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The AFC is falling even further behind the NFC

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The conferences could not be more different.

NFL: Atlanta Falcons at Denver Broncos Isaiah J. Downing-USA TODAY Sports

Watching the free agent dollars fly around, and simply taking a look at the way the two conferences have shaken out over the last two seasons, you come to the inescapable conclusion that the NFC is doing better than the AFC.

There are four teams in the AFC worth a darn right now, until proven otherwise. Those are the Patriots, the Steelers, the Chiefs and the Jaguars. You can make a case that the Chargers, Raiders, Bills, Titans, and uhhhh someone else will be in contention, sure. But aside from the very dangerous top four there—and the Chiefs have a lot to prove in 2018—there’s simply no comparison between the two conferences.

The NFC boasts the 2017 Super Bowl champion Eagles, who look to have improved their roster and will get back franchise quarterback Carson Wentz this season. They have the Vikings, a terrific team that just added Kirk Cousins and Sheldon Richardson to the mix. They have the Falcons, who have made the playoffs each of the last two years, boast some of the most dynamic young talent in the NFL on defense, and still have some of the better weapons on offense in the league. You have the improving Packers with Aaron Rodgers, a tough-looking young 49ers team, a Rams team absolutely loaded with talent across the board, a Saints team going all-in during Drew Brees’ final years, and solid contenders like the Cowboys, Panthers, and hell, maybe even the Redskins and Bears. This conference is loaded.

This imbalance is a way of life in the NFL, and it was once the AFC that dominated things. But we’re a fan of an NFC team, and it’s looking like the road to the playoffs in this conference is going to be brutal in 2018, while the Patriots can once again expect to skate in as a top two seed in the AFC. I’m hopeful that will change soon, but until further notice, the AFC is the junior conference. Too bad the Falcons can’t play in it.