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The Super Bowl's almost-champions: Teams with multiple appearances but no wins

Super Bowl XXVII
Buffalo Bills Super Bowl XXVII

The Super Bowl is the most prestigious prize in the NFL. It is a game played between the AFC and NFC champions to determine the league's overall best team for the season. Out of the current 32 teams, 12 have never won a Super Bowl.

Furthermore, five of those 12 teams have made multiple appearances in the Bowl without a victory.

Here is a list of teams that have missed out on the opportunity to become Bowl champions on multiple occasions. These teams will be remembered for their blunders on the big stage.


Tied #1 Minnesota Vikings (4 appearances)

Minnesota Vikings
Minnesota Vikings

The Minnesota Vikings went to their first Super Bowl game in 1969, but lost to the Kansas City Chiefs 23-7 despite being heavy favorites.

The team was led by quarterback Joe Kapp, who holds the record for the most passing touchdowns (7) in a single NFL game. The Vikings went on to make three more appearances (1973, 1974, and 1976), but lost all of them.

The team has a reputation for faltering in big games as they have also lost every NFC Championship game they've been to since 1978.


Tied #1 Buffalo Bills (4 appearances)

Buffalo Bills
Buffalo Bills

The Buffalo Bills have made four appearances in the Super Bowl, but have yet to win it.

Their first appearance in the big game was against the New York Giants in 1990, when they lost by a single point, 20-19. What's interesting was that they made four consecutive Bowl appearances from 1990-1993.

They are the first and only team to have made four consecutive appearances. Furthermore, they were also the first team to win four consecutive AFC Championship games.

The @Bengals have multiple tools at their disposal to win. So good news, Cincinnati - this team is the real deal.Can the Bengals march through the playoffs to avenge last year's Super Bowl loss?๐Ÿ“บ: #BALvsCIN โ€” Sunday 8:15pm ET on NBC๐Ÿ“ฑ: Stream on NFL+https://t.co/WQXwfjYIsf

#2 Cincinnati Bengals (3 appearances)

Super Bowl LVI - Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals
Super Bowl LVI - Los Angeles Rams v Cincinnati Bengals

The Cincinnati Bengals made appearances in the Super Bowl in the 1981, 1988, and 2021 seasons.

However, they failed to win any of them. In the 1990s and early 2000s, the Bengals had a poor run of form, going 14 years without a playoff appearance or a winning record.

Their most recent appearance in the Bowl was in 2021, when they faced off against the Los Angeles Rams. They lost with a score of 23-20. 2021 marked the first time in 31 years that the Bengals won a playoff game.


Tied #3 Carolina Panthers (2 appearances)

- Carolina Panthers v Denver Broncos
- Carolina Panthers v Denver Broncos

Despite making two appearances in the big game, the Carolina Panthers are yet to win it. As the 29th franchise to be added to the NFL, they joined in 1993 and began playing in 1995.

In 2003, the Panthers made their first Bowl appearance, where they lost to the New England Patriots by a score of 32-29. They made their second appearance 12 years later, only to lose to the Denver Broncos.

Unfortunately, the Panthers have struggled in recent years and have failed to reach the playoffs since 2017.


Tied #3 Atlanta Falcons (2 appearances)

- New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons
- New England Patriots v Atlanta Falcons

The Atlanta Falcons have an all-time record of 379-487-6. The team made its first Bowl appearance in 1998 against the then-defending champions, the Denver Broncos, in Super Bowl XXXIII. Despite a strong effort, they lost the game 34-19.

Super Bowl XXXIII saw the AFC Champion Denver Broncos repeat as SB winners defeating the 1st time participant NFC Champion Atlanta Falcons 34-19 at the renamed Pro Player Stadium in Miami on January 31, 1999. Denver QB John Elway was the game MVP https://t.co/8IBXOf0Kxa

The Falcons' most recent Bowl appearance was in 2017 when they faced the New England Patriots in Super Bowl LI. They lost the game 34-28 in a heartbreaking fashion, as the Patriots made one of the largest comebacks in NFL history, famously known as the "28-3 game."

Despite their lack of success, the Falcons have a strong and dedicated fanbase who support the team through their ups and downs.

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Edited by Nicolaas Ackermann
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