The Super Bowl is one of the most-watched television events that takes place each year. Having the team you root for play in the Super Bowl means two weeks of hype and anticipation leading up to the game. Knowing the world is watching your team play can give a fan pride, excitement, and hope for a glorious night of celebration. But not every fan has experienced this kind of build-up in their lifetime. Some fan bases have never been able to enjoy the glory of being in a Super Bowl at all.
NFL Teams With No Super Bowl Win
There are twelve teams in the NFL that have never won a Super Bowl. Four franchises have never played in the game at all. The following eight teams have been to the Super Bowl at least once but have never won:
Originally the Houston Oilers, the franchise relocated to Tennessee and changed its name in 1997. Two years later, the 1999 Tennessee Titans made it to the Super Bowl but lost to the “Greatest Show on Turf” St. Louis Rams.
Los Angeles Chargers
The Los Angeles Chargers began as a charter member of the American Football League in 1960 and relocated to San Diego in 1961. The team then returned to Los Angeles in 2017. The only time the Chargers franchise has been to a Super Bowl was in 1994 when they lost to the San Francisco 49ers 49-26.
The Arizona Cardinals franchise was originally the Chicago Cardinals, and its inception dates all the way back to 1898. The Cardinals moved to St. Louis in 1960 and agreed to move to Arizona after the 1987 season. The only version of the Cardinals that has appeared in a Super Bowl came in 2008 when Arizona lost to the Pittsburgh Steelers 27-23.
The Panthers were added to the league in 1995 with the Jacksonville Jaguars and made it to their first Super Bowl eight years later. The 2003 Panthers lost Super Bowl XXXVIII 32-29 to the New England Patriots. The Panthers reached the Super Bowl again in 2015 but lost to the Denver Broncos 24-10.
The 2016 Falcons famously blew a 28-3 lead in the third quarter against the Patriots in Super Bowl LI. The Patriots 25-point comeback was the largest in Super Bowl history. The Falcon’s other appearance came in 1998 when they lost Super Bowl XXXIII to the Denver Broncos.
The Bengals have appeared in two Super Bowls, with the latest coming in 1988 when they lost Super Bowl XXIII to the San Francisco 49ers. Before that, the 1981 Bengals lost once again to the 49ers in Super Bowl XVI.
The Buffalo Bills famously made it to four straight Super Bowls from 1990 to 1993. In their first appeance, they were defeated by the New York Giants 20-19. Their second appearance came against the Washington Redskins and ended in a 37-24 loss. Their final two appearances and losses came against the Dallas Cowboys in back to back years.
In 1969, the Minnesota Vikings rode a dominant defense to a championship in the final year before the NFL merged with the AFL. After the merger, however, the Vikings have failed to win the Super Bowl despite four appearances.
Which NFL Teams Have Never Been to a Super Bowl?
There are just four franchises that have never been to the Super Bowl, and two are relatively recent expansion teams.
- Houston Texans – Added to the NFL in 2002
- Jacksonville Jaguars – Added to the NFL in 1995
- Detroit Lions – Added to the NFL in 1930
- Cleveland Browns – Added to the NFL in 1950
The Texans have made the playoffs six times in total, and all six have come since 2011. Despite making it to the playoffs more often than not in the past decade, the Texans have never made it past the divisional round.
The Jaguars nearly made it to the Super Bowl in 2018. After leading for the majority of the AFC Championship game against the Patriots, New England ultimately prevailed 24-20.
The Lions have won three NFL championships: first in 1935, again in 1952 and 1953. The Lions lost the championship in 1954 and then won it a final time in 1957. When it comes to Super Bowls, though, the Lions have never played in one.
The original franchise moved to Baltimore in 1996 to become the Baltimore Ravens. The Ravens have gone on to win two Super Bowls. A new expansion Cleveland Browns were added again to the NFL in 1999.
Longest Super Bowl Appearance Droughts
These six teams have waited at least 30 years since being in the Super Bowl:
- Bengals – 30 seasons
- Dolphins – 32 seasons
- Vikings – 42 seasons
- Jets – 50 seasons
- Browns – 53 seasons
- Lions – 53 seasons