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The NFC South is the strongest division in football, and may be again in 2018

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Per Devonta Freeman, and also us.

SiriusXM At Super Bowl LII Photo by Cindy Ord/Getty Images for SiriusXM

The NFC South was, more or less indisputably, the best division in football for yet another season. No other division in the NFL sent three teams to the playoffs, and while the Falcons, Saints, and Panthers all fell before the NFC Conference Championship, they were three of just 10 teams with double digit wins and three of the more fearsome teams in the league. Prior to this year, the NFC South had placed a team in the Super Bowl in both the 2015 and 2016 seasons, making it very obviously the most dominant division in the NFC in recent years.

It’s unfortunate, in a way, that the Falcons have to play in such a tough division each year. On the other hand, as Dan Quinn might say, steel sharpens steel.

Devonta Freeman mentioned this reality in a radio interview Friday, asking aloud what other division could really compete. As is often the case, we agree with Free.

That reality is unlikely to change in 2018. The Falcons still have one of the best rosters in football and will be settling into a second year under their new coordinators, for starters. The Saints could fall apart if Drew Brees finally fades, but they bolstered their defense at last and have one of the league’s most intimidating ground games. I’m less certain the Panthers will be great again in 2018, given that they could lose top guard Andrew Norwell and have swapped out both coordinators, but they still have a strong top-to-bottom roster. The Buccaneers are due to at least make a little noise after years of disappointing, and they have enough pieces to at least be competitive.

That’s at least two very good football teams and the possibility of two more, and I can’t think of another division in football likely to boast that in 2018. Maybe the AFC West?

Do you think Devonta Freeman’s right here?