The NFL is at the halfway point. The trade deadline is past, the playoffs are in view for many and others are already beginning to think about 2013, even if they won't admit it. Rather than rank the individual teams, however, like every other list on the Interwebz, we believe it's reasonable to take a look at which teams have the most difficult time of it -- competing in the hardest divisions in the league with our NFL Divisional Power Rankings, Week 10.
Here's this week's take on the divisions in the NFL.
NFL DIVISIONAL POWER RANKINGS, WEEK 10:
1. NFC North - The Bears are 7-1 and beating their chest at the rest of the NFC. The Packers have won 4 in a row and have shaken off the cobwebs of the early season. The Lions are now at .500 and have shown plenty of fight for the stretch run. The Vikes are still holding onto an early season winning streak that keeps them above .500. There's just no competition for the best division at this point.
2. AFC North - A surprisingly development has emerged in the AFC North with the Cincinnati Bengals season. Instead of providing a third power to contend with in the division, Cincy is looking like the days of old despite the youth movement on offense. The Steelers and Ravens remain the powers atop the division, and it looks like both the Bengals and Browns will be the doormats once again.
3. NFC East - This division suddenly looks very poor. Even a week ago, we were convinced of the ability of frustrating teams like the Redskins and Cowboys and Eagles to surprise and win. Now each team is fighting just to reach .500. Even the Giants just lost, although they're definitely a Super Bowl contender at 6-3. What was once an impressive lot is now an impressive one. A sinking ship of a division.
4. NFC West - Instead of several teams vying for contention, the NFC West is suddenly beginning to resemble every other division. The Cardinals and Rams once showed promise for a playoff berth, but both ships are sinking. In particular, the Cards have now lost 5 in a row after starting 4-0. Such is life in the NFL. The Seahawks keep pace with the 49ers enough to remain dangerous, but the Niners are the only playoff team here.
5. NFC South - What a tremendous week for a division we called the second worst in football last time around. Instead, every single team won in Week 9 and the Panthers, Saints and Bucs showed signs of what they could be. All three have quarterbacks to be feared when they're on and could take out anyone. This division should be among the toughest, and perhaps they'll all wake up and make it interesting for the Falcons.
6. AFC East - The Jets and Bills are now 3-5 and look lifeless -- frustratingly enough for both fan bases who had reasons to believe in their respective teams. The Dolphins are still the darling of the division, although the Colts took the wind out of their sails. The Pats are the only sure thing and they're not a sure thing if you look past the name factor. In short, this division is much worse than the media coverage would tell you.
7. AFC South - The Titans are the odd call to make in this division. Some weeks they look like a solid team who could play the sleeper role. Other times they fall asleep. After the Bears shellacked them on Sunday, Bud Adams is calling for heads to roll as he should. As for the Colts and Texans, they keep winning. The Jags keep losing. It's the Titans in the middle that make the division move one way or another.
8. AFC West - The Broncos have now won 3 games in a row, and are taking control of a division mired in mediocrity for the first half of the season. Will Norv Turner feel the hot seat and get his team on a roll? It's possible, but they're the only competition for Peyton and company. The Raiders are just not a good team at 3-5, but they knew that coming into the season. As for the Chiefs, they dump Stanford Routt, change roles for some coaches and hope to turn the tide. Good luck.