NFL.com recently came out with a list of their top-10 teams of the past ten seasons. The list had plenty of material worth arguing about but our focus on the podcast (linked above) was about what made these teams great rather than about if writer, Tom Blair, got the list right.
I tried to break down the list with three factors (ish):
Offense/defense overall ranking, who played QB and team balance or a wildcard factor.
You can check out the original list from NFL.com but here are some thoughts about why they are in the conversation as the best teams of the past decade and how the Broncos can join the lists of the future.
#10 - 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars
This team had the #2 defense, the #6 offense and Blake Bortles under center. In other words, they were very balanced, had a great D and an expensive yet not-so-good QB.
#9 - 2018 Kansas City Chiefs
As we all know too well, the Chiefs had a great offense (#1) led by Wunderkind, Patrick Mahomes on a rookie contract. They also had the second-worst defense in the league and were clearly not balanced.
#8 - 2011 Green Bay Packers
Aaron Rodgers had an incredible year leading a #3 ranked offense to a Super Bowl win. Amazingly, he did this with the worst ranked defense in the NFL.
#7 - 2012 San Francisco 49ers
Yet another great defense (#3) the offense wasn’t fantastic but rebuilt after week 10 to fit a scheme around Colin Kaepernick.
#6 - Arizona Cardinals
Carson Palmer led an ageing offense (#1) while the defense (#5) solidified this team as one of the most balanced of the decade.
#5 - 2013 Denver Broncos
One of the great offenses of all time (#1) led by Peyton Manning but the team got destroyed in the Super Bowl thanks to a 19th ranked defense (and other factors).
#4 - 2016 New England Patriots
Tom Brady. #4 offense. Top-ten defense. Nuff said.
#3 - 2017 Philadelphia Eagles
An amazingly unsexy team that finished with a top-ten offense and defense behind young QB, Wentz, and backup Nick Foles.
#2 - 2015 Carolina Panthers
MVP Cam Newton led a decent offense (#11) but the defense was key until the Super Bowl...ahhh...good times.
#1 - 2013 Seattle Seahawks
This was not a great offense led by a cheap Russell Wilson but the #1 defense made up for it in an end to a season we would all rather forget.
So, what did we learn? What’s the recipe for a great team?
There isn’t one...at least, not exactly.
Out of the ten teams, seven of them had top-ten defenses.
Out of the ten teams, seven of them had top-ten offenses.
Out of the ten teams, four of them had cheap QBs (at least at the end of the season).
Out of the ten teams, four of them had MVP caliber QBs (Palmer is a ? since it was the best season of his career).
The Packers and the Chiefs are listed despite having terrible defenses while the #1 team, the 2013 Seahawks had a 19th ranked offense.
The Broncos got destroyed in the Super Bowl against the Seahawks and it’s definitely possible that their 2015 team which defeated the Panthers deserved the spot rather than the 2013 team.
2012 best team that didn’t win it smh— Chris Harris (@ChrisHarrisJr) July 6, 2019
In the end...
If the 2019 Broncos want to be a top team of the next decade, they need to be balanced. They don’t appear to have a great defense (though very good) and they don’t have a cheap or MVP level QB. This means - according to this list - that their only way to achieve greatness is to become balanced on offense and defense. They need to have a top-ten group on both sides of the ball, make good coaching decisions and not make big mistakes (much like the 2017 Eagles).
The talent is at least close for this team and it’ll be exciting to see how they look out on the field when training camp starts in just a few short weeks!
Who is your top team of the decade?
This poll is closed