As I’m sure you know, two Sundays ago Seattle won the Super Bowl. Not only Super Bowl, their first Super Bowl, stripping the franchise off the list. The list being franchises who have never won a Super Bowl. It’s a sad list to be a part of, but in fairness it’s a decently large list-13 teams.
I realize the NFL is constantly changing, but In the spirit of premature predictions, let’s talk about who’s next to come off the list. Is it premature to talk about the Super Bowls to come? Yes. But as I lounged last Sunday, my TV barren of football, I couldn’t help but think forward to next season (204 days, btw). ANYWAYS, here we go. I ranked teams based on a formula that took into consideration multiple factors from performance in the past three years including but not limited to wins and losses, improvement and playoff appearances. Other factors included strength of schedule and division/conference strength. From least to most likely to win a Super Bowl soon:
13. The Cleveland Browns
The Browns actually used to win championships all the time… In the 50′s. Sadly enough, they’ve never made it to an actual Super Bowl. The Browns are constantly the butt of NFL jokes and they seem to have no intentions to change that, unless you count the merry-go-round which is their employment roster. James Haslam just sucks. In the past three seasons they’ve managed to win 13 games and lose 35. And there last playoff appearance? 2002.
12. The Jacksonville Jaguars
Though they did improve by two wins from the 2012 season, that’s not saying much. They still lost 12 games. Like the Browns, the Jaguars have never been to a Super Bowl. They’ve made it to the AFC Championship twice, but failed to come away victorious both times. Last year, both their offense and defense managed to rank in the bottom 10 of the NFL. It’s not looking likely.
11. The Buffalo Bills
The Bills are currently enduring a playoff drought that has lasted 14 seasons. They have gone 6-10 for the three years. Even though that record is less than impressive, at least they’re consistent, right? I’m sure any Bills fan would say no. The Bills have actually been to four Super Bowls, but sadly lost all of them.
10. The Tennessee Titans
The Titans were only slightly under .5 last season, but they also had the 10th easiest schedule in the NFL. The Tennessee offense isn’t good, flat out. In reality, they haven’t been absolutely atrocious in the past few years, but they haven’t really been on the come up either. They’re just chillin’. Last time they made the playoffs were 2008.
BUT ADRIAN PETERSON (I heard this collectively in my head from Vikings fans as I listed Vikings ninth). The 2013 season was quite disappointing compared to 2012, when they actually made the playoffs. In order to skip forward on this list, they need to better their defense and develop a more versatile offense.
It was pretty shocking to watch a team go from 12 wins to two. And sad. The bright side is that dismal season has landed them the number one draft pick! Assuming everyone on their roster is healthy unlike last season, and they make wise draft selections, they should fair much better next year than they did this year, which was dismal. Oh, and that whole QB situation…
It was downright sad to watch the Lions implode last season. All it took was one weekend for the team to fall from first to third and never return. Matt Stafford captained the sinking ship. In their defense, the Lions did have the second hardest schedule in the NFL this year. How will next few seasons go? Who knows. For sure, they have easier schedule. Granted Stafford cleans up and Megatron keeps beasting, it could actually turn out quite well. It also might be wise of them to hang on to soon-to-be free agent Ndamukong Suh, as well as look at other ways to improve their defense.
I struggled in choosing where to place the Falcons on this list. Like the Texans, they had a stellar 2012 season followed by a complete dud. Except they have a much better quart back than Matt Ryan, and quarterbacks are often times key to success. Unfortunately, there are some definite roadblocks to future success for the Falcons. This season’s schedule will be tougher than the last and they play in a division with both the Saints and Panthers.
The Cardinal’s defense is tough. To advance in this list, they need to fill the offensive gaps. Downsides: Carson Palmer isn’t getting much younger (also: could he even get the job done?) and they play in a division with both Seattle and the 49ers. Next year their schedule isn’t getting any easier.
Phillip Rivers can do this, I have faith. They emerged from a division with two very good teams: the Chiefs and the Broncos. We all know how the story ended, but overall it’s a good sign for the Chargers: progress. They’re getting better. This is a team that had a losing record the season before the last. Something to note however, last year they had the second easiest schedule in the league. Next year they have the fourth hardest.
Yes, number three is indeed the Bengals. The franchise that once went 23 (23!) seasons without a single playoff victory. Andy Dalton did suck in the play offs this year, but realistically the Bengals have a chance to make it to the Super Bowl soon, especially coming out of the AFC. Dalton does need to do better however, if they want this to happen.
The Eagles we’re deadly last year. The only thing they were missing was a good defense. If this is what Chip Kelly could do year one, just imagine year two. Nick Foles should also continue to flourish as he accumulates more time as the Eagle’s starting QB.
Started from the bottom now they’re here. How? Cam Newton. And a good defense. I don’t see the Panthers taking a nose dive anytime soon.
As previously stated, I realize the NFL can change a lot in even one season, so this is an evolving list. Drafts, trades and other events over the course of the year may require reconsideration of franchise position, but for now the list stands. Anyone who deserves a promotion or a demotion?