Page 2's ultimate NFL power rankings, Nos. 21-32   

Updated: September 17, 2008

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Teams 1-10   |   Teams 11-20   |   Complete statistical rankings   |   Listranker

21. Kansas City Chiefs

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.506 1-1 3 3 5 37 35 9 1 3 596

Tony Gonzalez

Kansas City has enjoyed a solid regular-season history, thanks largely to former coach Marty Schottenheimer, who went 101-58-1 (.634) in 10 seasons. Alas, the team's postseason struggles mirror those of Schottenheimer. In fact, the Chiefs have won as many postseason games -- three -- in the past 38 seasons combined as they won in their final AFL campaign in 1969. The Chiefs have suffered a number of agonizing postseason defeats over the years -- their 1995, '97 and 2003 postseason losses all came at home in the divisional round after a 13-3 regular season. We'll count the loss in '97 to division foe Denver as a top seed as being of the crushing variety.

22. Carolina Panthers

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.466 0-1 6 1 2 12 7 2 0 0 588

The Panthers have been more than respectable since joining the NFL in 1995. Only twice has the team failed to win at least seven games, and it changed coaches each time. If you throw out the disastrous 1998 and 2001 campaigns, the Panthers' winning percentage rises from .466 to .523. Then again, we suppose John Kasay would like to throw out that kickoff from Super Bowl XXXVIII, and CBS would probably like to throw out that halftime show while we're at it.

23. San Diego Chargers

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.463 0-1 8 3 8 37 30 13 1 2 563

LaDainian Tomlinson

By our criteria, the Chargers have made great strides in recent seasons, with 12 first-team All-Pro selections, two 12-plus win seasons, two playoff wins and three "Monday Night Football" appearances since 2004. That helps cover the stench of three prolonged periods of losing since the merger. But despite finishing above .500 in each of the past four seasons, the Chargers have only 13 total winning records to their credit in the past 38 … and only a small portion of that futility can be blamed on Kevin Gilbride.

24. Cincinnati Bengals

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.447 0-2 5 2 11 26 27 8 0 4 494

Chad Johnson

Two Super Bowl appearances. One winning season since 1990. The Bengals' fleeting moments of success aren't enough to overcome a legacy of losing in a study such as this. Surprisingly, the Bengals have changed coaches just eight times since the merger. This would seem to indicate either that the franchise has continuity or that the Brown family is too cheap to buy out a bad coach with money remaining on the contract. We'll leave it to you to answer that question.

25. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.393 1-0 5 1 8 21 16 6 0 1 474

Jon Gruden

Here lies our lowest-ranked Super Bowl champion. While the Bucs have been playoff regulars under Jon Gruden and Tony Dungy, the team's creamsicle years can't be swept under the rug. Tampa Bay won just two playoff games in its first 21 seasons and the Bucs are the only team not named the Texans with a winning percentage under .400 since 1970. They've won at least 12 games in a season just once -- in their Super Bowl season of 2002. Heard enough? They once had a year in which they threw three touchdown passes … and 30 interceptions.

26. Atlanta Falcons

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.422 0-1 6 2 11 15 30 14 0 1 362

Michael Vick

The past 12 months must make the Super Bowl season of 1998 seem like a hallucination for Falcons fans. The legal woes of Michael Vick and the misadventures of Bobby Petrino might even have some of them longing for the days of Dan Henning and David Archer. Amazingly, Atlanta's paltry .422 winning percentage is the second best in the NFC South. At least Atlanta has been to a Super Bowl since the merger. That's something the Chiefs, Lions, Jets, Browns, Texans, Saints and Cardinals can't claim.

27. Detroit Lions

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.425 0-0 1 1 7 22 25 12 0 4 350

Matt Millen

Admit it, Lions fans. You're privately breathing a sigh of relief that your team didn't rank worse than this. So thank Barry Sanders, whose six first-team All-Pro selections single-handedly pushed Detroit past the Browns and Jets. Conversely, the disaster that is the Matt Millen era (31-81, .277) has lowered the team's post-merger winning percentage from .460 to .425. Incidentally, the Lions haven't appeared on "Monday Night Football" since 2001, a streak that remains intact this season.

28. New York Jets

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.435 0-0 6 1 12 19 38 14 0 4 338

Joe Namath

Brett Favre's lawn mower has seen more glory than the post-merger Jets franchise. With the exception of the expansion Texans, the Jets have the worst winning percentage in the AFC since 1970. The team's 14 coaching changes -- including the one-day tenure of Bill Belichick -- have the Jets tied for most in the league. In all likelihood, the Jets have benefited from the size of the New York market in landing 38 appearances on "Monday Night Football," which boosts them into a tie with Cleveland. The Jets' edge in playoff wins breaks the tie.

29. Cleveland Browns

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.458 0-0 4 1 7 13 25 12 2 3 338

Tim Couch

What in the name of Tim Couch is going on here? No. 29! Not to heap more suffering on members of the Dawg Pound, but the statistics tell the story. Consider that the Ravens have more first-team All-Pro selections and postseason wins in 12 seasons than the Browns do in the past 35. Now add two crushing playoff defeats -- not including Red Right 88. Unlike the teams ranked below, the Browns' franchise isn't without splendor. Unfortunately, nearly all of it came before 1970.

30. Houston Texans

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.333 0-0 0 0 2 1 0 1 0 0 308

David Carr

The Texans don't have much history to work with, so it's understandable that they would finish near the bottom of this study. Nevertheless, Houston has played down to a level that would have to be considered poor by even expansion standards. The franchise enjoyed its first nonlosing season in 2007, and that increased its all-time winning percentage to only a miserable .333. Take heart, Texans -- the No. 1 overall draft selection of David Carr isn't even considered a bust in our criteria, and the city's pro football fans are used to bad teams: The Houston Oilers once went 1-13 in back-to-back seasons.

31. New Orleans Saints

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.418 0-0 2 2 11 13 24 13 0 2 287

Archie Manning

Drew Brees. Marques Colston. Reggie Bush. Those are three reasons the Saints reached the NFC Championship Game two seasons ago. They're also three reasons why it's easy to forget how hapless this franchise was for so long. The Saints didn't have their first winning season until 1987 -- 20 years after they joined the NFL. They traded an entire draft for Ricky Williams in 1999 and kept him for only three seasons. Their fans pioneered the wearing of grocery bags over their heads when the Saints went 1-15 in 1980.

32. Arizona Cardinals

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.402 0-0 1 0 10 23 18 13 0 3 285

Matt Leinart

Page 2 isn't trying to pick on the downtrodden in this project. We feel for Cardinals fans. Both of you. But the evidence speaks for itself: 10 seasons of four or fewer wins; zero seasons of 12 or more wins; fewer "Monday Night Football" appearances than any nonexpansion team. Only the Falcons and Colts have more coaching changes since 1970. Three stadiums. Two markets. One playoff victory. Zero luck. The common thread through all the years of futility is the ownership of the notoriously cheap Bidwill family.

Teams 1-10   |   Teams 11-20   |   Complete statistical rankings   |   Listranker

Thomas Neumann is an editor for Page 2. You can contact him here.


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The rankings

The ultimate NFL power rankings, Nos. 1-10
The ultimate NFL power rankings, Nos. 11-20
The ultimate NFL power rankings, Nos. 21-32

Statistical hierarchy

Rankings in every category from 1-32


Listranker: Create your own rankings

Podcast discussion

Dave Dameshek with Thomas Neumann

Rankings formula

Teams compiled points based on 10 criteria from 1970-2007:

Winning percentage: One point per mill of a team's regular-season winning percentage. For example, a .500 team gets 500 points. +1

Super Bowls: 50 points per win; 25 points per loss. +50/25

Playoff victories: 10 points per win (not including Super Bowls). +10

12-win season: 10 points for each season of 12 or more victories. +10

Four-win season: Minus-10 points for each season of four or fewer victories (not including the 1982 strike season). -10

All-Pros: Five points each for every time a player was named first team All-Pro. +5

"MNF": To measure prestige, one point for each appearance on "Monday Night Football." +1

Coaching changes: Minus-10 points for each coaching change (includes interim coaches). -10

Crushing postseason defeats: Minus-20 points for suffering one of the 25 most-crushing postseason defeats since the AFL-NFL merger (as selected by Page 2, see list below). -20

Busts: Minus-10 points for selecting one of the 50 biggest draft busts as selected by (See list here) -10

Tiebreakers: 1, Super Bowl victories; 2, playoff victories.

Notes: Per NFL policy, Arizona includes the St. Louis and Phoenix Cardinals; Cleveland includes the old and new Browns; Indianapolis includes the Baltimore Colts; New England includes the Boston Patriots; Oakland includes the Los Angeles Raiders; St. Louis includes the Los Angeles Rams; Tennessee includes the Houston Oilers.

• Ties are counted as half a win and half a loss in calculating winning percentage, in accordance with official NFL records.

The 25 crushing postseason defeats:

• Dec. 23, 1972: Steelers 13, Raiders 7 (Immaculate Reception).

• Dec. 28, 1975: Cowboys 17, Vikings 14 (Hail Mary).

• Jan. 21, 1979: Steelers 35, Cowboys 31, Super Bowl XIII (Jackie Smith's end zone drop).

• Jan. 10, 1982: 49ers 28, Cowboys 27, NFC Championship Game (The Catch).

• Jan. 22, 1984: Raiders 38, Redskins 9, Super Bowl XVIII (Washington was a three-point favorite).

• Jan. 26, 1986: Bears 46, Patriots 10, Super Bowl XX.

• Jan. 4, 1987: Giants 49, 49ers 3 (Jim Burt knocks Joe Montana out of game).

• Jan. 11, 1987: Broncos 23, Browns 20, AFC Championship Game (The Drive).

• Jan. 17, 1988: Broncos 38, Browns 33, AFC Championship Game (The Fumble).

• Jan. 31, 1988: Redskins 42, Broncos 10, Super Bowl XXII (Denver was a three-point favorite).

• Jan. 28, 1990: 49ers 55, Broncos 10, Super Bowl XXIV (largest victory margin in a Super Bowl).

• Jan. 20, 1991: Bills 51, Raiders 3, AFC Championship Game.

• Jan. 27, 1991: Giants 20, Bills 19, Super Bowl XXV (Scott Norwood, wide right).

• Jan. 3, 1993: Bills 41, Oilers 38, OT (Houston led 35-3 in third quarter).

• Jan. 31, 1993: Cowboys 52, Bills 17, Super Bowl XXVII.

• Jan. 4, 1998: Broncos 14, Chiefs 10 (Chiefs lose second divisional game in three seasons at home as top seed.)

• Jan. 17, 1999: Falcons 30, Vikings 27, OT (Minnesota, 16-1, loses after Gary Anderson misses first FG attempt of season.)

• Jan. 8, 2000: Titans 22, Bills 16 (Music City Miracle).

• Jan. 15, 2000: Jaguars 62, Dolphins 7. (last game for Dan Marino, Jimmy Johnson).

• Jan. 14, 2001: Giants 41, Vikings 0, NFC Championship Game.

• Jan. 19, 2002: Patriots 16, Raiders 13 (Tuck Rule).

• Feb. 3, 2002: Patriots 20, Rams 17, Super Bowl XXXVI (St. Louis was a 14-point favorite).

• Jan. 26, 2003: Buccaneers 48, Raiders 21, Super Bowl XXXVII (Oakland was a three-point favorite).

• Jan. 18, 2004: Panthers 14, Eagles 3, NFC Championship Game (Philadelphia's third consecutive loss in NFC Championship Game).

• Feb. 3, 2008: Giants 17, Patriots 14, Super Bowl XLII.