For the past two weeks, Kate Arhar has written about more geographically pleasing divisions in the NFL. I love the idea! It would be great to see some of the new rivalries. It would be great to see the Cowboy fans, Saints fans, and Falcon fans go at it.
The AFC North rivalries would be awesome as well! While there weren’t too many big changes with the teams, there were some.
Now, I invite you to come with me to the “What Could Be” Who would win the divisions if they were realigned?
Let’s get the “easy ones” out of the way first. Those would be the divisions that don’t change, starting with the NFC North. Letting the homer side of me through, I would, of course, say that the Lions would easily win the division. Honestly though, if we look at next year, the Lions do have a very good chance at winning the division. They still would have to get through the Packers and the Bears, but there is a chance. But, going off of last year, it’d have to be the Bears. The NFC West? If all stays the same, going based on last year, I still see the Rams winning.
How about the new divisions? Looking at the NFC South, you’d have the Saints and the Cowboys going up against each other. That would be really fun to watch, and honestly, after last season, seeing the Saints lose to the Cowboys, I think that ramps up the interesting factor. I think it would be very tight, but I think that the Saints would win the division.
Over in the NFC East, the Panthers could really stir things up and give some great competition. Adding in the fact that Washington has a shiny new quarterback in Dwayne Haskins, and hopefully a healthy Cam Newton at the helm in Carolina, there would be some shakeup.
Heading over to the AFC, since the AFC West stays the same, we won’t predict that. Until there’s something different, I pick Kansas City to win over there.
Looking at the AFC North, this would be fun. The Colts, the Steelers and the emerging Browns. Poor Bengals wouldn’t be doing too much, I presume, but the top 3 would be great to watch. Until you prove to me otherwise, I’m going to roll with the Colts.
The AFC East would be great because of the Ravens being added. But, until Belichick or Brady leave, the Patriots are going to be the tops of that division.
Finally the AFC South. I have a hard time thinking that anyone but Houston will be winning that division. Though, if Miami got a starting quarterback, they perhaps could make some noise!
So, that’s a look at the winners in the “New NFL”. Honestly, I kinda wish it would happen. It looks like it would be a lot of fun!
Hey Blitzers it’s me, MZE. It’s been a while but with the Hall of Fame game just a few weeks away I thought it was time to get back at it. In the past two years we’ve seen big NFL trades like Khalil Mack to the Bears, garnering the Jon Gruden statue talk to begin in Chicago, and as of late OBJ going to the Browns. It got ol’ MZE’s brain churning. I wondered what other trades in NFL history blindsided fans. I got myself an Arnold Palmer and did some research, and in my humble opinion, these are three of the biggest NFL blindside trades ever made.
Sam Huff (NY Giants to the Washington Redskins)
Sam Huff was a staple for the Giants defense from 1956 to 1963. As a linebacker for the G-Men he recorded 18 interceptions, was elected to the Pro Bowl four times and was named an All-Pro twice. Prior to the 1964 season, the Giants inexplicably sent Huff to the division rival, Washington Redskins, along with Offensive/Defensive lineman, George Seals.
In exchange the Giants got defensive end, Andy Stynchula, halfback, Dick James, and a 5th round draft pick who became punter, Frank Lambert. Huff would play five seasons with the Redskins, intercepting 12 more passes and making another Pro Bowl. Meanwhile none of the players the Giants received made much impact at all. There is no truth to the rumor that Dave Gettleman initiated the trade during his junior high study hall.
Eric Dickerson (L.A. Rams to the Indianapolis Colts)
Eric Dickerson exploded on the scene out of SMU as the 2nd overall pick in 1983. In 4+ seasons he ran for he ran for 7,245 yards including 2,105 yards in 1984. Rams fans felt they had their star tailback for several years but late in the 1987 he was involved in a three-way trade between the Rams, Colts, and Bills. As some know, a three-way can sound great but may ultimately disappoint in the end.
The Rams accumulated six first- and second-round picks in the deal. Dickerson wound up with the Colts and while he averaged just over 85 yards a game in his 4+ seasons with the Colts, his production was nowhere near what it was as a Ram with his production dropping off of a cliff after his second season.
Joe Montana (San Francisco 49ers to the KC Chiefs)
The San Francisco 49ers were a struggling franchise until they drafted a quarterback out of Notre Dame named Joe Montana. “Joe Cool” took them from nasty to dynasty. In his 13 years with the Niners, the Hall of Famer won four Super Bowl rings, was a two-time MVP, was named to eight Pro Bowls, and was a three-time All-Pro.
Sadly, Joe left the land of Rice-A-Roni for some BBQ when he was traded to the Chiefs prior to the 1993 season. In his final two NFL seasons, Montana went 17-8 in Kansas City. He would lead the Chiefs to the 1993 AFC title game and the 1994 Wild Card game but would never win another Super Bowl. Meanwhile the 49ers found some kid named Steve Young. Ever heard of him?
Those are my three most unexpected trades in NFL history. Tell us who you’ve got in the comments and please follow all of my colleagues on Twitter. They are so worth it.
Until next time, Blitzers, double-check your no-trade clauses, be sure to make friends with bartenders in every city you visit because you never know where home may be, and if you’re traded for a draft make sure at least the mug is frosted.
Yours in football,
Mike Zimmers Ears is a Minnesota Vikings fan and regular contributor on Blitzed. He also hosts his own Vikings podcast Sound the Gjallahorn.
Last week, I had fun with my OCD and wrote about radically changing around all of the NFL divisions to create a more geographically pleasing picture.
I was genuinely surprised at the number of fans who loved my ideas – and equally surprised at the ones who hated my new divisions.
But even the haters agreed that some amount of reorganizing is way overdue. If you simply pause and think about the number of teams that have moved, from Houston to Tennessee or perhaps St. Louis to Los Angeles, and you will agree that a few changes would be a good thing.
Here is my much more realistic view of a few changes to divisions that make a ton of sense. I’m not moving anyone from the AFC to the NFC and I’m keeping most of the divisions intact, so this should be a fairly painless change for most of you!
I’ll start with the NFC. The NFC North is just fine the way it is. It’s a fairly competitive division and I just don’t see any reason to shuffle these teams around. The NFC West, while not ideal from a mapping perspective, doesn’t contain any teams that I feel belong somewhere else. Seattle being situated all by itself fits just as easily here as it would anywhere else. However…
Dallas being in the NFC East is simply ridiculous. I’m moving the Cowboys into the NFC South. Carolina may be a “southern town,” but they would be better suited to the NFC East.
The AFC isn’t quite as simple. The AFC West (Denver, Kansas City, Oakland/Las Vegas, Los Angeles Chargers) are close enough geographically to stay together. They also make sense from a competitive perspective. Even with Oakland moving to LV in the near future, the mapping still works. However…
Miami being the in AFC East is as silly as the issue with Dallas. But in order to move them somewhere else, I have to juggle two other AFC divisions. I could probably do it with just one move but hey, this is my article, so I get to do what I want….
Put Miami into the AFC South, replacing Indianapolis. Move the Colts into the AFC North, replacing Baltimore. Finally, move Baltimore into the vacant AFC East spot. Easy Peasy.