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The Greatest NFL Teams Never to Win a Super Bowl

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Once again, Sportmentary tackles a “greatest of” list. I’m sure that this will stir up some controversy but I do believe that my list of the greatest teams never to win a Super Bowl is a fair and accurate one.

Writing a list like this takes some time, and comparing winning percentages, Super Bowl appearances, playoff appearances and conference titles is a daunting task. Once I waded through the statistics, I had to place my emotions aside and look beyond the numbers. Below is the list from number four to number one

#4 San Diego Chargers

This spot came down to a choice between the Chargers and the Titans, with San Diego receiving the nod, narrowly.

You might be thinking to yourselves, “What the heck is this guy thinking?” If you get past the emotions and look at what this organization has done, it’s quite impressive.

San Diego has one AFC Championship title and been to one Super Bowl. In the past decade, it seems as if the Chargers have been to the playoffs almost every season. In fact, since 2001, the Chargers have been to the playoffs five times.

What’s impressive with the Chargers as an organization is that the team has won over 50 percent of their games and competes year in and year out for a spot in the playoffs. Even when the team starts the season at 0-4, you can’t count them out.

#3 Buffalo Bills

The Bills were another tough choice, especially when the list omits the Titans. While the Titans have a better winning percentage throughout their history than the Bills, it’s what the Bills did in the 1990s that earns them their rightful spot on this list.

From 1988 to 1999, the Bills made it to the NFL playoffs 10 times. That’s 10 times in 12 years. The only years they missed the playoffs in that period were in 1994 and 1997. They’ve been to 17 playoffs in their entire history.

During the 1990s, Buffalo was the premier team in the AFC, winning the AFC championship and earning a spot in the Super Bowl in four consecutive seasons. That’s quite amazing.

During the 1990s, there wasn’t another team that I hated more than the Bills. I believe it’s because of the Buffalo Bills that my favorite player, Dan Marino, never won his Super Bowl.

#2 Cleveland Browns

Is this a shock to your system? It really shouldn’t be. While the Browns haven’t even been to the Super Bowl, they are a team that has a rich history.

The Browns came up just short against the Denver Broncos a couple of times, and perhaps many of you remember “The Drive” and the fumble that led to it.

The Cleveland Browns have won over 54 percent of their games throughout their history. While this article is recognizing teams for their involvement in the (modern) Super Bowl era, the Browns won eight championships (four NFL championships) in the pre-Super Bowl era. That’s impressive.

The 1980s were the Browns’ most productive in the Super Bowl era. They went to the playoffs seven times in the ’80s. In fact, the Browns made it to the playoffs five consecutive years from 1985 to 1989.

As a teenager, I remember watching them make the AFC championship game three times. They came so close; it was heartbreaking as an NFL fan to see them come up just short of making it to the Super Bowl.

The Browns have made it to the playoffs 28 times in their history but sadly only twice since 1989.

Minnesota Vikings Team Helmet

#1 Minnesota Vikings

I believe the greatest team never to a win a Super Bowl is the Minnesota Vikings. While their greatest years were in the 1970s, when they went to four straight Super Bowls and had arguably the most feared defense, this is a team that has shown its competitive nature in every decade.

The Vikings went to the playoffs 12 times from 1968 to 1980, four times from 1982 to 1989, six times from 1992 to 1999 and four times from 2000 to 2009.

The Vikings also have a 54 percent winning percentage in their history, which places them in the top 10 teams of all time.

If that wasn’t enough for you to digest, then consider the fact that the Vikings have been to the playoffs 26 times in their history.

The most impressive stat for me is that the Vikings have been to the NFC Championship eight times and have appeared in the game in every decade from the 1970s until 2009.

There’s no doubt in my mind that the Vikings have a great NFL history and are the greatest team never to win a Super Bowl title.

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  • kmoney

    His name is Joe Kapp.

  • My bad. Thanks for correcting that!

  • price

    The Vikings did not go to four straight Super Bowls in the 70s. That’s the bills of the 90s.
    The Vikes went to 4 over 8 years and one was during the 69 season so really they only went to 3 in the 70s, all in the 70s with Tarkenton and in the 60s with Joe Cap.