The 2015 Denver Broncos were not among the decade’s best teams according to an NFL.com column, and there were other surprising inclusions.
If you thought the 2015 Denver Broncos — the Super Bowl 50 champion Denver Broncos — were among the top 10 teams of the last decade, think again.
At least according to NFL.com’s Tom Blair, who assembled a list of the top 10 teams of the last decade in a (mostly) fun trip down memory lane.
Blair didn’t fail to include the Denver Broncos in this list (more on that soon) but he did fail to include the 2015 team. His criteria for making this list included, “historical impact, seasonal and decade-long rankings, and entertainment value.”
There’s nothing wrong with that criteria, and in fact, I support it. Any list like this could be different if you asked 10 or 100 different people to put it together. Everyone has a different perspective when it comes to football but in my mind, these are the 10 teams that someone who isn’t a fan of any specific team could come together and say, “Yeah, that team was great.”
Here’s Blair’s overall list.
1. 2013 Seattle Seahawks
2. 2015 Carolina Panthers
3. 2017 Philadelphia Eagles
4. 2016 New England Patriots
5. 2013 Denver Broncos
6. 2015 Arizona Cardinals
7. 2012 San Francisco 49ers
8. 2011 Green Bay Packers
9. 2018 Kansas City Chiefs
10. 2017 Jacksonville Jaguars
It’s really cool to see a Denver Broncos team on this list. The 2013 Broncos had the best offense in NFL history statistically speaking, but they were so battered and beaten defensively by the time they got to the Super Bowl that they simply couldn’t do, well, anything right against the Seahawks.
That 2013 Seahawks team is tops on this list for good reason. They were undoubtedly one of the most complete teams we’ll ever see offensively, defensively, and on special teams. And they were almost at full strength health-wise for that Super Bowl. They even had Percy Harvin on the field, for goodness sake.
One interesting thing about this list is that it’s made up of four teams that won the Super Bowl and six teams that didn’t. It’s fair to say that the best team in the NFL over the course of an entire season is not always the team that wins the Super Bowl, but the fact that the 2015 Broncos and six other champions aren’t on this list is a bit upsetting.
This list was intended partially to highlight those great teams that didn’t win a Super Bowl, but if the 2017 Jaguars are on here? Give me a break.
The 2015 Broncos were number one in the NFL in yards allowed, pass defense, yards per attempt allowed, and perhaps most impressively, they were number one in the NFL in points allowed per drive despite having the third-worst starting field position defensively of any team in the league.
All of this happened with the Broncos leading the league in interceptions thrown offensively. The offense was mostly bad or below average, but that only further highlights how special this Denver defense was.
As good as the Seahawks’ defense was in 2013, it’s hard to say this Denver defense wasn’t better or at least didn’t have more to overcome.
The 2015 Broncos were a special team, but because of how poorly the offense played most of the season, I don’t think this group will ever get the credit it deserves.
The list Blair put together has the 2015 Panthers — you remember, the team the Broncos dominated in the Super Bowl? — ranked second overall on the list.
The Broncos didn’t just catch that Panthers team on a bad day or something. They beat them by hitting Cam Newton, taking the ball away, and just completely destroying Carolina’s mojo.
Nobody thought that Broncos team was going to beat Carolina and that made 24-10 all the more satisfying.
I would put that Broncos defense up against any team on this list, especially the 2017 Jaguars. Are you kidding me?