came in New Orleans when Quinn Gray started in place of an injured Garrard. Houston went 1-5 against the AFC South but 7-3 against all other teams, while Tennessee went 4-2 against the division and 6-4 outside of it.

The AFC South has fallen on hard times since then, however. Both the Texans and Jaguars went 1-9 against non-AFC South teams this year, with both wins (over San Diego and Cleveland) coming in last-minute, come-from-behind fashion. The Titans were actually better outside the division (5-5) than inside (2-4, with both wins coming in weeks 16 and 17), while the Colts fattened up on the AFC South with a perfect 6-0 record. That left Indianapolis just 5-5 against the rest of the NFL, with the odd split of sweeping the 49ers, Seahawks, Broncos, and Chiefs but going 1-6 against Oakland, Miami, San Diego, St. Louis, Arizona, and Cincinnati.

That gave the AFC South a 12-28 record outside the division, placing it in the bottom five of all divisions since 1970. The two worst? The West divisions in both conferences in 2008. The table below shows the record in non-division games of every division since 1970, and is fully sortable and searchable.

RkDivisionYearRecordWin%
1AFC_West198431-90.775
2NFC_West201330-100.750
2AFC_South200730-100.750
2AFC_Central197524-80.750
5AFC_East199929-110.725
6NFC_South200828-120.700
6NFC_East200728-120.700
8AFC_Central197622-100.688
8NFC_Central197022-100.688
10NFC_East198213-60.684
11NFC_East199127-130.675
11AFC_West197927-130.675
13NFC_East200826-13-10.663
14AFC_South200926-140.650
14AFC_East200826-140.650
14AFC_South200826-140.650
14AFC_West199526-140.650
14NFC_West199226-140.650
14NFC_East198126-140.650
20NFC_South200225-14-10.638
21AFC_West201325-150.625
21AFC_North201125-150.625
21AFC_East200425-150.625
21NFC_Central199725-150.625
21NFC_Central199525-150.625
21NFC_East199025-150.625
21NFC_West198925-150.625
21AFC_Central198825-150.625
21AFC_West198525-150.625
21AFC_Central198025-150.625
31AFC_East198824-15-10.613
31NFC_East198424-15-10.613
33NFC_West198723-150.605
34NFC_North201124-160.600
34NFC_South201024-160.600
34AFC_East201024-160.600
34AFC_West200524-160.600
34NFC_East200524-160.600
34AFC_North200424-160.600
34AFC_East200324-160.600
34AFC_West200224-160.600
34NFC_Central200024-160.600
34AFC_East199824-160.600
34AFC_West199624-160.600
34AFC_West199324-160.600
34NFC_West198424-160.600
34AFC_Central197924-160.600
34AFC_Central197824-160.600
34NFC_East197718-120.600
34NFC_East197618-120.600
34NFC_East197518-120.600
52AFC_Central197719-130.594
52NFC_West197319-130.594
54AFC_Central199723-16-10.588
54AFC_Central198923-16-10.588
56NFC_North201223-170.575
56NFC_West201223-170.575
56NFC_North200723-170.575
56AFC_East200623-170.575
56AFC_East200223-170.575
56AFC_East200023-170.575
56NFC_Central199923-170.575
56NFC_Central199823-170.575
56NFC_Central199423-170.575
56NFC_East199223-170.575
56AFC_West199023-170.575
56NFC_West198823-170.575
56NFC_East198623-170.575
56NFC_West198623-170.575
56AFC_West198623-170.575
56NFC_East198323-170.575
56NFC_East197923-170.575
73NFC_East197417-130.567
73NFC_East197016-12-20.567
75NFC_Central197217-13-20.563
75AFC_Central197218-140.563
75AFC_West197117-13-20.563
75NFC_West197117-13-20.563
79AFC_West197721-170.553
80AFC_East201322-180.550
80NFC_South201222-180.550
80NFC_East200922-180.550
80AFC_South200622-180.550
80AFC_West200622-180.550
80AFC_North200522-180.550
80AFC_West200422-180.550
80AFC_South200322-180.550
80NFC_East200222-180.550
80AFC_West199822-180.550
80NFC_East199622-180.550
80AFC_West199422-180.550
80NFC_East199322-180.550
80AFC_West199122-180.550
80NFC_West199122-180.550
80NFC_East198522-180.550
80NFC_West198322-180.550
80AFC_West198322-180.550
80AFC_East198322-180.550
80AFC_West198122-180.550
80AFC_West198022-180.550
101NFC_Central197617-14-10.547
101AFC_West197417-14-10.547
101NFC_Central197117-14-10.547
104AFC_East197416-140.533
104NFC_East197216-140.533
106AFC_Central197316-14-20.531
106AFC_West197016-14-20.531
108AFC_Central200119-170.528
108AFC_Central198719-170.528
110AFC_North201221-190.525
110NFC_South201121-190.525
110AFC_East201121-190.525
110NFC_North201021-190.525
110AFC_North201021-190.525
110AFC_North200921-190.525
110NFC_South200921-190.525
110AFC_North200621-190.525
110NFC_South200521-190.525
110AFC_South200421-190.525
110NFC_West200321-190.525
110AFC_East200121-190.525
110NFC_West200121-190.525
110NFC_Central200121-190.525
110AFC_West199721-190.525
110NFC_West199521-190.525
110AFC_East199421-190.525
110AFC_Central199221-190.525
110AFC_Central198621-190.525
110AFC_East198521-190.525
110NFC_East197821-190.525
110AFC_West197821-190.525
132AFC_West198212-110.522
133NFC_East197115-14-10.517
134AFC_Central197416-15-10.516
135AFC_East198718-170.514
135NFC_East198718-170.514
137AFC_West198920-19-10.513
138NFC_East201020-200.500
138AFC_East200920-200.500
138NFC_North200920-200.500
138AFC_North200720-200.500
138NFC_East200620-200.500
138AFC_South200520-200.500
138AFC_Central200018-180.500
138AFC_West199920-200.500
138NFC_West199820-200.500
138NFC_Central199620-200.500
138NFC_Central199320-200.500
138NFC_West199020-200.500
138AFC_East198210-10-10.500
138NFC_Central198212-12-10.500
138AFC_Central198210-100.500
138AFC_Central198120-200.500
138AFC_East198020-200.500
138AFC_East197820-200.500
138AFC_East197715-150.500
138AFC_West197314-14-40.500
138AFC_West197216-160.500
159AFC_North200819-20-10.488
160NFC_Central197315-16-10.484
160NFC_West197015-16-10.484
162AFC_North201319-210.475
162NFC_South201319-210.475
162AFC_South201219-210.475
162NFC_East201219-210.475
162AFC_East201219-210.475
162AFC_West201119-210.475
162AFC_West201019-210.475
162NFC_East200419-210.475
162NFC_South200419-210.475
162NFC_East200319-210.475
162NFC_South200319-210.475
162AFC_West200319-210.475
162NFC_North200319-210.475
162AFC_South200219-210.475
162NFC_East200019-210.475
162AFC_East199619-210.475
162AFC_Central199619-210.475
162NFC_West199419-210.475
162NFC_East199419-210.475
162AFC_Central199319-210.475
162AFC_East199019-210.475
162NFC_East198919-210.475
162NFC_Central198519-210.475
162NFC_East198019-210.475
162AFC_East197919-210.475
187AFC_West198717-19-10.473
188AFC_Central199917-190.472
189NFC_Central197515-170.469
189NFC_Central197415-170.469
191AFC_East197514-160.467
191AFC_East197314-160.467
193NFC_West201118-220.450
193NFC_East201118-220.450
193AFC_South201018-220.450
193AFC_West200918-220.450
193NFC_North200618-220.450
193AFC_West200118-220.450
193NFC_East200118-220.450
193NFC_West199718-220.450
193AFC_East199318-220.450
193AFC_West199218-220.450
193NFC_Central199118-220.450
193AFC_Central199018-220.450
193NFC_Central198918-220.450
193NFC_West198518-220.450
193NFC_Central198118-220.450
193NFC_West198118-220.450
193NFC_West198018-220.450
193NFC_West197818-220.450
193AFC_East197213-16-10.450
193AFC_East197113-16-10.450
213AFC_West197617-210.447
214AFC_East197613-170.433
215NFC_North201317-230.425
215NFC_South200617-230.425
215NFC_West200617-230.425
215NFC_North200517-230.425
215NFC_North200417-230.425
215AFC_North200317-230.425
215NFC_West200217-230.425
215AFC_West200017-230.425
215NFC_West200017-230.425
215AFC_East199717-230.425
215AFC_East199517-230.425
215NFC_East199517-230.425
215NFC_West199317-230.425
215AFC_East199217-230.425
215NFC_East198817-230.425
230NFC_East197312-17-10.417
231AFC_North200216-23-10.413
232NFC_West197713-190.406
233NFC_East201316-240.400
233AFC_East200716-240.400
233AFC_East200516-240.400
233NFC_West200516-240.400
233NFC_East199916-240.400
233NFC_East199816-240.400
233NFC_West199616-240.400
233AFC_Central199416-240.400
233AFC_East199116-240.400
233NFC_Central198816-240.400
233AFC_East198616-240.400
233AFC_East198416-240.400
233AFC_Central198316-240.400
233AFC_East198116-240.400
233NFC_Central198016-240.400
233NFC_Central197816-240.400
249NFC_West197212-19-10.391
250NFC_East199715-24-10.388
251NFC_South200715-250.375
251AFC_Central199815-250.375
251NFC_Central199215-250.375
251AFC_Central199115-250.375
251NFC_Central199015-250.375
251AFC_Central198515-250.375
251NFC_Central198315-250.375
251AFC_West197512-200.375
251NFC_West197412-200.375
260NFC_Central198714-24-10.372
261NFC_Central197714-240.368
262AFC_East197011-190.367
263AFC_West198814-25-10.363
264AFC_Central197111-20-10.359
264AFC_Central197011-20-10.359
266AFC_West201214-260.350
266AFC_South201114-260.350
266AFC_West200714-260.350
266NFC_West200714-260.350
266AFC_Central199514-260.350
266AFC_East198914-260.350
266NFC_Central198614-260.350
266NFC_Central197914-260.350
274NFC_West197511-210.344
275NFC_West197612-25-10.329
276NFC_West201013-270.325
276NFC_North200813-270.325
276NFC_West200413-270.325
276NFC_North200213-270.325
276NFC_West199913-270.325
276AFC_Central198413-270.325
276NFC_West197913-270.325
283NFC_West19827-150.318
284AFC_South201312-280.300
284NFC_West200912-280.300
286NFC_Central198411-28-10.288
287AFC_West200811-290.275
288NFC_West200810-300.250
  1. Surprisingly, backup Ed Luther led the team to a victory over the Bears next week. The Chargers were held to 6 points in the first three quarters, but a long touchdown pass to Bobby Duckworth and a defensive touchdown preserved a 20-7 win. Duckworth finished the day with 3 catches for 179 yards. []
{ 10 comments }
  • Kibbles January 23, 2014, 1:13 am

    Any chance you could do all-time division records? You’d have to sort it into pre-2002 and post-2002 since the divisions changed. I’d be curious to see just how much better the NFC East has been than everyone else, historically.

    Reply
    • JeremyDe January 23, 2014, 11:45 am

      Consistent if nothing else. 52.8% winning pct before and after the 2002 realignment. (excuse the formatting) Pre 2002 numbers go back to 1970. Not sure how much the 6 expansion teams affected these records although I imagine the Buccs dragged the NFC Central’s down a good amount by themselves.

      Time Period|Division|W|L|T|Winning%
      2002 on|AFC_East|259|221|0|0.540
      Pre 2002|AFC_West|643|553|12|0.537
      Pre 2002|NFC_East|617|551|6|0.528
      2002 on|NFC_East|253|226|1|0.528
      2002 on|NFC_South|251|228|1|0.524
      2002 on|AFC_South|249|231|0|0.519
      2002 on|AFC_North|246|232|2|0.515
      Pre 2002|AFC_Central|586|587|7|0.500
      Pre 2002|AFC_East|566|606|4|0.483
      2002 on|AFC_West|231|249|0|0.481
      Pre 2002|NFC_West|573|624|5|0.479
      Pre 2002|NFC_Central|567|631|8|0.473
      2002 on|NFC_North|225|255|0|0.469
      2002 on|NFC_West|204|276|0|0.425

      Reply
  • Sunrise089 January 23, 2014, 2:27 am

    I think your listed HOU record for 2007 is wrong Chase.

    Reply
    • Chase Stuart January 23, 2014, 9:21 am

      Fixed!

      Reply
  • Shattenjager January 24, 2014, 1:32 am

    Okay, Chase, you have to come clean: you made up the name Bobby Duckworth and faked his p-f-r page. :)

    Reply
  • tom January 24, 2014, 11:50 am

    Duckworth might have been the first to fumble with no defender within ten yards and the end zone less than ten yards away in a MNF game vs. Chicago.

    Reply
  • Chase Stuart February 3, 2014, 3:22 pm

    With Seattle beating New Orleans and Denver, and San Francisco beating Green Bay and Carolina, once you include the playoffs, the NFC West went 34-10 in nondivision games this year.

    Reply
  • دانلود سریال December 12, 2014, 8:26 pm

    thank you

    Reply

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