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Wednesday, September 17, 2008
Updated: September 18, 11:42 AM ET
Page 2's ultimate NFL power rankings, Nos. 11-20

By Thomas Neumann
Page 2

Teams 1-10   |   Teams 21-32   |   Complete statistical rankings   |   Listranker

11. New York Giants

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.485 3-1 13 4 7 30 39 8 0 1 859

Lawrence Taylor

The Giants earn the highest ranking in this study by a team with a post-merger winning percentage under .500. Of course, three Super Bowl titles go a long way in erasing memories of Joe Pisarcik and Dave Brown. So do the eight first-team All-Pro selections of Hall of Famer Lawrence Taylor. The Giants have also retained nine head coaches since the merger for an average tenure of more than four seasons. Considering the glare of the New York media, that's actually reasonably consistent. The Jets have had 15 coaches over the same span.

12. Chicago Bears

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.497 1-1 8 5 6 38 51 7 0 2 793

Walter Payton

The Bears are victims of the depth of greatness in the NFC in the 1980s and '90s. Despite making seven playoff appearances in eight years under Mike Ditka, Chicago hoisted the Lombardi Trophy just once. Not counting the Bears' two Super Bowl seasons, they have just four playoff wins since the merger. Then again, maybe that's not so bad, considering that the team's pre-eminent quarterback since 1970 is Jim McMahon. Alas, there have also been too many Rashaan Salaams and Cedric Bensons and too few Walter Paytons.

13. Philadelphia Eagles

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.511 0-2 13 4 5 36 45 9 1 2 776

Donovan McNabb

Despite the Eagles' reputation for breaking the hearts of their fans, this team has been remarkably consistent. Even Rich Kotite was able to guide Philly into the playoffs. Yes, the NFC Championship Game losses were bitter -- we rate the one against Carolina, the Eagles' third in a row, as the crushing variety -- but they are above .500 since the merger. They also have six postseason appearances and three seasons of 12-plus wins under Andy Reid.

14. Green Bay Packers

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.509 1-1 12 5 7 22 51 8 0 2 745

Brett Favre

Even if you've grown tired of hearing about Brett Favre, his impact on the Packers' franchise is undeniable. Green Bay made 11 trips to the playoffs, won a Super Bowl and suffered just one losing season in Favre's 15 seasons. In addition to the gaudy personal statistics, he went 160-93 (.632) as a starter. Conversely, the Pack went 119-185-8 (.394) from 1970 to '91. Can the Packers approach the lofty standards reached with Favre now that Green Bay is Mr. Rodgers' neighborhood?

15. Baltimore Ravens

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.503 1-0 4 2 1 17 10 2 0 0 678

Imagine how stable this team could be if it ever established a franchise quarterback. The Ravens rank in the top half of our study despite having Kyle Boller as their career leader in passing yards. Nevertheless, the team made four playoff appearances and won a Super Bowl under Brian Billick, thanks primarily to a stingy defense anchored by Ray Lewis. However, five selections as a first-team All-Pro weren't enough to make him Baltimore's "franchise player."

16. Indianapolis Colts

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.485 2-0 11 6 9 25 29 14 1 669

Peyton Manning

When breaking down the Colts, one undeniable turning point is apparent: the draft selection of Peyton Manning. From 1970 to '97, the Colts went 177-245-2 (.420) with eight playoff appearances and 13 coaching changes. From 1998 to 2007, they went 105-55 (.656) with eight postseason trips and one coaching change. All of the team's seasons of 12-plus wins since the merger came with Manning under center. If the Colts had drafted Ryan Leaf instead of Manning back on April 18, 1998, would we be talking about the grand opening of Lucas Oil Stadium … or the ongoing search for a franchise quarterback by the Los Angeles Colts?

17. Tennessee Titans

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.481 0-1 12 4 8 34 33 10 1 0 669

Vince Young

In the words of former Oilers coach Bum Phillips, "You don't know a ladder has splinters until you slide down it." Indeed, the Oilers/Titans franchise quickly slid downward when Phillips was fired after the 1980 season. The Oilers had gone 32-16 (.667) and reached the playoffs each year in Phillips' last three seasons. Then they went 23-66 (.258) with zero playoff appearances during the splinter-plagued six seasons afterward. More recently, the franchise has gone 115-99 (.537) with five trips to the playoffs and a Super Bowl appearance under Jeff Fisher. Hall of Fame lineman Bruce Matthews accounts for seven of the team's 34 first-team All-Pro selections.

18. Buffalo Bills

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.474 0-4 12 4 9 33 38 11 3 1 667

Jim Kelly

Welcome to Buffalo, the gold standard of postseason agony. The Bills would rank three spots higher if not for three crushing playoff defeats. But the significance of Buffalo's defeats in Super Bowls XXV and XXVII and the "Music City Miracle" can't be overlooked. Give credit to Jim Kelly for getting his team this high in the standings, however. Kelly went 101-59 (.631) as a starting quarterback for the Bills, who are 175-424-2 (.415) with all others under center since 1970. What, you've forgotten team passing leaders like Alex Van Pelt and Vince Ferragamo?

19. Seattle Seahawks

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.492 0-1 7 2 3 22 24 5 0 2 641

Steve Largent

While Seattle fans won't soon forget questionable calls from Super Bowl XL, they can take solace in knowing that a victory in that game wouldn't change their ranking in this study (OK, maybe that wouldn't really help them feel better). Of course, if either that game or the "We want the ball, and we're going to score" game had made our list of 25 crushing playoff defeats, the Seahawks would drop at least one spot. The team's overall stability in coaching also helps Seattle's placement -- although the drafting of Dan McGwire and Rick Mirer did not.

20. Jacksonville Jaguars

Pct. SB Play. W ≥ 12W ≤ 4W All-Pro MNF CC CPD Busts Total
.543 0-0 5 2 1 6 11 1 0 0 634

Fred Taylor

Expansion franchises such as the Jags don't have enough history to be considered among the NFL's elite. But in this study, overall winning percentage was strongly weighted in order to level the playing field for expansionists. Also, while newer teams had a disadvantage in some criteria, they enjoyed a clear advantage in negative categories. Jacksonville ranks ninth in the NFL in winning percentage since 1970, and its five postseason wins in 13 seasons trump the totals of five teams (Browns, Chiefs, Cardinals, Lions and Saints) that have been in the league since 1970.

Teams 1-10   |   Teams 21-32   |   Complete statistical rankings   |   Listranker

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