No. 59: Buffalo Bills

Ultimate Standings 2012

Updated: September 7, 2012, 11:28 AM ET
By Morty Ain | ESPN The Magazine

Last year's rank: 107
Title track: 95
Ownership: 83
Coaching: 68
Players: 58
Fan relations: 65
Affordability: 10
Stadium experience: 105
Bang for the buck: 76

How does a franchise that wrapped up its seventh straight losing season rocket 48 spots in our rankings? Well, the year's first half was juicier than beef on kummelweck: a 41-7 opening victory in Arrowhead Stadium over Kansas City, an 18-point comeback against the Raiders and a 23-0, 10-sack blitzkrieg of the Skins in Toronto. The first-half highlight came in Week 3 against New England, which Buffalo had lost to 15 straight times -- the third-longest streak in NFL history. The Bills picked off Tom Brady four times, matching his total interceptions in 2010, and overcame a 21-0 deficit to win in the final seconds, leading nine-year Bills D-lineman Chris Kelsay to call the game "the biggest win of my career." Then again, he has slim pickings to choose from. With Detroit making the playoffs last season, the Bills are the only NFL team lacking a postseason appearance this millennium. No wonder the average ticket price at Ralph Wilson Stadium is $59.19, compared to $120.85 at MetLife Stadium (Jets/Giants) and $117.84 at Gillette Stadium (Patriots). The best news in Buffalo is that it's looking less likely that the Bills will bolt for the border. It turns out that Ontario's liquor laws would put a serious kibosh on the team's trademark tailgate experience. Instead, there's talk of a $200 million renovation of Ralph, built in 1973. It isn't the playoffs, but it's a reason to fire up the grill.