You always hear about these great defenses in the AFC. Pittsburgh, Cincinnati, Baltimore, Denver, Houston, etc.
Just this year 7 of the top 10 defenses in Yard per Drive (YPD) were AFC teams. Denver, Pitt, Houston, Cincy, NYJ, Baltimore, and San Diego.
Well the truth is it isn't because there is actually good defenses in the AFC, it is the fact that the AFC has an absolutely terrible collection of QBs. There are only two I would consider truly elite, possibly three.
What spurred this for me was back in December after SF beat NE and NE finished 1-3 against the NFC West. Think about this for a moment. New England went 11-1 against the AFC but 1-3 against the NFC. Now I think Tom Brady is great, don't get me wrong. No doubt he is one of the best right now and all-time (if not the best). But the way that New England plays defense lately I am not so sure they would peel off 10+ win seasons every single year.
Here is how I see the AFC and NFC QBs (this is what I posted in December):
Brady- one of the best right now and all time
Peyton Manning- ditto
Big Ben- maybe (probably) a top 10 QB
Shaub- top half of the NFL QB but I would stop very short of calling him elite
Rivers- suddenly terrible the last couple of years
Tannehill- got a lot of potential, but right now terrible
Fitz- pretty damn bad
Weeden- terrible, but has some potential
Locker- pretty bad, but still young
Gabbert- lol at the idiots that wanted to draft that fugging guy over Newton
Carson Palmer- I would say he sucks, but it might cause bad karma since we are playing them next
Brady Quinn- terrible unless he plays the Panthers after a tragedy
Now compare that to the NFC QBs:
RG3- maybe the next Cam Newton
Eli Manning- Mr. Clutch
Romo- somehow both overrated and underrated at the same time
Vick- had a really bad year, but is still a playmaker
Rodgers- discount double check is probably the best QB right now in the NFL
Cutler- big time arm and talent. Top half QB easily
Stafford- ridiculous talent and might have back to back 5,000 yard seasons
Matt Ryan- MVP candidate and all around douche
Brees- top 5 QB in the NFL even when he is having a bad year
Josh Freeman- part time franchise QB, spends the rest of his free time being terrible.
Cam Newton- future GOAT who has probably caused a spike in NC pregnancies
Colin Kaepernick- future baller. Actually current baller. Dude can play some football
Russell Wilson- BEST ROOKIE QB. Should be OROY in my book.
Bradford- pretty much garbage
Skelton/Kolb- bad and worse
I mean in the NFC there are only 3 teams that have what I consider pooty QBs. STL, Arizona, and Minny. And honestly Ponder and Bradford aren't terrible, they just aren't very good. The AFC there is only three teams that I think have really great QBs Den, NE, and Pitt. Schaub is pretty close
I mean even NFC backups like Foles and Cousins would likely be top 5 QBs in the AFC.
I still stand by these assessments. So if you are a betting man, when you hear about a good defense in the AFC, take it with a grain of salt. Check the schedule and usually you will see that their defense is good because they are playing the likes of Weeden, Gabbert, Quinn, Sanchez, The Golden Calf of Bristol, etc.
That is also why this weekend you watched 3 teams with "good" defenses, that are top 10 in YPD, give up a combined 101 points. They finally played QBs worth a poo (and Flacco).