All-Time NFL Franchise Rankings, 2018 Edition

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The 2018 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 2017 NFL season (prior-year ranking in parentheses). Click on the image to be taken to the interactive version:

All-Time NFL Franchise Rankings, 2018 Edition

The Top 10

#1. Dallas Cowboys (#1) — 14.04 avg.
#2. New England Patriots (#2) — 12.28 avg.
#3. Green Bay Packers (#3) — 10.62 avg.
#4. Oakland Raiders (#4) — 10.00 avg.
#5. Baltimore Ravens (#5) — 8.95 avg.
#6. San Francisco 49ers (#6) — 8.78 avg.
#7. Miami Dolphins (#7) — 7.97 avg.
#8. Minnesota Vikings (#11) — 7.75 avg.
#9. Chicago Bears (#9) — 7.69 avg.
#10. Indianapolis Colts (#8) — 7.63 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 appearance. The Vikings returned to the top tier after getting knocked down the season before.


The Mediocre 12

#11. Denver Broncos (#10) — 7.44 avg.
#12. New York Giants (#12) — 7.42 avg.
#13. Pittsburgh Steelers (#13) — 7.22 avg.
#14. Cleveland Browns (#14) — 6.93 avg.
#15. Seattle Seahawks (#15) — 6.43 avg.
#16. Kansas City Chiefs (#16) — 6.23 avg.
#17. Washington Redskins (#17) — 5.76 avg.
#18. Los Angeles Rams (#18) — 5.70 avg.
#19. Tennessee Titans (#20) — 5.13 avg.
#20. Los Angeles Chargers (#19) — 4.97 avg.
#21. Philadelphia Eagles (#23) — 4.74 avg.
#22. Buffalo Bills (#21) — 4.72 avg.

Let’s welcome the Eagles to the 2nd tier, coming off a dramatic Super Bowl LII win and their first NFL championship since 1960. It may seem weird that they’re only ranked next to the Buffalo Bills, but that’s the whole point of my system. One great season does not overcome a lot of bad or mediocre ones.

After one year in the top tier, the Broncos fell back down thanks to a lackluster 5-11 record in the 2018 regular season.


The Bottom 10

#23. Carolina Panthers (#22) — 4.65 avg.
#24. Jacksonville Jaguars (#27) — 3.08 avg.
#25. New York Jets (#24) — 2.89 avg.
#26. Detroit Lions (#26) — 2.85 avg.
#27. Atlanta Falcons (#29) — 2.67 avg.
#28. Houston Texans (#26) — 2.43 avg.
#29. Cincinnati Bengals (#28) — 2.40 avg.
#30. New Orleans Saints (#31) — 1.98 avg.
#31. Tampa Bay Buccaneers (#30) — 1.67 avg.
#32. Arizona Cardinals (#32) — 1.13 avg.

Not a lot of movement at the bottom once again, other than the Panthers sliding down from the second tier. Their lifetime average is high enough that they should be able to move back up with a playoff appearance.


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. The Eagles are now in the mix thanks to their Super Bowl LII win but it’s still the Patriots’ honor to lose. Click on the chart to see the interactive version and play around yourself.

All-Time NFL Franchise Rankings, 2018 Edition