The 2023 NFL season is in full swing, but so far, the usual suspects from the last couple of years are nowhere to be found. In the AFC, both the Buffalo Bills and the Cincinnati Bengals are faltering, despite both threatening to take home a maiden Lombardi in recent years. They have been replaced by the Miami Dolphins and the Baltimore Ravens, who have Lamar Jackson firing on all cylinders once more and looking in the kind of home that made him just the second man in history to win the MVP award unanimously back in 2019.
Over in the NFC, the Philadelphia Eagles look as ominous this year as they did last year. They are currently 8-1 and they look set on returning to the Super Bowl once more this term. Their biggest rivals will come in the form of the ever-ominous San Francisco 49ers and an upstart Detroit Lions side aiming to upset the apple cart.
The divisions in the NFL look very different from how they did a few years ago. Perennial winners aren’t even contenders anymore, while formerly unheralded sides have transformed their fortunes. But when it comes to all-time standings, which teams have been the most successful in their division?
AFC East – New England Patriots (22)
The New York Jets, Buffalo Bills, and Miami Dolphins simply can’t keep up with the Patriots’ level of success in the AFC East. The Boston-based side has won 22 division titles over the years. Under head coach Bill Belichick and quarterback Tom Brady, the team became a winning machine. They have plenty of records under their belt including most post-season victories and most Lombardis.
However, in recent years, the Pats have fallen off a cliff. Last term, they didn’t reach the playoffs for just the fourth time since the turn of the millennium, and things aren’t going much better in 2023. The record six-time champions are currently rock bottom of their division with just two victories and eight losses. As such, it may come as a surprise to hear that they are the most successful team in AFC East history, especially if you have just started watching the NFL.
AFC North – Pittsburgh Steelers (24)
The Pittsburgh Steelers have been star players for decades and have no plans of slowing down anytime soon. They have a total of 24 division titles including a run from 1970 through 1980, where four Super Bowl trophies were brought back to the Steel City. They added further Lombardis in 2006 and 2009, however, they haven’t threatened to reach the Big Game since. This year, all four teams in the division are in playoff contention. However, it looks like the Ravens will walk away with the divisional title, should they keep their nerve throughout the run-in.
AFC West – All Four Teams Tied on 15
The AFC West is unique as all four of its teams share the top spot with 15 wins each. That’s right, the Denver Broncos, Las Vegas Raiders, Kansas City Chiefs, and LA Chargers all have the same number of divisional championships. What a head-scratcher.
But when it comes to the current dominant side in the division, the answer to that is indeed clear. The Kansas City Chiefs are currently approaching dynasty-like status and they have reached three Super Bowls in the last four years, winning two of them. They are top of the division once more this term, and Bovada Sportsbook makes them the +500 to retain the Lombardi they won in dramatic fashion at Super Bowl LVII back in February.
AFC South – Indianapolis Colts (9)
The Indianapolis Colts have won nine titles since 2002, thanks in part to the leadership of Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck, two of the most successful quarterbacks in NFL history. The high-powered offense and talented players like Marvin Harrison and Reggie Wayne allowed them to make it to the Super Bowl twice, winning one of them. While not the flashiest team on this list, the Colts have consistently managed to put up strong performances, even with numerous changes in their roster.
Just like the Patriots before them, however, recent times have not been kind to the Lucas Oil Stadium side. They are currently bottom of one of the weakest divisions in the entire NFL, and it looks as though the Jacksonville Jaguars, and the Houston Texans are set to battle it out for the crown. We don’t think any of the four teams in the division will be making it deep into the postseason, mind you.
NFC East – Dallas Cowboys (24)
If you’re from the NFC East, bragging rights belong to the Dallas Cowboys, who have racked up 24 division titles over the years. While they’ve had their ups and downs since their last Super Bowl victory in 1995, they’re still considered America’s Team, and for good reason. With five Super Bowl wins and critical players like Dak Prescott and Ezekiel Elliot on their roster, the Cowboys’ legacy continues to be in the spotlight.
It’s the Philadelphia Eagles, however, who are currently the strongest team in the division. They won their first-ever Super Bowl back in 2018 and they reached the Big Game once again last term, eventually surrendering a ten-point half-time lead to lose to the Kansas City Chiefs at State Farm Stadium in Arizona.
NFC North – Minnesota Vikings (21)
In the NFC North, we have the Minnesota Vikings with 21 division championships and a loyal fanbase who has been waiting decades for a Super Bowl victory. They’re known for their defense and are the only team to hold their opponents to less than 300 yards per game since the league switched to a 16-game schedule. While the team has struggled to get past the conference finals in recent years, Vikings fans remain optimistic that their team will one day hoist the championship trophy high.
NFC South – New Orleans Saints (7)
When it comes to NFC South, it’s all about the New Orleans Saints. They’ve won seven division titles, including the NFC championship in 2009 followed by their first-ever Lombardi at Super Bowl XLIV. Drew Brees, their legendary ex-quarterback, was one of the finest players in NFL history, and he was a rock for the Louisiana outfit, helping them to divisional title after divisional title. They may very well top the division once more this year however, it has never been weaker, and all four teams look set to struggle throughout the remainder of the campaign.
NFC West – San Francisco 49ers (21)
Finally, we have the NFC West, where the San Francisco 49ers reign supreme with a whopping 21 titles. They topped the division and reached the Conference Championship game once more last season. However, injuries saw them have to call up their fourth-string quarterback, and they were handily defeated by the Philadelphia Eagles. In Brock Purdy, the Levi’s Stadium side has one of the league’s most talented young quarterbacks in their ranks, and he is sure to bring further success back to Northern California, be it this year or in the future.