Teams that Haven’t Won a Super Bowl Yet…But Will Soon
Adam Schein, a writer for NFL.com, recently posted his list of the NFL teams that he thought would be most likely to win a Super Bowl in 2021 of teams that have not acquired a Lombardi Trophy in their history. However, he only listed nine teams instead of the full 12, with the Detroit Lions, Houston Texans, and Jacksonville Jaguars missing the cut. That being said, here’s a look at my rankings for where all 12 teams that have not won a Super Bowl stand for a potential Lombardi Trophy win in Inglewood, California come February 2022.
1. Buffalo Bills
What’s not to like about the Bills? Cold and snow, understandably, and other AFC East teams that are rivals, but this team has constantly made some noise in upstate New York over the past few seasons. With Josh Allen developing into a stud quarterback and Stefon Diggs becoming a major weapon to burn opposing defenses while putting together a solid unit of their own, Sean McDermott should be pretty proud of what’s he got. This team almost made the big game last year, and expectations will be high again in the 2021-22 season.
2. Cleveland Browns
The Browns are turning into a star-studded offense with names like Odell Beckham Jr, Baker Mayfield, Jarvis Landry, Nick Chubb, and other valuable pieces. The only question surrounding the team will be health. While the COVID protocols did force a lot of players and coaching staff to miss games in 2020, the team was able to rattle off its first playoff win since 1994. Second-year head coach Kevin Stefanski should see an increase in production, and Lake Erie will be raucous come December/January.
3. Arizona Cardinals
After a surprise start with a big win over the Seahawks in week 7 of last year, I thought the desert birds were serious sleeper contenders for at least a playoff berth. Now with big-name additions in J.J. Watt and James Conner, both sides of the ball should play better if healthy in 2021. Kliff Kingsbury knows how to utilize the offense, and his system is a match made in heaven for third-year quarterback Kyler Murray. This team could give Seattle a real run for their money in the NFC West.
4. Tennessee Titans
Two words. Derrick. Henry. The former Alabama Crimson Tide running back has developed himself into a major force on the offensive side of the ball for the Titans, and he will be poised for another big season in 2021. With how Mike Vrabel handles the team on the field, I see another deep run in the playoffs, and maybe a championship for the Music City.
5. Minnesota Vikings
Here’s where things get a little bit interesting. So far, no word has been made yet as to whether a certain quarterback will stay with a certain Wisconsin team, so this could create some drama in the NFC North. That being said, the Vikings have a talented wide receiver corps centered by Adam Thielen and Justin Jefferson, and Dalvin Cook can still be a game-breaking running back. With Danielle Hunter returning, the Vikes could be bound for another ticket to the playoffs.
6. Los Angeles Chargers
Justin Herbert had a solid rookie season, and he did set a new touchdown record. Impressive, but the Bolts struggled in 2020. A fresh face in coaching with Brandon Staley should provide a bit more optimism, but I don’t know where that will take the Chargers. They could make the playoffs if Derwin James and Joey Bosa stay healthy on defense, but there are still some question marks on the offensive side of the ball.
7. Carolina Panthers
The Panthers have made a lot of moves over the last few months. That being said, it will still hurt to know that the team won’t be able to use the versatility of Curtis Samuel for at least the next three seasons. However, these cats do have D.J. Moore and Robby Anderson, and with a new quarterback in town in Sam Darnold, things are looking up for Carolina over the next couple of years.
8. Cincinnati Bengals
If Joe Burrow can stay healthy, and with Jamarr Chase joining the fold, I think the Bengals could have a bit more explosiveness in their offense in 2021. They will make some noise in the AFC North, but due to crowding in with the Browns and the Ravens, I think these Ohio River cats will just miss the playoffs.
9. Houston Texans
There has been some drama surrounding star quarterback Deshaun Watson since early February, and now the former Clemson Tiger is saying he wants out. That being said, I think the morale is low in the Lone Star State, and Houston will struggle out of the gates and miss the playoffs.
10. Atlanta Falcons
The Dirty Birds lost Julio Jones in a trade with the Titans, and that will cause the passing offense to struggle for the Falcons come 2021. While they do have Calvin Ridley and Russell Gage, an aging Matt Ryan is starting to show signs of vulnerability since his MVP season back in 2016-17. This will be a rough season for Atlanta.
11. Detroit Lions
This is another team that will struggle in the 2021 season. Jared Goff is the new quarterback, and he’ll play decent, but the Lions will be more than likely a bottom-feeder team.
12. Jacksonville Jaguars
While having the number one pick in Trevor Lawrence is nice, the Jags are still rebuilding from their last playoff appearance back in 2018. This team just doesn’t look the same or playoff-caliber, and I expect another losing record for Northern Florida.
For some teams, it will take at least a couple of seasons to return to playoff quality. For others, it’s winning a Super Bowl now or bust. With these ideas in mind, the 12 teams who haven’t raised a Lombardi Trophy will feel the pressure to crack the big game February 2022 at SoFi Stadium.