It is that time of year again, time for our third annual NFL Tortured Fan Base Rankings. These rankings fluctuate more each year than you might think: Here's 2014's edition, and here's 2015's. That's because every year is just another bit of history: It'd be difficult to argue that the Bengals haven't added to their misery index in the last years, and the Broncos haven't subtracted from theirs.

Still, a year is a thin slicing; the rankings often remain dynamic out of readjustments and corrections than they do out of results. But those still count.

We do this list at the end of every MLB, NBA and NFL season. My colleague Joe DeLessio does it for the NHL as well. As a reminder, the parameters:

It's a ranking of every team's fan base, from most to least spoiled. I want to find out who deserves it the most: who you, as a disinterested party, should be cheering for next year. Lots of factors are involved here: fan loyalty, passion, historical success, particularly painful eras, near-miss title chances, current roster, any ineffable notion that just occurs to me while I'm putting this list together. I'm doing my best to give an honest accounting here. This ranking will get a lot better once all of you have had a chance to look at it and tell me what I got wrong.

You might not agree with this policy, but I've decided to ignore anything before January 1967 in these rankings. The NFL that existed before the Super Bowl era and the one after it are so dramatically different that they seem like two different leagues altogether, maybe even two different sports.

This list is subjective, and even its subjectivity is not perfect: There will surely be much wrong with it. Email me at leitch@sportsonearth.com with all revisions, or just leave 'em in the comments.

Let's get to it:

32. Denver Broncos

Super Bowl appearances: 8
Super Bowl wins: 3

Last championship: 2016

Here's what I wrote last year: "If they don't win the Super Bowl in 2016, you have to consider moving them up this list quite a bit." Mission accomplished!

How many years should this victory satiate Broncos fans? It has been 17 years since John Elway's last title. Broncos fans can start feeling like they've got another one coming around 2033.

31. New England Patriots

Super Bowl appearances: 8
Super Bowl wins: 4

Last championship: 2015

Yeah, so Tom Brady didn't get to break Peyton Manning's heart and spirit one more time. Everything else is hunky-dory here, and there's little doubt the Pats won't be a favorite to give Brady another chance at one more ring (or more) in the years to come. Not that Patriots fans aren't still miserable and wallowing in that "misery," regardless.

30. Pittsburgh Steelers

Super Bowl appearances: 8
Super Bowl wins: 6

Last championship: 2009

They've got one more team tying them now for the most number of Super Bowl appearances, but they're still in first with wins, and all told, they've got a non-zero chance of adding one or two more while Ben Roethlisberger is still lumbering around. Though Steelers fans probably believe seven years are far too many years without a title.

29. Los Angeles Rams

Super Bowl appearances: 3
Super Bowl wins: 1

Last championship: 2000

New rule for these lists: If your city gets a new team after having it be away from 20 years, you don't get to proclaim yourself tortured, at all, not in any way, shape or form. Now, if we were talking about "St. Louis Rams" fans, we'd have a different story. But, alas: The St. Louis Rams no longer exist. Don't get me started on that one.

28. Baltimore Ravens

Super Bowl appearances: 2
Super Bowl wins: 2

Last championship: 2013

Certainly an unpleasant season, but we're still just three years out from a championship.

27. Indianapolis Colts

Super Bowl appearances: 4
Super Bowl wins: 2

Last championship: 2007

They hold steady at No. 28, but they look a lot further from a title right now than they did a year ago. Can you imagine if Andrew Luck doesn't win a championship? The Colts would have had Peyton Manning and Andrew Luck over a 30-year stretch and have only one title to show for it. Yeeesh.

26. Green Bay Packers

Super Bowl appearances: 5
Super Bowl wins: 4

Last title: 2011

They move up a couple of spots from last year because everything fell apart for them this year and they still won enough games to suffer a crushing, if exhilarating, postseason loss. Aaron Rodgers will turn 33 this season, which make one think the window for them is starting to look a little smaller, all of a sudden. It's not easy when you have no one to throw to, even if you're Rodgers.

25. New York Giants

Super Bowl appearances: 5
Super Bowl wins: 4

Last championship: 2012

So, the Tom Coughlin era ends with two out-of-nowhere championships and … not much else. This whole franchise looks a little up in the air right now -- rare for an organization that values such stability -- but those two titles will buy you a lot of time, even in New York.

24. Seattle Seahawks

Super Bowl appearances: 3
Super Bowl wins: 1

Last championship: 2014

That's the end for Marshawn Lynch, but it's not the end for this little mini-dynasty, which still has plenty of time to get off the Bears/Colts/Saints one-win title train. That Russell Wilson is starting to look more and more like Tom Brady every day is an excellent sign they've got a real chance to get another championship.

23. New Orleans Saints

Super Bowl appearances: 1
Super Bowl wins: 1

Last championship: 2010

It's really looking like that one title is all the Saints are going to get. Fortunately, we're only halfway through the party celebrating that one.

22. Jacksonville Jaguars

Super Bowl appearances: 0

I remain confounded what to do with the Jaguars on this list. I honestly can't figure them out. (See every other one of these lists for details.) Having Blake Bortles show a little promise helps, I suppose, but the Jaguars remain the NFL team the Cardinals were in the '90s: The one you keep forgetting is in the NFL.

21. Houston Texans

Super Bowl appearances: 0

The Texans remain too new to have any real torture, though if there are more playoff games like this year's, that'll change fast. Also: Their former coach just won a Super Bowl, which is not helpful.

20. Tampa Bay Buccaneers

Super Bowl appearances: 1
Super Bowl wins: 1

Last championship: 2003

They are this high on the list because they've won a title in the last 13 years -- something only six other teams can say -- and because Jameis Winston, like him or despise him, went to the Pro Bowl in his first season and, if it weren't for his off-field issues, is the sort of quarterback every team desperately wants.

19. Dallas Cowboys

Super Bowl appearances: 8
Super Bowl wins: 5

Last championship: 1996

Uh-oh: Starting to look like the little blip of last year was just that, and that the Dez Bryant touchdown might end up the last gasp of this whole franchise. Maybe Tony Romo has one more Aaron Rodgers-esque left year in him, but right now, the Cowboys look like they're back to the mess they always were.

18. Chicago Bears

Super Bowl appearances: 2
Super Bowl wins: 1

Last championship: 1986

Now that the celebrations of the "Super Bowl Shuffle" Bears have ended -- how could it possibly be 30 years? -- it's probably time to let them go, no? This is probably the last year the Bears get a "they had that team, so that bought them 30 years in the wilderness" pass. Only old people remember that team anymore. Everyone else still can't figure out what the heck that music video was supposed to be about. You had to be there, OK?

17. Tennessee Titans

Super Bowl appearances: 1
Super Bowl wins: 0

They have a quarterback. But everything else is in flux, including an uninspiring coaching hire that confused just about everyone. They'll need to get a little closer to the prize to start moving up these charts, though.

16. San Francisco 49ers

Super Bowl appearances: 6
Super Bowl wins: 5

Last championship: 1995

The 49ers enter their third decade without a title with a frustrating fan base that just saw their city taken over by teams who weren't them in a Super Bowl played in their stadium no one is really quite sure they like yet. The Jim Tomsula hire turned out to be a disaster, and, frankly, the Chip Kelly hire has the same potential. The 49ers are a jewel NFL franchise. It's time for them to start acting like it.

15. Oakland Raiders

Super Bowl appearances: 5
Super Bowl wins: 3

Last championship: 1984

There are signs of life in this organization, at last, and it's just in time for the team not to move. Are they going to be the ones left out on this moving carousel? Or are they accidental beneficiaries? Like we said last year: Ask us in a year.

14. Kansas City Chiefs

Super Bowl appearances: 2
Super Bowl wins: 1

Last championship: 1970

Finally, a playoff win! This was a wonderful season, despite how it ended, and one that sort of came out of nowhere. And the Royals give them plenty of hope. It's sort of exciting to be a Chiefs fan right now, isn't it? I probably destroyed it just by saying it.

13. Miami Dolphins

Super Bowl appearances: 5
Super Bowl wins: 2

Last championship: 1974

Do you realize that no one under the age of 40 has ever seen a Dolphins Super Bowl title? That's a remarkable statistic for a proud franchise that considers itself among the top tier. Hootie must be so sad.

12. Carolina Panthers

Super Bowl appearances: 2
Super Bowl wins: 0

The biggest leap on the board, all the way from 23 last year, and with good reason: This was an amazing team, one that could legitimately have been a potential best-of-all-time nominee, until it all went poof in Santa Clara. Suddenly, the Panthers have two Super Bowl appearances with crushing losses, which puts them halfway to the Bills and Vikings. If it happens again, they'll crack the top 10. And if it happens again, no one will ever leave Cam alone.

11. Washington Football Team

Super Bowl appearances: 5
Super Bowl titles: 3
Last championship: 1992

The whole reason Washington always ranks so high on this list is because of its current pain: It does have three titles, after all. But if it's going to go off and win its division -- even if that division is horrible -- it doesn't get to be that tortured, considering its history. But don't worry: The owner will always make sure it never quite turns the corner.

10. Atlanta Falcons

Super Bowl appearances: 1
Super Bowl wins: 0

They were the only team to beat the Panthers in the regular season, but that was it for season highlights. Next year is their last in the Georgia Dome. It is unlikely they are going to make a particularly memorable one.

9. Arizona Cardinals

Super Bowl appearances: 1
Super Bowl wins: 0

Last season featured the best Chicago/St. Louis/Phoenix/Arizona Cardinals team in the history of the franchise, but it went down in flames, just like last year, because of terrible quarterback play against Carolina. The Cards should be a favorite again next season, but these opportunities don't come along often: The fear is that they just missed their best chance.

8. San Diego Chargers

Super Bowl appearances: 1
Super Bowl wins: 0

They escaped the hangman's noose -- or the moving man's noose; do moving men make nooses? -- but it might be for just one more year. We'll see: How do fans react when they've already said goodbye once?

7. Philadelphia Eagles

Super Bowl appearances: 2
Super Bowl wins: 0

Turns out, Chip Kelly wasn't going to revolutionize Eagles football after all. Lots of questions with this franchise right now, and it sort of looks like they're further away from a title right now than they have been in many years. The good news for Philly fans: Hey, they have the Phillies and 76ers!

6. New York Jets

Super Bowl appearances: 1
Super Bowl wins: 1
Last championship: 1969

That was a brutal way to end the season, but it's undeniable that head coach Todd Bowles has the arrow pointing north. If they could just get freaking Brady to retire already …

5. Cincinnati Bengals

Super Bowl appearances: 2
Super Bowl wins: 0

At this point, it's difficult to argue that it's so much worse to make the playoffs a ton of years in a row and never win than not to make them at all. Who would want to go through what the Bengals have gone through? This year was the dagger of daggers, with a terrific team that lost its quarterback and still darned-near beat its hated division rival in the postseason until … well, you saw what happened. Bengals fans, you are forgiven if you never believe in this team again.

* * *

As with last year, we stop here to point out that the four most tortured franchises are all so tortured that they are virtually indistinguishable from each other. This is where the red line is drawn. (Though the Bengals are pushing close to this line.) They could be in any order from the rest of the way out.

4. Detroit Lions

Super Bowl appearances: 0

The Lions were irrelevant enough this year to fall a spot, but it's not getting any easier up there. Megatron is gone. The coaching situation is in flux. Matthew Stafford is now 28 years old, and he might be the worst kind of quarterback: A guy who's not good enough to get you where you need to go, but not bad enough to ever justify moving on from. That's a good way to have a wasted decade, and the Lions have had enough of those already.

3. Buffalo Bills

Super Bowl appearances: 4
Super Bowl wins: 0

The Bills have dropped a spot each year in these rankings, if just because the pain of others has exceeded their own. They did have some joy this year, even if it was merely knocking the Jets out of the playoffs on the last day of the season. But it's probably time to break that playoff-less streak, one that has now reached 16 seasons.

2. Minnesota Vikings

Super Bowl appearances: 4
Super Bowl wins: 0

Fantastic season! An up-and-coming team! A hard-nosed quarterback leading a hard-nosed team! Everything is looking up! What a year! HERE COME THE VIKINGS!

That is more than one team should have to bear. But it still doesn't put them in first.

1. Cleveland Browns

Super Bowl appearances: 0

This is a moribund franchise with a fan base that wants nothing in the world more desperately than it wants a title. But it's not just that, of course: That's all four of these teams. But no team seems more helpless than the Browns. Not only does their quarterback savior turn out to stink, he ends up being a disaster off the field as well. The Browns aren't snakebit; they're constantly being digested by the snake. It was a nightmare year for so many franchises on this list. But this was the easiest call on the board.

* * *

Email me at leitch@sportsonearth.com, follow me @williamfleitch or just shout out your window real loud, I'll hear you. Point is, let's talk.