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Moller: The most disappointing NFL teams

| Tuesday, February 15, 2022

As I was watching the Super Bowl on Sunday as a proud Minnesota Vikings fan, I could not help but feel a bit sorry for myself yet again. Although the Vikings have made four Super Bowls (all long before I was born), they have lost them all, and I have witnessed two NFC Championship losses in my lifetime. It’s a tough life. Along with the Vikings, there are plenty of other disappointing franchises. I’ll rank the most disappointing franchises in the NFL. While simply being bad qualifies a team as disappointing, the teams ranked highest on the list are teams that have been good enough to win playoff games but have come up short of a Super Bowl.

  1. Atlanta Falcons: The Falcons are 0-2 in Super Bowls, and the main reason they are on this list is their infamous loss to the Patriots in Super Bowl LI in which they blew a 28-3 lead. The pain of that loss doesn’t just go away, and it will be felt until this franchise gets a ring.
  1. Detroit Lions: Matthew Stafford winning the Super Bowl in his first year away from the Lions shows just how atrocious this team is. Since 1957, the Lions have won only one playoff game (1991). The Lions have also not won a division title since 1993 when they were still in the Central Division. They currently have a eight game losing streak in the playoffs as well.
  1. Cleveland Browns: Disappointing is an understatement. This franchise has been an embarrassment for a while and has struggled to make the playoffs with any consistency. Before finally winning a playoff game in 2020, they hadn’t made the playoffs since 2002 or won a playoff game since 1994. On paper, it looks like the Browns should have had one of the better teams over the last couple of seasons, but they have been mediocre at best.
  1. Cincinnati Bengals: With Sunday’s disappointing loss to the Rams, the Bengals move up to number three on the list because of their three Super Bowl losses and consistent struggles in the playoffs. Before their stunning Super Bowl run this season, the Bengals had lost eight straight playoff games dating back to 1990. In the teams’ three Super Bowl losses, the Bengals have lost by a combined 12 points. This team has struggled consistently, and they have been all so close to finally getting a ring, but they just can’t seem to get over the hump.
  1. Minnesota Vikings: The Vikings are an interesting case. The Vikings rank seventh in the NFL in all time winning percentage, and they are no strangers to the playoffs by any means. Despite their success in the regular season, the team’s kryptonite seems to be a Super Bowl ring, as they are 0-4 in Super Bowls. Despite their poor record, the Vikings haven’t made a Super Bowl since their loss to Oakland in 1977. This doesn’t mean they haven’t been successful, though, as they have lost in a staggering five NFC Championship games since that loss in 1977. Two losses that stick out are the losses in 1998 and 2009 in which the Vikings lost both games on game winning field goals in overtime. 
  1. Buffalo Bills: Despite the Vikings’ misfortunes, the Bills check in at number one. The Bills had arguably one of the greatest runs ever in the 1990s, making four Super Bowls in a row. Unfortunately for the Bills, they lost all four of those games by an average of 16.5 points per game. The most painful of these losses was definitely the loss in Super Bowl XXV to the Giants. The Bills lost 20-19 on a field goal that famously went “wide right.” it seems like the Bills have been jinxed since then. Their struggles in the playoffs as of late have shown the curse still persists, especially after their stunning defensive collapse against the Chiefs in this year’s playoffs.

    Honorable Mention: Chicago Bears, Jacksonville Jaguars, Houston Texans, New York Jets

The views expressed in this column are those of the author and not necessarily those of The Observer.

About Nate Moller

Nate is a junior majoring in chemical engineering. He is originally from a suburb of St. Paul, Minnesota and is currently living in Siegfried Hall. Some of his passions include running, cross country skiing, and getting too worked up about Notre Dame and Minnesota sports teams.

Contact Nate