Friday, February 06, 2009

Ask Sports Sturm: NFL Rankings, Version 8.0

Here it is, the 8th annual edition of the Historical Rankings of the 32 NFL Franchises in the Super Bowl Era. The object of this game is to find a way to quantify the accomplishments of each team in a way that is a bit more advanced than saying “The Jets have one Super Bowl win, the Vikings have none…therefore the Jets have a better history of quality than the Vikings”. Obviously, if you follow the two franchises, you know that it really isn’t close – the Vikings have shown consistently great results – just never have won the big one.

To recap, a few years ago, a good strong listener asked me to rank the franchises from #32 to #1 based on their accomplishments from Super Bowl I to present.

So I did. I wanted it to be objective, not subjective. I wanted it to be a formula and you would just enter the numbers and it would spit out the rankings with no favoritism or prejudice. We have been doing this since 2001. Since then, it has been imitated a time or two , but I don’t mind. It is pretty obvious idea for any sports nerd to come up with.

Here is how it works. Each Franchise gets 1 point for each season it makes the playoffs. Then, if it reaches the Conference Championship Game it gets a total of 3 points. If it makes the Super Bowl it gets 5, and if it wins the Super Bowl it wins the maximum total of points in a given year of 11. It used to be 10 for the Super Bowl, but I have adjusted it this year because I didn’t like the idea that 2 Super Bowl losses equaled a Super Bowl win. So, Now 11 points for a win and 5 for a loss in the Super Bowl.

I have been asked why no points are given for wins in the Wildcard round, but I decided that would not make sense with the idea that the playoffs have grown over the years and there is no way to equalize a smaller field to a larger one. Also, a Wildcard win is not that big a deal anymore with 6 teams in the playoffs, so unless you reach the Conference Title game, no additional points beyond the 1 for making the post-season.

I also have been asked how come I don’t go by average points per season (since many teams have joined the league since Super Bowl 1. My answer is simple: I don’t want to penalize teams who have been in the league all of the years. If you go by average points per year rather than total points, it is possible that the Baltimore Ravens would have been #1 if they had won the Super Bowl this year. No chance I would believe that premise, given that they didn’t exist prior to 1996. But, if a team has been established since the season of Super Bowl 1 (1966), it is notated.
Just add up the points for all the years, and that is the entire formula.

Otherwise, I break ties based on the team with more Super Bowl wins, then Super Bowl losses, then Championship Game wins, etc. There are no ties. I will settle it somehow.



#1 - The Dallas Cowboys (Same as Last Year, #1)

Total Points: 107
Total Playoff Years: 66C, 67C, 68, 69, 70SL, 71S, 72C, 73C, 75SL, 76, 77S, 78SL, 79, 80C, 81C, 82C, 83, 85, 91, 92S, 93S, 94C, 95S, 96, 98, 99, 03, 06, 07

P: 29
4: 8
2: 3
1: 5

The Cowboys remain the undisputed Champ since Super Bowl I. But, when we started doing this, they had what appeared to be an absolutely insurmountable lead. It has nearly been all lost. The Steelers are now within a handful of points, or one Super Bowl appearance of undoing the entire lead.



#2 - The Pittburgh Steelers (Same)

Total Points: 102
Total Playoff Years: 72C, 73, 74S, 75S, 76C, 77, 78S, 79S, 82, 83, 84C, 89, 92, 93, 94C, 95SL, 96, 97C, 01C, 02, 04C, 05S, 07, 08S

P: 24
4: 7
2: 1
1: 6

In the last 14 years, the Steelers have won 2 Super Bowls, lost another, and lost 4 more Championship games. As everyone lauds New England, they should take a long look at the amazing quality of the “next generation” Pittsburgh Steelers.



#3 - The San Francisco 49ers (Same)

Total Points: 85
Total Playoff Years: 70C, 71C, 72, 81S, 83C, 84S, 85, 86, 87, 88S, 89S, 90C, 92C, 93C, 94S, 95, 96, 97C, 98, 01, 02

Hasn’t made the playoffs in six years. Ouch.

P: 21
4: 7
2: 0
1: 5



#4 - The Oakland Raiders (Same)

Total Points: 77
Total Playoff Years: 67SL, 68C, 69C, 70C, 72, 73C, 74C, 75C, 76S, 77C, 80S, 82, 83S, 84, 85, 90C, 91, 93, 00C, 01, 02SL

The joke of the NFL now days, but still entrenched in the top 5 all-time.

P: 21
4: 9
2: 2
1: 3



#5 - The New England Patriots (Same)

Total Points: 59
Total Playoff Years: 76, 78, 82, 85SL, 86, 94, 96SL, 97, 98, 01S, 03S, 04S, 05, 06C, 07SL

They missed the playoffs in 2008, but their record speaks for itself in the last decade as they are all the way up into the Top 5.

P: 15
4: 1
2: 3
1: 3



#6 - The Miami Dolphins (Up 1, from #7)

Total Points: 58
Total Playoff Years: 70, 71SL, 72S, 73S, 74, 78, 79, 81, 82SL, 83, 84SL, 85C, 90, 92C, 94, 95, 97, 98, 99, 00, 01, 08

The unlikely playoff berth shot them back in front of Denver to #6.

P: 22
4: 2
2: 3
1: 2



# 7 The Denver Broncos (6)

Total Points: 57
Total Playoff Years: 77SL, 78, 79, 83, 84, 86SL, 87SL, 89SL, 91C, 93, 96, 97S, 98S, 00, 03, 04, 05C

Missed the playoffs again, and fell back a spot behind Miami.

P: 17
4: 2
2: 4
1: 2



#8 - The Washington Redskins (Same)

Total Points: 56
Total Playoff Years: 71, 72SL, 73, 74, 76, 82S, 83SL, 84, 86C, 87S, 90, 91S, 92, 99, 05, 07

Another team without much in the last 15 years, but quite a resume.

P: 16
4: 1
2: 2
1: 3



#9 - The Green Bay Packers (Same)

Total Points: 53
Total Playoff Years: 66S, 67S, 72, 82, 93, 94, 95C, 96S, 97SL, 98, 01, 02, 03, 04, 07C

13-3 to out of the playoffs…sound familiar?

P: 15
4: 2
2: 1
1: 3



#10 - The St Louis/Los Angeles Rams (Same)

Total Points: 51
Total Playoff Years: 67, 69, 73, 74C, 75C, 76C, 77, 78C, 79SL, 80, 83, 84, 85C, 86, 88, 89C, 99S, 00, 01SL, 03, 04

They appear to be a ways away from gaining more points. But, top 10 still.

P: 21
4: 6
2: 2
1: 1



#11 - The Minnesota Vikings (Same)

Total Points: 49
Total Playoff Years: 68, 69SL, 70, 71, 73SL, 74SL, 75, 76SL, 77C, 78, 80, 82, 87C, 88, 89, 92, 93, 94, 96, 97, 98C, 99, 00C, 04, 08

Made the playoffs, but still #11.

P: 25
4: 4
2: 4
1: 0



#12 - The New York Giants (Same)

Total Points: 48
Total Playoff Years: 81, 84, 85, 86S, 89, 90S, 93, 97, 00SL, 02, 05, 06, 07S, 08

Last year, nobody thought they could win…and they did. This year, everybody thought they would win…and they disappointed. Thanks, Plaxico.

P: 14
4: 0
2: 1
1: 3



#13 - Indianapolis/Baltimore Colts (Same)

Total Points: 48
Total Playoff Years: 68SL, 70S, 71C, 75, 76, 77, 87, 95C, 96, 99, 00, 02, 03C, 04, 05, 06S, 07, 08

They lose the tiebreaker with the Giants on Lombardi Trophies.

P: 18
4: 3
2: 1
1: 2




#14 - The Buffalo Bills (Same)

Total Points: 34
Total Playoff Years: 66C, 74, 80, 81, 88C, 89, 90SL, 91SL, 92SL, 93SL, 95, 96, 98, 99

A huge gap to #13, and the Bills have not had a playoff berth this millennium. In fact, nothing since Music City Miracle.

P: 14
4: 2
2: 4
1: 0



#15 - The Philadelphia Eagles (Up 2, from #17)

Total Points: 33
Total Playoff Years: 78, 79, 80SL, 81, 88, 89, 90, 92, 95, 96, 00, 01C, 02C, 03C, 04SL, 06, 08C

The Eagles spot in the final 4 shot them up past the Bears and Chiefs into the 15th spot.

P: 17
4: 4
2: 2
1: 0



#16 - The Chicago Bears (Down 1, from #15)

Total Points: 31
Total Playoff Years: 77, 79, 84C, 85S, 86, 87, 88C, 90, 91, 94, 01, 05, 06SL

Down a spot after another mediocre year.

P: 13
4: 2
2: 1
1: 1



#17 - The Kansas City Chiefs (Down 1, from 16)

Total Points: 30
Total Playoff Years: 66SL, 68, 69S, 71, 86, 90, 91, 92, 93C, 94, 95, 97, 03, 06

Not even close to the playoffs in the last 2 seasons caused the house-cleaning. They hold the tie breaker with the Titans by virtue of Super Bowl.

P: 14
4: 1
2: 1
1: 1



#18 - The Tennessee Titans/Houston Oilers (Same)

Total Points: 30
Total Playoff Years: 67C, 69, 78C, 79C, 80, 87, 88, 89, 90, 91, 92, 93, 99SL, 00, 02C, 03, 07, 08

Added point by making the playoffs, but they absolutely had bigger plans for 2008.

P: 18
4: 4
2: 1
1: 0



#19 - The New York Jets (Same)

Total Points: 26
Total Playoff Years: 68S, 69, 81, 82C, 85, 86, 91, 98C, 01, 02, 04, 06

Favre did not get them back in the playoffs, so they stay at #19

P: 12
4: 2
2: 0
1: 1



#20 The Tampa Bay Buccaneers (Same)

Established 1976

Total Points: 24
Total Playoff Years: 79C, 81, 82, 97, 99C, 00, 01, 02S, 05, 07

They lost to the Raiders at home to miss the playoffs, and sit at #20 – winning the tiebreaker with the Browns because they won Super Bowl 37.

P: 10
4: 2
2: 0
1: 1



#21 - The Cleveland Browns (same)

Total Points: 24
Total Playoff Years: 67, 68C, 69C, 71, 72, 80, 82, 85, 86C, 87C, 88, 89C, 94, 02

A very weak 15 years from Cleveland…

P: 14
4: 5
2: 0
1: 0



#22 The San Diego Chargers (Same)

Total Points: 21
Total Playoff Years: 79, 80C, 81C, 82, 92, 94SL, 95, 04, 06, 07C, 08

A consistent playoff performer in the last 5 years, but no big prizes to accumulate points.

P: 11
4: 3
2: 1
1: 0



#23 – The Baltimore Ravens (Up 2 spots, from #25)

Established 1996

Total Points: 17
Total Playoff Years: 00S, 01, 03, 06, 08C

With their spot in the Final 4, they leapfrogged the Bengals and the Seahawks, and broke their tie with the Falcons.

P: 5
4: 1
2: 0
1: 1



#24 - The Cincinnati Bengals (Down 1, from #23)

Established 1968

Total Points: 16
Total Playoff Years: 70, 73, 75, 81SL, 82, 88SL, 90, 05

1 playoff spot in 19 seasons? Horrid pro football in Ohio.

P: 8
4: 0
2: 2
1: 0



#25 - The Seattle Seahawks (Down 1, from #24)

Established 1976

Total Points: 16
Total Playoff Years: 83C, 84, 87, 88, 99, 03, 04, 05SL, 06, 07

First time since 2002 they have missed the playoffs.

P: 10
4: 1
2: 1
1: 0



#26 – The Atlanta Falcons (Same)

Total Points: 15
Total Playoff Years: 78, 80, 82, 91, 95, 98SL, 02, 04C, 08

Grabbed a point with their berth, and Matt Ryan adds optimism for the future.

P: 9
4: 1
2: 1
1: 0



#27 - Carolina Panthers (Same)

Established 1995

Total Points: 12
Total Playoff Years: 96C, 03SL, 05C, 08

Left a tie with Detroit, and bumped up a spot with their playoff appearance. Shocked many of us by not being in the Championship game.

P: 4
4: 2
2: 1
1: 0



#28 - Detroit Lions (Same)

Total Points: 11

Total Playoff Years: 70, 82, 83, 91C, 93, 94, 95, 97, 99

No playoff spots this millennium, and no end in sight.

P: 9
4: 1
2: 0
1: 0



#29 – The Jacksonville Jaguars (Same)

Established 1995

Total Points: 10
Total Playoff Years: 96C, 97, 98, 99C, 05, 07

Missed the playoffs, so they remain a chaser of their expansion brother, Carolina.

P: 6
4: 2
2: 0
1: 0



#30 – The Arizona/St Louis Cardinals (Up 1, from #31)

Total Points: 9
Total Playoff Years: 74, 75, 82, 98, 08SL

Made a Super Bowl? And still only gained enough points to jump the Saints. The Cardinals have been really bad for a really long time.

P: 5
4: 0
2: 1
1: 0




#31 – The New Orleans Saints (Down 1, from #30)

Established 1967

Total Points: 8
Total Playoff Years: 87, 90, 91, 92, 00, 06C

Passed by the Cardinals? Oh, the humanity.

P: 6
4: 1
2: 0
1: 0



#32 – The Houston Texans (32)

Established 2002

Total Points: 0
Total Playoff Years: None

Eventually, they will make the playoffs, you would have to imagine.

P: 0
4: 0
2: 0
1: 0

Explanation of Years:
Just the year means they made the playoffs (1 point). Year followed by “C” means they lost in the Conference Championship Game (3 points), Year followed by “SL” means they lost the Super Bowl (5 points), and Year followed by “S” means they won the Super Bowl (11 points).

Version 7.0

Version 6.0

9 comments:

MK said...

Maybe it is time to start the "NFL Teams Public Embarrassment" rating. Points are awarded for: the amount of time an embarrassing story has traction, problems with the law, and humiliating defeats.

Yeah! Another number 1 rating!

fickle said...

Do you think this is the first time the rankings seem "broken"? I love the formula, but might we be in the realm of the BCS rankings where people have to admit that - for this instance - the rankings need to be adjusted very slightly?

I am a lifelong Cowboys homer, but I'm embarrassed to see us on top of Pittsburgh because we've lost enough Super Bowls to make up for the extra one they've won.

At the current rate, it'll only take another season or two for the ranking to adjust, but I might be tempted to leave the numerical ratings alone and yet STILL rank the hated Steelers 1st with a lower score.

CottonMcKnight said...

Pretty good stuff, for sure!

James said...

Bob, shouldn't the Rams have 51 points. Also, I believe the Colts and the Giants should have 48, giving the Giants the edge with 3 Super Bowl wins. It should go 11) Vikings, 12) Giants, 13) Colts. I know you don't want the Viqueens and Giants to be ranked any higher, but if they deserve it you may want to reconsider.

Nelvis said...

If history holds up, we should expect the Rams to be a major force in the playoffs this year.

penprior said...

If the Steelers get past a healthy Tom Brady next year, we'll have a new best franchise.

In the words of Tony Romo, "Okay."

Sturminator said...

James-

Thanks for the help with the Math. It is all cleaned up now.

Bob

JY said...

Did James just Sturminate the Sturminator? It's ok, math is hard.

Timothy said...

Doesn't Baltimore have the History of the Cleveland Browns because of the move????