While I was waiting in the Sears Auto Center, NFL Live was on in their waiting area. Me, being a sports junkie,albeit one that likes teams that aren’t quite up to par, was watching rather attentively. At the end of their broadcast, they showed that 14 NFL teams have yet embraced the Vince Lombardi Trophy. For those that may not know, that is the trophy the teams hoist when they win the Super Bowl. Ten of those teams have played in a Super Bowl (or four…in a row, as is the case for the Buffalo Bills), but were not victorious.
What is about to follow is an attempt to rank these 14 teams as the best of the worst. These rankings will have taken into account what the teams have done recently to be successful in getting a ring as well as their entire history. With that being said, however, I am inclined to caution you as this is by no means scientific. These ranking are merely one man’s opinion. Feel free to agree or disagree.
Commence ranking now:
14. Cleveland Browns – The worst of the worst. From last to, well, last. The chances they have to win the Super Bowl this year, or in the next five years, is less than zero percent. Now, a Browns fan can always hold out hope that this season will be the year where they are actually competitive and that a 7-9 or 8-8 record will somehow be mustered together. But it’s exactly that thought process that poses some of the problems. Until that is changed and stability is brought within the organization, Cleveland fans will be left with “Remember the 50’s and 60’s when we won NFL Championships before they called it the Super Bowl?! Man, those were the days!”
13. Arizona Cardinals – The Cardinals have some players on offense, but I don’t think they utilize the weapons that they have effectively. Fitzgerald is a future Hall-of-Famer, but he doesn’t really have another wide receiver to help him out. Again, this is just my opinion, and I honestly don’t know too much about the Cardinals, this is my shot in the dark assessment. With a standout wide receiver, average quarterback, average running back, and overall an average team, I am confident in saying that the Cardinals are the epitome of mediocrity in the NFL. They may contend for a playoff spot in the upcoming years, but my crystal ball doesn’t show the Cardinals flying away with a ring.
12. Buffalo Bills – Ahh, the Bills. Let’s take a moment to remember the early 1990’s, also known as the glory days of failure to Bills fans. Four Super Bowls in a row, and four Super Bowl losses in a row. They had a good team, but they just couldn’t pull out a win. Enough living in the past though, let’s focus on the present and future. The Bills are a team like the Cardinals, they are mediocre at best and may contend for a playoff spot in the next few years, if they ever learn how to win close games, but I don’t see them being able to scratch their name off the list of teams to never win a Super Bowl anytime soon.
11. Seattle Seahawks – Seattle is probably a little high on this list, but they are a team, much like the Cardinals, that I don’t really pay attention or try to find information on. I’ll just leave it at that. They have more of a chance than my beloved Browns, but they are probably around the same chance as Arizona and Buffalo.
10. Minnesota Vikings – The Vikings do have things going for them, like having Adrian Peterson and Percy Harvin. They also have a defense that boasts Jared Allen and E.J. Henderson, both of whom I think are top notch players for their respective positions. They do lack, though, as I feel Christian Ponder is not the answer for them at quarterback. The Vikings also don’t have much depth on their roster. Aside from Harvin and tight end Visanthe Shiancoe, there isn’t anyone that can scare opposing defenses when Ponder gets in predicaments where he is forced to throw the ball.
9. Jacksonville Jaguars – Originally, Jacksonville was ranked #8 and the Titans were #9, solely because of the Jaguars having Maurice Jones-Drew. However, with that being said, the Jaguars have (on paper) Maurice Jones-Drew. If his holdout continues into preseason games, then I think his production will be similar to the likes of Titans RB Chris Johnson’s last season. Jones-Drew was the NFL’s leading rusher last season, though, and has been productive for the Jaguars his entire career. The Jaguars should recognize that, as well as the fact that he’s been a focal point of the offense during his entire tenure with the Jaguars and renegotiate his contract.
8. Tennessee Titans – As stated, I originally had Tennessee at #9 and Jacksonville at #8 on this list. However, due to changes in circumstances for Jacksonville, Tennessee moves ahead of them. While Chris Johnson had a horrible season last year due to his holdout, he was able to put together a few stellar performances to finish the year. I see him being able to continue where he left off, especially since he’s been in camp for the duration this season. With Nate Washington and rookie Kendall Wright at WR, as well as an above average defense, the Titans will at least contend for a playoff spot in my mind. Whether they make the playoffs or not, however, is another story not yet written.
7. Carolina Panthers – With Cam Newton behind center, the Panthers can strike at any time offensively, whether it’s with his arm or his legs. My questions come from the defensive side of the ball, as well as, okay, well, the rest of the team. The Panthers always seem to have an average defense, but I wonder if they can execute as well as they did last year and make a playoff push.
6. Cincinnati Bengals – Cincy has drafted well the last few years in my opinion. I personally like the Dalton to Green connection, however, I am reserved on saying that they will be able to improve upon last year because they both will be fighting “the Sophomore Slump” in my opinion. The Bengals also have a stellar defense that can keep them in the game if the offense does happen to falter any.
5. Houston Texans – Arian Foster is a beast! Andre Johnson is as well. Matt Schaub is spoiled to have them on his team. The defense was also stellar last season. Add an underrated tight end in Owen Daniels and the Texans, at least in my mind, have a decent shot to get to the conference championship, but not too sure about the Super Bowl yet.
4. Atlanta Falcons – The Falcons always seem to fly under the radar, yet they are still always in the playoff hunt. It’s only a matter of time before Matt Ryan and Julio Jones place the team on their backs with Michael Turner and get to the Super Bowl. Then again, maybe I’m a little more biased because of the great southern hospitality I received for the 45 minutes I was in Atlanta (and it was only the airport.).
3. San Diego Chargers – Philip Rivers needs to step up as a QB and leader in order for the Chargers to remove themselves from this list. It also doesn’t really help when the workhorse running back (Ryan Matthews) gets injured, which will probably be around game 7 of this year if they’re lucky. Nonetheless, San Diego has enough offensive weapons and a defense that can stop opposing teams when they please, so they are never out of the picture.
2. Philadelphia Eagles – The dream team turned nightmare from last season. So far this preseason it’s seem as if Philly has a renewed focus, but they still raise questions for me. Can Mike Vick return to pre-dog fighting form? Can he improve in the pocket? Will DeSean Jackson disappear for half a season again? Only time will tell. They do seem to be more focused this year compared to last year, where I felt like they were overvaluing their own talent. I’m talking about the players in that last statement.
1. Detroit Lions – I know most “expert analysts” are saying Philadelphia is the best bet to win their first Super Bowl. Guess what? I’m not an “expert analyst”. Well, I like to think I’m an expert in a lot of areas, including football, but will not claim to be. Plus, I just like the Lions better. They’ve gone from nothing to something in a year or two. They’re defense has improved tenfold, along with their offense. Both sides of the ball have talented young players that are going to be around for awhile. And they have Megatron saying, “Decepticons, begin our assault.” Also just a side note, does anyone else think Stafford should be nicknamed Starscream?
Originally posted on Tricycle Offense.