The 2018 NFL regular season is now only five weeks old, but the AFC North is already the only division in the league in which there is no team with a losing record. Five of the seven other divisions, in fact, have at least one team with a 1-4 record, with only the AFC East and the NFC North joining the AFC North in having no teams with fewer than two wins.
Not only that, the Pittsburgh Steelers’ division also collectively has the best overall record. With the Cincinnati Bengals at the top at 4-1, the Baltimore Ravens now 3-2, and the Steelers and Cleveland Browns each with a 2-2-1 record, the division collectively owns a winning percentage of .600 with an overall record of 11-7-2.
The next-best division in terms of overall record would be the AFC West, with the Kansas City Chiefs leading the way at 5-0, including a victory over the Steelers. But with two losing teams in the division, including the 1-4 Oakland Raiders who barely beat the Browns in overtime, they own a 11-9 record overall, a winning percentage of .550.
The Los Angeles Rams are also undefeated at 5-0, but they are the only team holding the division up, as every one of their rivals currently has a losing record—something the Rams have been involved in accruing for them, of course. The San Francisco 49ers and Arizona Cardinals are both just 1-4, the Seattle Seahawks 2-3, with an overall division record of 9-11, or a winning percentage of .450.
The second-best division in terms of overall record would actually be the NFC South after the New Orleans Saints’ win last night, putting them now at 4-1. The Carolina Panthers, already off their bye week, are 3-1, while the Atlanta Falcons and Tampa Bay Buccaneers have three wins between them—Tampa also having a bye already. They actually have a 10-8 record at the moment, giving them an overall winning percentage of .555, just edging out the AFC West.
Last, and least, is the NFC East, the only division that has no team with a winning record following Washington’s defeat last night, now 2-2. They actually have the best record in the division, with the Dallas Cowboys and Philadelphia Eagles both 2-3 and the New York Giants sadly just 1-4. They have just seven wins collectively, 7-12 overall, a winning percentage of just .368.
There were those who predicted that the AFC North would be one of the toughest divisions in football in 2018, despite the fact that they had not sent more than one team to the postseason since 2015, and only one 10-win team in each of those years.
So far, those who predicted that are off to a good start. Every team sans the Steelers appears to be improved from a season ago, now just under a third of the way through the year. Can they keep up that momentum through to the end of the season?