The League

Brandon Benson
Packers Blogger

Brandon Benson

Brandon Benson is the lead blogger at Acme Packing Company.

QB play and youth


My favorite team, the Green Bay Packers, is arguably the class of the NFC in 2010. They've done this despite the fact that they've placed 10 players on injured reserve, they have a few other starters who are trying to return from various injuries and quarterback Aaron Rodgers is having his worst season as a pro. How have they managed to remain on top despite it all? Because the rest of the NFC is even worse and every other team is struggling with its own injuries and/or ineptitude.

Ever since the Denver Broncos broke the NFC's strangle hold on the Super Bowl (by defeating my beloved Packers, sniff), the AFC has won the championship nine times to the NFC's four. Without analyzing each of those years, one thing that stands out is that the AFC has had three of the best quarterbacks of this era playing in multiple Super Bowls: Ben Roethlisberger, Peyton Manning, and Tom Brady. During the same time, the NFC has trotted out a list of pretty unimpressive names like Brad Johnson, Jake Delhomme and Rex Grossman. And once again in 2010, no NFC quarterback currently has a quarterback rating higher than either Peyton Manning or Tom Brady.

Looking past the quarterback position, you can see that the Patriots have built their team around Brady, a few veterans, and many young players drafted over the past couple years. Similarly, the Colts are constantly surrounding their core veterans with young players while letting other teams overpay for their unwanted veterans. And the surprise team in the AFC, the Chiefs, have done it by building around a veteran quarterback and several young starters drafted over the past three years. Meanwhile, the most disappointing teams in the NFL are veteran ones from the NFC (Minnesota and Dallas) that have starved their roster of young talent due to poor drafts and trades of draft picks.

Despite the AFC's dominance, there are signs of life in the NFC. The Saints are hoping the return of Reggie Bush from injury can provide a boost to Drew Brees and their formerly dominant offense. The Packers have built through the draft like the Patriots and Colts, but injuries have held them back this season. The Falcons are built around young QB Matt Ryan who should only get better. The Rams and Lions had the top two picks in last April's draft, and while QB Sam Bradford has brought the Rams back to a .500 record, DT Ndamukong Suh has already become a dominant defensive player. That said, the NFC still has a ways to go.

The AFC won't always be the dominant conference, but it is now and it should remain that way for the near-future.

By Brandon Benson  |  November 4, 2010; 10:54 AM ET  | Category:  AFC , Green Bay Packers , NFC Save & Share:  Send E-mail   Facebook   Twitter   Digg   Yahoo Buzz   StumbleUpon   Technorati  
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