NFL franchise all-time power rankings: Which organization comes out on top?

With more than 100 years of history as an organized football league, the NFL has grown into a powerhouse in sports. However, there are some franchises with more staying power than others. Which one is the top all-time franchise?

San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys
San Francisco 49ers v Dallas Cowboys / Joseph Patronite/GettyImages
17 of 32

16. Indianapolis Colts

We’ve arrived at the second half of the list, and we have some powerhouses here. Every single team from here on out has won a Super Bowl, and many had stretches that felt close to a dynasty. That includes the Colts, who had one of the top players in the history of the league, Peyton Manning, under center for close to two decades. The former number-one overall pick led the Colts to new heights; heights they hadn’t seen before his arrival. 

Indy is sneaky bad as a franchise prior to Manning’s arrival. This team is actually the leader in number-one overall picks, producing the worst record in the league on seven different occasions. Including Manning, they had Andrew Luck, Steve Emtman, Jeff George, John Elway (more on him later), Bubba Smith, and George Shaw. This was a downtrodden franchise since the days of Johnny Unitas. 

Of course, there is a lot of negative surrounding the legacy of the Colts. They left the City of Baltimore in the middle of the night on March 28, 1984, and Bob Irsay moved the team to Indiana. They literally left without announcement, and the mayor felt betrayed that the team would just go up and leave. John Elway, who was revered as a franchise-saving QB and the best prospect ever, refused to play for the Colts when they drafted him and forced a trade to the Broncos. Andrew Luck, the next best prospect in history, was forced to retire at 29 years old.

Still, what Peyton Manning brought to this franchise makes up for all of that. We still believe the Colts are great. They won Super Bowl XLI against Rex Grossman and the Bears. They also won Super Bowl V. They’ve been to the biggest game in sports four times. It was quite the run, but now the Colts need to regroup and hopefully enjoy a new era of greatness with Anthony Richardson at the helm.