New England Patriots v New York Giants

Top 5 NFL teams that didn't win a Super Bowl

It would be pretty easy to saturate this article full of the New Orleans Saints' failures in the Playoffs for the past four years.


That being said, there have been teams throughout the history of the NFL that were even more dominant than the Saints were towards the back end of Drew Brees' career, yet still these franchises failed to add to their legacy with a Super Bowl win.

Some of the teams in this article were able to go unbeaten throughout the regular season; rack up record points; have their QB break records, and have their defense shut down every blade of grass out on the field -- it didn't matter! The Super Bowl still eluded these teams; their greatness forever tarnished.

But not here! For here, they shall be honored!

Let's cast an eye at some of the biggest upsets on record as we delve into the top 5 NFL teams that had all the talent in the world, but failed to win a Super Bowl.

5) 1998 Minnesota Vikings

New Orleans Saints v Minnesota Vikings

Record: 15-1, NFC Central champion


Heading into the playoffs, the Minnesota Vikings had lost just one game all year (Bucs 24-27). All that exciting football and on-field success allowed Vikings fans to dream, and who could blame them? Their team was a force to be reckoned with; not least on offense.

The Vikings' record-breaking offense (most points scored) was incredible in 1998, hands down one of the most fun teams to watch ever.

In one of the best comeback stories of all-time, QB Randall Cunningham returned to football with the Vikings after a season's hiatus and finished with 3,704-yards and 34 TDs, helped in no small part by Randy Moss and Cris Carter, who formed a lethal receiving threat. Many analysts have called the pair the best WR1/WR2 pairing in football history.

Long story short, the Vikings were a lot of fun to watch.


Every football fan expected to see that terrific Vikings' offense make it to the Super Bowl in 98, where they were expected to do battle with Jon Elway's Denver Broncos. It was written in the stars...

All the Vikings needed to do was simply dispose of a plucky Falcons team in the NFC Conference Championship. Simple.

The Falcons clearly didn't understand the modus operandi, however, taking the game into overtime.

Gary Anderson missed a crunch, game-winning field goal for the Vikings, and the rest is history: the Falcons won 30-27.


Fast forward 23-years and the Vikings are still awaiting their first franchise Super Bowl win.

4) Washington Redskins, 1983-84

Record: 14-2

Having won a Super Bowl in the 1982-83 season, the Washington Redskins entered the 1983-84 campaign as the favorites, and they wasted little time in reminding everybody why. With the notable exception of the fine Cowboys and Packers teams of that time, the legendary Joe Gibbs' Washington team smashed through the competition en route to a 14-2 record and appeared to be a surefire bet to defend their title once they got back to the Super Bowl.

Washington would go on to meet the Los Angeles Raiders, a team they'd beaten 37-35 earlier that year, in a game that many consider one of the very best in NFL history.

The likes of Joe Theismann, John Riggins and co. were outplayed in the rematch at the Super Bowl. The Raiders took the spoils, winning easily -- 38-9.

As great a side as they were, Riggs and Washington would have to wait another four years before they could get their hands on another Lombardi.


3) Los Angeles Rams, 1973-74

Record: 14-2

The 1973 Rams started and ended their season with six straight wins. Statistically speaking, they were dominant, leading the league in point differential and turnover margin.

On offense, QB John Hadl threw for 2,008 yards (8th in the league) and 22 touchdowns, one behind the great Cowboys QB, Roger Staubach. In Harold Jackson, the Rams also had the receiver who led the NFL with 13 TD receptions, which is even more impressive when you consider that head coach Chuck Knox's offense ran the ball 70% of the time.

Much like in the modern NFL, where Aaron Donald reigns supreme in Los Angeles, the 1973 Rams defense is often cited as being one of the best in history. In 1973 it conceded just 178 total points, leading the league in rushing yards allowed against and giving up a stingy five touchdowns on the ground.

The 1973 Rams sent eight players to the Pro Bowl; three of which were named first-team All-Pros.

As great as it all sounds, this excellent Rams incarnation went down to the Dallas Cowboys 27-16 in the Divisional Round of the Playoffs.


In truth, this was the beginning of the great Rams' team that went on to win six Division championships, but it took the franchise more than 25 years to win its first Super Bowl (2000).

2. Buffalo Bills, 1990-91

Record: 13-3

The Buffalo Bills made the Super Bowl four times in four years and lost each time. But this 1990-91 defeat was probably the most heartbreaking of them all: the Bills came within inches of beating the Giants, losing in the final by a single point.

The Bills had an elite-level QB in Jim Kelley. The running game was strong, too, headed up by Thurman Thomas, who rushed for 1,297-yards and 11 TDs. The defense was great: it featured Defensive Player of the Year Bruce Smith. There certainly weren't many chinks in the Bills' armor back in 1990; this was a team that should have won a Super Bowl.

Unfortunately, this happened:

Scott Norwood missed his field goal attempt, and the Bills came as close as they ever have to a Super Bowl win.

Things are certainly looking up with Josh Allen and Stefon Diggs showcasing their talents at the newly-named Highfield Stadium though, huh Bills fans?


1) New England Patriots, 2007-08

New England Patriots v New York Giants

Record: 16-0

The 2007 New England Patriots went 16-0 and set an NFL record for most points scored in the history of the league.

Tom Brady threw for 4,870-yards and an incredible 50 TDs on the year, many of which were taken to the crib by receivers Randy Moss and Wes Welker. Randy Moss finished up the regular season with 1,493 receiving yards and 23 TDs, which is still an NFL record.

Nobody thought the Patriots could be beaten when they faced off against the Giants at the Super Bowl. Bill Belichick's men were heavy betting favorites.

Things didn't go as planned. The Giants' defense put pressure on Brady and upset the Pats' passing offense.

Eli Manning and co. had just enough on offense to eke out a famous 17-14 Super Bowl victory fothe Giants, but the 16-0 Patriots had to wait a decade before their next Super Bowl win.

Edited by
Shivam Damohe
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