The 2017 Division Champions According to Twitter

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    As part of a social experiment, yours truly tweeted out eight different polls, asking fans of the NFL who they believed would be the 2017 division champions. After a slow start, the retweets started rolling in, and soon hundreds, even thousands of people had voted. Now that the polls are closed, this article will break down their picks, as well as whether this writer agrees.

    The 2017 Division Champions According to Twitter

    The AFC North

    According to the good people of twitter, the Pittsburgh Steelers will win the AFC North. This isn’t too bold of a claim, as the Steelers have won the division in two of the last three years. With Ben Roethlisberger, Antonio Brown, and Le’Veon Bell returning for one last season, it’s no surprise that twitter voted this way.

    The Baltimore Ravens have improved this off-season, so it’s no surprise that they came in second. Many believe that if anyone is going to challenge the terrible towel, it will be Joe Flacco and company. However, assuming they stay healthy, Pittsburgh will remain on top.

    The AFC South

    According to the good people of twitter, the Tennessee Titans will win the AFC South. Unlike the AFC North, where Pittsburgh had a 73% lead over the runner-up, the AFC South was the closest race in the NFL, with Tennessee edging out the Houston Texans by a single point. If Marcus Mariota can come back from his injury, he’ll be returning to a much more talented squad.

    The Houston Texans could prove to be a serious problem for the Tennessee Titans. Tennessee’s passing attack is getting better, but they definitely still lean on the run-game. The Texans had the NFL’s best defense last year, and they did that without the services of their best defender, J.J. Watt. It’ll be an interesting race, and Andrew Luck‘s Indianapolis Colts shouldn’t be forgotten either.

    The AFC East

    According to the good people of twitter, the New York Jets are going to win the AFC East. That’s obviously a joke, as the New England Patriots ran away with the vote, just like they’ll run away with the division. They’re the defending Super Bowl champions, and they’ve only gotten better.

    There’s no debate here. The Miami Dolphins are the biggest threat to New England’s throne, and that’s abusing the word threat. There would have to be major injuries to several of New England’s best and brightest, namely Tom Brady, for this division to end up anywhere but New England.

    The AFC West

    According to the good people of twitter, the Oakland Raiders will be claiming their first AFC West championship since 2002. The Raiders have been the talk of the off-season, planning a move to Las Vegas, luring Marshawn Lynch out of retirement, and preparing for their most exciting season in over a decade.

    The reality is simple. The Oakland Raiders are the most complete and talented team in the division. On paper, they should absolutely win the AFC West. However, a very serious test still remains. Can Derek Carr and company beat the Kansas City Chiefs? If the answer is no, then their legendary trophy case may go another season without an addition.

    The NFC North

    According to the good people of twitter, the Green Bay Packers are going to win the NFC North. In five of the last six seasons, Aaron Rodgers and the Pack have taken the NFC North. With a laughably bad draft from the Chicago Bears, quarterback confusion with the Minnesota Vikings, and serious questions about the Detroit Lions, it seems very likely that Clay Matthews and company will win again.

    Unless the Lions make some serious progress or Sam Bradford goes back in time to his Oklahoma days, the Pack have to be the favorites.

    The NFC South

    According to the good people of twitter, the Atlanta Falcons will be repeating as NFC South champions in 2017. It’s easy to see why, after all, Matt Ryan and Julio Jones are both coming back, and they’re coming back angry. Surprisingly, the race for this division was actually pretty close.

    The NFC South was the only division in football that had three teams with at least 25% of the vote. The Falcons are the projected winners, but the New Orleans Saints and Tampa Bay Buccaneers also received a pretty substantial chunk of the votes. Drew Brees and the Saints have a lot going offensively, but their defense needs a makeover. The Buccaneers have a lot of young talent, but it remains to be seen if they can put it together.

    The NFC East

    According to the good people of twitter, Dak Prescott and the Dallas Cowboys will repeat as the NFC East’s champions. They managed to squeak past Eli Manning and the New York Giants, even with all of the hype that Brandon Marshall has brought with him. Are the good people of twitter correct? Will the Giants repeat?

    When it comes to the Cowboys, there are a lot of question marks. Will Dak Prescott develop? With the changes on the offensive line, will Ezekiel Elliott have the same success he had as a rookie? How will their battered secondary contend with a Giant receiving corps that includes Brandon Marshall, Odell Beckham Jr., and Sterling Shephard? Only one way to find out.

    The NFC West

    According to the good people of twitter, the Seattle Seahawks will win the NFC West. After several years of being the NFL’s best division, the west has fallen on some hard times. The Arizona Cardinals have gotten very old on offense, outside of the injured David Johnson. The San Francisco 49ers are at least a year away from being competitive, and the Los Angeles Rams are praying that they get something out of Jared Goff this year.

    The Seattle Seahawks still have the best roster, coach, and stadium in the division. Unless all of the rumors about the dissension in the Seahawks locker room are true, it’s hard to imagine them being bad enough to lose this division. Look forward to at least one home game in front of the 12th man.