AFC Division Leaders on Pace to Go Undefeated

Since the merger, over 40 years ago, 29 teams have gone on to go undefeated in their division play. Never have more than two teams done this in the same season. This year, in the AFC, the New England Patriots (East), Baltimore Ravens (North), Houston Texans (South) and Denver Broncos (West) are on pace to finish the season undefeated in their divisions.

Here is the list of all teams to go undefeated within their division since the 1970 merger:

  • 1972, Dolphins, 8-0
  • 1973, Vikings, 6-0
  • 1975, Steelers, 6-0
  • 1976, Raiders, 6-0
  • 1984, Dolphins, 8-0
  • 1984, 49ers, 6-0
  • 1985, Bears, 8-0
  • 1987, Bears, 7-0
  • 1992, 49ers, 6-0
  • 1993, Titans, 6-0
  • 1994, Steelers, 6-0
  • 1994, 49ers, 6-0
  • 1995, Chiefs, 8-0
  • 1997, 49ers, 8-0
  • 1998, Broncos, 8-0
  • 1999, Rams, 8-0
  • 2002, Steelers, 6-0
  • 2002, Titans, 6-0
  • 2004, Eagles, 6-0
  • 2005, Colts, 6-0
  • 2005, Seahawks, 6-0
  • 2007, Patriots, 6-0
  • 2008, Cardinals, 6-0
  • 2008, Steelers, 6-0
  • 2009, Colts, 6-0
  • 2009, Bengals, 6-0
  • 2010, Raiders, 6-0
  • 2011, Ravens, 6-0
  • 2011, Packers, 6-0

As you can see, only seven times have two teams in the entire league finished with a perfect divisional record: 2011, 2009, 2008, 2005, 2002, 1994, 1984.

This year? While the NFC might have two teams, the San Francisco 49ers and the Green Bay Packers, go undefeated in their division (although not winning all of their games), there’s a very good chance it’s going to happen in the AFC. It might suggest a greater parity between the elite and the rest in the NFC. After all, the AFC does have the two worst teams in the NFL: The Kansas City Chiefs and the Jacksonville Jaguars.

The New England Patriots have been ruling the AFC East for years, but haven’t finished undefeated in the division since 2007. What’s left for them is probably the toughest other team in the division, the 5-6 Miami Dolphins. They will play in Miami on December 2 and close out the season on December 30, at home, against the Dolphins. Chances of finishing 6-0: 72.5%.

The Houston Texans are tied for the best record in the NFL at 10-1. They’re 3-0 so far in the AFC South, which isn’t such an easy division as it looked to be early in the season. Sure, the Jags are terrible, but a visit to Tennessee might not be as simple as it may sound although the Texans are clear favorites. Even tougher? They still have to play the Colts twice, including in Indianapolis, where the Colts are 5-1. Chances of finishing 6-0: 62.5%.

The Baltimore Ravens are 9-2, 4-0 in the division. They’ve already won in Pittsburgh, so the worst and toughest is behind them. Next up is another clash with the Steelers, which should be an easy one if Ben Roethlisberger is still out. The season ends for the Ravens in a tricky game against the Bengals in Cincinnati. The catch is that if they don’t have anything to play for by then, they might not mind losing too much. Chances of finishing 6-0: 70%.

In the AFC West, it’s been very easy for the Broncos this season. The Chargers keep shooting themselves in the foot while the Raiders and the Chiefs are simply terrible. Peyton Manning has forgotten what it’s like to lose. The Broncos are 4-0 in the division, and still have to visit Oakland before a final game against Kansas City to end the season. Even if the Broncos don’t field their strongest team, it’s hard to see the Chiefs actually beating them. Chances of finishing 6-0: 85%.

Original Stats