With the 2022 NFL season just around the corner, it is time to begin talking about Super Bowl favorites and other best NFL bets. Along with looking at favorites comes the conversation of teams who have long waited for a first Super Bowl win and some a first Super Bowl appearance. There are 12 NFL teams that have not won a Super Bowl since the first one in the 1966 season, but below you will find the five longest droughts without one.
#1 Detroit Lions – 56 years (tied)
It is not surprising that the Detroit Lions are on this list as they have just 64 wins over the last ten years and are one of the four teams in the Super Bowl era to have a winless season. The Lions are also one of four teams to not appear in a Super Bowl. Prior to the NFL/AFL merger, the last time the Lions played in an NFL championship game was in the 1957 season. Along with that, Detroit has won only one playoff game which was during the 1991 season, and holds the league’s longest postseason win drought.
#2 Cleveland Browns – 56 years (tied)
Tied with the Lions is another team that isn’t a surprise to be on the list, the Cleveland Browns. Along with the Lions, the Browns are one of the four teams to have a winless season in the Super Bowl era and one of the four teams to never appear in the Super Bowl. Also, like the Lions, the Browns did win an NFL championship prior to the merger in 1964. Until 2020, the Browns had 25 years without a playoff win. With their current situation/drama, it will likely be more than 60 years before the Browns even appear in a Super Bowl.
#3 New York Jets – 53 years
Unlike the two teams above, the New York Jets have not only appeared in a Super Bowl, but they have also won one. The New York Jets won Super Bowl III in 1969 but have not appeared in one since then. Like the above teams, the Jets have struggled to make it to the playoffs over the years and hold the longest active streak without appearing in a playoff game which is now at 11 seasons. 2010 was the last time they played in the playoffs, but with just 27 wins since 2016, who knows when they will be back in the Super Bowl, let alone the playoffs.
#4 Minnesota Vikings – 45 years
The Minnesota Vikings, like the Jets, have appeared in the Super Bowl before but join the Lions and Browns on the list of teams to not win one. The Vikings have appeared in four Super Bowls (1970, 1974, 1975, and 1977) and are tied for the record of most Super Bowl appearances without winning one. Since their last Super Bowl appearance, the Vikings have played in the NFC Championship game six times, losing all six, with their 38-7 loss to the Eagles in 2018 being their most recent. As a state, Minnesota hasn’t had a championship team in its four major sports (NFL, NBA, MLB, NHL) since 1991, when the Twins won the World Series. Not only are the Vikings due for a Super Bowl win/appearance, but the state of Minnesota is more than due. Out of the three teams above, the Vikings have made the best effort to end their drought.
#5 Miami Dolphins – 37 years
The fifth-longest drought without a Super Bowl appearance goes to the Miami Dolphins, who have not appeared in one since Super Bowl XIX. As a franchise, the Dolphins have played in five Super Bowls and join the Jets as the only other team on this list to win one as they won back-to-back Super Bowls in 1972 and 1973. During the 1972 season, the Dolphins finished the season undefeated becoming the only NFL team to finish a season as the champion. The Dolphins have not played in a playoff game since 2017, which is the third-longest active streak without one, and are second on the list of longest streaks without a playoff win at 21 seasons.
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