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

Missing the playoffs 18 of the past 19 seasons, plus not winning a playoff game since 1995, has Bills fans feeling awfully despondent. Brett Carlsen/Getty Images

Which NFL fan bases have it the worst right now? It's a question that the Sports Misery Index tackled when it originally came out in September and was updated in December. Now that the 2018 season is in the books, what has changed? Obviously not the Patriots' ranking (much to the chagrin of everyone else), but teams like the Bears saw their misery rating change this past season, and we have a new No. 1.

The Index takes into account five factors: championships, playoff berths, playoff wins, heartbreaks and rival comparison, with recent events being weighted more than events that took place decades ago. You can read more on the categories in the cross-sport story, but we'll identify how each NFL team rates in each category.

1. Buffalo Bills

NFL movement: Up 1

Total score: 25.24
All-sport rank: 3 (up 2)
Ranking by category: Championships, 7; Playoff berths, 3; Playoff wins, 4; Heartbreaks, 28; Rival comparison, 1

Why they moved up: As feared, the unlikely 2017 playoff berth turned into a backslide, as rookie quarterback Josh Allen went through growing pains and LeSean McCoy got old. While Buffalo reverted to its non-playoff form (that's 18 non-playoff seasons in 19 now), its fans had to watch the dastardly Patriots win it all -- again. That's six titles and 10 Super Bowls for New England since Buffalo's most recent playoff win.

Moving forward: Is Allen capable of being a star, or is he the next wrong answer for a team that has fans who feel the need to resort to jumping through ignited folding tables to cope? If it's the latter, the playoff victory drought of 23 years will continue to grow for a while. Just imagine how bad Bills fans would feel if Tyler Boyd and the Bengals hadn't helped Buffalo sneak into the 2017 playoffs.

2. Cleveland Browns

NFL movement: Down 1

Total score: 22.95
All-sport rank: 5 (down 2)
Ranking by category: Championships, 9; Playoff berths, 1; Playoff wins, 3; Heartbreaks, 27; Rival comparison, 4

Why they moved down: While the Index doesn't give the Browns credit from going from 0-16 to 7-8-1 because it didn't result in a playoff berth, the Browns moved closer to their AFC North rivals with their improvement (including not finishing last in the division). The playoff drought moved to 16 seasons, but this is the best Cleveland fans have felt since Bill Belichick was around in mid-1990s or even since Bernie Kosar was their quarterback in the late 1980s.

Moving forward: After striking out at quarterback so many times (Tim Couch, Brady Quinn, Brandon Weeden, Johnny Manziel), the Browns seem to have hit with Baker Mayfield. Between him, Myles Garrett, Odell Beckham Jr. and a quickly improving cast, that playoff drought could be in serious jeopardy. We might be seeing a drastic misery fall this time next year.

3. New York Jets

NFL movement: Up 1

Total score: 21.38
All-sport rank: 6 (up 4)
Ranking by category: Championships, 4 (tie); Playoff berths, 4; Playoff wins, 17; Heartbreaks, 19; Rival comparison, 3

Why they moved up: Another lost season made even worse by having to watch another Patriots championship celebration. The Jets stumbled to a 4-12 mark, which not only cost Todd Bowles his job but also gave New York an eighth consecutive non-playoff season. That's bad enough, but having to watch former coach (at least for a day) Belichick lead New England to a sixth title was even worse. It almost makes "the Butt Fumble" seem tolerable.

Moving forward: Bowles is the latest in a long line of Jets coaches to have failed to bring this franchise a championship, which it hasn't had in 50 years. Can Adam Gase (who didn't get things done in Miami) be the one to point young quarterback Sam Darnold and the franchise back toward respectability? Guess we'll see, but this fan base is sick of hoping for good things to happen.

4. Miami Dolphins

NFL movement: Up 3

Total score: 20.62
All-sport rank: 8 (up 8)
Ranking by category: Championships, 11; Playoff berths, 12; Playoff wins, 5; Heartbreaks, 31; Rival comparison, 2

Why they moved up: Another season of running in place. The Dolphins floundered after a fast start, missing the playoffs for the second straight season, ninth time in 10 seasons and 15th time in 17 years. And the "Miami Miracle" is a lot less fun now that the Patriots have a sixth title and the Dolphins are 45 years removed from their last one (and 18 removed from their most recent playoff win). It's hard to believe the Dolphins were once an almost automatic playoff team (the "Miami Vice" days were great).

Moving forward: If you can't beat them, copy them? The Dolphins are once again in a transitional period and have hired former New England defensive playcaller Brian Flores as their next coach. Can he reverse the trend that has seen Miami go from an NFL power to perennial also-ran? He might have to find a new quarterback first, as the Dolphins have moved on from Ryan Tannehill after seven uninspiring seasons.

5. Detroit Lions

NFL movement: Even

Total score: 18.2
All-sport rank: 14 (down 2)
Ranking by category: Championships, 6; Playoff berths, 10; Playoff wins, 1; Heartbreaks, 20 (tie); Rival comparison, 5

Why they remained even: The rest of the NFC North didn't stand out. While Matt Patricia's first season in Detroit wasn't very good, none of the Lions' rivals were able to make it past the wild-card round of the playoffs. So Detroit's customary below-average effort (which has seen the Lions go 27 years without a playoff victory after going 34 years prior to that) wasn't compounded, even if Detroit hasn't won a division title since 1993.

Moving forward: In the 61 years that the Lions have gone without an NFL championship, they've often been awful (see 2008's 0-16 record) and have often been decent but not quite good enough. Detroit is more meh at this point, with a mostly nondescript team beside Matthew Stafford. As for Stafford, will the Lions move on if they fall short again? It could happen, as Stafford has thrown for a lot of yards without providing a playoff victory.

6. Washington Redskins

NFL movement: Up 2

Total score: 17.38
All-sport rank: 15 (up 4)
Ranking by category: Championships, 16; Playoff berths, 6; Playoff wins, 6; Heartbreaks, 25; Rival comparison, 6

Why they moved up: An inexplicably unlucky second half of the season. It's not as if Redskins fans expect good fortune (having not won a playoff game since 2005 will lower expectations), but losing two quarterbacks to season-ending injuries in three games to implode a team that got off to a 6-3 start is something even skeptical Washington fans couldn't have anticipated. The days of "The Hogs" and three Super Bowl wins between 1982 and 1991 seem as far away as they've ever been.

Moving forward: What are the Redskins going to do at quarterback long term? They slowplayed Kirk Cousins, letting him go to Minnesota in free agency, and traded for Alex Smith. But Smith's gruesome ankle injury has his career in serious jeopardy, leaving Washington to go after Case Keenum. It'll be tough for Keenum to lead Washington to the NFC title game for the first time since 1991.

7. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

NFL movement: Down 1

Total score: 17.13
All-sport rank: 16 (down 1)
Ranking by category: Championships, 21; Playoff berths, 2; Playoff wins, 7; Heartbreaks, 26; Rival comparison, 7

Why they went down: More due to the increased misery of their in-state neighbors from Miami and the Redskins. It's not as if the Buccaneers dazzled in 2018, as their 5-11 record marked the 11th consecutive year that they missed the playoffs. At least they were semi-entertaining early in the season behind Ryan Fitzpatrick's "FitzMagic," which is better than most of the previous teams. That said, the Buccaneers haven't won a playoff game in the 16 years since their Super Bowl XXXVII title.

Moving forward: Tampa is changing coaches again in an attempt to reverse its downward spiral, convincing Bruce Arians to come out of retirement. Arians has cachet from his time with the Cardinals, but does he have enough left to keep Jameis Winston focused and inspired? If not, another complete rebuild is in the offing, which Buccaneers fans are all too familiar with.

8. Oakland Raiders

NFL movement: Up 1

Total score: 16.12
All-sport rank: 22 (even)
Ranking by category: Championships, 17; Playoff berths, 5; Playoff wins, 8; Heartbreaks, 22; Rival comparison, 10

Why they moved up: It was mostly procedural, as the Raiders pretty much stayed the same as some teams moved up (Dolphins and Redskins) and others moved down (Bears). Oakland fans weren't sure exactly what to expect from the first season of Jon Gruden's return, but I'm guessing they expected more than 4-12 and the trading away of two young stars in Khalil Mack and Amari Cooper (though getting Antonio Brown in a trade more than makes up for the latter). The playoff victory drought (which dates to the 2002 AFC title game) continues.

Moving forward: The Raiders are going to move down this list one way or another soon, as they'll move to Las Vegas for the 2020 or 2021 season. With three first-round picks in the upcoming draft, Oakland's short time left in the San Francisco Bay Area will likely be about getting the youth ready for Sin City. Expect the Raiders to spend January at home for the 16th time in 17 seasons.

9. Chicago Bears

NFL movement: Down 6

Total score: 16.0
All-sport rank: 23 (down 14)
Ranking by category: Championships, 12; Playoff berths, 9; Playoff wins, 9; Heartbreaks, 17; Rival comparison, 9

Why they moved down: Breaking a long playoff drought will do that for you. The Bears' 12-4 record not only provided them with their first playoff appearance since 2010, but it was their best record since 2006, when they qualified for Super Bowl XLI. Chicago would have fallen even further had Cody Parkey not clanged the winner against the Eagles, but positive steps were taken and Chicago fans can puff out their chests a bit -- a least around Lions fans.

Moving forward: With the trade for Khalil Mack and the drafting of Roquan Smith, the Bears have built themselves a stifling defense capable of making them a perennial playoff team. Whether they can eventually break the 33-year championship drought will hinge on the development of third-year quarterback Mitchell Trubisky. Trubisky's development will dictate whether the 2019 Bears go the route of the 2018 Rams or the 2018 Jaguars.

10. Tennessee Titans

NFL movement: Up 4

Total score: 14.21
All-sport rank: 35 (up 18)
Ranking by category: Championships, 15; Playoff berths, 11; Playoff wins, 10 (tie); Heartbreaks, 14; Rival comparison, 11

Why they moved up: Titans fans got a punch in the gut in the final game of the regular season, as Tennessee dropped a win-or-go-home, nationally televised showdown with the Colts in Nashville. Inconsistent health and play at the quarterback position squandered momentum from a 2017 season that saw the Titans not only make the playoffs but win a game. Instead, Tennessee missed the playoffs for the ninth time in 10 seasons.

Moving forward: Derrick Henry was a monster at running back late in the season and started to fulfill the promise he brought after being drafted in the second round in 2016. However, Marcus Mariota is an enigma heading into a make-or-break fifth season. That, and the surge of the Colts and Texans, leaves the future cloudy at best. The Titans can't afford another slip-up.

11. Jacksonville Jaguars

NFL movement: Up 1

Total score: 13.88
All-sport rank: 37 (up 10)
Ranking by category: Championships, 13 (tie); Playoff berths, 7; Playoff wins, 15; Heartbreaks, 24; Rival comparison, 12

Why they moved up: What the heck was that? After coming minutes from making the Super Bowl for the first time in franchise history in 2017, the Jaguars completely blew a tire and went 5-11. The massive regression of Blake Bortles, plus behavioral issues from several players -- including running back Leonard Fournette -- doomed a season that opened with considerable excitement and promise. Classic case of too much, too soon.

Moving forward: The Jaguars went from being the next "it" team to being a team that's now missed the playoffs 10 times in 11 seasons. To get back to being trendy, Jacksonville has to hope Nick Foles brings his Philadelphia magic and figures out how to get its struggling offense in tune with a defense that still has star power. A little less infighting and drama would be welcome, too.

12. Arizona Cardinals

NFL movement: Up 3

Total score: 13.06
All-sport rank: 40 (up 14)
Ranking by category: Championships, 10; Playoff berths, 14; Playoff wins, 12; Heartbreaks, 29; Rival comparison, 8

Why they moved up: You don't get the No. 1 pick by having a good season, and the Cardinals certainly didn't have one of those. It was so bad that Arizona fired coach Steve Wilks after one season. The trip to the NFC Championship Game three years ago seems like eons away, as does the Cardinals' run to Super Bowl XLIII a decade ago. This team is far away and could see legend Larry Fitzgerald retire this offseason.

Moving forward: When you make the playoffs only five times in 31 seasons, as the Cardinals have done, you sometimes look for outside-the-box solutions. Hiring Kliff Kingsbury, who had a losing record at Texas Tech, as Wilks' replacement is definitely one of those. Whether he can help Josh Rosen grow (or draft Kyler Murray) -- and be a more successful coach in the NFL than he was in college -- remains to be seen.

13. San Francisco 49ers

NFL movement: Up 4

Total score: 12.62
All-sport rank: 43 (up 15)
Ranking by category: Championships, 18 (tie); Playoff berths, 8; Playoff wins, 19; Heartbreaks, 10; Rival comparison, 14

Why they moved up: It's now been five years since the 49ers have been in the playoffs, and the last time a non-Jim Harbaugh coach had San Francisco in the postseason was 2002. This past season was doomed early, as Jimmy Garoppolo blew out his knee in Week 3 to sink the Niners. The rival Rams making it to the Super Bowl was salt in a wound that's festered for five years. The Montana-Young era of five Super Bowls and 16 playoff appearances from 1981-1998 is a distant memory.

Moving forward: There was a lot of excitement entering the 2018 season, as San Francisco won its final five games in 2017 after trading for Garoppolo. So will 2019 be the breakthrough 2018 was supposed to be, or are the problems bigger than simply having the star quarterback healthy? A few more weapons alongside George Kittle for Garoppolo to throw to would be a tremendous help.

14. Cincinnati Bengals

NFL movement: Down 3

Total score: 12.06
All-sport rank: 45 (up 1)
Ranking by category: Championships, 3; Playoff berths, 17; Playoff wins, 2; Heartbreaks, 16; Rival comparison, 13

Why they moved down: It's more about other teams leapfrogging them than the Bengals being less miserable, as their all-sport ranking and overall score actually went up. There's nothing to be happy about in Cincinnati, as the Bengals missed the playoffs for a third consecutive season and finished last in the AFC North -- yes, they were even behind the Browns. There's also that playoff win drought that's the longest of any team in the NFL.

Moving forward: In a shocking move for Bengals fans (at least compared to the team's tendency to sit on its hands and do nothing), the franchise got rid of Marvin Lewis. Will Zac Taylor be able to do what no Bengals coach has been able to do since Sam Wyche in 1990 and get Cincinnati a postseason victory? It won't be easy, and it could come with a new quarterback, as Andy Dalton might be the next Cincinnati fixture to move away.

15. Los Angeles Chargers

NFL movement: Down 5

Total score: 10.39
All-sport rank: 54 (down 15)
Ranking by category: Championships, 4; Playoff berths, 15; Playoff wins, 16; Heartbreaks, 15; Rival comparison, 17

Why they moved down: The Chargers had their best season since 2009 (and maybe even since quarterback Philip Rivers' first year as a starter in 2006) this past season, as they went 12-4 and won a playoff game in Baltimore. The frustrating close losses that defined previous seasons turned into fun victories for a team that has smartly surrounded Rivers with dynamic young players.

Moving forward: Rivers seems like he has a few more years of top play left, which makes the Chargers a serious Super Bowl contender in the near future. Perhaps Rivers, Melvin Gordon, Keenan Allen, Joey Bosa & Co. can help the Chargers gain more traction in a skeptical Los Angeles market -- where their home-field advantage is currently minimal at best.

16. Minnesota Vikings

NFL movement: Up 3

Total score: 10.21
All-sport rank: 55 (up 14)
Ranking by category: Championships, 1; Playoff berths, 18; Playoff wins, 13; Heartbreaks, 8 (tie); Rival comparison, 16

Why they moved up: The Vikings backslid in 2018, going from the NFC Championship Game in 2017 to missing the playoffs entirely. The way they missed the postseason was extremely disconcerting, as they dropped a home game to a Bears team with nothing to play for when a victory would have gotten Minnesota to the playoffs. That, plus no championships and no Super Bowls since 1976 (despite a number of close calls on the latter), moved the Vikings up.

Moving forward: This season was disappointing, especially after the Vikings broke the bank for quarterback Kirk Cousins, but there's plenty of talent in the Twin Cities. With their defensive nucleus of Everson Griffen and Harrison Smith along with Adam Thielen and Stefon Diggs at receiver, Minnesota should contend -- though Vikings fans are sick of falling just short.

17. Atlanta Falcons

NFL movement: Up 3

Total score: 7.95
All-sport rank: 60 (up 10)
Ranking by category: Championships, 2; Playoff berths, 16; Playoff wins, 22; Heartbreaks, 8 (tie); Rival comparison, 18

Why they moved up: The Falcons started the season in a funk and could never dig themselves out, starting 1-4 before finishing 7-9 and missing the playoffs for the first time since 2015. A leaky defense that was riddled with injuries was the main culprit, as Atlanta gave up over 26 points per game. Almost makes you miss 28-3 ... nah, that still is the most heartbreaking single game in the Misery Index formula.

Moving forward: With Matt Ryan, Julio Jones and the rest of the Falcons' offensive weapons, Atlanta isn't far away from being a major playoff contender. But to get back to where they were in 2016 (or even 2017), the Falcons need to get a talent infusion on that defense. Otherwise, they'll have to win shootouts every week. That only works if you play in Arrowhead Stadium.

18. Kansas City Chiefs

NFL movement: Down 2

Total score: 7.2
All-sport rank: 63 (down 8)
Ranking by category: Championships, 8; Playoff berths, 25; Playoff wins, 14; Heartbreaks, 7; Rival comparison, 19

Why they moved down: The Arrowhead home playoff losing streak was ended (at least temporarily), as Patrick Mahomes led the Chiefs to the AFC Championship Game for the first time in 25 years. Kansas City would have fallen further, but losing in overtime to the Patriots (and, yes, the loss came in front of the home faithful ... again) while not possessing the ball added another heartbreak to a fan base that's had its fair share over the years.

Moving forward: The decision to trade Alex Smith and turn the keys over to Mahomes was an extremely wise one, as the Chiefs have a burgeoning superstar at the game's most important position. Mahomes should have the Chiefs as a Super Bowl contender for a while, especially if Kansas City can improve its defense a tad. The Chiefs are approaching the 50th anniversary of their only Super Bowl championship -- maybe that's a sign?

19. New York Giants

NFL movement: Up 2

Total score: 5.66
All-sport rank: 69 (up 2)
Ranking by category: Championships, 28; Playoff berths, 13; Playoff wins, 21; Heartbreaks, 23; Rival comparison, 15

Why they moved up: Their 5-11 mark in 2018 represented the second consecutive season the Giants have missed the playoffs and the sixth time in seven years. The Giants' two recent Super Bowl victories (XLII and XLVI over the Patriots) have kept fans somewhat content, but the accumulation of bad seasons will take their toll pretty soon, especially with their recent personnel moves. Not even wins over Tom Brady can completely mask the current struggles.

Moving forward: The Giants have delayed the rebuilding step for as long as they can, but it's about time for them to bring in the quarterback of the future (perhaps Dwayne Haskins?), especially now that Odell Beckham Jr. has been traded. There could be a few more rocky years in the offing.

20. Dallas Cowboys

NFL movement: Down 7

Total score: 4.07
All-sport rank: 70 (down 19)
Ranking by category: Championships, 20; Playoff berths, 24; Playoff wins, 20; Heartbreaks, 5; Rival comparison, 22

Why they moved down: The Cowboys did their "every other year" playoff thing, riding a young defense and getting a boost from the Amari Cooper trade to win the NFC East. Not only did Dallas make the playoffs, it won its wild-card game against the Seahawks and didn't get eliminated in heart-wrenching, stomach-punch fashion, which is a change from the normal Cowboys season-ending loss. So, all things considered, the 2018 season went quite nicely.

Moving forward: While the season was a positive for "America's Team," it wasn't enough to give Jason Garrett job security. Jerry Jones put Garrett on notice that he's coaching for his job in 2019, and Garrett will likely have to lead Dallas to at least the NFC title game (which it hasn't been to in 23 years) to stay employed. Garrett has been resilient since taking over in 2010, but that won't be enough.

21. Houston Texans

NFL movement: Down 3

Total score: 3.37
All-sport rank: 71 (down 8)
Ranking by category: Championships, 18 (tie); Playoff berths, 23; Playoff wins, 10 (tie); Heartbreaks, 32; Rival comparison, 21

Why they moved down: A much healthier Texans team took care of business, winning the AFC South for the third time in four seasons while getting a bounce back from J.J. Watt. Though they were upset by the Colts in the wild-card round, this season was a necessary reset for the Texans, who qualified for the postseason for the fifth time since 2011. Decent success with little heartbreak isn't a bad formula for a fan base.

Moving forward: The Texans have a potent nucleus of star players in Watt, Jadeveon Clowney (assuming he doesn't sign somewhere else in free agency), DeAndre Hopkins and Deshaun Watson. While Houston has found a good share of success this decade, it still hasn't advanced past the divisional round. It'll need to overcome that hurdle soon before its fans start to get antsy.

22. Carolina Panthers

NFL movement: Up 2

Total score: 3.13
All-sport rank: 72 (up 12)
Ranking by category: Championships, 13 (tie); Playoff berths, 19; Playoff wins, 23; Heartbreaks, 30; Rival comparison, 20

Why they moved up: The whole "can't have two winning seasons in a row" thing reared its ugly head, and did so in extra-frustrating and unique fashion. The Panthers started fast at 6-2, but a seven-game losing streak took them out of the playoff hunt. The Panthers have made the playoffs in back-to-back seasons only once, an odd trend that has transcended coaches and quarterbacks. It really defies logic at this point.

Moving forward: If history since Cam Newton was drafted is a guide, Carolina should be just fine in 2019 and back in the postseason, because that's kind of what the Panthers do. There's certainly talent around in Christian McCaffrey and Luke Kuechly, and that talent will need to perform if Ron Rivera hopes to stay coach past the 2019 season.

23. New Orleans Saints

NFL movement: Even

Total score: 0.45
All-sport rank: 83 (even)
Ranking by category: Championships, 24; Playoff berths, 20; Playoff wins, 24; Heartbreaks, 6; Rival comparison, 24

Why they stayed the same: Another successful season, another horrible stomach punch to end it on a sour note. Instead of a "Minneapolis Miracle," the Saints were victimized by a missed pass-interference call (with a helmet-to-helmet hit for good measure) that cost them a first down and a chance to salt away a victory over the Rams in the NFC Championship Game, a contest they lost in overtime after Los Angeles picked off Drew Brees on the first OT possession and kicked a winning, 57-yard field goal. Ugh.

Moving forward: Brees is one of the most prolific passers of all time, but he showed some signs of slowing down late in the season. Can the Saints get one more year out of Brees and finish the job that's been so cruelly ended the last two seasons? There's plenty of young talent around the veteran QB like receiver Michael Thomas and running back Alvin Kamara to keep New Orleans rolling.

24. Los Angeles Rams

NFL movement: Down 2

Total score: -2.92
All-sport rank: 89 (down 7)
Ranking by category: Championships, 26; Playoff berths, 28; Playoff wins, 18; Heartbreaks, 20 (tie); Rival comparison, 23

Why they moved down: While Saints fans might still be grumbling about it, the Rams advanced to the Super Bowl and won their first playoff games in Los Angeles since 1989. Of course, it would have been better if their high-powered offense had shown up just a little bit against the Patriots, but it's safe to say that the Rams' return to Tinseltown has been a great success thus far -- especially since Jeff Fisher was let go.

Moving forward: The Rams have one more year before they have to sign Jared Goff to an expensive, long-term extension, so they have this offseason to load up their roster while Goff is still on his rookie deal. With the innovative Sean McVay at coach and plenty of star power in defensive tackle Aaron Donald and running back Todd Gurley (when healthy), the Rams will be contenders again.

25. Baltimore Ravens

NFL movement: Even

Total score: -5.11
All-sport rank: 94 (down 6)
Ranking by category: Championships, 29; Playoff berths, 26; Playoff wins, 26; Heartbreaks, 3; Rival comparison, 25

Why they stayed the same: The Ravens broke a three-year playoff drought by winning the AFC North, getting a surge once Lamar Jackson was promoted to starting quarterback. Any move down in misery was prevented by Baltimore's wild-card loss to the Chargers, as Jackson was stripped while trying to lead a winning drive and fourth-quarter comeback. Either way, being back in the playoffs was a welcome development.

Moving forward: The torch has officially been passed, as the Ravens traded away longtime starter Joe Flacco right after the season closed and are committed to Jackson. The rookie helped keep John Harbaugh employed, but can he develop quickly enough to keep Baltimore atop the division? No matter the answer, Jackson is the most entertaining Raven since Hall of Famer Ray Lewis.

26. Denver Broncos

NFL movement: Up 1

Total score: -5.57
All-sport rank: 95 (up 10)
Ranking by category: Championships, 31; Playoff berths, 21; Playoff wins, 25; Heartbreaks, 13; Rival comparison, 28

Why they moved up: It's now been three years since the Broncos have made the playoffs, as the 6-10 record in 2018 marked the first time the Broncos have had consecutive 10-plus-loss seasons since their AFL days. The Super Bowl 50 championship still resonates with Denver fans, but the Broncos are trending in the wrong direction as the Chiefs and Chargers surge. And the Broncos' defense won't be elite forever.

Moving forward: The Case Keenum experiment didn't last long, as Broncos general manager John Elway traded for Joe Flacco in an attempt to get back on the winning track. They'll need to do that soon, as good memories of the Super Bowl victory over the Panthers will fade and be replaced by Denver's current struggles, their worst since Jay Cutler and Tim Tebow were their QBs.

27. Philadelphia Eagles

NFL movement: Up 2

Total score: -7.44
All-sport rank: 101 (up 8)
Ranking by category: Championships, 30; Playoff berths, 22; Playoff wins, 29; Heartbreaks, 11; Rival comparison, 26

Why they moved up: When you go from winning a Super Bowl in 2017 to losing in the playoffs, you're bound to have a misery uptick. The Eagles' was a bit more than normal despite the efforts of postseason hero Nick Foles, as Alshon Jeffery's inability to catch a point-blank pass on a potential winning drive against the Saints resulted in an interception and gave Philly fans a chance to complain.

Moving forward: The year after breaking the championship drought was odd, as the Eagles struggled for most of the season, caught fire late under Foles, then had a heartbreaking end. So what does that mean? It means Carson Wentz needs to stay healthy, as the Foles safety net will be in Jacksonville. We'll see how quickly surly Eagles fans start with the "We want Foles" chants next season.

28. Indianapolis Colts

NFL movement: Down 2

Total score: -7.59
All-sport rank: 102 (down 10)
Ranking by category: Championships, 22; Playoff berths, 29; Playoff wins, 27; Heartbreaks, 12; Rival comparison, 29

Why they moved down: The Colts broke their three-year playoff drought in style, shrugging off a 1-5 start to win nine of their final 10 games. The Colts beat the rival Titans in a winner-take-all finale to make the playoffs, then toppled AFC South champ Houston in the wild-card round before finally falling to the Chiefs. Better yet, Andrew Luck looked like his old self -- you could hardly tell that his career was thought to be in jeopardy.

Moving forward: It wasn't just the successful return of Luck that has Indianapolis feeling good. The Colts had an outstanding 2018 draft, picking up two immediate Pro Bowlers in guard Quenton Nelson and linebacker Darius Leonard and a solid starter in tackle Braden Smith. Indy is on its way back to the contender status it's mostly worn since Peyton Manning's second season in 1999.

29. Pittsburgh Steelers

NFL movement: Up 2

Total score: -8.93
All-sport rank: 107 (up 5)
Ranking by category: Championships, 23; Playoff berths, 30; Playoff wins, 28; Heartbreaks, 18; Rival comparison, 27

Why they moved up: The Steelers were more Kardashians than champions this past season, as drama with Le'Veon Bell and Antonio Brown was part of an uneven effort that saw Pittsburgh miss the playoffs for the first time since 2013 -- a moment the Steelers had to watch on the Heinz Field video board on the season's final day. The Steelers are now 10 years removed from their most recent championship, an eternity for a fan base that's spoiled with success.

Moving forward: The Steelers will look to tone down the circus this offseason, as Bell and Brown will be in new locales in 2019. While that might help the locker room, will the rest of the team be able to pick up the production and get Pittsburgh back to its normal place toward the top of the league? Drama aside, Bell and Brown have been two of the most prolific offensive players in the league over the past five or six seasons.

30. Green Bay Packers

NFL movement: Down 2

Total score: -9.19
All-sport rank: 108 (even)
Ranking by category: Championships, 27; Playoff berths, 27; Playoff wins, 31; Heartbreaks, 1; Rival comparison, 31

Why they moved down: It certainly wasn't due to the on-field product, as the Packers had a second consecutive losing season for the first time since 1990-91. Green Bay moved down more due to the Pennsylvania teams moving up. It also helped that no NFC North team advanced past the wild-card round of the playoffs, muting what was an uninspiring season for the Pack. So while the past two seasons have stunk, the Packers' air of superiority remains intact for now.

Moving forward: The Packers will have a new coach for the first time in 13 years, as Mike McCarthy exits and Matt LaFleur enters. Green Bay will always be a threat with Aaron Rodgers at quarterback, but the Packers need to hit on some draft picks. After great draft success during their eight-year playoff run from 2009-16, Green Bay has had a hard time replenishing and replacing players recently.

31. Seattle Seahawks

NFL movement: Down 1

Total score: -10.72
All-sport rank: 109 (up 2)
Ranking by category: Championships, 25; Playoff berths, 31; Playoff wins, 30; Heartbreaks, 4; Rival comparison, 30

Why they moved down: Like with the Packers, the Seahawks' movement was more of a product of other teams moving past them than anything great the Seahawks did. That being said, Seattle did unexpectedly cobble together a playoff season -- its sixth in seven years -- thanks to an efficient performance by Russell Wilson, a resurgent rushing attack and a defense that surpassed expectations despite losing several name players.

Moving forward: The Seahawks' expected decline didn't happen, as they were close to upsetting the Cowboys in the wild-card round of the playoffs. Whether that makes Seattle a legitimate contender to the Rams in the NFC West or a declining team that had one last hurrah before fading away remains to be seen. Players like Wilson, Bobby Wagner and Frank Clark should keep the Seahawks competitive going forward.

32. New England Patriots

NFL movement: Even

Total score: -58.98
All-sport rank: 123 (even)
Ranking by category: Championships, 32; Playoff berths, 32; Playoff wins, 32; Heartbreaks, 2; Rival comparison, 32

Why they stayed the same: Oops, they did it again. The Patriots shackled the Rams in Super Bowl LIII with a dominating defensive effort, winning their sixth Super Bowl championship (tied with the Steelers for the most ever) in 18 seasons. The Patriots are so far separated from the rest of the NFL that the No. 31 team (Seattle) is closer to No. 1 in misery than it is to the Patriots. Just imagine if the Patriots didn't have the No. 2 heartbreak score (or at least one win over the Giants).

Moving forward: We thought this was the season that Tom Brady would realize that he's in his 40s and the Patriots would start their decline. We were dead wrong. The Patriots had a few more regular-season hiccups than normal, but when it was all said and done they were on top again (though the "nobody believes in us" narrative they created was excessive). We're not going to assume their demise until (if?) it happens -- even though Rob Gronkowski decided to retire.