If you haven’t done so already, take a look at the standings in the NFL after Week 3. The thing that might pop out at you immediately is that all four teams in the NFC North — Chicago, Detroit, Green Bay and Minnesota — are all above .500 after three games, the only division with all four teams above .500 after Week 3.
The Packers have a 3-1 record, while the Lions are undefeated but have a tie game on their 2-0-1 record. The Bears and Vikings are “bringing” up the rear with very respectable 2-1 records.
Yes, we are only three weeks into the season, I know. But it got me thinking about whether or not there has been a season where all four teams in a division ended the year with records above .500.
Back in 2002, the NFL went to the current set-up with four four-team divisions in each conference. Since that year, there has not been any division where all four teams were above .500 at the conclusion of the season.
There has been, however, six times when all four teams ended the season at .500 or better. The last time it happened was in 2008 when both the NFC East and the NFC South had all four of the teams in their division end the year with an 8-8 record or better.
(Ironically, the six times it happened were in three years; in 2002, 2007 and 2008 there were two divisions each season that had all four teams at .500 or better.)
Here is a look at the six times all four teams in a division ended the season at .500 or better.
2002 AFC West (Oakland 11-5, Denver 9-7, San Diego 8-8, Kansas City 8-8)
2002 AFC East (New York Jets 9-7, New England 9-7, Miami 9-7, Buffalo 8-8)
2007 NFC East (Dallas 13-3, New York Giants 10-6, Washington 9-7, Philadelphia 8-8)
2007 AFC South (Indianapolis 13-3, Jacksonville 11-5, Tennessee 10-6, Houston 8-8)
2008 NFC South (Carolina 12-4, Atlanta 11-5, Tampa Bay 9-7, New Orleans 8-8)
2008 NFC East (New York Giants 12-4, Philadelphia 9-6-1, Dallas, 9-7, Washington 8-8)
Will the NFC North join this list? Or, could the NFC North become the first division in league history to have each team above .500 at the end of the year?
We’ve got 13 more games (14 weeks with a bye for each team) to see.
Follow Jerry on Twitter @StatsonTapp