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Tuesday, October 5, 2010
AFC North NFL's best division?

By James Walker
ESPN.com

In the midst of helping put together ESPN.com's Power Rankings this week, I came across something that caught my attention: ESPN.com now ranks the AFC North as the NFL's best division.

After watching the first month of the season, is this accurate? I felt the AFC North deserved consideration coming into the season. But now I'm not so certain.

The strength is at the top, where the Pittsburgh Steelers (3-1) and Baltimore Ravens (3-1) were rated No. 1 and No. 6, respectively. Both teams are legit contenders, but from there things get dicey. The Cincinnati Bengals (2-2) are No. 18 and very inconsistent. The Cleveland Browns (1-3) are competing but probably won't win many games this year at No. 27.

In my opinion, it's currently neck-and-neck between the AFC North and AFC South. The Indianapolis Colts (2-2) are off to a slow start, so that's hurting their division because there are no dominant teams. But there's also no weak links in the AFC South, either, as no team has a losing record.

The AFC East is in the mix, but the Buffalo Bills (0-4) are so bad that it's dragging down the rest of the division. The same goes for the NFC South and the winless Carolina Panthers (0-4). The AFC North is playing both of these aforementioned divisions this season. Therefore, things will be settled on the field.