11 Teams Without a Super Bowl

11 NFL teams have never won a Super Bowl. Here is the history of those franchise’s pursuits of the Lombardi Trophy.

Zero Super Bowl Appearances

Houston Texans

Origin: 2002
Playoff record: 4-6

Texans are the NFL’s youngest team, so it’s understandable that they have not yet reached the top. It wasn’t until their 10th season, in 2011, that they made the playoff for the first time. Overall, they have made the playoffs 6 times, all if the last 9 years, and have won their first round game 4 times, but never more than that.

Before they make the Super Bowl, they will need to make the second round.

Jacksonville Jaguars

Origin: 1995
Playoff record: 7-7

Before the Texans joined in 2002, the Jaguars and the Carolina Panthers were the newest additions in 1995.

While the Texans took 10 years to make the playoffs, the Jaguars wasted no time, making the AFC Championship Game in year 2. They were coached by Tom Coughlin, and offensively, led by QB Mark Brunell and WR Keenan McCardell.

They made the playoffs every year between 1996-1999, going 4-4 in that span. After 1999, they made the playoffs twice over the next 17 seasons, winning their Wild Card game in 2007. In 2017, they made the AFC Championship Game for the second time, losing to the Patriots.

Detroit Lions

Origin: 1934
Playoff record: 1-8 (post merger)

Here is what you need to know about the Lions – they have one multiple championships. But they have also won just one modern playoff game.

This in an important distinction – the Super Bowl began in 1958 after the NFL and AFL merger. Before that, the Lions did win 4 NFL Championship Games (and lost 1). So they do have championship history, but Super Bowls are really what NFL success is built on now, and the Lions are 0-54 in getting to one.

Lions currently have the NFL’s second longest playoff win drought, at 28 years. A win against the Cowboys in the 1991 Divisional Playoffs round is the last time they won a playoff game. Before that, their last win was the 1957 NFL Championship (pre-merger) against the Browns.

Cleveland Browns

Origin: 1950
Playoff record: 4-12 (post-merger)

Like the Lions, Browns have multiple pre-merger championships, but no Super Bowls.

They have gotten close though, probably closer than the other three teams in this list. They made the AFC Championship Game in 1986, 1987, and 1989, losing to the Denver Broncos all three times.

Since the loss in 1989, they have made the playoffs just twice, winning the Wild Card round in 1994 – their last playoff victory.

Their last playoff appearance was 2002. It was the only appearance for the “new Browns”. After the 1995 season, Cleveland franchise moved to Baltimore and became the Ravens. But in 1999, football returned to Cleveland with an expansion team.

Winless in Multiple Appearances

Buffalo Bills

Origin: 1960
Super Bowl appearances: 4

Bills are tied with the most Super Bowl appearances, without a win, and they all came in a row from 1990-1993.

In the 1990 playoffs, the Bills put up points, led by QB Jim Kelly, beating the Dolphins 44-34 and then crushing the Raiders in the AFC Championship 51-3. They would lose Super Bowl XXV 20-19 to the Giants, in a game where the Giants controlled the clock and held the ball for 40 minutes.

In 1991, the Bills beat the Chiefs and Broncos to get to Super Bowl XXVI, where they lost to the Redskins, 37-24. Redskins led 17-0 early and it was too much for the Bills to overcome.

In 1992, it took three wins to get to the Super Bowl, needing a 41-38 overtime victory against the Oilers to advance past the Wild Card round. Blowout wins over the Steelers and Dolphins sent them to Super Bowl XXVII, where they would lost 52-17 to the Cowboys. Jim Kelly was injured for a portion of the playoffs and Super Bowl, forcing backup QB Frank Reich into action.

1992 ended the same way as the year prior – a loss to the Cowboys, this time 30-13 in Super Bowl XXVIII.

Two years later, the Bills beat the Dolphins in the Wild Card round in 1995 and haven’t won a playoff game since.

Minnesota Vikings

Origin: 1961
Super Bowl appearances: 4

Vikings made four Super Bowl appearances between 1969 and 1976. Vikings scored a total of 4 offensive touchdowns in those 4 games and lost by an average of 11.25 points per game.

Atlanta Falcons

Origin: 1970
Super Bowl appearances: 2

Falcons have lost two historically significant Super Bowls. Their first appearance was in 1998 – they lost to the Broncos in John Elway’s final career game.

They returned in 2017, led by NFL MVP Matt Ryan and at one point led 28-3… the rest is history.

Carolina Panthers

Origin: 1995
Super Bowl appearances: 2

Panthers entered the league the same year as the Jaguars. Incredibly, both teams made their respective conference’s championship games in year two. In 1996, the Panthers lost to the Packers in the NFC title game.

They returned to the playoffs in 2003, this time winning the NFC Championship, against the Eagles, and advancing to the Super Bowl, where they would lose to the Patriots (#2 for Belichick and Brady). Two years later, they made the NFC Championship game against, but lost to the Seahawks.

In 2015, the Panthers returned to the Super Bowl, the 50th edition, where they would lose to the Broncos in Peyton Manning’s final career game.

Cincinnati Bengals

Origin: 1968
Super Bowl appearances: 2

Bengals lost to the 49ers in both 1981 and 1988. Cincinnati lost Super Bowl XVI 26-21 and Super Bowl XXIII 20-16.

To get to the Super Bowl, the Bengals had to win two games each postseason. Those are four of the only five playoff games the Bengals have ever won.

Following the 1988 Super Bowl, they beat the Oilers in the Wild Card round of the playoffs in 1990 and they have not won a game since, currently holding the NFL’s longest playoff win drought. Bengals are 0-8 since that 1990 round one win.

Win-less in One Appearance

Tennessee Titans

Origin: 1960

As the Houston Oilers, they won the AFL Championship in their first two seasons of existence in 1960 and 1961. They played again in 1962, and lost, and lost one other championship game appearance.

They joined the NFL in 1970, post-merger and made the AFC Championship Game in back-to-back years in 1978 and 1979. They made the playoffs 7 straight seasons, between 1987-1993, but went just 3-7 in that stretch.

They moved to Tennessee in 1997, and re-branded as the Titans in 1999. In their first year as the Titans, they made their first-and-only Super Bowl. First, they knocked off the Bills in the first round in the “Music City Miracle” game. Kurt Warner and the Rams would beat the Titans in Super Bowl XXXIV.

Titans returned to the AFC Championship in 2020, losing to the Chiefs.

Arizona Cardinals

Origin: 1920*

Cardinals began in Chicago, moved to St. Louis, and settled in Arizona in 1988. They have officially been called the Arizona Cardinals since 1994 (previously were Phoenix Cardinals).

Since winning the NFL Championship in 1947 as the Chicago Cardinals, Cardinals made just 4 playoff appearances (0-4) prior to 1998. That year, they beat the Cowboys in the first round and lost the next game to the Vikings.

2008 was their lone Super Bowl year. They beat the Falcons, Panthers, Eagles to earn their spot in Super Bowl XLIII, where they ultimately lost to the Steelers. They did make the NFC Championship again in 2015, but haven’t made the playoffs since.

Mike is a member of the FWAA (Football Writers Association of America) and an alum of the University of Cincinnati.

Be the first to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.


*