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Sports Misery Index: How miserable is each NFL fan base?

Being a Bears fan is a cold, hard experience, but this season is offering a long-awaited bit of warmth. Tannen Maury/EPA

Which NFL fan bases have it the worst right now? It's a question the Sports Misery Index tackled, and while we did an article on the top 25 in all sports, it's time to delve deeper into which NFL fans feel good about life and which are, quite frankly, miserable.

The Index takes into account five factors: championships, playoff berths, playoff wins, heartbreaks and rival comparison, with recent events weighted more than events that took place decades ago. We identify how each NFL team rates in each category -- the higher the ranking, the more the misery. This is updated through the 2017 season, so the Bears' NFC North title has not factored in yet. But don't worry, Chicago fans, it will be in the next installment.

1. Cleveland Browns

Total score: 23.47
All-sport rank: 3
Ranking by category: championships: 9, playoff berths: 1, playoff wins: 4, heartbreaks: 27, rival comparison: 2

Where they're especially miserable: Pretty much everywhere. The Browns have the longest playoff drought in the NFL, they haven't won a playoff game since grunge music was a thing, Jim Brown was their running back the last time they won an NFL title, and they've had to deal with the Steelers and Ravens being good. Even the Bengals have made the playoffs a lot since Cleveland last qualified.

Rays of hope: The Browns are low in the heartbreak metric because (A) it's hard to have your heart broken when you don't play for anything significant and (B) at least the '80s heartbreaks are so long ago that they barely register. I'm really trying here.

Trend: There looks to be hope, for once. The Browns probably won't make the playoffs, but Baker Mayfield turned some heads this season. Add that to several wins and several other close calls, and there might be a stew brewing.

2. Buffalo Bills

Total score: 22.69
All-sport rank: 5
Ranking by category: championships: 7, playoff berths: 4, playoff wins: 5, heartbreaks: 26, rival comparison: 1

Where they're especially miserable: The Bills haven't won a playoff game since 1995, have been to the playoffs only three times since then and haven't won a title of any kind since back in the AFL days. They also have to deal with being in the same division as the Patriots and watching them win all the time.

Rays of hope: The Bills made the playoffs in 2017! Buffalo handed the "longest playoff drought" medal to the Browns after sliding into the postseason in Week 17. Also, it has been so long since the four straight Super Bowl losses that those teams are getting some overdue appreciation.

Trend: The Bills fell back to earth as Josh Allen struggled to stay healthy and had rookie growing pains. It could be a while 'til the next playoff appearance.

3. Chicago Bears

Total score: 19.51
All-sport rank: 9
Ranking by category: championships: 12, playoff berths: 2, playoff wins: 10, heartbreaks: 30, rival comparison: 6

Where they're especially miserable: Before this year, the Bears hadn't made the playoffs since 2010 and had made it only four times since 1995. The Bears haven't been able to get the quarterback situation right since Jim McMahon and have had to watch their rivals trot out Brett Favre, Aaron Rodgers and Matthew Stafford.

Rays of hope: At least they have the 1985 team to celebrate, even if no one born after 1978 can remember it. That makes the fans feel slightly better, I guess. The Bears are also short on heartbreaks, as they typically win a playoff game or two in the rare years that they make it.

Trend: The Bears will be falling down the misery list when this is updated again after the playoffs. The Khalil Mack trade was a coup, and Matt Nagy seems to be doing with Mitchell Trubisky what Sean McVay did with Jared Goff. Chicago looks set to be a player in the NFL again.

4. New York Jets

Total score: 19.05
All-sport rank: 10
Ranking by category: championships: 8, playoff berths: 5, playoff wins: 16, heartbreaks: 17, rival comparison: 4

Where they're especially miserable: Mainly, watching the Patriots and wondering what might have been if Bill Belichick had stayed in New York instead of quitting and moving to New England. Not having been to the playoffs since 2010 or winning a championship since Broadway Joe made the guarantee stinks, too.

Rays of hope: For as bad as the Jets usually are, they do well in the postseason when they make it. They recently had a run of four playoff wins in two seasons in 2009-10, advancing to the AFC Championship Game both years. They've also had great players such as Curtis Martin and Darrelle Revis.

Trend: It's eight years and counting since they made the playoffs, and Sam Darnold was up and down as a rookie. We'll see if he eventually does better than the Jets' last first-round USC quarterback.

5. Detroit Lions

Total score: 18.61
All-sport rank: 12
Ranking by category: championships: 5, playoff berths: 8, playoff wins: 1, heartbreaks: 18, rival comparison: 5

Where they're especially miserable: Win a playoff game already! The Lions haven't won a playoff game since 1991, which is the only one they've won since their last NFL championship in 1957. Detroit has the NFL record for consecutive playoff losses (nine). The Lions also have to watch the Packers win all the time.

Rays of hope: Unlike the four teams above, the Lions do make the playoffs a decent amount, as they've qualified three times since 2011 and were regulars in the 1990s. Plus, Lions fans have been able to watch two of the greats in Barry Sanders and Calvin Johnson.

Trend: Well, Detroit is about to be the most miserable team in the NFC North again, as the Lions are going to miss the playoffs, while the Bears are in the midst of a renaissance. It was nice while it lasted, but it's back to the cellar they go.

6. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Total score: 18.09
All-sport rank: 15
Ranking by category: championships: 21, playoff berths: 3, playoff wins: 7, heartbreaks: 24 (tie), rival comparison: 7

Where they're especially miserable: The Bucs are second behind the Browns in playoff droughts, as they haven't made the postseason since 2007. Tampa Bay has been without a playoff victory since 2002 and has only six in the franchise's 42-year history. They also have done a terrible job keeping up with the NFC South.

Rays of hope: The Bucs are this low on the list because they have a championship this century, as Jon Gruden led Warren Sapp, Derrick Brooks and Ronde Barber to the title in 2002. There are a lot of franchises lower on the list that would like a big win like that.

Trend: Well, that was confusing. The Jameis Winston-Ryan Fitzpatrick yo-yo this season further clouds the future of this franchise, which will sit out the postseason yet again.

7. Miami Dolphins

Total score: 18.03
All-sport rank: 16
Ranking by category: championships: 11, playoff berths: 11, playoff wins: 8, heartbreaks: 29, rival comparison: 3

Where they're especially miserable: If it feels like I've typed this before, well, I have. The Dolphins have huge problems making the playoffs (two berths in the past 16 seasons) and winning playoff games (haven't since 2000). They play in a division with the Patriots and have struggled at the quarterback position.

Rays of hope: Good weather and a 20th-century history for parents to tell their kids about. The Dolphins had one of the great quarterbacks in Dan Marino and were very good for the better part of three decades. Pop in some VHS and Betamax tapes, and enjoy.

Trend: The Dolphins have stayed in the playoff hunt and provided some excitement with the "Miami Miracle," but it's too early to say whether they are on track to alleviate their misery.

8. Washington Redskins

Total score: 16.7
All-sport rank: 19
Ranking by category: championships: 15, playoff berths: 7, playoff wins: 6, heartbreaks: 23, rival comparison: 8

Where they're especially miserable: Basically a quarter-century of substandard football and an overall lack of downfield vision. The Redskins are one of two NFC teams that haven't made it to an NFC Championship Game since 1991 (the Lions are the other) and have won only two playoff games since their last Super Bowl title in 1991.

Rays of hope: There really aren't many. They have three Super Bowl titles they can try to take pride in, but the last of those happened 27 years ago. They were hoping the steady hand of Alex Smith could right the ship, but he suffered a gruesome, Theismann-esque broken leg, so who knows where they'll go next.

Trend: The Redskins can't catch a break. Things were looking good behind Smith and a resurgent defense, but then they lost their top two quarterbacks for the season to injuries. Where does Washington go from here? There doesn't seem to be a good path right now.

9. Oakland Raiders

Total score: 16.6
All-sport rank: 22
Ranking by category: championships: 16, playoff berths: 6, playoff wins: 9, heartbreaks: 20, rival comparison: 9

Where they're especially miserable: It has been a rough road since the Super Bowl XXXVII loss, as the Raiders haven't won a playoff game and have made the playoffs only once. The Raiders have made the playoffs only four times since returning to Oakland in 1995 and haven't won a Super Bowl in the Bay Area since 1980.

Rays of hope: Chucky is back! Jon Gruden returns after helping build the Raiders team that went to that Super Bowl, along with three consecutive playoff berths from 2000 to '02. Oakland also has a bevy of first-round draft picks after dealing Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper.

Trend: Year One of Gruden was pretty painful, and Derek Carr looked lost at times. But maybe the draft picks get Oakland back more quickly than expected.

10. Los Angeles Chargers

Total score: 13.01
All-sport rank: 39
Ranking by category: championships: 2, playoff berths: 10, playoff wins: 13, heartbreaks: 14, rival comparison: 12

Where they're especially miserable: Simple: no championships. The Chargers haven't played for a title since 1994 and won their only championship during their AFL days in the 1960s. Recent history has also been unkind, as the Chargers have made the playoffs once in the eight seasons prior to this one and had some bad beats in the 2000s.

Rays of hope: Win or lose, the Chargers are always entertaining. From Dan Fouts and LaDainian Tomlinson in the past to Philip Rivers and Joey Bosa now, L.A. usually has talent worth watching. Plus, those powder blue alternate uniforms are as cool as they come, so at least the Chargers look pretty when they lose.

Trend: The Bolts are headed back to the postseason, and it looks like Rivers has plenty of juice left. With their young core, it could be pretty fun for the L.A. Chargers (that's still weird to say) for a while.

11. Cincinnati Bengals

Total score: 11.0
All-sport rank: 46
Ranking by category: championships: 4, playoff berths: 20, playoff wins: 2, heartbreaks: 15, rival comparison: 11

Where they're especially miserable: The Bengals have the longest playoff win drought in the NFL (yes, even longer than that of the Lions), as they haven't won a postseason game since 1990. They've found terrible ways to lose playoff games, from late personal fouls (2015) to Carson Palmer blowing out an ACL (2005) to losing a Super Bowl in the final minute (1988).

Rays of hope: The Bengals have been pretty good about making the postseason, as they qualified five years in a row from 2011 to '15 and in 2009. They made two Super Bowls in the 1980s and got to enjoy the "Ickey Shuffle." And at least they're not Cleveland.

Trend: A great start turned into another postseason at home and an extension of the no-playoff-win streak. With a defense in disarray and Andy Dalton's future cloudy, it's not a great time to be a Cincy fan.

12. Jacksonville Jaguars

Total score: 10.92
All-sport rank: 47
Ranking by category: championships: 13, playoff berths: 9, playoff wins: 18, heartbreaks: 19, rival comparison: 14

Where they're especially miserable: After an auspicious beginning to their franchise (four playoff berths and four playoff wins in their first five seasons), the Jags missed the playoffs 15 of 17 seasons before their 2017 run. Speaking of that, Jacksonville fans will maintain that Myles Jack wasn't touched down for years to come.

Rays of hope: The Jags have made three AFC championship games, including last year's close loss to the Patriots, and have won seven playoff games in their seven playoff appearances. Jacksonville puts on a great show when it makes the playoffs and is typically a tough out.

Trend: All the good stuff from 2017 was erased in 2018, as the Jaguars completely backslid. Bad Blake Bortles showed up again, and now the Jags are at a crossroad with what to do at quarterback going forward.

13. Dallas Cowboys

Total score: 10.68
All-sport rank: 51
Ranking by category: championships: 19, playoff berths: 18, playoff wins: 14, heartbreaks: 2; rival comparison: 18

Where they're especially miserable: The Cowboys have suffered some serious stomach-punch losses without any championship success over the past couple decades, whether it's Dez Bryant's "non-catch," Mason Crosby's last-second field goal or any one of Tony Romo's late-season heartbreakers. It adds up to a franchise that hasn't made the NFC title game since 1995.

Rays of hope: If you're 30 or older, at least you have the three championships during the "Triplets" era from 1992 to 1995. The Cowboys are usually in the playoffs or on the verge of the playoffs, so there's more opportunity for a breakthrough than with other franchises.

Trend: The Cowboys have built a beast of a defense, which has more than compensated for the recent losses they've had on offense. Dallas looks good to get back to the playoffs -- but whether it can avoid heart-wrenching postseason losses is another question entirely.

14. Tennessee Titans

Total score: 10.53
All-sport rank: 53
Ranking by category: championships: 14, playoff berths: 14, playoff wins: 15, heartbreaks: 24 (tie), rival comparison: 13

Where they're especially miserable: After a strong first few seasons in Nashville, the Titans have struggled to make the playoffs, as they missed the postseason eight straight seasons before qualifying last year. The Titans have also been knocked out in the divisional round twice as the No. 1 seed in the AFC.

Rays of hope: The Titans have typically been strong on defense and physical in the running game, which has been the base of their playoff teams. They're fresh off their first playoff victory since 2003 and have the personnel to further a physical rushing attack.

Trend: The first year under Mike Vrabel has the Titans in the playoff hunt, even though Marcus Mariota has struggled to make his mark. Tennessee is looking at a middle-of-the-pack finish, which is consistent with its misery rating.

15. Arizona Cardinals

Total score: 10.37
All-sport rank: 54
Ranking by category: championships: 10, playoff berths: 15, playoff wins: 19, heartbreaks: 22, rival comparison: 10

Where they're especially miserable: The Cardinals have been erratic in their three decades in Phoenix, with playoff droughts more the norm than the exception. The Cardinals missed the playoffs the past two seasons and six of the past eight. And when the Cardinals were good, Santonio Holmes' tip-toe catch in Super Bowl XLIII broke fans' hearts.

Rays of hope: The Cardinals advanced to the NFC title game three years ago and have won at least one playoff game in four of their five postseason appearances in Arizona. Their fans also have the pleasure of watching players such as Larry Fitzgerald and Chandler Jones.

Trend: Arizona's window is officially shut, as the Cardinals struggled mightily with rookie quarterback Josh Rosen. With Fitzgerald likely retiring, there could be a heaping helping of misery coming the next few seasons.

16. Kansas City Chiefs

Total score: 9.62
All-sport rank: 55
Ranking by category: championships: 6, playoff berths: 25, playoff wins: 11, heartbreaks: 5, rival comparison: 15

Where they're especially miserable: Arrowhead Stadium is a great advantage in the postseason but has been horrible for the Chiefs in the playoffs, as their January 2018 collapse to the Titans was the sixth straight home playoff loss dating to 1991. Kansas City isn't immune to road collapses either, having blown a 28-point lead at Indianapolis in the 2013 playoffs.

Rays of hope: The Chiefs have become a postseason regular under Andy Reid, having made the playoffs three seasons in a row and four times in five years. Kansas City also has built an explosive offense with game-changers such as Travis Kelce and Tyreek Hill.

Trend: It's safe to say that the switch to Patrick Mahomes was a rousing success. If Mahomes can, at minimum, kill the Arrowhead playoff loss streak, then K.C. has something going.

17. San Francisco 49ers

Total score: 9.05
All-sport rank: 58
Ranking by category: championships: 18, playoff berths: 12, playoff wins: 22, heartbreaks: 8, rival comparison: 19

Where they're especially miserable: It has been tough the past 15 years. Except for a three-year window under Jim Harbaugh, the 49ers have scuffled, missing the playoffs 12 of the past 15 seasons. Even the three Harbaugh years had heartbreaking ends, with a Super Bowl loss and NFC title games that ended on a fumbled OT punt and a last-minute interception.

Rays of hope: The '80s and '90s were pretty sweet. The 49ers were the team of the '80s, winning four Super Bowls under Joe Montana, and then they won another in the '90s behind Steve Young. If you're old enough to remember those teams, then the recent struggles almost aren't as bad.

Trend: Jimmy Garoppolo's injury scuttled any momentum the 49ers gained from their big finish in 2017. Will Garoppolo be able to come back and redeem his monster contract, or will San Francisco be left in the wilderness for several more seasons?

18. Houston Texans

Total score: 7.05
All-sport rank: 63
Ranking by category: championships: 20, playoff berths: 16, playoff wins: 12, heartbreaks: 32, rival comparison: 17

Where they're especially miserable: Even though the Texans have been around for only 16 seasons, it's reasonable for Houston fans to expect more than what they've gotten. The Texans have qualified for the playoffs only four times and have never advanced to the AFC Championship Game, losing in the divisional round three times.

Rays of hope: The Texans haven't been around long enough to really disappoint fans (don't bring your Oilers pain here), and they've won a playoff game in three of their four postseason appearances. Houston also has a lot of star power to enjoy in J.J. Watt, DeAndre Hopkins, Deshaun Watson and Jadeveon Clowney.

Trend: It's amazing what happens when your star players stay healthy. The Texans were the first team to win nine games in a row after starting 0-3, and they have generated quite a bit of excitement.

19. Minnesota Vikings

Total score: 5.83
All-sport rank: 69
Ranking by category: championships: 1, playoff berths: 23, playoff wins: 17, heartbreaks: 10, rival comparison: 20

Where they're especially miserable: Quite simply, the Vikings are the oldest franchise to have never won a championship. The Vikings haven't made a Super Bowl since 1976 and have found creative ways to lose NFC title games, from Gary Anderson's missed field goal in 1998 to Brett Favre's ill-advised interception in 2009. And then there's Blair Walsh.

Rays of hope: The Vikings haven't won the ultimate prize yet, but with the frequency of playoff appearances, they'll likely have more chances to fix that blip on their résumé. "The Minneapolis Miracle" was also quite cool, and Stefon Diggs' last-second touchdown will be remembered for decades.

Trend: The Vikings find themselves in playoff contention again, but are they really contenders to end that Super Bowl drought? That's kind of the limbo Vikings fans are used to. Although it could be worse, it isn't exactly fun.

20. Atlanta Falcons

Total score: 4.86
All-sport rank: 70
Ranking by category: championships: 3, playoff berths: 22, playoff wins: 23, heartbreaks: 4, rival comparison: 24

Where they're especially miserable: 28-3 -- enough said. The Falcons pulled off the biggest Super Bowl collapse by far, blowing that 25-point, second-half lead and losing to the Patriots in the only Super Bowl game to go to overtime. Coughing up a 17-point lead at home to the 49ers in the 2012 NFC Championship game wasn't fun, either.

Rays of hope: The Falcons have gone from being a sporadic playoff team to a regular postseason participant since drafting Matt Ryan in 2008, as they've made the postseason in six of Ryan's 10 seasons at quarterback. The Falcons also fare pretty well against their NFC South rivals.

Trend: This season doesn't help erase the 28-3 memories. The Falcons disappointed from the start, as Ryan and Julio Jones were not able to compensate for a terrible defense. Atlanta's window isn't completely closed, but the Falcons need reinforcements.

21. New York Giants

Total score: 4.41
All-sport rank: 71
Ranking by category: championships: 26, playoff berths: 13, playoff wins: 20, heartbreaks: 21, rival comparison: 16

Where they're especially miserable: The Giants haven't been frequent playoff participants lately. Not only did they implode with a 3-13 record last season, but they have also missed the playoffs in five of the past six seasons and seven of the past nine (and they're going to miss the postseason this year). They haven't won a playoff game since 2012.

Rays of hope: Big catches against the New England Patriots in Super Bowls. The Giants used circus catches by David Tyree (Super Bowl XLII) and Mario Manningham (XLVI) to defeat the Patriots, with Tyree's catch helping the G-Men ruin the Pats' perfect season. It's hard to be too mad when you have bragging rights over Tom Brady.

Trend: Two exciting players in Odell Beckham Jr. and Saquon Barkley, but not much else led to another lost season. And where do the Giants turn at quarterback after missing out on the loaded 2018 draft?

22. Los Angeles Rams

Total score: 1.01
All-sport rank: 82
Ranking by category: championships: 25, playoff berths: 26, playoff wins: 4, heartbreaks: 31, rival comparison: 21

Where they're especially miserable: The first season back was really bad? I'm reaching a bit here, as the Rams haven't been back in L.A. long enough to cause angst among their fan base. I guess older Rams fans who stuck with the team could be upset about having not won a playoff game as the L.A. Rams since 1989.

Rays of hope: The Rams came out of nowhere last season to move from 4-12 to 11-5 and an NFC West championship, making the playoffs for the first time as a franchise since 2004 in St. Louis. The L.A. front office has been aggressive in an attempt to build a winner quickly.

Trend: The Rams have an exciting offense and possibly the best defensive player in the league in Aaron Donald, and they are prime Super Bowl contenders. Whatever misery was here is lessening in strength.

23. New Orleans Saints

Total score: 0.7
All-sport rank: 83
Ranking by category: championships: 23, playoff berths: 17, playoff wins: 24, heartbreaks: 12, rival comparison: 25

Where they're especially miserable: Wrap him up! The Saints were the victims of "The Minneapolis Miracle" in the divisional playoffs last season, as Marcus Williams' whiff on Stefon Diggs brought about a heartbreaking end to a bounce-back season. The 49ers also broke New Orleans' heart with a late TD in the 2011 divisional playoffs.

Rays of hope: The past decade has been pretty fun, as the Saints have made the playoffs five times (after having made it only six times prior) and brought a Vince Lombardi Trophy to the Big Easy after the 2009 season. Plus, having Drew Brees as your quarterback for 12 seasons and counting makes a fan happy.

Trend: Brees is 39 but shows no signs of slowing down. The Saints are having another banner year and have a good chance at another Super Bowl title. Things are quite good.

24. Carolina Panthers

Total score: 0.25
All-sport rank: 84
Ranking by category: championships: 17, playoff berths: 27, playoff wins: 21, heartbreaks: 28, rival comparison: 22

Where they're especially miserable: Try as they might, the Panthers have never been able to string consecutive winning seasons together. It's a problem that has bedeviled Kerry Collins, Jake Delhomme and Cam Newton. There are also some lingering effects from the Panthers' offensive no-show in Super Bowl 50.

Rays of hope: When the Panthers get to the postseason, good things typically happen. In the eight playoff appearances the franchise has made, Carolina has made it to two Super Bowls and two other NFC title games. The Panthers have won nine playoff games, more than several much older franchises.

Trend: Newton's play ticked back up with the hiring of Norv Turner, but the Panthers again find themselves scrambling for back-to-back winning seasons.

25. Baltimore Ravens

Total score: -1.84
All-sport rank: 88
Ranking by category: championships: 27, playoff berths: 19, playoff wins: 27, heartbreaks: 6, rival comparison: 23

Where they're especially miserable: The Ravens lost a playoff berth in the final minute of their 2017 finale, giving up a 49-yard touchdown pass to the Bengals' Tyler Boyd on fourth-and-12. That knocked the Ravens out of the playoffs for the third straight season and fourth time in five years, unsettling Baltimore fans used to success.

Rays of hope: The Ravens' 22 seasons in Baltimore have been a smash hit for the most part, as the Ravens have won two Super Bowl titles and have made 10 playoff appearances. The Ravens have won 15 playoff games in their two decades, including 10 since John Harbaugh and Joe Flacco joined the team in 2008.

Trend: Lamar Jackson has given the Ravens a second wind and has them in the division and playoff hunt. That could keep Harbaugh employed in Baltimore. Flacco? Not so much.

26. Indianapolis Colts

Total score: -3.24
All-sport rank: 92
Ranking by category: championships: 22, playoff berths: 28, playoff wins: 25, heartbreaks: 11, rival comparison: 26

Where they're especially miserable: The Colts are coming off a disastrous 4-12 campaign in which they didn't have star quarterback Andrew Luck, marking the second time in seven seasons that they had to go an entire season without their starting quarterback. Indianapolis has missed the playoffs three seasons in a row.

Rays of hope: The past three seasons have stunk, but Colts fans were quite spoiled before that. They made the playoffs 14 times in 16 seasons from 1999 to 2014, winning Super Bowl XLI, qualifying for Super Bowl XLIV and winning 12 playoff games. Getting to watch Luck and Peyton Manning during that time was quite nice, too.

Trend: Even if the Colts don't make the playoffs, they're in a good place. Luck looks as good as he did before his injury problems, and the Colts hit on several picks in the most recent draft, most notably Darius Leonard and Quenton Nelson.

27. Denver Broncos

Total score: -11.13
All-sport rank: 105
Ranking by category: championships: 30, playoff berths: 24, playoff wins: 28, heartbreaks: 9, rival comparison: 28

Where they're especially miserable: It hasn't been a fun time since the Broncos beat the Panthers in Super Bowl 50, as Denver has missed the playoffs the past two seasons, going 5-11 in 2017, and will miss them again in 2018. The Broncos are also one of five franchises to lose five Super Bowls, including a blowout loss to the Seahawks five years ago.

Rays of hope: It's hard for most NFL fans to have sympathy for the Broncos' plight, especially since Denver has won three Super Bowls. The Broncos won five division titles in a row from 2011 to '15, have been to eight Super Bowls and have gotten to watch John Elway and Peyton Manning play quarterback. It's hard for them to be mad.

Trend: Hard to say. The Broncos admirably navigated a pretty difficult schedule before running out of gas the past two weeks, but are they really in position to be Super Bowl contenders going forward? They've improved from last season, but that might have simply put them in limbo.

28. Green Bay Packers

Total score: -11.7
All-sport rank: 108
Ranking by category: championships: 24, playoff berths: 31, playoff wins: 30, heartbreaks: 1, rival comparison: 31

Where they're especially miserable: The Packers have had more stomach-punch-type losses than any other team in the league. Since Aaron Rodgers took over as the starter, they've lost three playoff games in walk-off fashion in OT: two to the Cardinals and one to the Seahawks in the 2014 NFC title game after blowing a 12-point fourth-quarter lead.

Rays of hope: I mean, come on, Green Bay is called Titletown for a reason, as the Packers have a league-best 13 NFL championships. While most of those came in the '60s and before, the Packers won a Super Bowl title with Rodgers in 2010 and got one with Brett Favre in 1996. Green Bay has also been to the playoffs nine of the past 11 seasons.

Trend: The Packers will miss the playoffs in back-to-back seasons for the first time since 2005-06 and will have a coach other than Mike McCarthy for the first time since 2005. For as great as Rodgers is, things seem to be trending down in Titletown.

29. Philadelphia Eagles

Total score: -11.84
All-sport rank: 109
Ranking by category: championships: 31, playoff berths: 21, playoff wins: 26, heartbreaks: 13, rival comparison: 27

Where they're especially miserable: When you're the most recent winner of the Vince Lombardi Trophy, it's tough to be sad, but Eagles fans did have to wait 57 years for that moment. There were several heartbreaks along the way, including two Super Bowl losses, so maybe they haven't completely let that go yet.

Rays of hope: You beat the bully Patriots in the Super Bowl by stripping the ball from the Golden Boy and getting a heroic performance from a backup quarterback. If that doesn't give Eagles fans hope, then I'm stumped. Philly has also been a frequent playoff team the past two decades, making 11 appearances and notching 13 postseason wins.

Trend: Eagles fans are back in their comfort spot: being annoyed. The title defense was doomed from the jump, as injuries at running back, quarterback and the secondary (plus maybe a bit of championship hangover) prevented them from taking off. There's still talent, but this was a bit of a reality check.

30. Seattle Seahawks

Total score: -14.71
All-sport rank: 111
Ranking by category: championships: 29, playoff berths: 29, playoff wins: 31, heartbreaks: 7, rival comparison: 30

Where they're especially miserable: In second-guessing playcalling. The pass that Malcolm Butler picked off in the end zone in Super Bowl XLIX to deny the Seahawks a second straight Super Bowl title still causes heartburn for Seattle fans. You're 1 yard away -- give it to Marshawn Lynch. That play has defined the Seahawks since.

Rays of hope: The Seahawks had a mini-dynasty rolling earlier this decade, as Pete Carroll & Co. went to the playoffs six times in seven seasons, highlighted by a Super Bowl XLVIII demolition of the Broncos. The Legion of Boom and the 12th Man reigned in Seattle, which has gone to three Super Bowls in the past 13 seasons.

Trend: Reports of the Seahawks' demise were exaggerated, as Russell Wilson stepped it up further, and a new cast of characters have filled in to put Seattle in the playoff hunt yet again.

31. Pittsburgh Steelers

Total score: -15.0
All-sport rank: 112
Ranking by category: championships: 28, playoff berths: 30, playoff wins: 29, heartbreaks: 16, rival comparison: 29

Where they're especially miserable: We're coming up on the 10-year anniversary of the Steelers' most recent Super Bowl title, which is almost crisis level in Pittsburgh. The Steelers haven't been to the Super Bowl since the 2010 season and have lost their past two playoff games. Yes, we're starting to reach a bit here.

Rays of hope: The Steelers have been good to great since the early-1970s, as their six championships are the most of the Super Bowl era. They've been to the playoffs the past four seasons and 12 times since 2001. They also take pleasure in ruining the seasons of their AFC North brethren, having dealt each a heartbreak playoff loss in the past 15 years.

Trend: Who needs Le'Veon Bell? Apparently, the Steelers do not, as Pittsburgh is in its familiar place in the playoff mix without him. It remains to be seen if the Steelers can scrape out one more title for Big Ben, though.

32. New England Patriots

Total score: -51.4
All-sport rank: 123
Ranking by category: championships: 32, playoff berths: 32, playoff wins: 32, heartbreaks: 3, rival comparison: 32

Where they're especially miserable: They did lose the previous Super Bowl in tough fashion, as Tom Brady was stripped by Brandon Graham before he could lead yet another game-winning touchdown drive. They also have lost two other Super Bowls since 2007, one that ruined a perfect season, and have the third-highest heartbreak score.

Rays of hope: The Patriots have been to the most Super Bowls (10), have won five Super Bowls since 2001, made the playoffs and won the AFC East 15 times in the past 17 years and authored the biggest comeback in Super Bowl history. Also, they arguably have the best coach and best QB ever. They're the least miserable fan base in American sports.

Trend: It hasn't been pretty most of the time, but the Patriots are where they always seem to be: ready to enter the playoffs and the scourge of every other fan base in the league.