All-Time NFL Franchise Rankings, 2017 Edition

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The 2017 NFL season is here, which can only mean one thing — it’s time for another edition of my all-time NFL franchise rankings!

The charts I’ve cooked up are largely the same as last year’s, with a few additions. Going directly to the Tableau page with my charts will let you play around with some of the parameters, which you know you want to do. But if not, let’s get right to it. As always, here is the point system I’ve devised to objectively rank all active NFL franchises:

The Criteria

The categories and point values are as follows:

  • 25 points for a championship game/Super Bowl win, 15 points for a championship game/Super Bowl loss (starting in 1932).
  • 5 points for a season with a playoff appearance (starting in 1967), and 8 points for a season with a playoff win.
  • 1 point for a winning regular-season record, -1 point for a losing regular-season record.
  • 3 points for any year with a regular-season winning percentage of at least .750, -3 points for a regular-season winning percentage of .250 or less.
  • Consecutive winning regular seasons are worth 2 points starting with the second, 3 points for the third, 4 points for the fourth, and so on. The counter is reset after any non-winning season. So if a team has three winning seasons in a row, they get a total of 5 points.
  • I apply a unique multiplier to a franchise’s all-time winning percentage, such that anything below .500 essentially incurs a penalty.

Feel free to share your thoughts on my rankings in the comments below. And as I do every year, I must give credit to two sites that helped form the basis of my own formulations — Bob’s Blog and Page 2.

All rankings are current through the end of the 2016 NFL season (prior-year ranking in parentheses). Click on the image to be taken to the interactive version:

The Top 10

#1. Dallas Cowboys (#1) — 14.23 avg.
#2. New England Patriots (#2) — 11.62 avg.
#3. Green Bay Packers (#3) — 10.74 avg.
#4. Oakland Raiders (#4) — 10.20 avg.
#5. Baltimore Ravens (#5) — 9.33 avg.
#6. San Francisco 49ers (#6) — 8.93 avg.
#7. Miami Dolphins (#7) — 8.14 avg.
#8. Indianapolis Colts (#8) — 7.81 avg.
#9. Chicago Bears (#9) — 7.78 avg.
#10. Denver Broncos (#11) — 7.59 avg.

The Cowboys still have a lock on the top spot, but the Patriots continue to close the gap thanks to yet another Super Bowl win. There was no movement in the top 10 this year with the exception of the Denver Broncos, who knocked the Vikings down to the next tier.


The Mediocre 12

#11. Minnesota Vikings (#10) — 7.58 avg.
#12. New York Giants (#12) — 7.55 avg.
#13. Pittsburgh Steelers (#14) — 7.15 avg.
#14. Cleveland Browns (#13) — 7.11 avg.
#15. Seattle Seahawks (#15) — 6.42 avg.
#16. Kansas City Chiefs (#16) — 6.15 avg.
#17. Washington Redskins (#17) — 5.85 avg.
#18. Los Angeles Rams (#18) — 5.70 avg.
#19. Los Angeles Chargers (#19) — 5.04 avg.
#20. Tennessee Titans (#20) — 4.94 avg.
#21. Buffalo Bills (#22) — 4.70 avg.
#22. Carolina Panthers (#21) — 4.58 avg.

The Steelers and Browns switched places this year, which I’m sure will not play into their rivalry at all. The Bills and Panthers also switched spots.


The Bottom 10

#23. Philadelphia Eagles (#23) — 4.30 avg.
#24. New York Jets (#24) — 2.96 avg.
#25. Detroit Lions (#26) — 2.88 avg.
#26. Houston Texans (#29) — 2.88 avg.
#27. Jacksonville Jaguars (#25) — 2.90 avg.
#28. Cincinnati Bengals (#27) — 2.47 avg.
#29. Atlanta Falcons (#28) — 2.41 avg.
#30. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (#31) — 1.74 avg.
#31. New Orleans Saints (#30) — 1.74 avg.
#32. Arizona Cardinals (#32) — 1.14 avg.

The Texans made the biggest leap of any franchise this year, moving from the 29th spot to the 26th. This is due both to their young age and scoring well (with a division title and playoff win) last season. The poor, poor Cardinals continue to dwell in the basement after finishing below .500 and failing to make the playoffs.


Team of the Decade (So Far)

Here’s a look at how the total scores are shaping up for the 2010s across all of the NFL. Click on the chart to see the interactive version and play around yourself.