NFC is closing the gap
You can't argue with the numbers. The AFC is 7-2 in the last nine Super Bowls, and was 37-27 in interconference play this season.
Still, there are signs of a shift.
Look at the playoff teams, and specifically, the third through sixth seeds. The Cowboys, Cardinals, Packers and Eagles? Or the Patriots, Bengals, Jets and Ravens? I'd take the NFC quartet.
The disparity in the interconference numbers was largely due to one division per conference: the AFC South went 12-4 and the NFC West went 4-12.
There's no logical reason for one conference to repeatedly dominate the other, not when they're picking from the same pool of players. Expect the NFC to continue closing the gap, so long as potential quarterback changes in Arizona and Minnesota don't do too much damage.
AFC's depth much better
There is little doubt the balance of power has shifted to the AFC in the last dozen years. And you can judge that by many factors, current and historic.
This year, the AFC has the most depth, from the top (the NFL's best record, Indy's 14-2) to the bottom (the NFC has three teams with a worse record than the AFC worst team, KC's 4-12). From the 1984 to 1996 seasons, the NFC won 13 straight Super Bowls.
But the AFC has won five of the last six - the Giants' victory over the previously undefeated Patriots two years ago the exception - and nine of the last 12. And Peyton Manning and the Colts are the early favorites to continue the AFC's dominance.
NFC gaining but not there
We keep saying the NFC is gaining on the AFC, and maybe it is. Certainly, there are some good young players in the NFC who could eventually shift the balance of power - Matt Ryan, Tony Romo, DeMarcus Ware, Matthew Stafford, Aaron Rodgers and Adrian Peterson to name a few.
But as of now, the AFC remains the king. There is a reason AFC teams have won seven of the last nine Super Bowls. The junior conference won 58 percent of the interconference games this year, and the team from the AFC is favored to win another one on Super Sunday.
See, as long as the AFC has Peyton Manning, Tom Brady, Philip Rivers, Bill Belichick, Jeff Fisher, Bill Polian, Ozzie Newsome and the Rooney Family on its side, it's going to be pretty tough to beat.
No reason to see change
The AFC has won nine of the last 12 Super Bowls, and I see nothing to suggest that trend has changed this year. The AFC simply has the upper hand, including the league's only four-time Most Valuable Player in Peyton Manning.
That dominance was reflected in the interconference game tally this season. The AFC was 37-27 in games against the NFC. What's more, the NFC has more lopsided divisions. The games separating the top and bottom teams in the AFC: East (4), North (5), South (7) and West (9); and the NFC: East (7), North (10), South (10) and West (9).
In the NFC, every division had a team with four wins or fewer. In the AFC, only one division had one of those bottom dwellers (Kansas City had four wins).