For 7 of the last 10 seasons at least one team went from winning a division in the NFL to finishing in last place. In total 15 teams have gone from ecstasy to agony, from first to worst.
2013: Washington (10-6) to (3-13), Atlanta (13-3) to (4-12), Houston (12-4) to (2-14)
2012: New Orleans (13-3) to (7-9)
2011: Indianapolis (10-6) to (2-14) and Kansas City (10-6) to (7-9)
2010: Minnesota (12-4) to (6-10), Arizona(10-6) to (5-11), Cincinnati (10-6) to (4-12)
2009: None (4 champs fell to 3rd place in their divisions however)
2008: None (All 4 NFC champs fell to 3rd place in their divisions however)
2007: Philadelphia (10-6) to (8-8), Chicago (13-3) to (7-9), Baltimore (13-3) to (5-11)
2006: Tampa Bay (11-5) to (4-12)
2005: Philadelphia (13-3) to (6-10), Green Bay (10-6) to (4-12)
2004: None (Just 2 teams fell as far as 3rd place)
So what are the possibilities for 2014?
The Eagles, Packers, Panthers, Seahawks, Patriots, Bengals, Colts, and Broncos were division winners a year ago.
I’d rank them as follows:
1. Bengals- Everyone in the division got better it appears, and Cincy lost both coordinators.
2. Eagles- They went from the cellar to the penthouse a year ago, so tumbling back down in a tight division wouldn’t be shocking.
3. Panthers- Ultra competitive division that has seen more flip-flopping than any division in football over the last decade.
4. Packers- Rodgers was hurt a good chunk of last season, but they were just 8-7-1, so won’t be a big fall to last.
5. Colts- Andrew Luck goes down for a few games and so do they with a less than stellar supporting cast.
6. Seahawks- Toughest division in football with little margin for error.
7. Patriots- Tom Brady is the one guy they can’t lose…I think.
8. Broncos- Peyton Manning going out for a long time, and only reason I rate them lower than Pats is AFC East is harder division and Raiders could prevent a Peyton-less Denver from falling to the floor.