Best Teams To Never Win The Super Bowl
Here’s a list of the best NFL teams that fell just a little short:
10. 1983 Washington Redskins
Coming off a Super Bowl win in the '82 strike shortened season, the 1983 Redskins looked poised to win back-to-back Super Bowls. After losing the first game of the season against the Dallas Cowboys, the Redskins won 16 of their next 17 games including NFC playoff games. This Joe Gibbs led team finished the regular season 14-2 which is still tied for the franchise record. Washington’s offense lead the NFL that year with an average of 33.8 points scored per game. Quarterback Joe Theismann made his only All-Pro team that year and hall of fame running back John Riggins rushed for 1,347 yards and 24 touchdowns. Unfortunately for the Redskins, they ran into a very tough Los Angeles Raiders team in the Super Bowl who they had already beaten that season. The second time around, the Raiders killed the ‘Skins 38-9 in Super Bowl XVIII.
9. 1998 Minnesota Vikings
Even though this team didn’t make the Super Bowl, they still deserve to be on this list. Minnesota and Denver both started 7-0 that season. Denver actually won their first 13 games, but then lost two of their last three while Minnesota ended the season at 15-1. Coach Dennis Green and offensive coordinator Brian Billick assembled one of the greatest offenses with quarterback Randall Cunningham, running back Robert Smith and future hall of fame receivers Chris Carter and Randy Moss. The offense scored a record 556 points. All-Pro defensive end John Randle led the Vikings ferocious defense. But at the Metrodome in the NFC Championship, the Atlanta Falcons upset the Super Bowl hopeful Vikings in overtime 30-27. Then, the near perfect Broncos whooped the Falcons 34-19 in Super Bowl XXIII. Fans will always remember that Super Bowl not for what it was, but for what it could have been.
8. 2009 Indianapolis Colts
Much like 1998, the 2009 NFL season saw a team from each conference go undefeated deep into the season with Indianapolis 14-0 and New Orleans 13-0. In addition to QB Peyton Manning, Indianapolis had WRs Reggie Wayne, Pierre Garcon, Austin Collie, TE Dallas Clark and RB Joseph Addai. It looked as if the Colts would finish the regular season undefeated, but then mysteriously removed their starters in the second half from a game against the Jets. The Colts would lose that game and the next, but still finished with a team record 14 wins. Ironically, the Colts met the Jets again in the AFC title game where Indianapolis simply outmatched New York and won 31-17. The NFL got its dream Super Bowl of Colts vs. Saints for Super Bowl XLIV, but it was Manning who threw the crucial interception to clinch a Saints victory. Indianapolis has not won 14 games since that loss.
7. 1997 Green Bay Packers
Many fans forget that Green Bay came within one game of becoming only the second NFL team to repeat as back-to-back Super Bowl Champions twice (maybe something they will get this season). Green Bay won 13 games that year and 13 games the previous Super Bowl year. Gun slinging quarterback Brett Favre was in his prime throwing to wide receivers Robert Brooks and Antonio Freeman. To help complement Favre’s 3,867 passing yards and 35 touchdowns, running back Dorsey Levens ran for 1,435 yards and seven touchdowns. Also, the defense featured All-Pro safety LeRoy Butler and 13-time Pro Bowl hall of famer Reggie White. The Packers entered Super Bowl XXII as eleven point favorites against John Elway’s Denver Broncos. The game went back and forth, but eventually saw Denver defeated Green Bay 31-24. Instead of the Packers repeat, the Broncos repeated the following year.
6. 1969 Minnesota Vikings
Poor Vikings; they are one of two franchises to go to four Super Bowls and lose them all and their 15-1 ’98 team couldn’t even make the Super Bowl. The average fan probably doesn’t know much about the 1969 Vikings, I mean the Metrodome didn’t even exist yet. Yes, the Vikings at one point played their games outside in the snow and freezing cold. It was one of the biggest home field advantages at the time. Of all of Bud Grant’s teams (Vikings head coach), this one was probably his best. Minnesota finished 12-2 that year and ranked first in points per game with 27.1 and first in points allowed per game with an astonishing 9.5. Quarterback Joe Kapp and hall of fame defensive lineman Alan Page led their respective units. This was the last season before the NFL-AFL merger and Minnesota ran into a very innovative Hank Stram Chiefs offense in Super Bowl IV. Kansas City defeated Minnesota handedly 24-7.