Thursday, December 31, 2009

Top Five NFL Teams to Never Win a Super Bowl

In honor of the playoffs kicking off next week. I think that numbers 5 and 1 will meet this year, but I've been making that prediction for about five years now, so we'll see.

5. San Diego Chargers

What puts the Chargers ahead of teams with longer histories, such as the Lions and the Cardinals, is that they have two periods of excellence in the Super Bowl era: the old Dan Fouts/Kellen Winslow teams; and the current run begun by Marty Shottenheimer and Drew Brees, and continued by Norv Turner and Philip Rivers. I would be willing to bet my mortgage that the Chargers will beat the Colts (if they face them) in the AFC title game this year.

4. Buffalo Bills

Mostly an NFL also-ran, the Bills accomplished one of the great feats in NFL history, reaching four straight Super Bowls. Of course, they lost all four, by increasingly large margins. So they have somehow become synonymous with losing and failure, which seems wholly unfair, but them's the breaks. Buffalo's first loss was immortalized in Vincent D'onofrio's Buffalo '66, so there's that.

3. Minnesota Vikings

The Vikings have a couple of unfortunate firsts in their history: they were the first team to reach four Super Bowls and loose them all; and they were the first team with a record of 15-1 or better to not even reach the Super Bowl. That year, 1998, might be the ultimate bitter pill, as kicker Gary Anderson went all year without missing a kick-- until the fourth quarter of the NFC championship game, when he missed a field goal that would have put the Vikings up by two possessions. Atlanta scored the tying touchdown and won in overtime.

2. Cleveland Browns

The asterisks to the Browns lack of Super Bowls are well known to any Browns fan. Cleveland was the dominant franchise in the pre-Super Bowl years, winning ten titles. And the Browns suffered the ultimate indignity of having owner Art Modell move the team to Baltimore when Cleveland refused to build him a new stadium, only to watch the newly-christened Ravens win Cleveland's rightful Super Bowl within five years, and the city build a new stadium anyway for an expansion Browns. Oh, and in between there was The Drive. And The Fumble. Why does God hate the Cleveland Browns?

1. Philadelphia Eagles

What, you were expecting someone else? If the Eagles weren't always one of the NFL's showcase franchises, they sure are now. The Eagles do have one NFL title to their credit, back in 1960, and two Super Bowl appearances, getting shellacked by the Raiders in 1981 and coming up three points short of the Patriots in 2005. Keep in mind that I FULLY EXPECT Andy Reid and Donovan McNabb to change this, perhaps as early as this February. Hope springs eternal and all that.


  1. After the wild card weekend, these are my thoughts about the Eagles. McNabb is not as terrible as everyone claims but, yunno, he's not as good as Kurt Warner, either. But maybe perhaps that is because Reid is not an offensive mastermind as he is portrayed either. There's something wrong with this organization as a sports team. As a business, they make a profit and are under the cap and stay competitive to keep fans interested but they seem incapable of being elite.

    Maybe McNabb would benefit by being on another team that commits to the run and McNabb would have to primarily "manage" the game and make a big play once or twice a game rather than seemingly every down.

    But make no mistake, the Eagles without McNabb will be cornflakes without the milk. I think the team's identity, game planning and leadership would take a year plus to become contenders again.

  2. I plan to post my thoughts on the state of the Eagles sometime this week; I've been contemplating a lot of the same things as you. One quick thing, though: I don't think McNabb would do well in a system that features the run before the pass. I've always felt that he needs several plays to get in rhythm, so I think he might struggle to get there if not passing as much. On the other hand, he might be able to get in the flow of the game better without missing his targets to start. Anyway, more later.