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Mile High Morning: Denver Broncos ranked in top 10 in The Athletic's NFL franchise rankings


The Lead

Although the Broncos have fallen on tough times in recent years, the franchise's overall track record still places it among the league's best in history.

The Athletic’s Bob Sturm devised a system to evaluate just where the Broncos and the other 31 NFL teams stand. With ascending numerical values assigned to seasons with a playoff appearance, conference championship game appearance, Super Bowl appearance and Super Bowl win, Sturm worked to figure out which franchises have been the most successful throughout the Super Bowl era.

Denver places seventh, as the team has won three Super Bowls, appeared in five others, made two additional AFC Championship Games and earned 22 total playoff berths.

"Winning Super Bowl 50 pushed the Broncos past the Green Bay Packers into sixth place, for a time, and right on the heels of their hated rivals in Oakland, but they have not made a playoff appearance since," Sturm wrote.

The Broncos (76 points) landed in the second tier as "Light Heavyweights," along with the Packers (82), Raiders (79), Rams (69) and Chiefs (68).

"It's an impressive résumé for a franchise that missed the playoffs in each of the first 11 seasons of the Super Bowl era," Sturm wrote. "Since then, the Broncos have attended eight Super Bowls and famously lost their first four trips. Going 3-1 since then has pushed them up the board the past two decades, and although the near future is awfully uncertain, the Broncos definitely have made their mark."

Below the Fold

Speaking of the Super Bowl, NFL Network is re-airing "America's Game: The 2015 Broncos" on Friday at 9 p.m. MT in honor of DeMarcus Ware's election into the Pro Football Hall of Fame. Ware — along with Peyton Manning and Von Miller — is one of three narrators that takes viewers through the championship season.

The Unclassifieds

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