Posted by ESPN.com's James Walker
Our latest version of "Thought of the Day" focused on the AFC North and where it ranks among the best divisions in football.
Here are some responses from our AFC North inbox and a final word:
Jesse from Florence Kentucky writes: No question the AFCN is the strongest division. I go back to last year’s AFC Championship Game with the Baltimore Ravens vs. Pittsburgh Steelers. What more evidence do you need? Also look at the defensive stats. Three of the top five rushing defenses are from the AFCN.
Derrick Boone from Upper Marlboro, Md., writes: The AFC North is the best division, because they are not media darlings. The NFC North and especially the NFC East are always hyped by the media. The AFC North gets recognized for what they currently do on the field, which is play good, hard football. They are not recognized because of the past, i.e. Dallas Cowboys.
Colin from Chicago writes: James, I would definitely say that the AFC North is the division that will scare people the most in the playoffs. But when you factor in just how terrible the Cleveland Browns are, I don't think you can say we are No. 1.
Austin Neal from Cincinnati, Ohio, writes: AFC North is the best division in the NFL without a doubt. The defenses here are on the top of their game, not to mention we have possibly three of the top offenses in the NFL. Although they, overall, weren't off to a good start at the beginning of the season, they have come back with a force and have started to show that they are the top division. WHO DEY.
Jared from Colo. writes: James, maybe you could get your hands on that ESPN Accuscore and see what the outcome would be if the AFC North played the NFC East? I think the argument from the NFC North will be silenced as the season plays out.
Robert from Sasebo, Japan, writes: I do believe the AFC North is the best division in football right now. With the Cincinnati Bengals leading the pack, they will win the division this year.
Steeler Bleeder from central Virginia writes: Sure, why not. If other people don't believe the AFC North is No. 1 overall, it'll be because Cincy, Baltimore, and Pittsburgh still have 4 games against each other on the schedule and they'll beat each other black and blue. Every ship in this division seems to be rising, except Cleveland. Not even the NFC East can say that with the way the Giants have been regressing.
AFC North Final Word
James Walker: If this were a three-team race I would take the Steelers, Ravens and Bengals against any trio of division teams in the NFL this season. But is that enough to say the AFC North is the top division in football? I’m not sure. As Colin mentioned, you’re only as strong as your weakest link, and the Browns are a very weak link. The NFC East also is deep as usual this year, and the last-place Washington Redskins would probably beat the last-place Browns by two touchdowns if they played on Sunday. Through Week 8, I would go AFC North 1A and NFC East 1B, followed by the NFC North No. 3.