Woody Johnson, NY Jets, Owner, NFL, Division Realignment
Woody Johnson, New York Jets, Getty Images

What would a re-aligned AFC East Division look like? How would it affect the New York Jets?

The dead period of the NFL offseason is the perfect time to spitball about hypotheticals.

One hypothetical idea that has been making the rounds on social media is the thought of what the NFL’s divisions would look like if they were more geographically accurate.

Currently, the NFL’s division system features quite a few misfits who seem out of place alongside their three division rivals, such as the Dallas Cowboys in the NFC East and the Miami Dolphins in the AFC East.

What if the NFL improved the geographical accuracy of its divisions?

A recent Reddit post visualized what a realignment of this fashion could look like.

The fan-made realignment proposal features an interesting concept for the AFC East. The Buffalo Bills, New England Patriots, and New York Jets would stay put, but the Miami Dolphins would be replaced by Gang Green’s MetLife Stadium co-tenants: the New York Giants.

Geographically, this AFC East setup would make much more sense, forming a Northeastern triangle in which three stadiums are all within a relatively short driving distance from one another. Highmark Stadium and Gillette Stadium are separated by a 457-mile driving distance. Gillette is 214 miles from MetLife and Highmark is 358 miles from MetLife.

As things currently stand, the Dolphins are out of place in the AFC East, sitting on the opposite end of the east coast as their three rivals. Hard Rock Stadium is a 1,260-mile drive from MetLife Stadium.

Personally, I would be all aboard for two annual matchups between the Jets and Giants. There is so much potential for a heated New York rivalry between these two fanbases – similar to Yankees/Mets, Knicks/Nets, or any combination of the three hockey teams – but since these squads only meet up every four years, there really isn’t a true rivalry. I think it would be loads of fun for the New York sports scene if these teams shared a division.

Here are all eight divisions from the realignment proposed in the fan-made Reddit concept shared above:

  • AFC East: Bills, Giants, Jets, Patriots
  • AFC West: Broncos, Cardinals, Chiefs, Raiders
  • AFC Central: Bengals, Browns, Colts, Titans
  • AFC South: Buccaneers, Dolphins, Jaguars, Panthers
  • NFC East: Commanders, Eagles, Ravens, Steelers
  • NFC West: Chargers, 49ers, Rams, Seahawks
  • NFC Central: Bears, Lions, Packers, Vikings
  • NFC South: Cowboys, Falcons, Saints, Texans

Would you be a fan of this hypothetical realignment concept?

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Michael Nania is one of the best analytical New York Jets minds in the world, combining his statistical expertise with game film to add proper context to the data. Nania scrapes every corner, ensuring you know all there is to know about everyone from the QB to the long snapper. Nania's Numbers, Nania's QB Grades, and Nania's All-22 give fans a deeper and more well-rounded dive into the Jets than anyone else can offer. Email: michael.nania[at]jetsxfactor.com - Twitter: @Michael_Nania
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10 months ago

I don’t like the Idea of moving teams from one conference to the other especially if the team has won 2 or more Superbowls, any team that has won 2 or more Superbowls should have a no switching conference clause I don’t think the Steelers should ever move to the NFC ! Nor should The Dallas Cowboys switch conferences although The Dallas Cowboys should definitely move to another division but Dallas should always be in the NFC! I’m ok with the LA Chargers moving to the NFC and The Arizona Cardinals moving to the AFC and if The NFL wanted to switch those 2 teams those 2 teams shouldn’t be able to stop the switch in my opinion, I haven’t had time to realign all the divisions but I will send an update with my realignment later, If switching to the AFC is what it takes for my beloved Minnesota Vikings to finally Win a Superbowl I’d would consider it. SKOL

stevie fishstix
stevie fishstix
1 year ago

Many fans are “Gints” fans, meaning we root for both teams.
Because we only play every 4 years, there is no natural friction to speak of.
Feathers would be ruffled if they forced us into a manufactured rivalry…

verge tibbs
verge tibbs
1 year ago

Its ok, i wouldnt mind. But id prefer the realignment that the ringer proposed a few years ago. It would look more like the NHL does, with only 4 divisions. Maybe East, West, South, Midwest/North, i dont remember exactly. I think the current model has not gotten the best teams to the playoffs every year. It shouldnt be where a terrible division can get an 8-9 team into the playoffs while a good division lands a 10-7 team out of the picture. Theres got to be a better way. I like rivalries fine but i dont like having to play 3 teams twice every year when theres only 17 games.

Richard Hausig
Richard Hausig
1 year ago

It used to be that the NFC had the more valuable cities because they came first. Dallas was bigger than Houston, LA bigger than SD, Chicago bigger than KC, etc. I don’t know if that’s all still true and the league is so socialist it would only matter to the TV networks. I’m sure Fox would not be happy to lose the Giants to CBS.

Edward Kirby
Edward Kirby
1 year ago

1) Charlotte and Atlanta are real close to each other and are natural rivals. Yet this proposal puts them in different divisions. That makes no sense.

2) Why stick with 8 four team divisions? If you’re going to make improvements, everything should be on the table, including expansion.

3) I’d like to see one or two “Great Lakes” division(s). Put BUF, CLE, DET, CHI, GB and maybe another two or three teams (PIT, IND and/or CIN?) together and see how the ice floats. The same can be done with the Gulf Coast, the High Plains and the Pacific. Naming them “East” or “West” or even “Central” is boring. They can even name them after the greats of the game. The “Halas Division”, for example.

4) NYJ, NYG, NE and PHI belong together. The same with DAL and KC. Sorry.

5) What are the rules when a franchise changes cities? Are we going to keep the same layout when JAX moves to San Antonio? Or will the divisions change every time?

1 year ago

Meh. I would prefer the Giants remain in the NFC East and Pittsburgh re-aligned to the AFC East.

Charlie Winner
Charlie Winner
1 year ago

Makes too much sense for the NFL owners. Effective and efficient, plus good for the fans never enters their thoughts.