Ranking the 30 greatest NFL teams we’ve ever seen

OAKLAND, CA – DECEMBER 29: Quarterback Peyton Manning #18 of the Denver Broncos calls out signals to his offense against the Oakland Raiders during the second quarter at O.co Coliseum on December 29, 2013 in Oakland, California. The Broncos won the game 34-14. (Photo by Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images)

The league’s 101-year history reduced to 30 outstanding teams for a season.

There’s now been more than a century of an entity that began as the American Professional Football Association and is now known as the NFL. It currently houses 32 franchises and some of these teams have enjoyed more than their share of success while others are still seeking a league championship.

What constitutes greatest? These days, hoisting the Lombardi Trophy. But through the many years of this great game, there have also been clubs that fell short of a title. So here’s a glance into a highly-subjective topic.

30. 2013 Denver Broncos

They would score the most points in one season in NFL history (606) and their quarterback would also set records with 5,477 passing yards and 55 TD tosses. But as great as the Denver Broncos were in 2013, John Fox’s club laid a major omelet on Super Sunday in a 43-8 to the Seattle Seahawks at East Rutherford, New Jersey.

On the first play of Super Bowl XLVIII, NFL MVP Peyton Manning saw a shotgun snap go over his head and result in a safety. It was just a small sample of what was to come and it put the dampers on a 13-3 campaign that saw a record 76 total touchdowns scored but not a lot of defense played by the club.

29. 1979 San Diego Chargers

The Bolts’ surged during the second half of 1978 and finished 9-7 after a 2-6 start. Head coach Don Coryell had an explosive offensive attack led by future Hall of Famers such as quarterback Dan Fouts and pass-catchers such as Charlie Joiner, Kellen Winslow – as well as rookie wideout John Jefferson.

In ‘79, they looked like the most complete team in the NFL, finishing 12-4 and as AFC West champions. The defense included standouts like linebacker Woodrow Lowe, defensive tackle Gary Johnson and Hall of Fame end Fred Dean. But they were stunned by the gutty and undermanned Houston Oilers in the divisional round.

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