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MCM0313

Best NFL teams of Super Bowl era to NOT go to the Super Bowl

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In no order, here are my Top 10:

 

1999 Jaguars - Lost to no one but the Titans in either the regular season or the postseason.

1998 Vikings - Points. Lots of points.

1987 Saints - Dome Patrol at their peak, but a wild-card entry because of...

1987 49ers - 13-2 but lost to Minnesota somehow.

1996 Broncos - Sadly, their playoff loss to Jacksonville was their last game before the uniform change.

1985 Dolphins - They still had a very formidable offense the year after Marino set all those records.

2011 Packers - 15-1, but when the Giants are hot you don't get in their way...

1979 Chargers - At 12-4, the best record of Fouts' career. Unlike many other Charger teams from that era, this one actually had a defense too.

1975 Cardinals - Another Coryell team that didn't produce in the playoffs. Amazingly, their 11-3 record was the worst of the NFC's division winners that season, behind the Vikings and the...

1975 Rams - 9.6 points allowed per game. Beat the Cardinals in the playoffs but got trounced by the Cowboys in the NFC title game.

 

Bonus:

2004 Steelers - Sorry, but these guys weren't as good as their 15-1 record would seem to indicate.

 

Honorable Mention: 1975 Vikings- Upset by Dallas in the divisional round, but they went to several other Super Bowls in the same time period. Their big thing was not being able to win the Super Bowl, rather than not being able to get there...not only are the Vikings 0-4 all-time in the Super Bowl, but they haven't even held a lead or scored a first-half Super Bowl point...ever.

 

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4 hours ago, MCM0313 said:

In no order, here are my Top 10:

 

1999 Jaguars - Lost to no one but the Titans in either the regular season or the postseason.

1998 Vikings - Points. Lots of points.

1987 Saints - Dome Patrol at their peak, but a wild-card entry because of...

1987 49ers - 13-2 but lost to Minnesota somehow.

1996 Broncos - Sadly, their playoff loss to Jacksonville was their last game before the uniform change.

1985 Dolphins - They still had a very formidable offense the year after Marino set all those records.

2011 Packers - 15-1, but when the Giants are hot you don't get in their way...

1979 Chargers - At 12-4, the best record of Fouts' career. Unlike many other Charger teams from that era, this one actually had a defense too.

1975 Cardinals - Another Coryell team that didn't produce in the playoffs. Amazingly, their 11-3 record was the worst of the NFC's division winners that season, behind the Vikings and the...

1975 Rams - 9.6 points allowed per game. Beat the Cardinals in the playoffs but got trounced by the Cowboys in the NFC title game.

 

Bonus:

2004 Steelers - Sorry, but these guys weren't as good as their 15-1 record would seem to indicate.

 

Honorable Mention: 1975 Vikings- Upset by Dallas in the divisional round, but they went to several other Super Bowls in the same time period. Their big thing was not being able to win the Super Bowl, rather than not being able to get there...not only are the Vikings 0-4 all-time in the Super Bowl, but they haven't even held a lead or scored a first-half Super Bowl point...ever.

 

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5 hours ago, chcarlson23 said:

miracle-max.png?w=687

Hey, I'm a Bengals fan. Last playoff win they had was before I started watching football.

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2006 New England Patriots - sadly, they haven't won a Super Bowl now for 3 months.

 

Honestly though, that game was way worse than the Tyree Bowl.  For all their success, there have been enough historical failures to appease some of the haters.

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4 hours ago, 2001mark said:

2006 New England Patriots - sadly, they haven't won a Super Bowl now for 3 months.

 

Honestly though, that game was way worse than the Tyree Bowl.  For all their success, there have been enough historical failures to appease some of the haters.

 

Dude really?  They were a 4 seed that season....because they lost to the Colts in Foxborough.

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On ‎5‎/‎12‎/‎2017 at 7:44 AM, 2001mark said:

2006 New England Patriots - sadly, they haven't won a Super Bowl now for 3 months.

 

Honestly though, that game was way worse than the Tyree Bowl.  For all their success, there have been enough historical failures to appease some of the haters.

No, there hasn't. For every 1976 or 1985, there's a 2001 tuck-rule game or 2014 comeback-from-14-twice game.

 

Anyways, here are my best teams to never win a Super Bowl:

 

1. 1998 Vikings: What some say is the best offense ever failed to even make the Super Bowl. Such is the life of the Vikings. They're lower than the two above because they didn't qualify for the Super Bowl, and the Falcons (who beat the Vikings) actually had a damn good team in '98 (14-2).

2. 1996 Broncos: This Broncos squad was arguably their best ever (in my opinion better than the '97 team). They won 13 straight to begin the season and rested their starters to end the year. They seemed to be on a collision course to meet Green Bay in the Super Bowl (who also went 13-3). But they lay a massive egg against 2nd year Jacksonville at home. If not for '97 and '98, this game may have been the defining moment in Elway's career.

3. 2011 Packers: The defending champs ran up to a 15-1 record, but didn't even win a playoff game. This season gets to easily forgotten.

4. 2010 Patriots: Because they didn't win a playoff game this team is forgotten, but the Patriots went 14-2 behind league MVP Tom Brady. They defeated both Super Bowl participants (Steelers and Packers) and sheered every team they faced, including a 45-3 stomping of the Jets. Ironically, it was the Jets who ended the Pats season in January.

5. 1999 Jaguars: 14-2, defeated the Dolphins in historic fashion in the Divisional, only to lose to their nemesis in the AFC Championship. The Titans went 3-0 against the Jags; everyone else went 0-15.

6. 1990 49ers: They may have lost to a great Giants team, but this 49ers team was one of the best teams ever. Montana, Rice and Craig were all still in their prime and ran through the NFC with a 14-2 record. But the Giants knocked Montana out of the game, and a late fumble let the Giants milk the clock and score the game winning field goal. I'm not sure there's a 49er fan who doesn't know about this game.

7. 1995 Chiefs: The best of the Schottenheimer Chiefs teams (IMO), the Chiefs had one of the leagues best defenses and the league's best record at 13-3 to go into the post season. But like all Schottenheimer teams, they struggled in the playoffs and against the Harbaugh-led Colts, they lost 10-7.

8. 2006 Chargers: Schottenheimer makes the list again, this time with another AFC West team. The Chargers went 14-2 with a balanced offense and entering the post season were heavy favorites to win it all. But then Tom Brady happened, and he surgically decapitated the Chargers in the Divisional playoff. The game is famous for Brady throwing a pick late in the 4th quarter, only for San Diego to fumble it back to New England to seal the win.

9.1980 Browns: Arguably the best Browns team ever, the cardiac kids never seemed to quit in a game. The nabbed the #1 seed behind MVP Brian Sipe and seemed destined for the big dance. But a questionable call to go for it rather than tie the game late in the 4th quarter in the Divisional round against Oakland backfired, and the Browns were sent home while Oakland eventually won it all.

10. 1981 Chargers: "Air Coryell", led by Dan Fouts, was one of the better offenses in league history. They routinely dismantled teams and did so en route to the AFC Championship game. But they ran into the only team able to stop them - the Bengals. The Bengals had already defeated the Chargers earlier in San Diego, and the rematch would be no different, an easy victory for Cincinnati.

 

Honorable Mentions:

 

1993 Oilers, 2003 Chiefs, 2000 Titans, 1979 Oilers, 2012 Broncos, 1976 Patriots, 1974 Raiders, 2005 Colts, 2004 Steelers, 1987 49ers, 1975 Vikings, 1975 Rams, 1975 Cardinals, 1992 49ers, 1994 Steelers, 1976 Patriots.

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4 hours ago, 2001mark said:

2006 New England Patriots - sadly, they haven't won a Super Bowl now for 3 months.

 

Honestly though, that game was way worse than the Tyree Bowl.  For all their success, there have been enough historical failures to appease some of the haters.

 

Shut up.

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5 hours ago, 2001mark said:

2006 New England Patriots - sadly, they haven't won a Super Bowl now for 3 months.

 

Honestly though, that game was way worse than the Tyree Bowl.  For all their success, there have been enough historical failures to appease some of the haters.

I'm sorry, but no Pats fan who hasn't watched for longer than 20 years has room to even come close to describing anything Pats related as "historic failure." Choking away a perfect season 10 years ago when they had already won three rings is the equivalent of a trust fund 16 year old not getting the right color Lamborghini on their birthday. This Pats era isn't going to be remembered for the 18-1 year, I can guarantee that.

 

Contributing to the post, the 2000 Titans have my vote. Sizably better team than the one that won the AFC the year before, the best team probably Tennessee has ever had, blew it to the Ravens in the divisional round. 

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A few that haven't been mentioned:

 

1967 Rams and 1967 Colts: Both teams - one led by the Fearsome Foursome, the other by the great Johnny U - tied for the best record in the NFL at 11-1-2. Neither of them managed to make it to the Super Bowl. In fact, the Colts didn't even make the playoffs! Both teams were in the same division, and the Colts got edged out by the Rams on tiebreakers. Only the division champions made the playoffs back then.


1970 Vikings: Despite having the best record in football (12-2), coming off a Super Bowl appearance the previous year, and leading the league in fewest yards and points allowed for the second straight year, they went one-and-done in the playoffs against the NFC West champion Niners.


1986 Bears: The '86 Bears' defense may have been even better than their vaunted '85 defense. They allowed only 187 points all season: fewer than they did in '85, and the fewest points surrendered in any full season in the 1980s. Unfortunately for them, they unraveled in the divisional round against Washington after two fourth-quarter fumbles.


1988 Bills: Though they were tied for the best record in football (12-4), their dominant "Blizzard Defense" was no match for the Bengals' loaded offense in the AFC title game.


1993 Oilers: Stacked on offense and defense, the Oilers seemed to have put their infamous 32-point choke from the previous year behind them with an 11-game win streak heading into the playoffs. Ultimately, they couldn't get it done against Montana's Chiefs, blowing another lead and giving up 21 points in the fourth quarter.


1995 Chiefs: Another loaded AFC team that couldn't get it done in the playoffs. At least the Chiefs had the excuse that Marty Schottenheimer, the consummate playoff loser, was their coach.


1998 Jets: The '98 Vikings are often mentioned as an ultimate example of teams that came up short, and rightfully so. But the '98 Jets deserve a mention as well. They were just a good, balanced team on both offense and defense. They were the second team in NFL history to win seven regular-season games against eventual playoff teams. They just flat-out choked against Denver in the second half and that was that.


2002 Packers and 2002 Eagles: Much like in 1967, two teams in the same conference tied for the best record in football and ended up watching the Super Bowl from home. For the Packers, Favre was incredible as usual, Ahman Green had another Pro Bowl year, and Donald Driver emerged as a star. Come playoff time, they had the misfortune of running into Mike Vick at his absolute peak. The 2002 Eagles had a loaded offense, but the Bucs' defense proved too strong in the NFC title game.

 

2006 Ravens: The 2006 Ravens defense is still the closest Baltimore has come to replicating that 2000 unit. They were the league's top-rated defense and sent six players to the Pro Bowl. It's tough to blame them for the offense only managing to put up six points against the Colts.

 

2007 Packers: Led by a revitalized season from Favre and a great pass rush with Aaron Kampman, Corey Williams and Kabeer Gbaja-Biamila, the Packers just couldn't overcome one bad throw at the worst possible time.

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I have not seen two teams mentioned

 

1979 Oilers- Because Mike Renfroe made that catch. 

 

 

1994 Cowboys- Lost to the 49ers twice, but their other three losses were to winning teams (CLE, DET, NYG).  In NFC Championship, they spotted the 49ers a 21-0 lead in the first seven minutes.  Emmitt hurt both hamstrings the week before, so Troy and Irvin took over.  38-28 with like 6 minutes left, on a 2 &10, Deion slipped and should have been called for PI on Irvin on a deep ball.  No call and Switzer got an Unsportsmanlike Conduct call to force a 3 & 25 which they obviously didn't convert. 

 

(Cannot be embedded)

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0do-bfK_O3o

 

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The 75 and 76 Bengals went 11-3 and 10-4 and managed an 0-1 record in the playoffs in those two years. Glad to see nothing's changed. 

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2 hours ago, JWhiz96 said:

2. 1968 Colts: This was arguably the Colts' best team, rivaling the 2009 team. Unitas started, but as most know he was injured and Earl Morall replaced him and performed well. They shut down the Jim Brown led Browns in the NFL Championship game and advanced to the Super Bowl. The reason I have them lower than New England is due to the fact that plenty underrated the Jets because they were in the AFL. The Jets were every bit as capable as any NFL team, and they proved it in an (ugly) 16-9 Super Bowl win.

 

So you're telling me after Jim Brown retired in 1965 he came back for the 1968 season? Cool story.

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3 hours ago, PittsburghSucks said:

So you're telling me after Jim Brown retired in 1965 he came back for the 1968 season? Cool story.

Yep, you're right. There's my daily L.

3 hours ago, McCarthy said:

The 75 and 76 Bengals went 11-3 and 10-4 and managed an 0-1 record in the playoffs in those two years. Glad to see nothing's changed. 

Those were good teams, but the '88 team was better. They ran roughshod over the AFC and took it to the Niners, almost beating them. If not for Montana's heroics the Bengals are world champs.

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6 hours ago, JWhiz96 said:

4. 1996 Broncos: This Broncos squad was arguably their best ever (in my opinion better than the '97 team). They won 13 straight to begin the season and rested their starters to end the year. They seemed to be on a collision course to meet Green Bay in the Super Bowl (who also went 13-3). But they lay a massive egg against 2nd year Jacksonville at home. If not for '97 and '98, this game may have been the defining moment in Elway's career.

 

Good point. This team had a little better depth than their SB title teams.

 

Also, the 2012 team deserves mention. If they didn't get screwed by the officials against Baltimore, they probably end up with a SB title.

 

5 hours ago, Lights Out said:

1995 Chiefs: Another loaded AFC team that couldn't get it done in the playoffs. At least the Chiefs had the excuse that Marty Schottenheimer, the consummate playoff loser, was their coach.

 

I think their 1997 team is more of a candidate for this thread. They were more talented. The 1995 Chiefs were an 8-8 team in disguise. It was no surprise to me that the Colts beat them in the divisional round.

 

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I'm surprised the 1986 Cleveland Browns haven't been brought up. If not for Marty's prevent defense they would have played the Giants in Super Bowl XXI. (btw that field goal by Rich Karlis was no good) In fact, I blame the 1987 NFL lockout for keeping the Brown out of Super Bowl XXII. One week of that NFL season was wiped out. That game was a MNF rematch of the 1986 AFC Championship game in Cleveland. If that game is played and the Browns win, they would have hosted the 1987 AFC Championship. Either of those two Browns teams would have made those Super Bowls more competitive. I think the Browns would have even beat the Redskins. Now in the 1989 AFC Championship the better team won. Browns shouldn't have beaten the Buffalo Bills the week before. They were lucky to be there.

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Tough crowd lols... yikers island on a Friday.

 

My vote has always been the 76 Steelers.

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7 hours ago, JWhiz96 said:

Yep, you're right. There's my daily L.

Those were good teams, but the '88 team was better. They ran roughshod over the AFC and took it to the Niners, almost beating them. If not for Montana's heroics the Bengals are world champs.

 

Im well aware of the 88 Bengals. That team made the super bowl and this thread is for best teams not to make the super bowl which is why I didn't bring them up. 

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18 hours ago, DnBronc said:

Good point. This team had a little better depth than their SB title teams.

 

Also, the 2012 team deserves mention. If they didn't get screwed by the officials against Baltimore, they probably end up with a SB title.

 

 

I think their 1997 team is more of a candidate for this thread. They were more talented. The 1995 Chiefs were an 8-8 team in disguise. It was no surprise to me that the Colts beat them in the divisional round.

I put the 2012 Broncos team as an honorable mention, as in my opinion they were the best team in 2012. But how were they screwed by the refs? I've got no love the Ravens but if the Broncos had played fundamental Cover 2, they wouldn't have lost the game.

 

The 97 Chiefs were very good, but they ran into a great Broncos team (Chiefs went 13-3, but the Broncos went 12-4). In 95 the Chiefs (13-3) were clearly better than the Colts (11-5), who lost Marshall Faulk. If Elliott makes just one of those field goals the game goes into OT where the Chiefs probably win it. And let's be honest, they probably beat Pittsburgh in the AFC Championship the next week.

Quote

I'm surprised the 1986 Cleveland Browns haven't been brought up. If not for Marty's prevent defense they would have played the Giants in Super Bowl XXI. (btw that field goal by Rich Karlis was no good) In fact, I blame the 1987 NFL lockout for keeping the Brown out of Super Bowl XXII. One week of that NFL season was wiped out. That game was a MNF rematch of the 1986 AFC Championship game in Cleveland. If that game is played and the Browns win, they would have hosted the 1987 AFC Championship. Either of those two Browns teams would have made those Super Bowls more competitive. I think the Browns would have even beat the Redskins. Now in the 1989 AFC Championship the better team won. Browns shouldn't have beaten the Buffalo Bills the week before. They were lucky to be there.

The Browns struggled to get by NYJ in the Divisional in 86, took double OT at home as the #1 seed. Even if they hold on and beat Denver they weren't beating NYG, which was clearly the best team. I have a similar feeling about 87, they would've given the Redskins a better fight but I still think they would've lost.

 

Now if we're talking the Sipe-led 1980 squad, I agree. That team should've gone to the Super Bowl.

12 hours ago, McCarthy said:

 

Im well aware of the 88 Bengals. That team made the super bowl and this thread is for best teams not to make the super bowl which is why I didn't bring them up. 

I'm serious, please forgive me for my mishaps. I haven't been this careless in a while, Jeebus.

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1977 Atlanta Falcons.  Wait, who?

 

Fewest points allowed per game by any team in not just the Super Bowl era, but since World War II.  Called the "stingiest defense" by some analytics sites.  Yet, the offense was awful and the Falcons couldn't parlay one of the best defensive seasons of all time into a playoff appearance, or even go above .500.

 

Give this team any semblance of offense, and a team with a better defense than the '85 Bears could have done something.  That's so Atlanta.

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On 5/12/2017 at 11:13 AM, JWhiz96 said:

8. 2006 Chargers: Schottenheimer makes the list again, this time with another AFC West team. The Chargers went 14-2 with a balanced offense and entering the post season were heavy favorites to win it all. But then Tom Brady happened, and he surgically decapitated the Chargers in the Divisional playoff. The game is famous for Brady throwing a pick late in the 4th quarter, only for San Diego to fumble it back to New England to seal the win.

 

For some perspective on how good that team was going into the postseason, their only 2 reg. season losses were by a combined 6 points: 13-3 Baltimore (who I think should get some consideration for that list with an insanely good defense) got a final minute TD, and Kansas City- a team that made the playoffs- kicked a game winning 53 yard FG on the last play in regulation.

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